The Unilever Series: Dominique Gonzales Foerster - TH.2058


The Tropics

By Max Pemble

The water is warm.  I close my eyes and I imagine the tropics.  The tropics in springtime, when the ocean is filled with the sounds of the young: exploring, learning, feeding and growing.  The sunlight drifts through and it warms and
massages my skin.  When I go up to take a breath the air tastes sweet and cool.

I open my eyes and I can see a little way ahead and to either side, then the sick murky liquid fades to brown, then complete black.

Every so often I bump into the remains of Them.  Can’t be helped- there are so many and the water has swelled them to grotesque proportions, to floating masses of purple-blue stretched skin.  Normally some scavenger would have finished them off, but they made even the scavengers sick.

Sometimes I get so hungry that I will dare to take a nibble.  Not enough to make me sick, but enough to get me through.

There’s talk of heading north.  The idea is that it’s colder and less diseased, but the water seems the same wherever I go.  It’s likely I’m going in circles.  I used to be able to tell where I was by the temperature, but my senses are so overwhelmed by what I see, what I smell.  What was once sweet is now sickly.

One Response to “The Tropics”
  1. Owen Jollands Says:

    This is a really powerful piece. I think you have really maaged to describe the surroundings very vividly and succinctley to describe a very cloyant and hopeless future.

    You have restored my faith in the short story.