continued from previous
The bioluminescent plankton had begun to approach the city. It became visible at first as a thin bright line just below the horizon, in much the same way a full moon tends to spill itself across the sea. As it got closer however, it broadened into a deep turquoise-blue ribbon that began to cast its glow into the sky above. The coast would soon become the stage for an inevitable stand-off between two types of light: the fossil-fuelled, man-made electric lights of human industrial civilization, and the New Earth: a sustainable bioluminescence born out of the chaos of climate change.
Other cities had already experienced the encounter hours earlier, reacting with both excitement and trepidation. The glow was so strong that there were reports of some towns choosing to dim their street lighting, as the night was replaced by a permanent twilight situation. The amount of illumination coming from the ocean alone was enough to have a measurable decline on coastal energy consumption across the globe. Along with the ongoing dramatic falls in human population due to war, disease and starvation, the bioluminescent plankton would become the poster child for yet another victory of the New Earth over man: human civilization was literally beginning to dim, just as the new variant was stepping into the spotlight.
At the usual gathering at the end of the beach the mood was both somber and jubilant. A few brave Minimalists had gone for a swim in the electric blue ocean, despite the public health warnings. One of them stood out as a dark figure in the glowing waters: it was Aspen. The plankton glowed even brighter around her as she moved in the water, almost as if it recognized her. It responded to her movements, occasionally producing pink, purple and blue iridescent flashes of light in the water. Small fish followed the flashes, perhaps thinking it was other fish.
“She’s the One”, Aberash uttered to herself as she watched from the beach, captivated by the rainbow colors. She didn’t notice John standing right behind her, getting ready to dive in himself. On his way to the water, he turned to Aberash and said: “Yes, she is”.
(from the upcoming novel A New Earth)
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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