Carton Horror Story
You wake up.
Yawn. You begin getting ready for work. Thank goodness it’s Friday. You’re excited to get the day over with and kick off the weekend with your friends. You’re determined to make it a rejuvenating and memorable weekend.
You reach the office, but notice there are no cars parked outside. You check your watch — 9 a.m. on the dot. Where is everyone? You slowly walk towards your office, peering around. There is no one in sight. You slowly push the door to your office open and are greeted by a putrid stench. What is that smell? You blink away the tears welling up in your stinging eyes and gasp — you see what the source is. Piles upon piles of garbage stare back at you. The desks, the chairs, the tables — they’ve all been replaced by trash, from the floor to the ceiling.
“What happened to the office?! It’s like I’m standing in a landfill!” you scream. Nobody answers. You carefully back away from the monstrosity, first hesitantly, then breaking into a full sprint back to your car as the piles of sludge start sluggishly sliding out the doors and windows and onto the street. As you reach for your car’s door handle, a bright flyer gets caught on your windshield.
“ATTENTION: DUE TO LANDFILL OVERFLOW, THIS OFFICE SPACE WILL BE CONVERTED TO LANDFILL STORAGE.”
You get in your car, shocked and shuddering. I guess I just missed the notice, you rationalize.
You begin driving far away from the scene, breathing deeply. Maybe I’ll go to the beach. It’s Friday, clearly no one’s working at the office. I could use a beach day.
You drive toward the beach, your favorite song playing on the radio, the image and stench of the morning’s unpleasant surprise almost gone from your mind.
You pull up to the beach. Oddly, the parking lot is completely empty on a Friday. You shrug it off and make your way down to shore.
The sand feels wonderful beneath your feet, but the ocean air smells off. You look up — instead of blue waves crashing against pristine sand, you see waves of debris and rubbish rolling onto shore. You walk nearer, squinting your eyes at the gray, green, brown concoction of garbage swirling in front of you. The ocean has been overtaken by a landfill floating on top of the water, as far as your eyes can see.
You run back to your car, horrified. No office, no beach. Has the whole world been suddenly consumed by trash?
You speed home, listening to the radio, desperate to find out what’s going on.
“We advise all citizens to remain indoors. Authorities have spotted a dangerous creature emerging from city landfills. We repeat: We advise all citizens to remain indoors.”
You park your car and begin to run toward your house. That’s when you see it.
Heading directly toward your neighborhood was the monster: a grimy giant, towering over the tallest buildings in the city and into the sky, covered in slime, and making its presence known with an ear-piercing screech.
As the creature approaches, you can see exactly what it’s made of: discarded water bottles, Styrofoam containers, takeout boxes with rotting food, old moldy milk cartons. Somehow, someway, all the trash in all the landfills have fused into one and come alive to terrorize your town.
You stand rooted in place, staring up at the creature.
The creature approaches you. It rises up as if it’s about to destroy everything in its way and throws its head back, laughing, “This is what happens when you don’t recycle!”