It seems no one cared what we did to earth until some of us began moving away from it on spaceships. The rich, the people who built this mess in the first place -and they’re the only ones that can afford to leave. I hold my sister’s hand as we walk through the ruble in our bare feet. Plastic toys, wires, torn up books, old food. My shirt is torn up from bandaging my hand and my sister is wearing a pink and blue shirt that is a tad too small for her.
A dog yips at us the distance just as skinny as we are. Then my sister tugs on my arm and finds a aluminum can. Then underneath is another and another. I take my shirt off and tie it at the neck and arms to create a make shift bag. We stuff the shirt full of them -they are one of the most valuable things to find in the junk.
We walk back to our village, the only place where the junk has been cleared out. The place is home to about a hundred people, but visitors from other towns like ours come to our village to trade. As well as workers who come searching for whatever can be recycled. Gardens are raised with old tires and some plants are potted in plastic containers. The buildings are made in whatever we can scavenge for. Framing is made out of metal rods, sticks, canes. The walls made up of tarp of cloth, and most of us had metal roofs, but we whenever the rain got bad, we shared our shelters.
We found a man in the center of our village, sitting on a large plastic bin like he usually was. He already had a bag half way full with cans, we gave him ours and he gave me enough coin to buy food and maybe a new shirt. The village made sure all the traders had metal on their roofs and at least three sides of the small square buildings. Traders had enough money to buy from the green villages, but not quite enough to live there. Unlike my sister and I where we only ate if we got lucky. There where only three food traders in the village, most of them had can canned food and rice. They haven’t brought as much rice as they used too since most of the villages had to spend all day savaging and didn’t have time to cook. I bought four cans of beans and then I took my sister over to a clothing trader not too far from where we were.
Most of the clothing traders had walls on all four sides. The clothes were folded neatly on plastic bins, some of them found in the junk, others were from the green village, but they usually cost too much. The trader allowed us to exchange my sister’s shirt for something else without using any coin. She took it off and then got a shirt that was black with white flowers on it. The shirt was much too big for her, going down almost to her knees. But she was ten and she would grow into it soon enough. I bought a a purple t shirt that had been found in the junk, that fit me pretty well.
I reached for my sister’s hand again and we walked to our home. The homes were sometimes twice the size as the traders, but that occupied a lot of people. Our home used to house six people, but then our parents died so now we just lived with an elderly couple. A gave my leftover coin to them and the women took the cans and put them in a plastic storage container we had inside our home. It had a metal roof, with blue, black and green tarp that went all the way around it. My father had managed to find a box filled with tarps a few years ago. And the extras were given to our neighbors who looked out for us. Stealing was quite common in the village, but now there was usually enough elders to help stop it. The elders maintained the village while everyone else went to find things that were salvageable. The elderly women that lived with us shoved a chipped bowl with a handful of rice into my chest and I grabbed it and ate the rice with my hands. She gave my sister one too and we ate at a fire pit just a few yards from our house. As I watched our neighbor tend to the plants that where in plastic containers just outside his home.
Even searching through the junk and carelessness of others, we somehow managed to make our home a livable place.
Prompt: Write about how the earth had been harmed by us in some way.
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