Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer
The garbage approaches. I yell at the family to get down as I swing the schooner around in a tight arc, heading away from the massive undulating island. The strong afternoon wind fills our sails yet I am nowhere near satisfied yet.
With a loud crack some hundred meters back, a tendril breaks away from the island and lashes out across the murky ocean towards us. It is made from the same things as the rest of the writhing floating mass beyond. The collective countless castaways of humankind have somehow congealed, come to life, and are now quickly gaining intelligence, their hunting methods improving constantly.
I check the nitrous supply and see that we maybe have two good blasts left. However conservation matters not now. The tendril is stretching ever forward, as great lumps of organic slime mixed with billions of shards of plastic snake towards us, ever gaining, ever hungry, I must act now. Firing up the ancient gasoline engine I grab the valve and crack it halfway open. “Hold on!” I yell.
Suddenly we are looking at the sky as the schooner bursts forward at incredible speed. I quickly close the valve and our nose gradually drops back down. Soon we’re over a kilometre away. I hope it can’t smell that far.
I look forward toward the open sea, my hair and beard blowing back as our sails fill once again. That was close. It had really snuck up on us there, laying nearly flat against the water until it was almost within reach. I must arrange twenty-four hour watches. We can never let our guard down again. But we’re running out of supplies, and dangerously low on fuel. Hopefully soon we will stumble upon some useful land still unencumbered by the garbage. But as we dart in and out from the coastline such places are getting fewer and farther between.
Suddenly a tendril bursts from the water ahead. “Tricky bugger!” I yell aloud. It appears that our pursuer has taught itself a diving and flanking manoeuvre. I crank the wheel hard to starboard. The ten ton tendril of writhing living garbage rears up and then slaps down hard towards us. I once again fire up the ancient engine and reach back for the nitrous valve. This is our last chance.