Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the one hundred and eighth piece in this series. This week’s is a 349-worder by Christopher Farley. This story will be podcasted in episode 34 (with two other stories and some 6-worders) on Sunday 1st December.
A Shrinking World
The greens and greys reflect on the surface of the lake. It’s almost 11pm and it’s still hot and humid. There may be another storm tonight. More water. At least the clouds will block out the sun, which won’t set, not this far north. It’s like having a yellow moon in the night sky. Or what should be night.
You see, Greenland really is a green land now. The glaciers turned into water quite a while ago. This high up on the plateau we’re safe from the rising waters, for now. Ice at the North Pole? That’s a memory for some of us, for others, the kids, it’s just a myth, like dragons and hoards of gold.
Oh, the push on the boundaries of science. Fools! In their search to prove or disprove something called Higgs Boson with their atom particle collider something went wrong, horribly. They shrunk the planet. Continents started sliding under or over each other and the world, as the old communications advert used to say, just got smaller. All that water had to go somewhere and so it went up.
The world became estranged mountain communities; the Rockies, Andes, Himalayas. I even heard there’s a small Alpine community but no one has ever returned to confirm this. They want to and they try. They leave in old, rusty ships from time-to-time. People still insist on leaving, buoyed by hope but not by water. The oceans are far too dangerous now. The Earth has become one continuous stretch of water so when a storm hits there’s no longer any landmass to break up the huge waves that just continue to build and the wind continues to blow. I’ve heard even the most massive ships wouldn’t have a chance out there. My chance? I’ll take it on the land under my feet, what remains of it, and hope.
At one time, the world worried about nuclear war and an atomic winter. Now the Earth’s crust is edging nearer to its core and it keeps getting hotter; they created an atomic-particle summer.
And the waters keep on rising.
I asked Chris what prompted this piece and he said…
I had this view of Lake Maggiore one evening just as the sun was setting behind the mountains, of which I took a picture. I then wondered what sort of world it would be if I were actually sitting on one of the last pieces of terra ferma left in the world. This is the result.
Apart from a lack of knowledge of things blog-technical, I have no knowledge whatsoever of either Higgs Boson or atomic particle colliders, but I did only have 500 words to play with. :)
You did indeed. Aren’t I mean. Thank you, Chris.
Upon moving to London, a bit like Dick Whittington, searching for streets of gold, he happened upon a beautiful Italian lady who later decided to take him to the sunny realm of southern Switzerland, where he can still be found, smiling inanely, continuously in search of Weissbier.
When he is not working or drinking he sits in front of the computer, searching for fictional inspiration. You can find Chris via his blogs http://christopherfarley.wordpress.com and http://talkingtosh.wordpress.com.
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Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
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