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My goal: to express the beauty of the world through writing; inspire change, and explore different uses of language.
Favorite genre to write: poetry, fiction
Favorite series: Harry potter

Message from Writer

Hi! I'm Sophie :) thanks for coming to my corner of WtW.
Any feedback or comments are appreciated, I'm looking to improve my writing and learn from this amazing community of writers!

The Phoenix

November 17, 2020

New York City, 2220
    The menacing fires were never satisfied. They had come back, this time hungrier than ever, leaving the forests destitute of all life. The singed remnants of their last meal left a bitter taste in the air, like a campfire after it rains. Burned, soggy, hopeless.
      Elidi glanced at the pile of clothes in her room, unpacked. That's how the Earth was being treated. An expendable item, like a sock. Her mother, a mechanical engineer, had been hired to go to Mars. The plan was for she and Elidi, along with a team of others, to evacuate to the newly prepped Mars base, in 1 week, so they could "pave the way for the future". 
   But Elidi didn't want a 'fresh new start'. She wanted the old earth. The green planet, filled with animals, and seasons, and sunsets, like her great-grandmother had photographed. And snow. The sweet luxury was unimaginable, unless you lived in Antarctica. It was Christmas after all. But now, the only snow that fell was ash- thick black snowflakes that no one wanted to land on their tongue.
    Elidi shivered, looking out into the city. It was like an old theater, once shining, now dusty, covered with neglect. The new attention was focused on the steel launch station a few miles away, now preparing for the trip to Mars.
    She glimpsed her reflection- dark hair, shallow eyes, crocked nose, lady bug sized freckle-
    Wait. She squinted closer. That was no freckle. It was a real lady bug, once that was crawling over the window - alive.
    It was a miracle.
    A twinge of sorrow seeped through her rock of a heart. She mourned for this small, innocent creature, who would never get to experience the earth that was meant for them. It was destined to burn on this planet that humankind had ruined in its selfishness. Angry that no one seem to care about this, Elidi slammed her door quickly and paced into the next room, clothes forgotten.
    The smell of bleach met her nostrils, making her sick. Her mother was in another cleaning frenzy, as if scrubbing the walls would make their problems go away. The giant metal suitcase now being packed was yet another reminder of their abdication of the planet.
    “You know, since we’re leaving, there’s no point in cleaning this house, if it’s going to get destroyed anyway,” Elidi said sardonically.
    “Hello, Elidi.” her mother said, voice as cool as the now clean steel walls of their apartment. She continued to pack.
    Elidi walked over to the small plastic Christmas tree, biting the ends of her hair. Remember the ladybug.
    Before she could stop herself, the question burst from her like a strangled beast. "Why can't we stay? I mean, our planet is dying, and you’re just going to give up? We’re just going to abandon it? There are people staying, scientist, engineers, helping put out the fires." As soon as she said it, she instantly felt discouraged, having gleaned her mother's reaction. That was out of the question.
    Not wanting to give up, Elidi's voice wavered, anger melting into one weak question.
    "Don't you care?" 
    There was a pause. Her mother stopped folding the clothes and gave the sigh of someone encumbered with deep loss.
    “Elidi, I stopped caring a long time ago." the sorrow in her voice surprised Elidi, whom had always known her mother to hide her emotions. Tears were as rare for her mother as the color green was on Earth.
    "After your father and brother were killed in the earthquake,” she choked on a sob, and then continued with bitter resolve. “After our family was broken, I stopped loving the Earth. The environment is cruel to humans. Moving to Mars is the safest option, and, I- I just want to protect you. I’m just doing what’s best for us.” she patted the final piece of clothing into the suitcase and closed the metal clasps with a resounding click. The matter was closed.  
    But it’s our fault, Elidi urgently added in her head. Humans were the ones to make this mess, and we’re the ones who have to fix it. She wished her mother could understand this.
    “Mom, I-”
    Her mother had heard enough. “Elidi, at some point you're just going to have to accept that the earth will no longer your home and mov-”
    But before the piercing arrow could get from her mother’s lips to Elidi’s heart, the world came crashing down. It took a moment for Elidi to finally realize what was happening; the ominous screeching alarm, notifications from every device in the room, the putrid smell of burning timber, and the robotic message flashing across the sound speaker:
    Attention citizens, the anticipated wildfire has arisen in most of the Northern- Midwest, air quality levels becoming increasingly dangerous, proceed to evacuation plan for group B.
    But Elidi couldn't move. Her feet were stuck to the ground with denial, spine frozen in ice.
    No, no,  no. 
    This couldn't be it.
Alright, Elidi. Now is the time. Luckily I've finished packing.." 
    But her mother's stern voice was tuned out by the pulsing blood in her ears. Don't go, don't go, was the rhythm of her heartbeat, a butterfly of possibility pulsing in her chest. 
    Her name meant ember, gift of the sun. 
    She had never understood why her parents had chosen that name in a world where fire was the raging enemy. But now, on her 18th Christmas, it dawned on her with new meaning.
    She was a phoenix, born out of the ashes. 
    Driven to make change, it was her destiny, her duty, to save what could become lost. Not to launch into the future, but to try and mend the tears in the now, so the future could be brighter.

     She took a deep breath, never so sure of anything else in here life.

     "Mom, I'm going to join the firefighters. I'm going to stay."
This story was inspired by the recent wildfires in California and Colorado, but exemplified to what the world would be like in 200 years. Since it is set in the future, I took a bit of liberty with the idea of realistic fiction. However, in my opinion, a future where humans have to leave earth due to the extreme effects of climate change is terrifying, but very plausible if we don't do something soon enough.


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  • Rachaelgrace

    this is awesome. i really love the symbolism!!

    5 months ago
  • acrosstheuniverse28

    Amazing writing, your word choice and use of figurative language is wonderful! And I really love your sci-fi take on this issue. It's crazy to believe my state (Colorado) had its three worst forest fires in the same year this season. But I really love how you used the fires as inspiration, and now I'm curious to read the rest of this story! Good work!

    6 months ago