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Eversor by Marina Leiper, York College

February 2022

Milo stood on watch in the tower, looking out to the horizon where the sun was gently resting, waiting for the night to finish nibbling away at the corners of the sky. Harsh spats of rain dripped onto his dark hair and down into his fixed eyes. He leant over the railing and took out his half full pack of cigarettes and his lighter. His hands were shaking – more than he had realised; the lighter slipped and fell to the ground below the bars.

“For god's sake.” He groaned, and pushed the cigs back, deep into his pocket. He wrapped his jacket around himself tighter and watched his breath form in icy smoke in front of him. Already the sun had almost completely disappeared. He wandered into the control room behind him and flipped the heavy, metal switch - igniting the spotlight outside. He stood still for a moment and closed his eyes, soaking in all the warmth he could find, before stepping back outside.

Without the comfort of a cigarette, he felt even more alone up there. Some shouts of joy and banter rose up from below and a reassuring feeling of normality warmed him gently inside. He even let out a slight chuckle of delight. He should have known that the foreign feeling was a warning.

As soon as he saw it his heart stopped, and his stomach flipped – now that was a familiar feeling. He raced inside to sound the alarm, tugging heavily at the solid door. Great bleats of ringing sirens echoed around. He flung himself down the winding stairs to join his company in the bunker below. “Which is it?!” Theo shouted as the herd of people fought their way into the underground safety haven.

“The water!” Milo shouted back, helping people through the door. Once everyone was in, Milo and Theo leapt through the doorway and bolted it behind. They only just made it, seconds later they heard the waves crash violently against the door. The compound was fully submerged within minutes.

“Damn this new Pangea!” Theo panted in a frustrated tone. Milo leant against the wall, counting people in. He slumped to the floor once he knew they were all safe.

Now all they could do was wait. Wait for the water to stop coming and finally retreat, back to the new sea. It could be weeks. It could be months. They would only have enough supplies to last them five years. The thought that the last of humanity being gone in five years was unbearably taunting. It had been three months since the last flood, people were starting to feel hope again. A dangerous feeling, hope. One that could kill them.

Three weeks down the line, they were still waiting. It was cold down in the bunker – the floors were uncovered concrete, the walls were metal and steel. Lighting fires caused too much smoke and they’d only been able to scavenge six blankets – for twenty people. The cold was just as trapped as the people, with no way to escape. No one had seen the sun in weeks and people were starting to lose their understanding and patience, becoming restless. Milo and Theo were overwhelmed with questions on how much longer they were going to be confined to the vault below. They had already had to separate three fights between four of the lads, over religion of all things.

‘Don’t they know that no God is ever going to help us now?’ Theo had remembered thinking. The constant fear that something would wash up in the water and block the door was on everyone's minds, and the two leaders were desperate for it to pass in the next few days. The painfully persistent noise of the water and debris washing past kept them all up at night. The rumour that the water would freeze and become solid, locking them all in permanently, was a favourite horror among the only three teenagers that they had. There was nothing to do but listen to the water and wait, as the time ticked on by, minute by minute. Milo, who happened to have a uniquely strong memory, filled the time by replaying all the memories leading up to Eversor. On this particular day he was recollecting the time when they named it Eversor. Many of the group had argued to simply call it the ‘new Pangea’ - as it was often referred to. But Dominic, one of the elder members of the group insisted that it should be called ‘Eversor’. When asked,

“Why Eversor?”

He had given them all a lecture on Latin translations of the word ‘destroyer’. By the end, they had decided that Eversor was not in any way unnecessary and so it was final: Eversor, the new Pangea.