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A Glimmer of Hope

by Hailey Mills 11 months ago in short story
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In the twenty-second century, the world is unrecognizable.

The last shark on earth swims through the ocean deep.

In the twenty-second century, the ocean is unrecognizable from its former beauty. The colorful coral reefs, once teeming with thousands of marine species, are now deserted and decaying. The ocean’s surface will never gleam a dazzling blue again, now that it is littered with over 600 million tons of plastic, and the sky has become dull and gray. The world’s great oceans, after giving life to infinite marine animals for millennia, are now filthy and dying.

The shark knows he is alone. In his sixty years of life, he has seen countless of his fellow species ripped out of the water by the humans. Some return moments later, their bodies torn and bloodied. Without their fins, they die a slow and excruciating death, often suffocating at the bottom of the ocean, or eaten by other predators. Some of the sharks pulled from the sea never return. They are the lucky ones. The humans hunt these magnificent beasts of the deep, stealing their teeth and organs, or using them for meat.

Yet, the shark has no idea of the extent to his loneliness. He is the very last of his kind, a species that has survived on this planet since the age of the dinosaurs. This shark has never seen a whale or a sea turtle. He cannot fathom the idea of a glorious blue ocean, full of life and beauty. He only knows the darkness, the emptiness, and the sickness of the ocean the humans have created. An ocean with immensely high acidity and climbing temperatures, but extremely low levels of oxygen. An ocean filled with waste, where innocent marine animals are entangled in or ingest the trash of the selfish species above. An ocean where algae grows out of control because there are no sharks to maintain the food chain, and the many smaller predators have all but wiped out the herbivores.

This is the only ocean the shark has ever known. He is completely unaware that at this exact moment, the humans search the ocean for him and his kind, hoping to capture and breed them to save the species. It has taken so much for them to finally realize the destructive impact their actions were having on the world. They have killed off the whales, who helped to lessen the carbon in the atmosphere. Their wasteful habits and pollution have caused the land to grow hotter and dryer, as helpless animals disappear from existence, falling off of the endangered species list almost as quickly as new ones are added. Now, the humans fight to discover ways to stop this irreversible damage. But despite all of the new and highly advanced technology in the world, it just may be too late.

The last shark on earth swims through the ocean deep. With every passing day, he grows older, and soon the species will be extinct. The humans have made sure of it. For centuries, mankind have believed they were the only species on Earth that mattered. They treat the seas and the ground as their endless garbage can. They chop down trees for their buildings and send harmful fumes into the air. They have wiped out thousands of animal species, including hundreds they had never even discovered. Entire habitats and species and of animals…lost without a trace. Only now do they try and change their ways, knowing that they will fail without the creatures they so cruelly treated. Only now, do they prioritize the saving of this planet so many had called home. Now, they scour the rainforests and oceans for even a tiny glimmer of hope.

But all is not lost.

Deep at the bottom of the ocean, there is a place where the pressure is so strong it would crush a human in an instant, and where it is so dark that the blackness would swallow a person whole. Untouched by mankind, there is an underwater cavern brimming with undiscovered life. Here, there are plants and fish of all colors and sizes, shapes and textures. Here lies the key to saving the world.

Here lies that glimmer of hope.

The violet plant only grows in the heart of the cavern, glowing like a star in the night sky. It exudes a chemical that is the lifeforce of the ocean, reversing the effects of centuries of pollution and destruction. If it were to be spread throughout the seas, or even planted in the world above, there may be a chance to save this planet. To give life to the animals at the brink of extinction, to give the humans a second chance at caring for their home. It is just beyond their reach. They must continue to develop technology to breach this impossible barrier.

But there is hope.

And the last shark on earth swims through the ocean deep.

short story

About the author

Hailey Mills

Hi I'm 18. I've never let anyone read my writing before but here we go. :)

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