One last chance.


The planet was almost entirely devoid of life. Trees, plants, animals and people – all were gone and had been since the end of the 21st century. One too many oil spillages at sea had poisoned and suffocated fish and birds beyond redemption.  Global warming had at last taken its toll. Tornadoes and tsunamis raged unabated and swept the world clean of all life…almost. Only empty streets, roads and buildings were left and the world had become a giant graveyard. A graveyard containing not only the corpses of those who’d once lived there, but all their aspirations, dreams and ambitions for the future were lost too, evaporated into the polluted air.  

In a once great city, in a country formerly known as Britain, the wind whistled and shrieked amongst the debris, raising great clouds of dust, the only sign of movement…almost.

An entity drifted centimeters above the ground. Its outline was tenuous, a shimmer of light, amidst the gloom. Had there been anyone to see, they might’ve called it an angel, or a spirit. Perhaps it hailed from beyond the stars, from a world that had not yet learned to destroy its environment.

The entity paused and looked around with an air of pensive sadness. It seemed to be considering something, pondering the wisdom of a decision yet to be made. Then it continued on its way, until it reached a street of houses.

Empty, darkened and broken windows met its gaze. Lopsided gates creaked and scraped against broken, weed infested paths that led to front doors with blistered and peeling paint. All this the entity surveyed and after a moment, raised its head and appeared to commune with some invisible authority in the sky above.

Do it, a voice whispered in its mind, but do it right, this time.

The “angel” nodded and the ghost of a smile appeared on its ghost of a face.

It raised its hands and the air shivered and wavered like a mirage in the desert. A figure appeared. Faint at first, it took only seconds for it to coalesce into the form of a girl. She was young, about nineteen, with elfin features set in a pale face, surrounded by long, brown hair. Large hazel eyes blinked away the sleep of decades and tried to focus.

‘Where am I?’ she whispered in a voice, rusty with disuse.

‘Home,’ the angel replied.

 ‘Impossible, it was all destroyed – I saw it.’ The girl shivered and wrapped her arms about her cotton clad body. ‘There was fire and acid rain. Fumes choked us, the food and water ran out.’ Tears filled her eyes and clustered on her eyelashes like jewels. ‘We fought like savages, trying to survive. We did dreadful things to each other – all in the name of survival.’

Again the angel smiled. ‘But not you,’ it murmured. ‘You tried to help.’

The girl turned away, arms still clasped about her delicate frame. ‘But it was not enough.’

‘It could be.’ The angel drifted closer. ‘If you had one last chance, what would you do?’

‘What can I do? I’m dead. This, all this…’ she gestured around her, ‘is just a memory – a phantasm.’ She focused on the angel, ‘and so are you.’

Raising its hands again, the angel turned in a slow circle. The whole street shimmered this time and when it cleared, the houses were whole again. The gardens bloomed and filled the air with the scent of spring. Birdsong fluted, its liquid music beyond beauty. The young woman’s face filled with wonder and that most precious of human emotions – hope.

‘All this could be real again,’ the angel said, ‘all you have to do is show the world how to get it right.’

The girl smiled, her face was radiant. ‘What do I have to do?’

The angel held out a hand. ‘Come with me,’ it said and led the way back down the corridors of time, back to the beginning.



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2 Responses to “One last chance.”

  1. Sounds like my kind of scenario. Like it.


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