The Birth Of A Wasteland This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Back and forth.Back and forth. Clang!

The hypnotic effect of the swinging pendulum of theclock was broken by the loud opening of the heavy door. Through the openpassageway entered the warden, carrying my final supper. His mouth was in a grimfrown, from which excreted saliva that landed on my meal.

"It's my ownspecial flavoring. Don't give it to all my prisoners but I really like you," hesaid, forcing a laugh.

I did not respond. I just stared down at mytampered food. I looked at the clock. Back and forth. Then I glared at the wardenwho was just about to leave. His eyes, soaked with tears, met mine.

"Why?"he asked, "Why?"

For this I had no answer, for that very same question hadgnawed at my mind ever since it happened. My mistake. My hand swatted my tin foodplate.

"It's not my fault! It's not my fault!" I screamed, not knowing ifthe warden heard me, not knowing if I spoke the truth.

In every solarsystem's life comes a time when its provider, its sun, explodes. Such is the wayof life and, no matter how advanced we become, we cannot alter this fact. Myplanet, Kragos, was faced with this problem to which our great leaders devised aplan to move the people of Kragos to another suitable planet.

I was one ofthese observers. My observation was Earth. The beginning of my mistake can betraced back to the revealing of Goliath at the edge of the Rocky Mountains. Theyear was 2000 in a world where violence had ceased to exist. There were no guns,no lasers and, most of all, the bombs that created the mushroom, were extinct.Peace had returned to Earth, but the humans would soon pay for it. Theelimination of violence led to a rise in population. Murder is an effectivemethod of population control and without it more and more people walked this notyet bloomed graveyard. This caused a problem since there wasn't enough land tosupport the rapid proliferation of people. Mountain ranges selfishly held landthat was desperately needed, and that's where Goliath comes in.

Goliathwas a colossal machine equipped with a disintegrating ray. It was designed towear away at the rocky apex of a mountain, thus creating a flat plateau suitablefor houses and other such homes. This great invention was supposed to givethousands more a place to live. Too bad, because of it, there would be no peopleto fill the many rooms.

It was soon after Goliath was uncovered that Dr.David Smith, the father of Goliath, pressed the button of activation. A dazzlingbeam of light came exploding out of the muzzle and began to wear away at themountain. After many hours, Dr. Smith shut off the machine and locked it up. Twosecurity guards were assigned to guard it with their lives.

Theywould.

As they marched back and forth, they didn't see the two beady,little eyes protruding from the hole left by Goliath. Watch out, Goliath, Davidis coming.

I sat here witnessing these events with my spaceship, Observer.For a long time I watched this Earth. I have witnessed many events from the fallof Custer to the rise of Hitler and thought I had seen everything. Sometimespeople think we know more than we really do.

I will never forget theshock that Dr. Smith received when he reached the grave of Goliath. Thedecapitated bodies of the guards looked almost like they were ... bitten. Goliathlaid disassembled in its final resting place. Of course, the government coveredit up by saying that there was a technical difficulty that would be correctedsoon. You bet. This technical difficulty had left a couple of people dead lackingan important part of their body. However, this technical difficulty soon would betoo large to cover up.

I had not seen what had happened to the guards, andsomething inside told me that I didn't want to know. However, if it was aproblem, for the sake of my people, I had to find out.

The mystery wassolved when I was awakened by an ominous screech. It was large and had powerfulwings that flapped briskly in the night. It had two small eyes, one small noseand one unbelievably large mouth with two daggers for teeth. It screeched again,swooped down and picked up a man in its arms. The beast ripped him apart and atehim. Whatever it was it came from the depths of hell, and that's what it wasabout to create.

When I awoke the next day, it was like a day on Kragos'execution block. The beast had completely annihilated half the human race. Theworld was in distemper and with it my people's hope. Without weapons, the humanswere totally defenseless. They were fighting the monster with sticks and stones,and the only bones breaking were their own.

One extension of my fingercould end this destructive conflict by striking the button marked "fire." I wastold to observe and not interfere. We were an advanced race and by involvementthe humans could discover technology they were not supposed to discover.Involvement carried a penalty of death. However, I could not watch another raceof fellow living beings being massacred, knowing I could prevent it. I was tornbetween morals and the law. I looked at that button, then looked atEarth.

It was about this time when my sanity began to escapeme.

Through these fields of destruction and rivers of blood, the hungryhumanoid flew back and forth across the land and spoke.

"Fools of Earth,"it began, "You cannot defeat me which is why I bring before you this proposal.All I ask is that you give me a place to live, something to eat, and no problemsafterwards, and I will leave you alone. This is all that I ask. However, if youdon't offer me these requirements, your fate will be the same as another race.Has the extinction of the dinosaurs ever been answered?"

Delirious. Mymind was filled with the images of bloody arms and faceless expressions. Deliriumhad conquered my mind. One dead was better than a billion. Help, I must helpthem. My brain was so overwhelmed by these thoughts that the compromise of thebeast slipped through my ears. One thought whirled in my head. Kill the beast.Save the humans. Must kill. Kill, kill, kill. My finger jerked forward, contactedthe fire button and slowly depressed it.

My heart was in the right place,but sometimes it can lead you astray.

The beast was struck violently inthe chest. Its black blood discharged in gushes from its mouth. It careenedtoward the surface where, upon impact, it died.

Or so I thought. Thehumans were frightened by this beam from the heavens and hid in their steel huts.This allowed the beast to struggle back to its cave where, with its final breath,it, Lucifer's minion, pushed a button. I did not close my eyes in time. White canbe such an ugly color.

I thought I did the right thing. I thought I madethe right decision. I thought. I was told to observe not to think.

Theplanet had become a globe of white light.

In a flash of a second our hopebecame a desolate, vast world of sand. A wasteland, unsuitable for life.

Ihad witnessed the birth of a wasteland, and it wasn't a child of mine. Or was it?Was it my fault? The judge, on my planet thought so, and for that reason, I sithere, during my final seconds, pondering those questions.

The colossal sunof Kragos had long been extinguished over the horizon. The moon was riding highas it took center stage in the sky. The play was over, the curtain ripped and nowall I had to do was wait and listen to the steady tick of the clock. Back andforth. Clang!

The executioner stood in the doorway in all hisevilness.

"Now is the time," he said without emotion.

The pendulumcontinued to sway. Back and forth. I walked over to the clock. Back and forth. Ilifted the clock off the wall. Back ... and slammed it against the floor. Withits destruction my time was up and, unfortunately, Kragos's time wasn't farbehind.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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