Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
Massimo Marino would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review


By Massimo Marino All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Scifi



“Large numbers of animals have mysteriously died recently, from the thousands of birds found dead in two southern U.S. states to 100,000 dead fish in Arkansas. TIME takes a look at other mass animal deaths, the mystery of many of which is still unsolved.” Read more:

‘Over the first weekend of the new year 2011, thousands of red-winged blackbirds fell dead from the sky. Two days later, some 500 blackbirds dropped dead in Louisiana.’

‘March 2011: Approx. 1,200 penguins were found dead on a remote beach in southern Chile.’

‘April 2011: Millions of sardines washed ashore nearby. In addition, thousands of the rare Andean flamingo abandoned their nests in the north of Chile, leaving their 2,000 chicks to die in their shells. Even worse, no one could say concretely why these animals had died.’

‘April 2011: According to Francisco Nique, president of the Association of Fishermen of Puerto Eten, in the span of 10 or 12 days, 1,200 dead pelicans along 160 kilometers have been found between Punta Negra, in Piura, and San Jose creek in Lambayeque. Perú 21 press.’

‘October 2011: Thousands of dead waterfowl wash ashore at Wasaga Beach, Canada. The Star.’

‘January 2012: Dead herring mystery for Norway; locals left scratching their heads after twenty tons of the dead creatures are found on beaches in Nordreisa. The Guardian.’

‘May 2012: 60,000—100,000 dead fish found in three creeks in Maryland USA. Baltimore Sun.’

‘May 2012: Thousands of Mozambique Tilapia found dead since last week, experts blame pollutants in the river. Ironically, Mozambique Tilapia is considered as one of the most resilient species of fish, known to withstand unfriendly environmental conditions. Pune Mirror.’

‘May 2012: At least 2,300 dead birds were found along beaches between Cartagena and Playa de Santo Domingo, Chile. CNN International.’

‘May 2012: The Peruvian government reported 5,000 birds, mostly pelicans, and nearly 900 dolphins have died off the country's northern coast, possibly due to rising temperatures in Pacific waters. Scientists scrambled to pin down what caused such a massive toll. AFP.’

Strange deaths had caused alarm among naturalists and environmentalists in all nations. Birds fell dead from the sky, fish washed up on shores and rivers across the whole planet, but people had other things to care and worry about. Mainstream media focused on economic crises, financial scandals, huge losses from banks, sovereign states at risk of defaulting in the Euro zone, the Arab spring, and the global war on terror.

Why the interest in bird and fish deaths: don’t they die every day? Such news was almost whispered as unimportant, or used as filler for a column on some inner page. Local TV channels sometimes reported the facts though as a strange and abrupt twist of the normal course of natural events: interesting—for a second—but nothing to see, move on.

Whoever tried to talk seriously about the animal deaths—trying to discover a pattern—was treated as a weirdo, a delusional simpleton seeing conspiracy around every corner. People reacted to the deaths with raised shoulders, regarding the unexplained quirk about the natural world as worth no more. Some even accused naturalists of trying to profit from the quirkiness to grab more funds for their research and projects.

Regardless, thousands of dead birds and tons of fishes had been found floating ashore, belly up, without any apparent reason. “The sky is not falling,” people said. Indeed it was not the sky that was falling, only previously live and healthy winged animals. Yet too many fell…well, they were just birds, weren’t they?

We had enough reasons to wonder what killed them, clear signs that something was seriously wrong. Initial investigations showed evidence of unnatural events, damage in the breast tissue, blood clots in the body cavities, and much internal bleeding. All major organs though were normal.

In some cases, acute physical trauma led to hemorrhage and death with no sign of any chronic or infectious diseases. Thousands of animals of the same species suffering a traumatic end all together—all of a sudden—around the world with no apparent cause or link. Concerted investigations should have started but nobody pushed for those. Instead, county veterinarians scrambled to provide plausible explanations. Results from preliminary testing had been released to the news by the Livestock and Poultry Commission’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. They showed birds, which fell by the thousands, dead from internal collapse—whatever that meant. No explanations were given as to what caused the massive traumas and why.

The Internet covered the deaths with genuine interest to look for causes. Threads and blogs were filled with plots calling for plans between the Zionists, Fascists, Falun Gong supporters, and aliens from planet Zark. Conspiracy theories soon killed all discussions and, in a sense, also prevented genuine forensic work to be conducted: What serious scientist craves association with lunatics wearing tin-foil caps?

Some officials started to release the first explanation at hand. They speculated on causes for the bird deaths ranging from fireworks, the weather, noxious fumes, chemtrails sprayed by airliners, or ‘sonic booms.’ Anything that could be used to put the stories to rest, and quickly. Some believed the birds might have been frightened to death by the blasts or killed by the scores in traffic accidents.

"We received information from local residents last night. Our main theory is that birds got scared because of the fireworks. Thus, they landed on the road, but couldn't fly away due to the stress and were hit by a car," one official explained to ‘The Local’, Sweden’s online news in English. The Sveriges Radio Skaraborg also reported the news and stated the birds had been found dead on the streets in Falköping, southeast of Skövde.

He added the animals likely had difficulty orienting themselves in the dark. That in itself would be news. No one talked much about the fishes, like the two million dead in Chesapeake Bay or the dead drums washed ashore along twenty miles of the Arkansas River.

People had more important issues to deal with; the world faced a period of great uncertainty and huge changes affecting everyone at every level. Global terrorism stopped us from seeing what was happening. In those months people were thinking of other things. Everyone wondered whether they'd be next in the vicious round of terrorist bombings and retaliations affecting every country in the world.

Who cared if some wild animals were dying when members of your own family might not come home that night? Humanity had missed its only vital clue. The link was there. We were the sapient species on earth, clever enough to connect the dots, no matter how far apart they were. We should have done our job. Connect them. We were too busy, too preoccupied with other facts to ask ourselves: What the hell is happening?

Nature’s red flags went unnoticed and animals—scores of them—kept dying. We kept living our own lives…

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...

gunter1987: I just want to say here that this is my first review, but I really wanted to review this story. I apologize if I don't write English to well, I am French.Reading through the many science fiction stories posted here and other places in the world, I started to see a few linking themes: heavy-hande...

Ravenhawk: Kim I was sure I wrote this before. But since both my computer and my internet connection has been futzing around so much, I'm surprised that I'm able to write this even now. basically you know I adore this story, I've told you as much before. I cannot fault it in any way at all, except that I wa...

Lacey Schmidt: The Trouble with Super is that you can't stop reading it. Mr. Barrett's characters are all to easy to relate to even if you don't have a super quirk of your own, and their plight is both heart-rendingly funny and heart-warmingly sad at the same time. It's a bit like Office Space meets the Matri...

Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!

Angel S. Adames Corraliza: Sensational! As a fan of superheroes, I have to say, you have a real winner of a story so far. I like that you made Allison a Wonder Woman expy, but kept her likable and relate-able in this first chapter. You showed us the Mother while also glancing at the Superhero, which I think is important to...

Steve Lang: I thought this story was imaginative, and well thought out. I also think it was an original piece, and not a rehash of previous scifi stories I've read in the past.Thank you for the effort put into this tale, and I look forward to reading more of your work!

hypaalicious: This story follows two main characters, Zoey and Derek, on a winding adventure that sucks you in from the beginning. It was easy to get into and get a feel for the world that the author is projecting, as well as all of the warring factions and difference of ideals that would otherwise be very co...

mrh: This interesting take on the Harry Potter series fascinated me from line one on. I am in love with this tale and its characters and cannot wait to read the next chapter. I look forward to more soon.When can I expect the next chapter? I am so excited to read it!

More Recommendations

cassandrab: Delightful SciFi (for a change)! I am not a SciFi fan: mostly the genre is far too dystopic for me. This book (written by a high-school friend) is, on the other hand, generally upbeat. Yes, Earth's future is threatened. But Earth has a chance to plan a response. And (spoiler alert) ultimately win...

Mark-Mikkel: Got directed here by the author herself. Started reading it, schoolday turned into a day of reading. I really like the apocaliptic world she has created. There are some oddities in the writing tho, but I guess they are because she did have to do it for NaNo (which she wrecked, good job!). In the ...

marycombs14: This is a very interesting book - mostly because the heroine is quite charming and well rounded, and has very real issues to manage in her life. Most of all,. I loved the view inside of the life of a South Asian girl/woman, the emotional self-talk, the customs and preferences, the expectations a...

Raymond Keith Moon: Great story arc. Nice command of the balance of overview and detail. Feels a bit like a multi-player computer game, but provides satisfying explanations for all the apparent magic. Please keep writing!

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."