No one knows how or why it happened. Top scientists in the world can’t explain it (or won’t). At first it was extremely subtle, but we all noticed a shift. We all knew something was “off,” but couldn’t quite put our finger on it. The wishful thinkers of the world figured that new diet they’d been on must finally be working (that’s how subtle it was), but those of us who were more grounded (no pun intended) had a creeping suspicion that all was not well. The subtlety I’m speaking of was an odd feeling of lightness . . . as though being underwater, but not really, mmmmm, it’s kind of hard to explain.

As this oddity became more and more obvious, so did the realization of our inescapable fate. Oh yes, this weightlessness was quite alarming to say the least, BUT… once the oxygen began to dissipate, well, that’s when the fear and panic REALLY set in. Those days were so chaotic. Can you just imagine a slew of semi-floating people awkwardly battling each other, mid-air, to grab that last oxygen tank from their local nursing home?! Complete anarchy! Yet, somehow, SOMEONE knew this was coming and was already prepared for the inevitable.

Some of us, “The Chosen Few” (as the powers-that-be like to call us), were permitted into these fully equipped, completely sustainable Living Pods, or LP’s; complete with artificial gravity and essential oxygen. What happened to those who didn’t make the cut? Not really sure. There are lots of theories, but no proof. At the peak of this super-surreal crisis, strange hover-type crafts began popping up everywhere and loading the old, the sick, the dead, and anyone else deemed unworthy for the new way of life. None of us had ever seen these crafts before and, NO, the hover crew didn’t appear to be little green or gray men! They were clearly human and clearly advantaged with classified information while the rest of us were left in the dark. Some of the CF’s who dared to sneak away from the LP Community to seek answers were never to be seen again. My brother was among some of the inquiring minds. I think of him everyday and hope he is well, but that feeling in the pit of my stomach tells me otherwise, but I digress . . .

To be honest, it’s been about twenty years and it still doesn’t seem real. And what really sucks, besides losing my family, is that humans and animals can no longer dwell together (in the traditional sense). You see, the oxygen us humans breathe is now toxic to ALL other life. Hence, “The Shift.” Everything else…matter and animal, all of the outdoors as we know it, remained the same as though nothing had changed . . . well, because it hadn’t, for them. While all of humanity suffered from a loss of gravity and oxygen, all other life was somehow able to adapt to this new atmosphere. Whatever “air” is now nourishing all worldwide ecosystems . . . whatever transition did take place, nature never skipped a beat. I know, I know, it just doesn’t make any sense! When the farmers could no longer look after the livestock or tend to the land, it seems preparations were already in place to take over. These new A.I. machines were quickly implemented to maintain all agriculture.

I hate this new life. It’s no life at all if you ask me. I miss the warmth of the sun on my face. I miss the wind. I miss the sound of rustling leaves on a crisp, autumn day. I miss playing with Aunt Becky’s long haired German Shepherd puppies. Horse back riding, motorcycle rides, and picnics at the park are all distant memories now. And, OH how I miss my cat, Harry. Sometimes, when I can get an SPP (Special Privilege Pass), I suit up and I go visit my abandoned, and now dilapidated, childhood home. Harry’s gotta be in his mid-twenties by now and it’s quite amazing how he’s still kickin’ around the ol’ stompin’ grounds; catching mice and lazing in the sun. So odd, but it looks like he hasn’t aged a day! I wish I could let him into my lap and scratch the backs of his ears like I used to, but the uncontrollable floating and protective gear won’t allow it. He runs away anyway, not able to recognize me. Breaks my heart, but at least I know he’s well.

(Deep sigh) . . . So many questions . . . zero answers.

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