Winds of Change
Zed Ghostwalker shook out the flame on the match and lowered the globe on his lantern. The soft golden glow grew as he made his way to the door. He took one last look at the clock over the kitchen sink, an easy feat in this one room cabin, and was satisfied that he had enough time make it to the spot.
After ten minutes into his hike during the pre-dawn hour in the cold desert air, he wished he had put on more than a thin flannel shirt over his henley.
The rocky ground beneath his feet quickly gave way to the smoosh-crunch of the salt flats. He stopped for a moment and checked the antique compass that had passed down every generation till it was his, ensuring that he was heading in the right direction. The sky was lightening, but not enough to warrant dousing the lantern.
It had been over a hundred years since the quarantine went into effect. A hundred years of no one with native blood to witness the dawn of the summer solstice rise over the distant mountain range and bathe their sacred lands in the heat of the sun. Today, Zed would rectify that.
The population had diminished significantly over time. First as a result of the outbreak, then as rates of infertility grew due to the adverse effects of the very agri-tech that was supposed to be life-enhancing. No one knew why—when everyone was encouraged to fuck like bunnies—the birth rate continued to decline, until it was too late. By then, over half of youth population’s DNA had undergone an epigenetic change that would prohibit them from ever conceiving a child in their future as well.
There were outliers of course. Native peoples and those who had long since been more conscious of the land and keeping to a more sustainable, natural cycle of providing sustenance to their families. Their genetics were untarnished, and as the years under quarantine progressed, their ancient practices and way of life became more prevalent.
Zed checked his watch and compass one more time then walked a few more paces before stopping again and setting the lantern to the ground. The jagged peaks appeared a deep purple in contrast to the orange and pink hue to the suns rays, slowing creeping across the horizon. Today was the dawn of a new beginning. No more wars. No more thirst or hunger. No more intolerance. The human population that had bonded together had stripped themselves of any discord between, and had survived. Those who continued to carry on as they had been, well, their genetic lines dissipated on the winds of change.
He slipped his shield glasses over his eyes as the sky brightened. Zed smiled as he touched the comm link on his wrist, “It has begun.”
~ ~ ~
I hope you enjoyed today’s flash. Be sure to check out the rest of the Monday Flashers and their stories inspired by the same picture here. Have a great Monday!!