Paule Añonuevo


Fiction Feature

            That gray veil of dusty wind tickles my ears again. It whispers a nostalgic sovereignty of a dull atmosphere around everyone of us. Few steps then, I’m off to school. Technically, just on my way as I take my initial steps in this UV shelter. It is a long way as my eyes pay attention to this narrow way of covered pathway, it sure looks different but at least our local government finally had it accomplished. It is in no doubt an answer to those three young folks died due to skin cancer, the one aged 16, the others at a range of 10. Not really different for me, well apparently, for us. Skin cancer is the most alarming death cause of the people around the world. You can only hide under the UV protected roofs of houses. I do not know how stupid people like me ended up with this crazy scenario. I don’t even know how are the present controls are doing to make solutions in this crazy world. It seems like demons migrated on Earth. I want to believe it’s the end of times. Apocalypse.

            I was approached by my classmates as I enter school but I do not reply, maybe because I just do not hear them enough. I look for a place that is silent, the vacant room at Biology laboratory. I needed time to think. I make doodles about a boy who enjoys the rays of the sun with his best friend. It became very reticent that time. I was just reprimanded by our biology instructor and I get out of the laboratory. I climb the 4th floor of the same building, just to find a calm place. There are tears in my eyes but I managed to fight them from falling and shouted “stupid eyes”. I walk to the empty creepy hall of rooms alone. I’m alone. I look at the sky from the window nearby. It’s neon blue. I’m not surprised anyway. It was applied by a shielding screen, every window of our school. Ventilation comes from air conditioners. This is how it was in this new world. You cannot just walk against the sunlight without protectors, totally dumping my fashion on clothes.

            Of the time I spent there at our school, I felt nothing. No happiness, or loneliness, sadness or anger, nothing - neutral. I am so numb of the voices around me. It’s not that I do not want to hear them, I just feel, well, do not feel anything. I ate dinner with my family and I go to my room. In that moment, I started thinking. Will it always be the same? My eyes are then hooked by the blue window of my room and walk towards it to see the clouds of the sky vividly. The tears suddenly drop which I started to lose control of my awareness.

            The next day, I find myself lying nicely on my bed while trying to think what happened recently but a headache strikes me down. I cried. That’s the only thing I can do now. I know that my parents are listening on the thick brown door of my room, but I also know they understand that I need privacy. Meanwhile I can hear a series of conversation between my father and probably a doctor “my son’s an environmentalist, journalist and wants to mark a change in this world” and they both giggled. I do not have the nerves to be angry at them yet I still am not interested with what is happening with me.

            For the moment, the doctor enters and set up his apparatuses. “So, you want to make a change in this world? Nice meeting a young environmentalist”, he said.

I replied “do I have a skin cancer? Am I going to die? When?”

“I’m afraid to say that I can hardly agree”, he said, smiling.

“You know, I love my friends”, I says “and so the Earth.”

The doctor replied with “yes, I know. It is your responsibility to take very care of the Earth.”

“The earthlings have the responsibility”

“Yes, yes. The earthlings have the responsibility”, and I quickly shouted inevitably “to take care of the earth!”

I can say he was surprised by my action and I immediately apologized. I want to knock myself down. He is about to take his stethoscope but he turns his eyes on me.

“The world now is a complete mess, everyone knows. There are UV sheltered pathways, screens, protectors, everyone gets oxygen from ventilates, and the fares were increased because of nothing but protective panels on taxi’s. There are many people dying because of cancer. But above all, the earth must be thankful for a boy who committed himself in protecting her. You’re a bit of clever but indifferent, Einstein would be very proud” he said.

As my ears eat those words, it gently smacks my soul. Then this loneliness conquered me. After a sequence of tests he did while I’m wool-gathering about his statements, he waved goodbye.

I do not care whatever the result will be. If I have skin cancer, surely I am going to die sooner, which I do not care either. 

On the table besides me, I saw my photo inside a bronze frame. My heart breaks as I picture the memory in it. At that moment, I realise that I could not possibly have skin cancer, and that my friends are like other unfortunate people in the world.

Apocalypse. It’s the end of times. Demons migrated on Earth. There are no controls or government to supervise this crazy world. I’m still depressed that my brother, 16 years old, and my two best friends, 11 years old, died in the way they do not deserve. They died because of today’s global environmental dilemma which our generation took responsibility.

If anyone in my family reads this, I want my body buried beside my brother. Sorry, but that gray veil of dusty wind convinced me to do this. I love you all, and so the earth. 

January 16, 2043.


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    About Me

    Ei! Doodles? I'm much of an artist :D currently a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology student. I started to have interest in Astronomy when I was 8 years old, Meteorology as a first step. I am always telling my classmates that I always wanted to become an Astronomer. I like Psychology, I love Biology, I'm married with Astronomy - SCIENCE is my life!


    Location:Quezon City, Metro Manila
    Philippines (the)