continued from previous
John quickly ran to the other side of the room towards his phone. The sound of a message notification felt like winning the lottery. It felt like a call from God himself. And it came in sharp contrast with the disconnected silence that John’s world had suddenly entered, almost overnight. Even for an introverted Minimalist, this experience had been claustrophobic. He turned the phone over to see three notifications from Aspen. Before he could call back, the phone’s battery went dead. At least Aspen was probably alive. Still trapped on the 16th floor, all John could do was wait until the power was restored and the flood waters hopefully retreated. It was time to use those matches and one of the candles to attempt to make himself the most badly prepared yet most delicious cup of coffee he had ever had in his life. There was no reason to panic – unless of course, the building suddenly caught fire.
John looked out into the thin strip of ocean in the distance. The colour had shifted a bit more towards a sickly beige/grey, probably a result of suspended particles in the floodwater. New phytoplankton and other microorganism mutants had probably arrived from far away, colonizing the bay. There was not a hint of blue hue in the water anywhere. The storm surge and effluent were providing the phytoplankton with extra nutrients and warm waters – two of its favourite things. This was the definitive affirmation of its victory, of its ability to thrive. The Reign Of The Phytoplankton was now official. It had all that it could ever wish for: sun, nutrients, an endless ocean, and all the time in the world. Meanwhile a sad, disconnected human on the 16th floor of a semi-destroyed building was using a candle to warm up a kettle so that he can filter some hazelnut espresso through folded toilet paper. Who was most likely to survive?
(from the upcoming novel A New Earth)
to read from the beginning, go here
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books