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Albert Einstein told us many years ago that the continuous growth of humans would prove to be our downfall. Our beautiful blue planet would eventually be unable to produce enough food, and, more importantly, water, to feed the ever-growing human population.

This is a rewrite of an old story inspired by the words of Albert Einstein


Where do I start? At the beginning? But I dare you to define the beginning.

This may be my last message to all the thousands of followers who turn on every day. Inhaling deeply, I cross my fingers and hope my news will encourage others to save themselves. I turn on the visi-viewer and ready myself to speak.

‘Thank you for tuning in. My world, your world, was full of hope, yet torn asunder by those in power and there is little we mere mortals can do to prevent the destruction. From the look of disbelief on so many faces, I know some of you think me mad but after the telling of my tale, I am certain you will understand.’

‘Our beautiful world, Planadora, is dying, yes dying. It is true. We have too many mouths to feed; too little food and water for all of us to survive. Those in power on Earth regularly meet to decide what to do, but as per usual, their lust for greed and power ignored what has happened to the starving millions. Only recently, and I mean the last fifty years or so, the richest people on the planet came to realise Planadora would very soon be unable to support the ever-growing population. And that means you, me, and all the other humans, apart from the rich of course. So it is goodbye, my friends. Perhaps we will meet again, sometime, somewhere?’’

With so many voices crying out for help, their voices pleading to live, I reluctantly turned off my visi-viewer as I had no more words to say. I feel the tears flowing down my cheeks and failed to stop my body from shaking like the leaves ready to drop from the trees in autumn.

Pulling myself together, I couldn’t stop my brain from turning back the years to the time that had started the rolling ball of death.

The population of Planadora had reached 9 billion and was relentlessly growing. Why? I said to myself. It was a simple answer yet I wanted to once more look at the facts. The huge advances in medicine ensured the people would live longer, much longer than was first thought. Any plagues were quickly dealt with and most humans managed to find some food, albeit in small portions. And the war makers had disappeared for none wished to start a war when the only winners would emerge from their secret tunnels only to find a land so radioactive, human life would be impossible.

But the greatest threat to all life on our planet was the birth of too many humans. With a growing population demanding more and more food, and water, the costs have quickly spiraled out of control.

The rich are in charge of food distribution; meaning they never miss a meal. The poor survive but, alas, they often go hungry. Food riots on the streets have quickly exploded all over the globe. More undertakers were needed as the death rate increased. And the armies of the world were torn between protecting their leaders and more importantly, looking after their families and close friends.

Alas, my wonderful wife, Tess, was in the wrong place when the looting started. Did the police show any remorse for accidentally shooting her as she tried to leave via the rear door of the super shop? Of course not. All I received was a call from the police informing me I had to make arrangements for the removal of her body.

With the planetary police unable to deter the endless thieving, the fights, and the murders, the richest people on our once beautiful planet decided it was time to act. Anyone with a gun, be it

a plastic toy or the real thing, would be shot and left to rot where they lay. Even those suspected of having a firearm or knife would perish. It would quickly reduce the numbers wanting food in the future, they said.

But that didn’t work as well as those in power believed it would. No! So they quickly decided on another way, a quicker way.

All males over the age of fifteen would be castrated, thus ensuring the number of new births would drop by at least 90%. Those in power would not be affected; they could give birth to as many children as they wished. As expected the riots on the streets intensified; the daily deaths from the fighting rose exponentially. Once again I had to switch on my visi-viewer as another message from those in power appeared. Once I read it, I threw my visi-viewer to the ground, yet I knew every young male should know the contents of the message. Picking it up once more, I told my viewers the news, word for word, from the mouthpiece of the rich.

“I am so sorry you are reading this, whosoever you are, as what comes next will give you a shock so unbelievable you will likely think I am mad, stupid, deaf even, but you would be wrong.”

With tears running freely down my eyes to my chin, I blew my nose and spoke. “The castration of young males will start on the first day of our next cycle so I suggest you do everything you can to ensure you are not one of the chosen. If you have read my warnings over the years and planned accordingly, you will be well-placed to find seats on the Astro liners. If not, then I fear for you. However, there are many places to hide, so do your best to stay hidden. I wish you well and bid you a final goodbye, my friends.”

I opened the door to my garden and took in the scent of the last of my fading flowers. The breeze is gently moving the multi-coloured leaves from the trees; their carpet of greens, yellows, and deepest reds now adorn my garden. I sigh as the dead leaves crunch under my well-worn shoes. Looking around, I see the spider webs. Twinkling like mini stars they are everywhere. The beauty of nature will not leave me for my brain is taking pictures and I will never forget them.

Even with my heart pounding so fast, I stand like a statue, taking a long look at the beauty of autumn. I look up at the multi-coloured sky as the cosmic blue fights with the white of the dreamy clouds for dominance. I close my eyes, and for an instance, I dream of a way forward. I would love to turn my dream into reality but the clock is ticking and my old body is sending me the wrong messages.

I wondered how long it would be before I am reunited with my wonderful wife.

I pray for salvation and sigh.

A bell is ringing in the distance.

And I hear the screams.

Those boys and young men from the lower part of my village are being hunted, for the cull has started. As night follows day the castration of millions of young men will soon cover my spectacular Planadora in endless layers of fire, smoke, and eventually, ash.

My heart bleeds for them, and in homage, tears fall down my weary cheeks and onto my chin.

I feel a sharp pain.

My chest hurts; the vile pain is stabbing and growing stronger with every breath.

Alas, I know my work is done; my journey is nearly over.

But I am so pleased another, younger human, my son, will take my place on the journey to a land where autumn, winter, spring, and summer arrive every year, as they once did on Planadora.

Falling to my knees was easy.

Rising would be impossible now.

My heart is sending out wave after wave of pain.

At least, clasping my wrinkled hands together and praying aloud, was still possible yet difficult.

The mists of time are upon me.

‘Farewell, my…. Son, and my wife. We will meet again; I know it.’



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