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The day Earth Cried

Written by Marzia Munir "Trillions and trillions of years ago when there was nothing except for pitch-black darkness, God decided to c...

Written by Marzia Munir

"Trillions and trillions of years ago when there was nothing except for pitch-black darkness, God decided to create a universe and, with a ZAP!, He created millions of stars that litter space, galaxies, a giant hot balloon we call the Sun, a cool and icy ball called the moon. But most importantly, he created the nine planets that revolve around the sun in the solar system. Of these nine planets, God chose the third planet from the Sun, called Earth or Terra, as a home for his beloved species. God blessed this planet to withstand all types of climatic conditions. It can bear heat and cold. It can survive through blizzards, heavy rain, sand storms, etc. It has mountain peaks covered with snow and scorching barren lands. It has saltwater seas and freshwater rivers, ponds, and lakes filled with a myriad of aquatic creatures.

This planet was perfect...

But soon God realized that with this ever-growing population of humans, the resources on Earth were getting limited. It couldn't bear us for long, so God sends in another life source in the form of another planet. It wasn't big like the others but it was attached to Earth and gave the strength it needed to provide its inhabitants with unlimited supplies.

Then everything changed when the humans decided to prove themselves more powerful than God-"

"Lilian, honey, get ready. We have to go to church." Her mother's voice interrupted her read-aloud.

It was mid-November, but the heat from the sun was unbearable. Its rays baked the skin and scorched the throat like sandpaper. It made sense to Lilian Gray as she shoved stacks of her assignment paper in her bag, that there aren't any seasons anymore. That her favourite day of the week, Sunday, was no longer spent playing in the park with the other neighbourhood kids or having picnics with her family and friends. Now, nobody likes to visit anyone. There is no more laughter, just sadness, and fear because mother Earth is punishing them for what they did to her. The humans stole the Earth's happiness and life so, in return, it stole the very day on which smiles shone more than the stars in the night sky. It was a fair deal, Lillian thought. They all deserve this punishment.

She tied her brown hair into a messy ponytail and went down in her black shoes and a dark brown skirt.

Lilian was a girl who loved colours. She used to wear plush pink and bright yellow dresses. She thought of them as the colours of Earth. For these last two years, she destroyed all those colours and started to wear dark and dull colours and whenever someone asks the reason, Lilian would always reply that she is mourning with her planet and these are the colours that reflect. 

The sound of the church bell echoed for miles in the silent town. Sunday mass was the only time of the day when the whole town was allowed to gather together under one roof, but for only half an hour. People walked in a line and mounted the steps of this great white building, its arches reached high and kissed the too-bright sky.

While the church was flourishing with colours and light, the attendees were all silent. Their hands and faces were covered. Their head bowed, fear lurking in their hearts and tiredness visible in their eyes, as they seated themselves on the wooden benches inside, far enough away from each other. The group didn't chat, they didn't greet anybody. They all just stared at the altar as a priest made his way to the podium, removed a thin cloth from his face, and began his sermon.

Once the priest finished his piece from the bible, he addressed the crowd, "My fellow preachers, now the time has come for us to tell our Glorious protector our desires, our troubles and ask him peace and mercy."

Lilian closed her eyes and went deep in her heart to connect with the earth to give her daily apologies for humanity's crime but all she felt was the pain. She knew it was the Earth's and how weak it was getting. With her eyes squeezed shut, she blocked everything around her and thought back to the last day she was and will ever be happy.

Lilian entered the lush garden and grasped every detail in front of her; the dark green grass, the myriad of flower beds, the birds singing on the cherry trees with cherries hanging low from the branches, the colourful fishes leaping from the pond in the middle of park and ducks and rabbits mingling with the kids. She then looked at the sky where she could see the edges of the twin, but smaller-in-size, planet and gave it a grateful smile for helping sustain Earth and its inhabitants. 

She skipped her way down a small hill and got busy playing with the ducks as her mum and dad sat on the bench, their feet warming on the soft grass. "The government's trying very hard into obtaining that planet. I am sure that with our strategy, we will obtain it before the competition," Lily overheard so she went a little further to play to avoid their conversation.

As Lilian tried to pick a rabbit nibbling on a carrot, she saw a flash of light and then the ground bucked beneath her feet so hard that Lilian lost her balance and fell on the ground. She got swept up by her father and they all ran towards their home. Chaos spread everywhere as people looked at the sky. Lilian followed and saw the explosion. The twin planet crumbled before her eyes and exploded into bits and pieces. The people around her fell to the ground crying and praying.

Later, the sky, which was moments before beautifully covered with soft clouds, was now encroaching with angry black ones. They roared with thunder and kept thrashing until finally, it rained heavily. Lilian screamed as the first drop touched her skin. It burned like acid. Soon, her voice got mixed with the townspeople as they ran away screaming from the downpour.

'The acidity in the rain is due to the chemicals in the missile that was launched mixed in with minuscule debris of the planet, Seia. Again, we urge the people to remain indoors….' Lillian got up and went to her room as the breaking news blared behind her.

Her skin still blistered from the rain as she looked outside the window at the empty street and the dark garden up ahead. She noticed the flower growing on the edge of her window wilting as raindrops fell on it. The news people may have said it's the chemicals that got the rain acidic but she knew that it's the Earth crying. It's in pain, for its lifeline was ripped away from it.

That night, it wasn't just the Earth that cried but Lilian cried with it the whole night.

In the next few months, everything changed. The soil deteriorated that its production grew without nutrients. Soon, the water lost its minerals and the fishes began to die and from town to town people got sick and a plague spread. Sanitizer and other detergents were invented for protection against germs. Vaccines and medicine price rates got higher. Masks were seen everywhere. Christmas and Easter were forced to spend behind closed doors.

Lilian opened her eyes, swimming with tears. The sermon was over and everybody was leaving one by one, getting checked by the soldiers, for their homes to be quarantined for 4 hours. As Lilian looked at the painted window, fear silently crept inside her soul. She realized that one day, someday, the Earth will crumble too and will take its residents with it.