Teresa’s writing prompt for today really challenged me. In fact Jack has found it very amusing hearing my ideas. He seemed to think I was aiming for a comedy:
Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to explore the darker side of humanity. Write your take on the horror subgenre of Man-Made Horror and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the prompt takes you. (Man-made horror usually involves mad scientists, experiments gone wrong, apocalyptic situations, mutated animals, etc.)
Well…it probably is lacking in fear factor. But this is me! I don’t really do scary. But I have had a go. That is why I love Teresa’s prompts. They push me to try new kinds of writing.
After the 2030 United Nations climate change convention in Montreal, the announcement had been made that government grants to any industry or company without a zero carbon footprint would be cut. In addition fines would be imposed and there could be further action, including prosecutions, against any industrial enterprise with a significant carbon footprint.
Industry leaders invested heavily in scientists who had been researching and developing cleaner energies and alternatives to traditional manufacturing methods. It took another ten years before leading nations declared that they were meeting their zero carbon footprint targets they had been working towards for the previous two decades.
It was also reported that there had been a significant reduction in the particles of plastic per litre of sea water analysed. Prominent political figures claimed mankind had reversed the damage to the oceans and that now nature could do it’s course in cleaning itself.
Around the same time, there were a number of mysterious disappearances reported in the media. The population of entire neighbourhoods had vanished. Special security services and crime agencies launched investigations into the reported cases. But their resources were stretched as the phenomenon of vanishing communities increased.
Organic compounds discovered at the scenes of the disappearances were tested. The same chemical structures were revealed at all the sites being investigated and traced to laboratories researching clean nuclear energy. There was a total media blackout on the classified reports. The media were fed occasional updates, to the end that there was nothing to be alarmed about and that security services suspected no foul play.
But then a photograph taken in Oregon appeared on social media and went viral. The FBI and Homeland Security tried to dismiss the photograph as a fake and claimed the sensational claims on the internet were complete fantasy. But more and more sightings were reported. The public began to gather in their hundreds of thousands outside government buildings demanding the truth.
The truth was not pretty at all. Early in 2020, a genetically engineered marine creature had been released into the ocean. The fang toothed razor serpent had a digestive system that could break down plastic. Although it’s release had been classified, the scientists involved in laboratory testing attributed to it the improvement in the pollution levels in the oceans.
What scientists had not predicted was that in addition to the razor serpent’s partiality for plastic, it would also engage in the consumption of toxic nuclear waste that had been discarded off the shorelines of South East Asia.
Twenty years later, razor serpents had begun to make their way into inland waterways. Razor serpents had proceeded to chew through plastic water pipes and enter the sewer system. It was once they found their way into domestic homes that the razor serpents found a food source they had never been exposed to before.
Silently they had slithered into the homes of sleeping residents. The anaconda genes that had been added to their modified DNA structure kicked in, as they went about consuming their new found prey.
It turned out that the public had a lot to be alarmed about afterall. Scientists trying to solve one problem had created a myriad more. They may have achieved a carbon neutral footprint and reduced plastic pollution in the oceans. However, they had now unleashed a man-eating marine creature that had infested the water systems.