Ice Cold

This is me experimenting with different styles of writing. There'll be a few more things over the next week or so which hopefully will help me expand my writing style a little bit and do some newish sorta stuff.

Please let me know if you like this (or any of my other stories) or if you don't (because that's helpful too) and I'll try to write more in the style that you guys like most.

There won't be any drastic changes to my writing, I'm just hoping to improve it a little.

Chapter 1

When It All Began

Ice cold.
Isn't that the expression?
It's inaccurate.
At least, it is now.

Since 2066 the expression ice cold has lost its meaning. Ice is obviously not the warmest thing left since the Distancing. We are still alive, and therefore humans are the warmest things. After that, maybe it is ice. I don't think anyone really wants to know. We all just try to keep inside, in as large groups as we can manage so that we stay the warmest things. Nothing matters as much as survival anymore.

There aren't many of us left now. A lot of people died in 2066 because of the lack of meat and plants. It isn't easy, to live off what little is left. There isn't even milk. Or eggs. But then, we wouldn't be able to cook the eggs, not without heat, without fire. With very little chance of being able to make a fire, doing anything is mostly impossible.

On the upside we do have a lot of blankets and clothes. I'm not going to mention how we got them, a lot of people were lost that year and we had to do what we could to survive. Considering the population decreased by about 90%, more even, there were a lot of resources available to those who would risk going out to get them. We all had to risk it, otherwise we would've had very little chance of surviving until the end of Autumn. Winter would have killed every single person that was strong enough to even make it that far. There was no other way.

I hate to say it, but for those of us that have survived the first three years, we have been extremely lucky that there were so few of us. The more people that survive, the more people we have to feed, and getting food in these conditions is as hard as digging halfway to the centre of the earth. That was what we tried first. What? It's not as ridiculous as it sounds. We were slowly freezing to death and there was a theory that if we dug out enough space to sleep during the night, it would be more insulated and we would be able to keep warm. No one foresaw the ground freezing as strongly as it did that Autumn and trapping so many people underground. They had supplies but they must have run out long before we were able to dig down to them. By the time we found them they were all dead.

After that we decided that the best place to be was at ground level, or just above it. When it's warm enough to snow we try to stay in places that we won't get snowed in so that if we have to leave suddenly for any reason, we aren't trapped. Aside from that we stay in two story buildings but on the lower floor. Going up and down stairs uses precious energy we have to save for collecting resources. I say collecting. It's more like hunting. Every day there are less and less. We all know that eventually the day will come that nothing will be left. It doesn't matter how many blankets we have. It doesn't even matter how warm the planet is. Now that everything's gone, the food, the water, the light, it isn't coming back, and we will be stuck with nothing for the rest of our lives, however long they may be.

I suppose at this point I should rewind a little.

______________________________________________________________________________

The world was always heading towards this, towards ruin. I can't say exactly when it was that made the difference, but it was around when my Grandmother was young. Probably right at the beginning of the 2000's. Global warming was just beginning, then. Back then no one knew how good it was. Everything was normal, safe. If they'd known what the future would bring, they would've appreciated it a little more.

Things started changing around 2030. Global warming became global warning, the earth began to get hotter faster, people were encouraged more than ever to be friendly to the environment, to keep the world clean and tidy, to recycle and save electricity. Hardly anyone listened. Global warming had been around forever, there had always been people that told them to do the right thing and nothing had gone wrong up till then, why should it be any different? But that was only the beginning of it. The people would begin to regret their actions, because the consequence was far greater than they could have imagined. There would be nothing they could do to go back.

It only took ten years for the effects of "global warming" to become what some people would call catastrophic. The ozone layer was as good as gone, and the heat of the sun shone down with more force than ever. At first they were told it was unsafe to go outside unless it was necessary, and people ignored the warning. Some people were stupid enough to swim at beaches in the daylight, resulting in dangerous burns which would lead to melanoma in only a few years. Of course, that was only if they lived that long. Not long after that, laws were put in place to be indoors between the hours of 10am and 3pm. This made schooling difficult, but at least the children were safe. People still ignored it. As the situation got worse and worse, different procedures were put in place to try to keep people safe, but in the end, the stupid people always got hurt, and many died.

As time went on and things got worse, science continued to improve. Clothes were created that could protect the skin from the deadly new-sun rays. This was what divided the people. The rich bought the new clothes and could go out during the day, while the poor went without and were only able to leave their homes by night. Eventually a new law was passed that required the new clothes to be issued to everyone. It simply wasn't safe without them anymore, including during the night.

By the time it got to 2040, many people had died and so had most businesses and jobs of any kind. People still had to make money somehow, and so would sell on their things to the rich until they literally had nothing left except the clothes on their back, the shells left of their houses, and something to sleep on. A lot of people got into farming since there was a huge demand for meat, and the animals were dying faster than ever. Most animals had to be kept in indoor enclosures with new lights that could imitate the light produced by the old-sun. A few animals could move quite happily between an indoor enclosure and an outdoor one during certain hours of the day. There were almost none that could handle the new-sun permanently. Without people, the animals were slowly going extinct. It was because of this that farming was such a well paid job.

After 2045 things started to get better, or so everyone thought. Whatever process that had caused all the chaos had gradually slowed down, until it got to a point where it wasn't getting worse at all. A lot of people were convinced that it was the end and everything would get better from then on. I wish it had. In reality, the whole thing had just stopped. It never got any better, but it didn't get worse either. If it had, it probably would have wiped all life as we know it from the face of the earth. It was just stuck at the horrible point between almost-comfort and death. The world was literally on the brink of destruction.

It took scientists until 2059 to discover a way to fix the situation. I don't understand much about how they were going to do it, but word got around that they were going to shift the earth in relation to the sun, just a little away from it. Only enough that the sun's rays weren't so blisteringly harsh. Word spread like wildfire, which is surprising considering people were pretty much confined to their houses 24/7 except in the middle of the night as long as they had the new clothes. So many people thought they would be saved, that it would fix everything. Equally as many people thought it would change nothing, that it was the lack of the ozone layer causing this, and shifting the earth would only cool it down, not stop the burning. There were others who didn't know what to think. I wouldn't have either. The whole situation was just too much to think about.

It took another 5 years for scientists to get enough money for the project, they called it the Distancing, to put together the technology that would make it happen, and to fix it up enough that it would actually work. In 2064 it was announced that they could do it, and later that year they did. Or at least they tried to. Nothing happened at first, and everything was kept under constant surveillance by scientists around the world. Nothing continued to happen. After a few months, maybe as many as 6, plans were made to improve the technology.

In 2066 it was attempted again. This time the effect was noticed by everyone within a month. It got colder and colder until after a few more months it almost felt normal. Tests were done to see if it was safe to go outside again. No one was sure at first, but as people became optimistic again they would try it themselves and came home after hours in the sun with only regular sunburn to show for it. The world felt good as new, or good as old... And there wasn't a single person to claim they didn't believe in science.

But somehow it had gone wrong. More months passed and it continued to get colder. Spring came and it was like a good old winter from all those years before. People had to buy jackets and woolen cardigans to keep warm. Animals were finally let outside again, and they adjusted well to the new climate. People felt safe that things would be back to normal. Until summer came.

It was colder than spring. It snowed almost everywhere. People began to doubt the science that had almost made things normal. People started guessing that something had gone wrong. Governments tried to keep it as quiet as possible, claiming that the climate would fluctuate over the next year or two before leveling off where it should. While people murmured amongst themselves about whether they believed it or not, scientists took the opportunity to try and fix it. They had the technology, they had proven that it could work, they just had to find out where they went wrong. But they couldn't do it. No one wanted to risk further damage to the planet. So it continued to get colder, much much faster than it had gotten hotter back in 2030.

______________________________________________________________________________

It's been 3 years since then. We don't know if it's still getting colder, we don't know if there are still scientists working on fixing it, we don't even know if we still have a government. All we know is that we want to survive, and we are doing all we can to keep each other safe. After everything we've been through, after everything that's happened, all we have is each other. We don't want to lose that.

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