Family Tree by Monica Zwikstra, illustrated by Richard Bartrop
Monica Zwikstra was born on Manitoulin Island in Northern Ontario, Canada. She lives in Southern Alberta with her husband and three cats. When not writing, she enjoys reading, gardening, playing the autoharp and being an active member of the community.
Listen to me, Gaia is angry at the human race and if you can’t convince people to stop the pollution and causing harm to her, then she will wipe them out. Maybe you can convince her to not kill them all, I don’t know. I do know I’m turning faster than I thought I would and it’s up to you now.”
Sam heard the words. His mind had difficulty processing them. Gaia, human race, pollution. Some connection between this person and to him.
A small tremor under foot, the building shook.
The Green Man eyes widened as he stared at the floor then back to Sam. “Sam I have even less time than I thought, listen to me carefully, are you listening?”
Sam stared at the man, then at the floor. The man’s feet burst from his shoes and formed root structures digging into the floorboards. He looked back to the man’s face.
“What’s happening to you?”
The man’s feet burst from his shoes.
“I’m turning; I’m becoming one with Gaia. It happens to each of us Green Men and in general, it would be a wonderful thing. I should be out in a field or in a forest somewhere, so the transition would be smoother. I waited too long to find you, so listen, you have to find a way to stop the pollution. People clog up Gaia’s airways with gases and drill into her veins to remove her life’s blood; she is in pain and can’t heal the way she once could. We dirty her water and dump our garbage in her soil. We remove the minerals from her body. We cut the trees, which produce oxygen. We depend on her, yet we are killing her.
She will strike back. She will cause catastrophic storms, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, avalanches, every conceivable method of killing she can and then, if the population doesn’t go down enough, she will cause the ultimate to happen. She will reach out and pull in an asteroid to cause an extinction event. She is fighting for her life. She is at war and people don’t even realise it yet. She will destroy humanity, for her own survival. You must get people to change, before there is no time left.”