A soft wind blew North across the town of Bloomington. On any normal day you would see children playing in the streets or adults taking a mild stroll through the park. The soft sun keeping the world warmer than the pleasant breeze. A parent might have been playing pretend with their child. A couple in each others loving embrace on a bench. But today was silent.
Puddles from a recent acid shower lay in the holes of the what was once beautiful side walk. They sit in the streets and eat away at the once used and loved play sets. They would singe the pedals of the delicate flowers that once lined windows sills and walk ways. The dead husks of trees sitting as a reminder of what once was beautiful and innocent. Now burned and worn away by sin and greed of humanity.
A lone tree sat under the protection of a building. Its leaves the golden orange and red of what should be a cool fall day. A single leaf floated down to the ground landing in a puddle. If you were outside you could hear a slight fizzle as as the acidic water broke down the gentle leaf. The only tree left that wasn't destroyed.
The grass was even brown and singed. The lake that fish once swam happily in was coated in algae. You could even almost smell the lingering scent of death in the now toxic water. The air covered in a fowl and soured scent wasn't pleasant either. The fog of pollution and war covered what was once bright and sunny.
Presley Smith gazed out of the dome where the last of humanity kept their water clean and treated. She pressed a hand against the ten inch thick plexiglass. She couldn't feel the breeze that ran through the top of the bare trees. A small sigh reverberated off the pristine glass.
"Whatever happened to the world." She wondered aloud. It seemed like only yesterday the world was right.
The sky was blue. The air was crisp. The waters gorgeous and fresh. People walked the streets casually in clothes. Yet, now the sky was a dirty orange with black clouds. The greenery is dead. The unfiltered water a dank and dirty green. She knew what had happened but not how it had gone so far. She shook her head as if that would erase the bad thoughts from creeping in.
In reality it had been six years since the chemical warfare had destroyed the land. air, and water. Humans paid no attention to the environment during the war. They turned their backs on the world. It only makes since the world turned its back on them as well.
The children were told to forget the war. The youngest were simply not taught. In the six years humanity avoided the surface they seemed to forget how it happened.
Why it happened
How it could've been avoided.
It will be generations before the earth could repair itself. Only those in water treatment and gardening can see the surface. Only those who scavenge can walk it. The rest live in titanium shelters connected intricately by a vast series of tunnels. Close enough to the surface to hear the rain but far enough below to not be harmed by the chemicals that cling to it.
Their lights are powered by running water. Purification done with Iodine, Chlorine, and a number of other chemicals and minerals. Fresh air produced by trees sealed under domes and carefully cared for. Presley stood where the fresh water was kept, purified, circulated, and tested.
She stared in wonder as the last leaf on the tree outside fell.