PHIL GREEN'S SECOND NOVEL - THE STARK REALITY OF EARTH'S FINAL BREATH
Originally no one saw the start of the Earth’s demise as anything more than natural selection. The frail, sick or compromised simply died. The initial effect was seen that the world had naturally found a long overdue equilibrium, eradicating the disease of humanity from its surface. In a few short months cancers, immune disorders and deformities disappeared leaving the young, fit and healthy in a world without illness.
‘The cleanse’ held no boundaries, neither did it distinguish between race, colour or creed. Wealth could no longer buy you an exemption clause; or escalate the rich above the poor, for the first time in humanity everyone was treated equal. It was believed the population was culled by more than three quarters, figures were sketchy as the population census and national archives failed to keep apace. The personal loss and tragedy overshadowed any other human emotion and purpose.
Bodies burned from dawn to dusk as cemeteries overflowed and the crematorium infrastructure buckled under the strain. Death certificates were no longer issued as demand outstripped the remaining work force to issue them. Bodies of loved ones were simply tossed on mass funeral piles of burning corpses, twenty four seven. Family ceremonies became common place celebrating the life, and death of an entire generation before being thrown to the communal pyre. An eternal flame burning on the flesh and fat of the land.
9 months passed before the remaining population realised not a single child had been conceived. Human fertility depends on factors of nutrition, sexual behaviour, culture, instinct, endocrinology, timing, economics, way of life and emotions. In affect the fertility of the entire human race had been removed from a single event, yet no one understood what, or why? No one had time to research environmental or biochemical changes to try to detect or understand the anomaly. The event, so sudden and cataclysmic, changed the world. Whole communities were overwhelmed as generations ceased to exist literally overnight, leaving the young and immature to deal with their loss.
Cities were systematically closed as infrastructure was directed to coastal areas. Keeping the major arteries working was almost impossible as the central work force disappeared, communication broke down and electronic systems failed. Entire cities were left landlocked leaving them isolated and lawless as the remaining occupants fought to survive.
Once glorious green pastures were left barren and listless, devoid of life farms failed. Forests and foliage gradually shrivelled and wilted, as if their life force was sapped from their very soul. Their colour became tainted and tobacco stained. Food, fruits and berries, what little grew, were ugly, muddied and bitter to the taste. Initially assumed to be a human epidemic the cleanse traversed the globe, its tightening grip escalated, spreading outwards from the UK like tendrils to every living creature.
As the population decreased the remaining population grew old, a perversely unnatural aging process. The human lifespan accelerated three fold. As teenagers ended their childhood the physical signs of aging ravaged their bodies. Evolution becoming exponentially faster with time, by their mid teens humans had the body and gait of a 50 year old. At thirty, if they made it, their body was akin to 90, life expectancy was shrinking faster as time progressed and decreased inversely proportional to the remaining population. Whatever was happening to our world, the circle of life was shortening, old age as we understood it was now gone.
When ‘the cleanse’ took hold of the planet, radiating outwards from the UK. An epidemic of biblical proportions, bewildered and unprepared, humanity looked doomed as the sinister plague gathered momentum. Affecting everything and everyone, including humanities lifeblood, water.
Joe was an honest and withdrawn, if not unconventional guy who liked to stay under the radar. However Joe's specialism as a desalination tech, thrust him to the forefront, to save the UK's dwindling water supply. In charge of the hastily constructed desalination plant off the South coast where he grew up and lived. He was convinced the common causation to ‘the cleanse’ was water and as the world's ground sources disappeared, the human affects were accelerating at an alarming pace.
With the help of Jess, his lab assistant and his friends, Joe searches for answers to reverse the affects. The realisation that humanities pursuit to live forever, could in fact be the cause of its downfall. Will Joe fathom out the key and selflessly have the courage to save the world from its own destruction, destroying what he ultimately cherishes and loves in the process ...?