The smoke blows black and thick through the air.
As I walk down the road, paved with tar, I can't help but wonder about The Earth Before.
What did the air taste like?
The air tastes like smog, now.
What did the trees look like?
Well, there aren't any, anymore.
What color was the water?
Now it's just a dim grey.
I smile as I think of my wonderful fantasies. I think about how nice it would be if I was born in The Earth Before.
My grandmother remembers The Earth Before.
She used to tell me wondrous stories of the beautiful nature.
"Is that even a word?" I wonder.
I know what the word means, but in The Earth After, it seems to have no meaning.
After all, isn't nature things like forests? Bodies of water? A beautiful blue sky?
We don't have any of those things.
I wonder what forests look like.
Grandmother says that when she was a child, she would go explore the forests.
She told me of the beautiful trees and ponds and animals.
Hmm. I wonder what kinds of animals?
We don't have many animals left, here in The Earth After.
Apparently, in The Earth Before, there were millions upon millions of animals.
At least, that's what Grandmother said. Maybe she was just exaggerating.
I wonder if the Earth will ever be the same again?
Grandmother says that The Earth After will never resemble The Earth Before, ever.
She says that they can't take back the things they did.
Though I wonder who "they" are and what they did to make the Earth like this?
Grandmother always talks about how depressive The Earth After is.
But I don't really find it all that depressive.
Maybe it's just because I've never seen The Earth Before.
This is all I've ever known.
I pull my jacket across my chest and cough into my fist.
Almost everyone living in The Earth After has a horrific, hacking cough.
I figure it's because of the air pollution.
It's a wonder we don't all die.
Not all of us.
The Earth After is incredibly over-populated, though it seems so many people are dying every moment.
I wish I lived in The Earth Before.
I just realized, this really is a horrible place to live.