This year our events for children ranged from the Cat show to Pond Dipping for Tiny Creatures
Flash Fiction Winner
Title - Brown Water
I wake early, to the sound of the river rushing alongside my house. Normally in summer it’s slow and lazy, but today it roars, giving me a slight sense of unease. I dress and go outside into our courtyard to collect the eggs. A sunrise is still in the sky, crimson, saffron and amber, and golden light floods onto our courtyard. Ripe mangos hang in the tree, bright and juicy. The low roof of my beautiful brick home casts a shadow over the chicken run, where the hens stand clucking, running and squabbling. Everything is perfect in my home on this hot summer day. I collect the brown eggs, and go into our kitchen, where Ma prepares breakfast. The river roars louder, worrying me. In past years floods in Bangladesh have grown worse, because of climate change.
“The river’s strong today, Roshni,” says Ma.
“I hope there won’t be snakes.” Snakes love water, and when the river runs strong, they slither about the village. I hate them.
My sister Priya, and cousin Aroti walk in, and sit themselves down to luchis and dahl, whilst I take some sweet, fresh mango. Baba comes in with my uncles, and then Aroti screams.
She points to the brown water sloshing onto our floor, steadily washing into our kitchen. I run outside, and see the river gradually growing stronger, then sprint back in and shout the news. Nani is a slow walker, she is taking time to get out of the house, and the terror rises in me. The river floods into our house, the brown water growing, growing, we are running, and we see the whole village run through the water, and everything is confusion, and suddenly, where is my sister? People push past me, the water is up to my waist, and it’s more and more difficult to run, and where is Priya? “Priya!” I scream, again and again, and I see her standing in the crowd with Nani. Nani is struggling through the water. For the first time in my life, I am the one people have to rely on, Nani leaning on me, my sister grasping onto my hand. And safe, on high land is Aroti, Ma, Baba, my uncles and aunts.
And then Nani just stops…
And she can’t walk any more, she tells me.
We are so nearly there.
The water is past my arms.
By Priya’s shoulders.
I drag them, scream at them, drained of energy but I put Priya on my shoulders and haul Nani up and pull her up to the higher land and Priya is struggling to keep on my shoulders but I keep walking, running to safety, reaching desperately for my life, their lives, to live, and Nani is falling, but we keep going and reaching for our lives, fighting through the water.
And then we breathe out again, because we are safe.
And because of climate change, I watch my home, my courtyard, the mango tree slowly disappear underneath the brown water.
By Roshni Bhaumik
Flash Fiction Runner Up
By Ben Campbell
Commander’s Log, Date: 5/10/2040
Hello, my name is Commander Kevin Simpson and we have an emergency. Our shipments from mission control have been stopped. Our air, our food and our water. We cannot contact control. The rest of the crew are worried but I’m sure it is just a temporary thing; this is Kevin Simpson signing off.
Commander’s Log, Date: 12/10/2040
I have received an update: It’s definitely not temporary; strict climate laws have come into place trying to save earth. No more carbon emissions anywhere and no more rockets which means no deliveries for us. We’ve only got one month left but at this point I think we’ll die with the earth. Every time we go round the globe, it looks worse and more desolate. Hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires a daily occurrence now. We only dream of what the ice caps once were. Kevin Simpson signing off.
Commander’s Log, Date: 19/10/2040
Our last contact with earth was the message that brought us misery I’ve been trying to cheer the crew up with board games and other things but it’s hard. I wish I could go back to my family and just see their faces one last time.
The cruel brute of climate change threw our world into anarchy and desperation. Every comforting light seemed to dim as all our hopes fizzled out The crash of the waves crept further in each day. I feared for my family. When I got chosen for the program I never once though my last days would be as a spectator to all the destruction we have done. This is Kevin Simpson Signing off.
Commander’s Log, Date: 26/10/2040
The crew are getting restless; our final days are on the horizon both for us and the whole of humanity. However even with the agitation there is a feeling of despair in all our minds. I wonder why people didn’t listen to the protestors and researchers. Why couldn’t we walk instead of taking the car? Why couldn’t we use solar instead of coal? Why couldn’t we get rid of single use plastic? I don’t think anyone thought it would get this bad all that dismissal and denial brought us here, to the end of the road where the bus finally stops and we face a new town named extinction. This is Kevin Simpson signing off.
Commander’s Log, Date: 5/10/2040
These are our last breaths and our last day. As we revolve around our giant planet home we see she is dying too with us; her forests burnt to a crisp and her raging storms and seas. Our families and homes almost surely torn apart. We are silent. We are crying. We are broken. We are going to die in these barren metal walls constricted and confined. This is Alexander Simons signing off. This is Olga Zamolodichikova signing off. This is Tatyana Arisha Volkov signing off. This is Nikola Schroeter signing off. This is Marco Ivanov signing off. And finally for the last time Kevin Simpson signing off.