The only tree in many kilometers was an island of hope for those crossing the planes. The grass grew very green but nothing else. No one else knew the reason, but other signs of life near the tree were scarce. The people that crossed the plains, looking for a better life in the east, were almost the only signs of life in the area. Sometimes bugs will swarm around the tree, sometimes a lost mammal or some small lizard. But that was it. All the rest had gone away in a blink many years ago.
The catastrophe had occurred in one strike, one big punch against the planet. In a matter of days, most species began to die and most tress got a very serious disease that made their trunks and leaves much weaker than ever. They would fall, piece by piece, and then rot into the ground without anyone really caring. People did not realize how important that event was until, a weak later, some people started dying.
It was especially people that lived up in the mountains. They had no oxygen to process anymore as all the trees in those areas had died and the other vegetation was also getting sick but dying much slower. Walking around forests was forbidden, as it was a very dangerous thing to do. Besides, everyone could feel the cloud of disease in the air. It had a very particular smell and it was likely it tasted strange. At first, people used masks and special suits when encountering an affected tree.
However, in time, people realized they had no reason to worry about the disease. It only killed plant life. But that was equally bad any way, because without the correct amount of plants in the world, no one would have any oxygen to breathe. Most scientists tried to come up with a solution for the problem, some kind of antidote that would help everywhere. But that was never found. The only thing they could do was to plant grass, which seemed to be unaffected and that’s why the plains, years later, were covered in a thick layer of grass.
The caravans crossing the region were confused, as the color in the ground was very festive, welcoming them in a way. But the truth was that everything was dead. Besides the grass, there was nothing in the plains, not even hills or mountains or anything like that. There was only a huge space covered in green and groups of people trying to overcome te strong wind in order to get to the other side.
Hope relied on the east as the lack of oxygen had begun in the west. Some thought it was because of a weapon someone created, and they wouldn’t be any wrong. It was all a laboratory creation that had gone really wrong. But no one really cared anymore. Seeing the lonely tree in the plain, make them realized there was no reason to complain now.
One of the groups had been walking for around a month. Their clothes, particularly their shoes, were destroyed by the effort of walking so much. They had children and elderly people with them. However, every time someone got really sick or wouldn’t move, they just kept on walking, leaving that person behind. They couldn’t be compassionate or anything like that. The more time they spent crossing the plains, the more time they gave to that weird phenomenon to make them a big part of it.
Many feared, with reason, that the disease of the plants could somehow be transferred to a human being. It was true that most food had died because of it, there were no crops or anything like that. But those who had eaten food around the first days of the catastrophe, were really afraid they had the disease inside of them and that they would began disintegrating just like the trees.
But that never happened. People died out of hunger or because they couldn’t breath properly. Now most people used a special mask that tried to consume the minimal amount of oxygen. At first, it was quite a challenge to live like that, every day. But after a while, it was not really noticeable. Humankind had gotten used to other things and they would adapt to less oxygen in the atmosphere. Of course, there would be a certain level of extinction, but that’s nature.
Each group that crossed the plains knew very well they shouldn’t stop much. They only did so when everyone, every single person, was in the need of water or food. They never stopped for only one person. If there was only one individual asking for help, they normally let him or her find a solution for their problem by their own. Most times, that person would die in just a few hours.
The plains, so green and beautiful in a way, were like a desert. The climate was harsh because there were no trees to stop the sun getting to the ground. However, beside a few yellow patches in the grass, the ground wasn’t affected at all by the heat. There were still some rivers and lagoons, were they could recharge their bottles and other containers to have water. But the taste of it was different and it wasn’t as helpful to the body as before.
Yet, people were persistent and walked every day and every night if that was necessary. Some groups did rest at night, but it was very unsafe or so thought others. Without any other animals, it made no sense to be scared of sleeping at night in the middle of the grass, but people still had many of the characteristics of the former humans, the people that they used to be not so long ago.
Some groups reached the east and realized there was an ocean there they had to cross. But the first real thing they noticed was that the ocean level had dropped sharply. By the coast, they were strange formations they could identify as being from the former bottom of the sea. They could still see some fish and people grabbed them and ate them, because they were hungry and they had to put their hands on anything they could.
In order to cross the sea, people would have to work hard and that was something to think about. After all, they had no way to breathing properly and they could die constructing any vessels. So first, they looked around and finally got to what used to be a Marina. The ocean was about ten kilometers away now. There were big yachts and smaller ships but there was the huge problem of moving it towards the water.
They had to use a truck and some rope and try to do it slowly as the ship’s hull could break and that would mean more effort that would consume even more oxygen. But, thanks to the soft ground left by the moving sea, the ship got the coast unharmed. People got it into the ocean and sailed away. That was done by the first group to successfully cross the plains. They had lost about fifty lives in there and five more moving the boat. They were only twenty-four now. But at least they were alive in order to look for a better life abroad.
Some had hope, still, that the disease of the plants had not reached other continents but the few people that were scientists or teachers knew that to be impossible. The world had been connected by so many ways in the past, that it was not possible for a disease to just stay in one place. It would have to be a conscious disease or something like that and, thankfully, they hadn’t found out about anything like that.
The first days of sailing were fine, but by the end of the first weekend, many got sick and some more died. They began thinking the ship would never reach the other coasts, wherever than was. Maybe they could at least meet others in order to survive together or maybe there was like a safe haven for the disease or something like that. People had to dream and have hope, because they didn’t have anything else.
When the ship hit the other coast, only nine people were still onboard that first ship. They explored the coast and realized the strangely green grass also grew there. And there were no trees or flowers or any other types of plants. No bugs, no dogs, no nothing. They were done. They decided to keep on walking just to be able to think about something, to come up with a plan. But it would never happen. It was the end.