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  • Writer's pictureMahira Shah


It was the year 2040 and the world we once knew, was gone forever. Everything had changed incredibly fast. Technology as we knew it was not the same and the entire world was now fuelled solely by the sun. Mere thoughts were taking actual physical shape at the snap of a finger. Communication was a habit long gone, the planet that once existed was forgotten by all and we had evolved to fit the times.

As the earth rotated about its axis, we too attempted to learn more and more each day and tried to discover the untold secrets of our universe. This however, was until the asteroid arrived. The experts had predicted that this would not happen for at least another fifteen years, but our unpredictable universe obviously felt otherwise. They called it ‘The Apophis’- The demon of darkness.

I was only seventeen at the time, too young and inexperienced to even comprehend what was going on around me. But I still remember the day as if it were yesterday. I was in school, casually jotting down notes for an upcoming test when there was a loud bang and the ground started shaking. The windows exploded from the vibrations and shards flew everywhere as the room was filled with screams of terror. I remember seeing the fear in everybody’s eyes as we piled out of the building. My heart stopped when I saw the growing cracks in the ground each one deeper than the one before. What was going on? I thought to myself.

I tried to contact my family in the midst of all the tremors, but nobody’s phones were working so I was not able to reach anybody. I looked around in confusion. The teachers attempted to keep us all together but we were overpowered by the rumbling of the ground. Everyone got scattered, but I however, ran as fast as I could, aiming for one place and one place only, Home.

As I sped down the empty street, I saw fires break out everywhere and cars crash each other on the street. Debris and rocks were flying in all directions, big enough to injure a full-grown adult. It was horrid. My heart stopped when I saw my house completely collapse, first the balcony and the terrace and then the whole building gave way and I couldn’t bear to think who all it had crushed with it. I had to escape. I didn’t know what to do anymore.

Where would I go? What would I do? Tears started to steam down my face unknowingly. I did not know where all my family and friends were and there was no way to contact them. These thoughts filled my head and I went into a daze of sorts when suddenly I saw a large number of embers coming in my direction. I leaped aside, dodging the flying embers by barely a few inches. In the midst of all the chaos I heard a grunt and a low-pitched wail. I looked around but didn’t seem to see anybody. Then on further examination I noticed a small boy, about 5 years old and his mother who were stuck under a large boulder, injured but alive. A wave of relief passed through me. I made my way to them swerving past all the gravel coming in my direction.

The boulder was huge. I tried to push it with all my might but it just would not budge. I looked down at the innocent face of the little boy, his mother and his eyes looked pleadingly towards me. When I tried to push it aside again, this time a sort of superhuman energy flew through me and I moved the boulder enough so that they could get up. I gently lifted the little boy and then helped his mother to her feet. She gave me a hug and that was more than enough. We knew what we had to do now, look for more people. In a desperate search to find more people we found a couple in a damaged car, an old man taking shelter in a building and many more such people who had lived after the horrific crash.

As the days went by, we were almost a group of fifteen people, searching for more. We settled down in the shelter camps that were being set up. The Earth had changed that day and so had I. No one had seen it coming. As the asteroid passed, the world went into a state of complete chaos, technology malfunctioned and the weather became hostile. First came the earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis, and then there was immense heat and cold. The balance of our planet had been shaken. Within two weeks half of the world’s population had perished from the aftershocks of the asteroid crash. But what doesn’t kill you simply makes you stronger. People split into groups. Some stayed in camps helping others while others took off on their own, trying to stay out of harm’s way. Alas, now there was only one common goal. Survival.

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