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Maria Alejandra Alzate

“Forgotten” is a short story about how a world is coming up with strategies in order to solve a climatic issue. People in this fictional world are destroying books to turn them into trees for the world to survive, but because of that, everytime they destroy books about a certain topic, people will lose that knowledge too. So, they end up having to decide what they want to do: save the environment but be slowly reduced to not knowing anything and losing all the development humanity has made, or to be completely erased from existence because of not having a place to live.

Furthermore, adolescents nowadays tend to have a vision of life where nothing matters, almost becoming a nihilist way of view life. This book wants to make them reflect on the decisions they are taking and also be aware that everyone has an effect on what happens to the planet. No matter if their actions are small, they still make a change for the better. The young are the key to plant the seed for a better future.

Forgotten — Prologue.

My name is Charlie. I have forgotten a big amount of the things I knew.

My mom sometimes tends to cry and blame the people who are shown on TV for my loss of knowledge. She has forgotten things too.

My sister used to say that there was no hope left and humans were childish for trying to save something that was already lost. I never understood what she meant, and on one occasion later when I asked her about it again, she didn’t understand either.

Most of the time at school, my classmates are sent to lower grades or they leave school because their parents say ‘it isn’t working’. The teacher explained to us that everything that is happening is because of our own actions, the actions humanity took during so many years in the past. Humans didn’t pay attention to anything but their lives and what would affect them immediately. Therefore, they didn’t care about what was going on with the environment and the planet.

But then, everyone freaked out when studies and investigations showed that our planet Earth was close to its end because the last remains of trees were about to die. Without them, we couldn’t breathe fresh and clean air, the animals died because they didn’t have a home or a place to hide and at the same time, the earth wasn’t held together because of the lack of plant’s roots. The only solution the government found some years ago was to use books to bring back the trees that were slowly disappearing. After some technological process, books would become seeds that were able to grow into trees some months later. However, after some months, something strange started to happen.

I remember the news showing it. Everytime more books were destroyed, more people forgot about them. People started talking about it. Nobody wanted to lose their knowledge and their intelligence, but at the same time, it was the only possible solution for the problem that was gonna leave us without a place to leave, to exist. And the chaos began.

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