WHEN ALL THE WORLD WAS EMPTY OF HUMANKIND … Marilyn Armstrong

When the world is empty, there is a Bone #writephoto


We got the word in 2018. Twelve years to fix the world.

It had taken hundreds of years to screw it up. Hundred of years of burning coal, pouring poisons into the streams and rivers and it all flowed into the oceans. And all that while, we were doing it to improve the quality of our lives. Not only our lives but the lives of all the children and grandchildren who would come after us.

They would have the machinery to do what used to be done by hand. The world was gigantic and somewhere, there was an enormous hole into which all the trash could be put. It was an endless hole, so we’d never run out of space and would never need to worry about how much junk we were creating.

Then came the realization that it was cheaper to replace stuff and people forgot how to fix things. Gradually, the gigantic endless hole was not endless and the oceans were full of bottles and straws and floating trash.

The garbage began to spread over the land. It was a slow process, but it was as sure as the earth turning. Most of the world’s cities were full of trash. At first, it was just a little bit, as if a trash bin had been tipped and a tiny bit had spilled on the street.

Then there was more. Eventually, long after the aforementioned twelve years had come and gone, you couldn’t walk through a city or town without wading through garbage. Not just rubbish either. Real putrid garbage.

The land grew gradually poisonous. Just … a little bit. Then, a little bit more. Animals began to die. No sudden collapse. They faded, failed to thrive and ultimately … ceased.

First, the birds vanished. The songbirds and raptors. The long-legged tall birds — herons, cranes, storks, egrets. After that, the big beasts vanished. Many had gone before, but now it was the working beasts — buffalo, yak, wildebeest. Shortly thereafter, cows and sheep and goats declined as well, though no one knew for sure the reason. It just happened.

Eventually — by then no one was surprised — weird epidemics of unknown origins killed turkeys, chickens, and ducks. No more eggs. No matter which came first, all were gone.

The hogs lasted longest. Humans bred them as fast as they could, then hunted the wild ones to extinction. Soon the bees went from many to few and crops could not grow. Ultimately, all that was left was a single white skull on a burned plain where once the long grass had grown across thousands of acres.


It would be a mere hundred years until the world repaired itself. The hidden animals crept from their secret places. The woods returned and oak forests grew tall and dark and deep. A new world without people emerged, but it was a good world.

Someday, another intelligence would come and make it home. Not too soon. Not yet. First, let the ocean and air come clean.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

28 thoughts on “WHEN ALL THE WORLD WAS EMPTY OF HUMANKIND … Marilyn Armstrong”

    1. Nobody wants to talk about it because for all practical purposes, it’s already too late. I thought that a few years ago. There is NO way we are going to meet that deadline. Not a chance. Easier to just ignore and pretend nothing is happening.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I think it will be a long, slow, ugly decline. At some point, everyone will notice something is terribly wrong and there will be a mad rush to fix it but it won’t work. It will be much too late. It really already is. I’m very glad I won’t live to see it.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. We didn’t make this world. The world has been trying to be this way since forever. We have never paid any mind to caring for the earth. Still seeking intelligent life on Earth. Apparently losing that battle.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Hopefully there is a different path and we take it before it is too late. How strange that we can see it coming, yet those in charge of governments seem unable to bring themselves to do anything.

    Like

    1. Tish, you nailed it solidly. SMUG STUPIDITY.

      It’s like the last line in “Bridge Over The River Kwai”

      “Madness…..madness”.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. But it will be and very soon. I would like to know what more I CAN do. Most of the big stuff, government’s need to do and ours is obviously NOT doing any of it. So personally, what can I do? Tell me and I’ll do my best. But do you know what YOU can do? Because I really don’t know. We drive the best car we can afford, with don’t pollute with smoke and there are no coal-burning power generators in this region — or any coal. We have a lot of nuclear generators because we ran out of choices and I have very mixed emotions about them. They scare me to death — and yet, what other choices have we got? Now, all we have to do is figure out what to do with that leftover uranium!

      Maybe it isn’t too late, in theory, but unless we get a little help in knowing what to do, it really IS too late.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unless we change the government’s point of view you mean. Because that is what we must do. I try not to give up hope. i do know, that there are many who are working to change things. I believe in miracles and that the Great spirit will make these changes come about.

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        1. If we don’t get some government that believes in facts and understands that there is such a thing as “truth.” A truth based on facts and evidence and experimentation and provable results. Without that, we really are doomed. Because everything we are doing is pretty much guaranteed to make it worse.

          Liked by 1 person

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