Author : Greg Ashworth

The weather was terrible. It always was these days. The fluctuating temperatures, the driving rain, the harsh winds – all this was to be expected.

Sarah sat alone in the corner of the coffee shop, her eyes somehow distant, as she browsed the Net, aided by her neural implants. A tear crawled slowly from her dark eyes, and made its way down her porcelain cheek. The coffee shop a small, rustic affair, with dim lighting, which was somehow not entirely unfriendly. There were a several small, round synthetic wood tables, few of which were occupied. Long shadows were cast by the flickering argon lamps that lined the walls.

Sarah looked up, and then back into the swirling darkness of her coffee cup. She stared intently for several minutes. An old, ragged man looked up from his espresso, as if disturbed, then thought better of it, and returned to his own melancholy world.

Sarah’s deep, thoughtful gaze continued unabated, as if she was challenging her cappuccino to blink. There was an eldritch energy in the air now. The thick brown liquid began to rage in its ceramic prison, the foaming coffee thrashing and turning in the cup. The weather worsened outside, and the coffee shop began to echo with the pounding hail, hurling itself at the small glass windows, hammering against the seemingly ancient tiled roof.

Eventually, the owner, identified as ‘Luigi’ by a fading plastic name tag on his tarnished waistcoat, edged nervously towards Sarah’s motionless form, tapped her lightly on the shoulder and pointed apologetically towards the small wooden door.

Sarah slowly dragged herself from her trance, shook her head sadly, tossing her long black hair over her pale, disheartened face. She sorrowfully made her way to the door, careful not to let it slam behind her. The hail stopped, and the clouds parted slightly. It began to drizzle.

A small piece of paper fluttered slowly to the rough stone floor from the table at which she was sat. An eviction notice.

It had been thought for the early years of the twenty first century that man was to blame for the steady decline of Earth’s climate. It was, but not in the way scientists had thought. Many years, and vast amounts of money were spent researching ‘greener’ sources of energy, and in reducing the now laughable ‘carbon footprint’ of the world’s population – all for nothing.

At some point, in the middle of the twenty second century, tests were done on a small group who claimed that their mood influenced the weather. It was a scientific and psychological breakthrough – man had been responsible for the worsening climate, but it was the increasing depression and declining quality of life of humanity what was causing it, utilising the long suspected telepathic field linking all living organisms to the place of their birth, and yet, the governments chose to do nothing. Money could not be made from increasing the happiness of humanity, only destroying it with their ‘green’ fuels and ‘carbon credits’, and so the climate worsened, as did morale.

These were the days that a simple letter, removing a student from her apartment, could cause a violent storm that resulted in the deaths of four people and hundreds of credits worth of damage.

These were the days when happiness would save the planet.

Sunshine glinted off the wet roof of the coffee shop, interrupted by shadows cast from passing air taxis, and laughter echoed from down a nearby street.

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