The news broke gently like a dimple on the face of a still canal. Yet with full understanding, the news imploded like a tsunami. 

This would be the last Autumn, because the last spaceships were leaving for Earth II. The final evacuation. 

I was an autumn baby. Both the beauty and contrariness of autumn ran helter-skelter through my veins. My fiery red hair was represented in the magnificent crimson maple trees. The deep golds of the fan-shaped ginkgo leaves were in the flecks of my irises. The speckled Shumard oak foliage once beloved by deer and squirrels – until they became extinct – was observed in my freckles. Wrinkled crepe paper showy apparel of crape myrtle was witnessed in the crinkles around my eyes. From lily-of-the-valley type flowers to the purplish-red leaves, the sourwood was a smorgasbord feast for the eyes and obvious in my colourful clothes.  Such honeyed hues made me want to cry knowing I would not see the like on Earth II.

Autumn for me was not only a waterfall of colourants but of contradictions. It was the yin and yan, life and death,  abundance and decay. If autumn were a woman, she would be a quidnunc. A gossip about the frigidity of winter, the swelter of summer, the timidness of spring. As a quidnunc, she would “exoplanet” around earth so as not to miss any juicy news. She would frequently cry, “Che brutta!” regarding the dirty sludge after crisp snow, the dying thirsty flowers of summer, the muddy eddying spring rivers full of debris. She was not vindictive but the acme of seasons.   

What could Earth II offer? An artificial atmosphere wrapped around synthetic soil. Yuck! It made me want to heave, thinking about robotic animals daily recharging. 

If I could pick a flower – alas they were scarce in any season – I would tear off each petal and dither between stay or leave. My heart belonged to earth. My love was autumn’s. 

I remained for autumn’s sake. After all, I was a lead environmentalist. Hopefully, I could cure earth’s woes.

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8 months ago

Such a wonderful description of autumn through the eyes of one who truly loves Earth the environment, and autumn. Thanks for this beautiful reminder of what we still can enjoy.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
8 months ago

I loved the way you described the contrast between the two earths, the colours and reality of one against the false and artificial of the other. The palpable anguish of the protagonist who is leaving the only home they know is something anyone can identify with. Great story!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
8 months ago

I agree with Greene. Your story is a great eye-opener for everyone. And the message is timely. Hopefully, I could also cure the earth’s woes by planting more trees. Thanks for writing and sharing this story, Margarida. 

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Margarida Brei
8 months ago

You’re welcome, Margarida. You are right.

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
8 months ago

Your clever description of the synthetic Earth II must surely inspire thought and action, Margarida. Let’s hope more can be done so we never have to contemplate living in such a place. Well done!

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