How the cycles of life continue past human life.
The Earth had become green and yellow, the sulfur blanketing the planet as a thick and gaseous force of nature. It would once become blue and green again, after millions of years, and the bacteria would return. But for now, it was green and yellow.
Of course, it had been blue and green once, long ago. And then it became brown, polluted and dirty. Dark. Dusky. And yet life continued, relentless to the plague of humanity until it was no longer strong enough, its lungs filling with smoke as it gasped for air.
The explosion came soon after. It became a mercy, an expedited death for a suffering kind. A great, fierce boom struck — and every blade of grass hardened under the ash, every tree became stone, an entire continent set ablaze. In Wyoming, death was immediate. But the ash continued to spread; every crop was destroyed, every farm became dust, every house became a terror chamber of slow suffocation.
Humans watched as it was all destroyed — their companies, their factories, their economies — vanished. Ash coated the surface of the North American continent and the only thing that could possibly survive was nature itself. The superficiality of humanity was torn away instantly.
The humans ran, screaming. They cried for their “society.” They cried for their “civilization.” Most of all, they cried for themselves. Oh, what had they done to deserve this terror?
They were ignored. The volcanic explosion became a karmic justice. The ash became a toxin in the air, a pollutant that could be stopped by no one and nothing. The acidity brought terrible pain to all — but for some, the pain was merciful. As the deer, lions and eagles watched, they felt the agony as they had felt it before.
Soon afterward, the Earth started to shift. Years passed. Life decayed and began its process of rebirth.
It started with a slow, drawn out suffocation; the air was contaminated, there was no food and the water was grey. It felt like a plague, slowly settling over every and everything across the globe. It swallowed the trees, the fish, the grass, the birds. One by one, species began to die off until only humans remained, solemnly kept alive by machines — the last ditch effort of man to overcome the power of nature.
But it was all in vain, as the humans began to disappear as well. Cities became ghost towns; communities were overrun with disease and hunger. Starvation and thirst brought suicide and cannibalism. The laws and rules that had once governed human society dissolved, and human life with them.
Next came fires, droughts, typhoons and tornadoes. The earth shook and the peopleless houses, the childless parks, the studentless schools were destroyed one by one. Mother Nature took over, and every trace of human life was extinguished. It was as if it had never existed at all.
The gases then took to the sky, painting it all sorts of colors; it became a canvas of sulfur and oxygen and nitrogen that mixed into an array of yellows, greens, reds, blues, grays. It became a work of art, nature’s unrestricted expression that covered the Earth in colors.
The oceans that were once blue and had been green and red before reflected the yellow of the sky above. The water was calm and quiet, the skies misty and relieved.
Soon, humans might return. But for now, they were gone. For now, it was just green and yellow.