On Monday, the 12th of October, 2054 I, Naomi Saluja, visited the future.
I’m sorry, I can’t tell you what I saw. There’s a simple reason for that; there was nothing to see. Because two years from now, the world does not look as beautiful as it does today. Because two years from now, astronauts shouldn’t look at the Earth and marvel at it’s brilliant blue and green hues. Instead they should shed tears as they stare, in horror, at the once beautiful planet that has been reduced to nothing but a thick, dark, grey cloud of dust.
There’s no one to blame but ourselves. We planted the seed, we watered the soil, we harvested the crop and started again. We spread the produce to the corners of the world, sparing none. Except, as a result, there was famine. We, alone, are responsible for this cloud, that has taken over the world.
I’m a 10-year-old engineer, working with a small team of other older scientists employed by NASA. We’re part of the Special Department X which they just launched this year. They needed everyone they could get, and so they found me – a 5th grade genius. We were tasked with the job of building a time machine. Since we weren’t able to effectively create a machine that could travel to both the past and the future, we were told to build a craft that could travel only to the future.
When I stepped out of the craft, I thought I was dead.
‘The experiment must have gone wrong’ I thought. ‘I’m either in heaven, or stuck in an endless time loop”. That was when I noticed that the white was constantly shifting around me. A man hurriedly rushed by me, a mask and handkerchief on his face. Others passed by, all with the masks and handkerchiefs, sometimes giving me weird looks as they walked past.
That was when the smell hit me. I started to cough. My lungs felt like there were full of dust instead of fresh air. Luckily, the team had prepared me well and I pulled an instrument out of my backpack. It was one of those things they used in airplanes when there’s a risky oxygen supply. I inhaled deeply after it was set on my face, thankful for the fresh air. Taking another breath, I decided to go forward.
After around two minutes of aimless wandering due to my limited vision, I stopped a man and asked him what was happening.
“What’s happening? How am I to know? I can’t see a single thing! The world is a mess, that’s what’s happening. We’ve polluted our water, killed half of the men and women who lived on this planet, and we’ve destroyed our atmosphere. The only thing that keeps the rest of us from dying due to UV rays is this polluted, accursed cloud which so many of us even see as a blessing! What’s happening it seems.”
And he went off muttering on about my question as though I ought to know the answer myself. Having gained enough information, I made my way back to my transport, using a GPS locator since I could barely even see the sun now, and had only seconds to dodge past men and women rushing around me. Back in the safety of the time machine, I wanted nothing more to be off of this future, contaminated Earth and back home.
This is not the end of the story. The next post is called A Disbelieving Director. Check it out!