Phase 3: But the Very Next Phase, You Gave it Away by Zoey Aldridge (Senior)

Earth

Their innocence died.

The humans’ affection towards the Earth and her family slowly turned sour with time. Earth tried to ignore it. She wanted to ignore it. She wanted to go back to a time where the humans lived happily with the creatures on the Earth. Where they worked with her and her family rather than against them. But now… now their regard for the ones who looked after them was nothing if not irreverent. Instead of being grateful, they were actively disrespecting their primordial beings. It got to the point where Earth could not ignore it any longer. Her eyes were half closed to it in willful ignorance, but with reluctance, she opened her eyes wide. 

And saw.

Earth was not enough for the humans. They traveled to the Moon, leaving their mark by sticking a pole inside his head. Earth’s father screamed, wanting nothing more than to be himself again, refined in his dignity. The humans had walked along his craters, planted their flying ships on his ground. Like he was nothing. Even when they left he could still feel it. He could feel their boot prints on his body, feel every area the flying ship had once been. The most excruciating, however, was the pain he felt in his head. That hole would always be there, even if it was somehow removed. That outward expression of “you are not your own, we own you.” Taking away someone’s sense of self is a cruel, cruel act, one that can never be taken back. Not that the humans would ever want to, that is. They felt no remorse. In fact, they celebrated. Earth watched as they returned from their visit to her father, feeling very pleased with their so-called accomplishment. While her father was crying, Earth was watching her humans celebrate degrading him. Their happiness at someone else’s expense saddened Earth. Her eyes, which once looked upon the humans with love and genuine care, now looked upon her creation with disappointment and despair.

The Sky was trying to remain strong for her lover, but Earth could see she was just as hurt by what happened to the Moon as he was himself. When her lover hurt, the Sky hurt too. And while Earth’s mother was trying to console the Moon, she tried her hardest to ignore her own pain. Eventually, however, it was all too much to bear. The humans took the clean air the Sky provided for them for granted. In their deceit disguised as “progress,” the air turned gray, the smoke from the cities seeping into the Sky’s mouth. The smoke was slowly churning inside her, causing it to come back out as a cough. Her breath eventually turned hot, the temperature rising as Sky’s feverish sickness began to affect the atmosphere she helped provide for the humans and all of Earth’s creatures. Another of her daughters, the Sun, only added to the warming of the atmosphere. Her anger towards the humans for treating her mother this way burned within her. It grew and grew with each passing day, with each cough her mother let out. This anger eventually could not be contained any longer, adding to the heat thrown towards the Earth and her creatures.

The Earth felt sick as well, the heat blaring down on her day by day making her queasy, although she would never tell the Sun that. Some days she felt like she might collapse, taking her and her creations down into a dark abyss. The Earth could never blame her sister, however, as Earth could understand the Sun’s anger at everything the humans were destroying. The Sun had always been more hot-headed than her sister, the Earth. The Sun’s anger was justified in every way, as not only was her burning hatred towards the humans a result of their contamination of her mother, but also the disrespect for her herself. The humans, out of their fear and jealousy of the brightness of the Sun, did not blink an eye as the air started to get more and more hazed, the Sun’s rays becoming dull but nevertheless raging with heat. Concealing the Sun’s brightness with their bog did nothing to dissipate her red-hot anger but instead made it all the more furious. Expansion. Progress. It took many forms but the result was all the same, the Sun and the Sky were losing the ability to see Earth and she the ability to see them. During the time they were still visible, Earth would look up to see her sister and mother struggling, Sun’s anger and Sky’s sickness making her heart feel like there was a hole burrowed deeply within it. But that hole only deepened when day by day, the Earth was slowly losing the view of her family.

The Earth was even losing sight of her father and estranged sister, the Stars. The Stars had always been distant to the Earth, but they would always be sisters. No amount of the Stars’s exploration could change that binding truth. But now the Earth saw her sister even less and less than before. The Stars were retreating, concealing herself from the Earth and the rest of the family. Earth watched as the Sun would cry out in fury with the pain of never being able to see her younger twin. Instead of often coming out before their father would appear to spend time with her twin, the Stars would remain hidden. Sometimes, she would not even come out at night. When the Stars did reveal herself from hiding, she always looked faded… tired. As if someone had blown a candle out within her. She was no longer the curious, bright-spirited soul she used to be. 

Everything was in disarray. The family of primordial beings rarely ever talked to each other anymore. They would do their jobs in silence with a sob or a cough or two and no conversation would be exchanged, all the members silently grieving in their own ways. The humans had no idea what their greed was causing within the family, the amount of chaos and disarray that was their fault. Neither did they care, however. They did not care how their selfish actions were affecting their overseers. Affecting their atmosphere and their ground level was not enough for them. Below their waters, they made their mark as well.     

They crushed the heart of the Sea. The humans spread their filth and greed wherever they could reach. Their pollution of the Sea made her sick in every sense of the word. Her waters, once clear and blue, began to have a cloudy lust. The Sea would cough in her agony, spewing dead fish and other deceased sea creatures onto the black beaches amongst the sewage that had accumulated there. She would cry over the loss of her friends, the creatures who had lived in her waters, making her grandmother rain as an effort to console her through displaying her sympathy. This would add new water to her body, water that would only refresh the Sea for a moment before getting defiled by the waste in her murky depths. As the Earth looked down at her daughter, she noticed her decaying soul and mourned with her over the loss of the sea creatures she had created.