Why are there kids running around here? I thought this was separated by age groups.
The children splashing around are joyful. They’re having so much fun, it’s like a gift they’d never even think to wish for. They have, to themselves, an endless narrow pool and all the kids from the town to play with. I wonder how long it’ll take for them to hate it.
It took me a solid day. From dawn to dusk, I enjoyed the warm waters of the summer day and the sounds of conversation all around me. I heard the laughs of my friends all day long, and the sound of my own laugh for longer than ever before. My throat was hoarse by dusk. I couldn’t tell if it was from my laughter or a quickly developing cold.
“It’s sunset,” someone calls from up front. I could tell from the sky turning a dark grey, its shade deepening with every minute. I remember seeing photographs of pink and purple, blue and indigo, red and orange skies, but in all my years of living, the sky has never gone past the range of white, grey, and black.
Walking in the now cold water, I wonder how long it’ll take for my legs to go numb, or for the first person to fall backwards from exhaustion. I don’t know how it came to this, but the water is cold and the human body is vulnerable. In every way this is a bad idea.
But apparently it’s our best shot at survival.
I picture the new human evolution diagram, from monkeys to walking talking self-destructive people, to mermaids to strange-looking fish.
I’ve seen drawings of the foreseen adaptation of the human race. Scales don’t suit us.
But we can’t do anything about it.
We walk through the water, up staircases of water and down water slides. We dodge children as they splash past us, and hold conversation with our friends from dusk to dawn. No one dares tell us to hush because we know that when the silence gets us, it’s over.