WEP April 2021 contest piece

I’m not exactly sure what inspired my piece for this month’s WEP contest. However, given the chosen picture early WWII inception date I figured the theme of war was a natural starting point. Which of course led to multitude of questions but, two floated to the top of this pool of curiosity. The first being, ‘What event would cause a conflict on a global scale?’. Leaving the other inquiry to be, ‘How could I take this unknown event and take it to an irrational extreme, that forces things to take a downward spiral?’.

By answering those questions, I started drafting what would end up becoming this piece’s conclusion. Then I began to work backwards to craft a plausible starting point. Which led to inadvertent dash of social commentary on modern globalization and the dangers of instant gratification. Along with showing the strength and value of community. Intertwining that quartet of ideas to craft a rather grim and often blunt take on the inherent hubris of humanity. I humbly present, “The Fall and Rise of Hope.”


I was born into a world struggling for life support. A planet made fragile from the inherent hubris of humans. Yet, not all humanity contained such a potent pride but a select few poisoned by greedy corporations and capitalist agendas. The goverment was transformed long ago into a morally bankrupt machine. A machine where the average person’s value steadily declined until those in power became transfixed by money. However, that obsession with greed caused them to overlook an increasing threat to all the ultrarich held dear. A danger brought about enslaving people to the simple but addictive nature of instant gratification. Unfortunately, that dependence quickly spiraled to a point where everything necessary to live became scarce. People began to hoard anything and everything they could, frequently trading with their neighbors to maintain a stout community.

That stability was considerably more fragile than it appeared from the outside. After six months of unease within the community, growing tensions forced its collective resolve to shatter. It was tearing families apart as survival became a fight for desperation. The growing anguish brought about the death of hope and the rapid expansion of fear. That distress quickly expanded over the world. It disregarded ethnicity, geography, or wealth while the struggle for resources intensified. That growing challenge hit a point where countries argued over matters beyond their control until a global war was no longer an idle threat. Following a complete disbarring of the UN, any chance of avoiding the danger of a vast conflict died. That left mighty nations to gather limited resources at their disposal to prepare for a return to economic isolation and the increased chance of full-scale planetary war. The wealthy elite attempted to build bridges back to a more united global. They possessed more resources than the average person and the network to apply them everywhere they wished.

Despite having noble intentions, the ultrarich only delayed the inevitable first strike. Missiles flew across the sky within a month of the UN negations failed, tearing the world asunder. The country responsible for the barrage of rockets is a trivial matter compared to the aftermath they unleashed. Once the artillery landed, the unstable powder keg of global tensions decimated any chance the world had at obtaining peace. In only one brief instance, reconciliation died in a fiery blaze. That flame plunged Earth into a terrifying new era of chaos, destruction, and violence, the likes of which humanity hasn’t seen since the second world war.

*****

After decades of an endless violent war that nearly decimated the planet, leaving a few million people left alive on the ruined surface. Now that the threat of humanity’s extinction weighs heavily on everyone’s minds. It forced the warmongers to drop their armaments and attempt to start discussing peace for the human race’s salvation. For the first time in my memory, hope’s seeds begin to outgrow the fields of terror that have been rooted in my heart since I was a child. Will the temporary ceasefire bring about the dawn of a new age, free of rapid death and destruction? Can humanity endure much longer if this chain of violence remains intact?


Critique: Comment Only Word count: 525

31 thoughts on “WEP April 2021 contest piece

  1. “Missiles flew across the sky within a month of the UN negations failed, tearing the world asunder.” Is it negotiation or negation?
    “After decades of an endless violent war that nearly decimated the planet, leaving a few million people left alive on the ruined surface.” – where is the deductive/dependent clause that finishes the sentence and completes the sense/ expression?
    “Now that the threat of humanity’s extinction weighs heavily on everyone’s minds.” – at same predicament as the previous one…
    Are these new style experiments?
    Sanhita
    https://projectionofnaught.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi,
    When I read your story, I thought of the Book of Revelation in the Bible and the end times. Some people believe we are living in the end times. I believe we are coming very close to them. You did an excellent job detailing the incidents. I shuttered as I thought of how many countries have nuclear capacity now and about how many of these leaders are in my opinion unstable. Will humanity survive? you asked. My answer is they will survive only if there is a change of heart.
    A very engaging story.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Pat. I really wanted to highlight the paintings WWII era inception date. That war changed everything in more than just politics and nuclear weapons. It could be argued that the global economy of modern society was born after the war’s end.
      Christopher

      Like

  3. Hi Christopher – we somehow need to rid ourselves of megalomaniacs, who head too many nations. Yet unless we completely destroy the planet – we should survive … I have hope – and simply cannot be pessimistic, while I’m still alive – though I know many suffer now. Fascinating entry – made me think … all the best – Hilary

    Like

  4. A great descriptive and haunting piece on what the future could hold. I’d like to keep hope alive and believe that it will turn around. The right things will be done, maybe not at the pace that we would wish, but it will come. I hope! 🙂
    Wonderful, take on the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “The government was transformed long ago into a morally bankrupt machine. A machine where the average person’s value steadily declined until those in power became transfixed by money. ” — Powerful and accurate.

    Enjoyable read. It sounds like the opening to a great book or movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Apologies if this is a duplicate comment.
    I always figure that humans will ruin things wherever they go. Why do people think we’d behave any better with other planets than we have with our own?
    ~Cie from Naughty Netherworld Press~

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Christopher, thank you for this piece, though sorry for the delay in posting my comment.
    I enjoyed reading your essay/fiction/treaty immensely; though dark, I thought it spot on, considering the current context and increasingly as the world still doesn’t seem to be listening to what writers, scientists poets and philosophers have to say.
    at the moment I’m am reading an excellent biography cum discovery, by walking in the same footsteps, 250 years later, of Alexander Von Humboldt, explorer, scientist, philosopher, essayist, poet… who was the first to point out the challenge that lay ahead if humankind continued to mess with Nature by overexploitation . Celebrating with pomp the centenary of his birth in 1869, all over the world, History let his name and achievements fall into oblivion even though he influenced greatly the likes of Darwin, Thoreau and even Thomas Jefferson. Highly recommend his works and book by Andrea Wulf if they have not yet come your way.
    Hoping you are well and managed to rest and enjoy a fruitful summer of reflecting and writing. Looking forward to reading your contribution to WEP August. Take care. SusanB, France.

    Liked by 1 person

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