An Open Letter
Tick Tock... Tick tock. You hear that? That’s the sound of time; it’s very own voice. It’s amusing to see the ways humans have defined time over the years. And by humans, I mean the human brain. The same brain which, tells a man that it is the most brilliant; powerful tool in existence. This ‘powerful’ possession of ours unbeknownst has long been caged; ensnared in the concept of time.
Many men gave value to the future, some gave to the past and only a few gave to the present. To me, time had begun to dissolve into itself, as shapeless as the rain. The past, present and future had all been distorted; dissolved into one formless entity. The present and the future I could live with; but the demons of my past, though quiet are never silenced. Calm as they may be, they wait patiently for a reason to wake and crawl back to my ear.
Everyday, I visit the same moment of my past. The 21st century. A period of global annihilation. Wildfires, pandemics, extinction. The past, for me and the present, for you. Funny, how time works. You are living it right now while I have already lived through it. A lot has changed, hasn’t it? And, it’s not going to get any better. Still, a little part of me thinks otherwise. I write this as a beacon of hope. It’s still plausible; doable.
But before that, let me take you back to where it all started. “History repeats itself.” it is said. I hope that this time you can prove this saying wrong.
It was the last day of 2040. I awoke to find myself in my bed, in the protection of my house. I looked out through the window. There were no trees or city planted blooms, just monoliths of concrete soaring out of the sidewalk in an exact grid pattern. Ubiquitous skyscrapers were smudged by the smog-filled sky, no sunlight, no birds. Cars raced between red lights, stubbornly flickering in the grey of the sky. Through the misty veil that surrounded the city I could barely make out dead white trees like bony fingers stretching for the dark sunless sky. I slowly opened the window and sucked in a huge breath.
There was hardly any air in this menacing city; lack of oxygen descended on my mind in a panic, in desperation I sucked in another breath, burning my lungs with a ferocity that consumed me..Suddenly, a loud siren blared through the city tower. I could feel my heart beating against my rib cage, slowing every second.
“Code 101: Carbon content 90 percent high. Death toll: 80 percent. The remaining, get back to your houses immediately. Don’t touch the rocks. Don’t touch the water. If your skin so much so brushes any of the plants, you’re dead. I repeat...” Flying robots announced, zooming past the city.
My mind started spinning. Every fiber of my being was shouting, ’No!’. I could feel my eyes starting to burn. Drop. Small crystal beads trailed down my cheeks. Limping, I walked around frantically through the barren streets; my mind reeling in dismay. Across the street, I could overhear the robots muttering, “It’s over... men... own downfall.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the billboard sign. ”The Dooms Day“. The bright neon words glared furiously at me. My heart stopped. My mind went blank. This was our... future. A future with no beginnings. Our end.
On Dec 31, 2040, the human population had been wiped out. After many torturous days, the last humans standing came out to plead their innocence. I was among them too. They cried, “It wasn’t us! It was the corporations; we just did what we had to do to survive! Save us, have mercy. Do something... anything.”
The robot punched a button on his translator and made his reply, “You all voted with your tokens system - money - every day. You bought products made with the sweat of children and slavery. You preferred factory farmed meat to lentils and herbs. You abused your own kind, killed them, waged war after war despite being told not to kill. You have run your economies to the degradation of this planet, all other species and even your own. Your warnings came from the Creator Herself, and still you ignored them. Remorse is easy when you face annihilation, but it doesn’t last long. If you weren’t all so desperate to get to your “heaven” you’d have realized you’re already there. This pleading is of no use now. It’s too late.”
“...It’s too late.” Those are the words that keep ringing inside my head endlessly. They’ve kept us in this warehouse for days only, providing us food and water. We are living, but barely. We can’t breathe without oxygen masks. It’s been months since we have stretched our legs. Many men have gone insane being entrapped in this dark warehouse. Some died. Some have become a living corpse.
As for me, I can feel the sickness in my bones now. It is creeping into my body and eating me alive. The torment; the pain is too much. But before I leave, I know I have to do one last job.
I think you’ve figured it out by now. Yes. The letter you are holding right now is written by me. In 2041, technology has advanced beyond our imagination. Time travel is now possible. Forgive me, but this is the last desperate attempt of mine to set things straight.
“...It’s too late.” I pondered over those words a lot and I realized they were right. It was too late to change my present and future. But, it is not late for you. Your present and future can be very different from mine. You can still avoid this. I hope this letter serves as a warning of what the future holds for you, if you continue with your old ways. It doesn’t have to be that way though.
You see, time is but a stubborn illusion. History, if desired can be rewritten all over again. It’s simple. All it needs is a single step from you.
Let this incident be buried within these pages, never to see the light of your present. Let it be a tragic tale. More so, I hope a forgotten one.
In the future, I hope when you read this letter again, you will smile and think to yourself, “We did it. We defied time itself.”
With warm regards,
Your well wisher
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