2029 — What Lies Within

A teenage view of an unexpected epidemic

A.B. Dodge

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Photo by David Romualdo on Unsplash

September 17th, 2029

“It’s everywhere now,” Mom says in panic mode, rubbing her sweating forehead. She rushes to the two-door refrigerator and commands as she opens it, “throw them all away, Aimee.”

“What do you mean, Mom?” I ask, my eyes bugged.

“It’s all contaminated,” she says. “The CDC just said so. We can’t eat any of this meat anymore. Let me turn on the TV.”

I puff. She can’t be serious.

“But I thought it was only in the ocean,” I protest while moving pounds of chicken breasts and Dad’s New York strips out of the fridge.

Mom stares at the TV and then back at me. “Throw it all away. It’s all contaminated now. Your father was right. In fact, I gotta call him.”

Samantha Hope moves relentlessly around the living room as she searches for her phone to call my dad. She shakes her head in denial so fast we can see the faded brown waves moving from left to right. My mom can be the coolest mom on the planet — except when she worries. Trust me, it’s not a pretty sight.

I blankly gaze at the full garbage can. I had just emptied it out earlier this morning. I can’t believe it’s now filled with food and not leftovers and trash.

It all had started a few months ago. Two or three to be specific.

First, the problem came from the ocean, they said. The rising sea temperatures combined with a new species of algae had created the perfect environment for the proliferation of some strange, deadly bacteria. It had originally started in the Indian Ocean, they supposed.

Then Australia got hit badly. Tons of seafood were discarded. Scientists were on TV twenty-four seven.

Some people resisted and accused them of fearmongering, as usual. But to be honest, most people just didn’t care. After Covid-19, we had learned to live in a world where the worst could always be expected and we just had to move on.

After losing two billion people worldwide due to endless variants that wouldn’t stop fighting us back, despite all treatment and vaccines, we simply had given up caring.

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A.B. Dodge

English Teacher, Meditation Enthusiast, Writer, Lover of Inspiring Stories and Flashfiction. Visit her blog at https://energyhealingandfriends.wordpress.com/