-1 The Wind

A wind was coming. The creatures of the forest glanced upwards, felt the slight breeze brush through the trees and scattered. All was silent, the forest still except for the scuffle of small bodies rustling leaves. Overhead, a thin whistle could be heard. The air turned cold. In the distance, lightning flashed as hot and cold air collided. Wind began to whip the black clouds, throwing lone rain drops into the forest canopy. In the roots of the great trees, the animals waited, collecting their breath. The whistling rose in intensity, drowning out all other noises, the wind ripping leaves from the trees and tossing them about. The clouds began to form a circle in the sky, pink around the edges and fading to deep black in the center. The creatures of the forest looked skyward, tensed and ready. The clouds parted.

BOOM.

A billion tons of compressed carbon dioxide rained down on the planet, glowing hot as it entered the lower stages of the atmosphere, ripping the clouds from their moors in the sky and blasting them in every direction. The shock front came first, a tremor felt through the air and then a bone wrenching slap as it hit the ground.

The cloud of carbon dioxide continued falling, a roaring mass of heat and wind, leaving a mile wide trail of smoke in its descent. The wind blasted on full now, beating down on the trees. Deep inside the forest, sheltered from the winds, the animals hurried to regain the oxygen lost from the shock front. The landscape was suddenly lit from above, as the light from the CO2 cloud pierced the canopy and burned itself into the eyes of the forest creatures. The temperature climbed, rising five degrees a second. The animals dug into the cool ground, burrowing into the mud. It would soon be over.

WHAM WHAM WHAM jackhammer blows raced across the sky as the falling hurricane of CO2 pounded through the sounds barriers. The clouds whitened and turned thick as their water was vaporized.

The wind of the falling mass came closer, closer, until finally it collided with the forest in a smash of wood and dirt. The gas diffused on impact, waves of invisible death combing the land. Animals who had not taken enough oxygen fell from the trees, asphyxiating as they gasped for the air that was not there. Then, as the CO2 cooled , it began to vanish, evaporating into the sky from which it had come. A torrential downpour began as the clouds cooled and let loose their stored water. The survivors in the forest came out of their hiding places, sniffing the air to make sure it was safe again. They went back to their lives, foraging and finding mates. Then three weeks later, they looked up as a breeze brushed across their fur. A wind was coming.