Rhys Carleton – The Worlds Dying

“Time for dinner” my mom called out. Tonight’s dinner was the usual, a potato. For dinner, we either each got a potato, a tomato, or some lettuce. That was all we had growing in our yard, and such a small amount survived that we could only eat in portions of one for meals. This was the same for most families in the world. If you had a decent sized yard, you could plant enough food to live on. Not comfortably, but you would survive. If you didn’t have any yard space, then you’re probably already dead. People aren’t into sharing food nowadays.

        The year is 2060, 2 years after the world started dying. At least, that’s what we think is happening. In early 2058, stories began floating around about farmers not being able to grow food very well, and that most of it would die before harvest. As the year went on, this problem grew worse. Plants, and trees began dying all over the world. Anyone growing food, from farmers to regular people with some tomatoes in their yard, watched as their plants died. Watering them didn’t do anything so there really was nothing they could do. This all started happening right in the middle of another crisis. Years of consumption lead to shortages in almost every major resource. And on top of that, climate change was at its worst. So the year 2058 wasn’t a great one, but it’s gotten worse. Since farmers couldn’t produce enough food, they couldn’t supply stores, and couldn’t make any kind of food that required food from the farmers. So after all the food had been consumed, everyone had to turn to farming. Like a said, if you had a decent sized yard, enough food would survive that you could live on it, but if you had no space to grow food then you would have to walk around your town and city begging for food which you would rarely receive. We are expecting things to get worse. At this point we’re just waiting until growing food is impossible. Inhabiting another planet was an idea we had but were pretty much out of anything that could fuel something to get us to space, so that’s out of the picture.

        “Thank you mom” I yelled as I ran downstairs. I jumped in my bed and turned on the tv. We still have electricity so all I do all day is watch tv and play xbox. I live on an island just off of Seattle called Nash Island. If you live in a big city, most things you own have probably been stolen by the Reckers. Reckers roam the streets of big cities and the surrounding areas in large groups, raiding houses and stealing anything they can get their hands on, killing anyone who fights back. They set up camps where they keep all their stolen items, and keep it heavily guarded. Many people have been killed by the reckers, or died of starvation after having all their food stolen. Luckily, since I live on an island, we don’t have to deal with them.

        Life isn’t so bad for people like me, other than constantly having an empty stomach. My friends and I still hang out and do everything we did before this started. We’re just trying to forget any of this is actually happening and make the most of our lives while we still have it.

        “Kody, come on” my friends shouted to me from the water.

        “Sorry guys” I said as I jumped off my bike and into the water. The water isn’t too cold in the summer, but you would be crazy to swim without a wetsuit or something in the winter.

        “What took you so long?” Hayden asked.

        “My mom was making me do math stuff” I replied.

        “Your parents are still making you do schoolwork?” Kareena said.

        “Ya, and they’re making me do work for every class. They’re confident that this will end at some point and want to make sure I’m still ready for school or something. It’s so stupid.”

        “Ya that sucks” Kayden said.

        “Who wants to go to the cliffs?” Said Isha.

        The cliffs were a top secret spot only we knew about. It was a pair of rocks placed perfectly for cliff jumping, and they were well hidden. It was a long swim from the beach but it was always worth it.

“Sure, let’s go” I replied.

“Hey Kody, wanna race?” Asked Hayden. “I got a Milky Way at home that’s all yours if you win.”

“Might as well just give it to me now, have you ever beaten me in a race” I said.

“Ya, remember that time last year on Karen’s birthday” he replied

“My name isn’t Karen” Kareena called out. She had already started swimming to the cliffs.

“That was when I had a sprained wrist. And you still barely beat me” I said.

“Still counts doesn’t it, anyways are we racing or not?”said Hayden.

“Of course. I’ll even give you a five second head start” I said.

I’ve had the same friends for most of my life. Hayden, Kareena, and Isha. I have had other friends before but not like them. We all met at a wedding a long time ago, and we’ve been best friends ever since. We do everything together and never leave someone out of something. We’re all very different but fit perfectly together. Hayden is very crazy. He just lives life to have fun. He’s never backed down from a dare, no matter how wild it is. Isha is incredibly smart. She’s definitely got the brightest future out of all of us. When we were in 7th grade, before all of this began, Isha was taking some of her classes with the 9th and 10th graders. I don’t really know how to describe Kareena other than that she’s very outgoing and doesn’t care much about what other people think. She always says what’s on her mind, even if it’s weird and dumb. And then there’s me. I’ve never really been the kind of person to describe myself, so I just leave it to other people to form their own opinions on me.

“Just give up, you’re never gonna beat me” I said to Hayden as climbed out of the water onto the rocks.

“Shut up” Hayden replied.

“Where’s Isha?” I asked.

“I don’t know, probably just fell behind, like always” said Hayden.

Isha has always been the slowest swimmer in the group.

“Heads up” Kareena yelled as she jumped off the cliff and into the water.

“That never get old” she said as she resurfaced.

We began climbing up the rocks to the jumping spot. The climb isn’t too bad, but there’s one sketchy part as you’re climbing onto the jumping rock. There isn’t any good place to put your hands. All of us have almost fallen off it multiple times.

“Now this never gets old” Kareena said as we climbed up onto the jumping rocks. The view from the rocks was incredible. The glistening water and view of nearby Seattle made it worth the climb every time.

                             2 Weeks Later

People are going crazy. All across the world people are slowly losing their sanity. Last week people began noticing that even more of their food was dying then ever before. The world went into the frenzy. People began realizing that there really was no hope. The situation was going to continue to get worse and worse.

“Knock, Knock.” I opened my door and saw Hayden, Isha, and Kareena on their bikes.

“Want to go for a ride in the trails?” Asked Hayden.

“Sure” I replied. “Just let me ask my parents.”

On our way up the big hill out of my neighborhood, we talked about how much we missed our favorite foods. It had been years since anyone had enjoyed a burger or pizza.

“Can we stop talking about this?” I said. “I haven’t eaten all day and this isn’t helping

When we arrived at the trails, they were packed as usual. This seemed to be a lot of people’s favorite way to escape from what was happening.

The reckers are growing in numbers as people aren’t able to grow enough food. They started out as groups of bad people who didn’t want to work for food. But now, good people who are just desperate are joining in hopes that they will be able to get some food in their stomach. I’m afraid that people might start forming groups of reckers on Nash that are big enough to actually cause problems. If it gets to that point then we’re all going to have to stay inside which would kinda ruin my life. But for now I’m spending as much time with my friends as possible, and making the most of it.

I heard screams further down the trail.

“Ahhhhh, Guys get down here.” I sped down the trail and found Hayden on the ground, clutching his arm.

“I think it’s broken” he whimpered.

“Oh my god are you ok?” Asked Kareena.

“Does it look like he’s ok” I said. “I think I have a cast at home, I guess I’ll just carry you there.”

“Mom, Dad, where is the cast we had, I need it right now” I said.

“Why, what happened?” My mom asked.

“Hayden broke his arm” I replied.

My dad came running into the kitchen with the cast.

“Are you going to be ok?” I asked him as he walked out the door.

“Ya I’ll be fine, thanks for all your help” he said.

“Ya no problem” I said. “Just don’t come out with us for a while, let your arm heal.”

“Ya I will, see ya” he said.

It’s been 3 weeks since Hayden broke his arm, and things have gotten worse. Reckers now roam the streets in town, stealing everything from the nearby houses. His arm is doing a lot better, and will probably be healed by next week. He texted me that he’s coming over to talk to me about something really important which is weird. He would normally just text whatever it is.

When he came inside, we went down to my room.

“I think I hit the jackpot on this one” he said.

“Oh no, what is it?” I asked.

“So I was taking a walk around the block right, and I heard these two guys talking about Mr. Radlif.”

“Ok, and?” I said.

“Well apparently, he’s sitting on a huge stash of food. No one knows where he got it but they said he’s got all the good stuff, I’m talking canned food, drinks, everything” he said, smiling from ear to ear.

“Ok, and I’m guessing you want to steal it” I said.

“Exactly” he said.

“I don’t know, that guy is crazy, if we get caught he’ll kill us” I said. “It’s also his stash,   He’s an old man we shouldn’t steal from him.”

I sighed. “If things get worse, then maybe, I mean we don’t know that the stash is even there, but until then just rest your arm” I said.

“Ok fine, but let me know if you want to do it” he said.

“Ya I will, now go home, I have some stuff to do.”

        “So what’s the plan?” Asked Kareena. We all decided that if there was a stash then it was worth the risk. But we still hadn’t actually heard a plan from Hayden.

“Simple. Mr. Radlif should be passed out upstairs in his bedroom, and the stash should be in the basement. So we sneak in, find the stash, quickly load the food into our bags, and get out of there.”

“That is a terrible plan, but I’m tired of eating almost nothing everyday, lets go” said Kareena.

As we walked through the cold, dark forest, we talked about what kind of food we thought was going to be in the stash. Juice boxes, soup, mac n cheese. My mouth watered to the distant memories of mac n cheese. As the house came into view, I stopped the group.

“Are we sure we want to do this, it’s a big risk and there might not be a stash” I said.

“It’s a risk worth taking” Hayden said. Kareena and Isha nodded their heads in agreement.

When we got to the house, we looked through all the windows to make sure he wasn’t sleeping on the couch. He was an old man and it was three in the morning, he had to be asleep, and it was either in his bed or in the living room. After making sure the middle floor was clear we quietly entered the house. Kareena and Isha were going to look for the stash on the middle floor while Hayden and I checked the basement. We crept down the stairs, opened the door, and turned on the lights. No stash. It was just filled with a bunch of random stuff. We searched around for a secret door or something, but there was nothing. All of a sudden, there was a big “crash” from upstairs. Hayden and I ran back upstairs. We heard the low, creaky voice of Mr. Radlif upstairs.

“Hey, who’s there” he yelled. “What are you doing in my house.”

We heard footsteps walking down the stairs.

“Run” I yelled.

I ran as fast as I could. I looked behind and saw my three friends, and a figure in the door. Then I heard a loud “bang” as a bullet whizzed past me. “Bang, bang, bang.” Three more shots flew by. I turned right on the trail. I was safe but I didn’t stop running until I made it back home. I snuck in through the back door and went to my room. I immediately called my friends to make sure they were ok. Thankfully they all picked up and told me they made it home. Kareena and Isha told me that they found nothing, and they were about to leave and text Hayden and I, but Kareena knocked over some shelves.

That went about as bad as you could possibly imagine. There was no stash, and we almost got killed. With the Earth still dying, and the growing number of reckers, our only hope at this point is the Earth to randomly stop dying. But honestly, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

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