1.27.2015

The One Where the Planet Saves Itself

My family lived on a magnificently beautiful and thriving planet. Our home overlooked a bay near the ocean. Across the bay was a beautiful waterfall like Angel Falls surrounded by lush tropical forest and white sand beaches. This planet was perfect, with one exception, a planetary event that happened every 1000 years when it reached a particular spot in its orbit. It was not a purely scientific event, it was not purely mythological, it was a strange combination of the two. There was a great unknown of what The Event would bring since no one survived the last one and it was pure speculation.

Generations past did not worry, they would never see the day of its occurrence but my generation certainly would. The Event would come suddenly and without warning. The planet knew it was time and had started to change itself. Things evolved quickly in preparation. All wildlife adapted to be smaller, closer to the ground, but mobile on land and sea. Most people had highly sophisticated personal chambers capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and sustain life, to stow away in, provided they could get to theirs in time. Most of them were coded only to allow specific individuals inside, to prevent hijacking. 

I was helping my family sort through my grandmothers things when The Event started. The earth shifted and very quickly there were no mountains or valleys. Imagine the destruction that comes when the entire earth levels itself into flatlands. Buildings were swallowed, families were instantly separated, it was mass chaos. It seemed almost impossible to try and find my families chambers but we had to try.

The atmosphere became fire with what I can only describe as a mass of solar flares. Everything but a few feet above the ground was set ablaze. Common sense along with instinct kicked in and I yelled at my family to lay with their faces to the ground. An enourmous stampeding herd of tiny deer covered us, they had developed equally tiny atmospheric bubbles to help them survive and that in turn, helped us escape the heat.

Once the heat passed the earth shifted again and water started pouring in from all directions. Massive waves made it hard to stay together but we managed. The water brought in a mythical group of seafaring invaders and conquerors armed with the intent to kill. Luckily we had brought some tools to do repairs at my grandmothers house and we were able to fight back with hammer, saws, lopers and such. Others were not so lucky and became easy targets while we escaped.

We reached our chambers but a few had been damaged and would not have enough oxygen for all of us for what we anticipated to be the duration of The Event. We decided some would stay inside and others, the younger and healthiest of us, would try to take turns in one of the undamaged chambers. Once the waters subsided they were quickly replaced by a bitter cold and the world became a snow storm. We once lived in a tropical paradise and there was no need for a pair of thick socks, much less a coat. The family of snow leopards nearby had two choices... Snuggle up and help keep us warm or become fur blankets. They wisely chose the latter.

The planet continued to rotate through a variety of natural disasters, lightening storms, tornadoes, volcanos, each one lasting a few hours apiece. We managed to find a way to survive through each one until it was certain The Event was over. Everyone came out of their chambers and surveyed the damage incurred, grateful to have fared much better than the planets inhabitants 1000 years ago. We started immediately to rebuild our lives, after all, we would never see this again in our lifetimes, or so we thought. I could see the sun rising on the horizon and there was a pervading feeling of hope. I started to wake up in the comfort of a happy ending...  wait, that's not the sun. I'm halfway between being asleep and awake and realizing The Event was designed to restart the planet and none of mankind's invention could stay it's purpose, which it would see through until complete. It's too late... the sky of solar flares rushed upon us all. I am awake.