Coming on 22nd April, Earth Day 2018, the Nothing Is As It Was climate-fiction anthology is raising funds for the climate-action group, Earth Day Network. The story below has kindly been donated by the author to raise awareness of the anthology and the issues humanity faces due to climate change. We hope you enjoy it and if you do, please make a donation to the cause if you can and leave a comment letting the author know.


The Extinction of Bognor Regis, Louise Mangos

They say the waters along the whole south coast have been fished out. The winking lights of the crab boats and trawlers on the horizon, where the sky meets the steely blue, are but a memory. But we squint into the distance and try to imagine them anyway.
After watching the sun rise, we jump off the wall and take giant strides over the beach down to the water. Our sinking feet crush the pebbles, their screeching scorn echoing back to us like marbles rolling between our palms.
The sea is calm this morning, hissing softly along the shore with the slow heartbeat of broken promises. It will be another hot day. The sultry salt air is already sticky. We walk along the water’s edge, kicking at old empty chip cartons and the frayed twine of disused lobster cages.
Leaning against the wooden hull of an upturned dinghy, I dig deep into my bag for a plastic-wrapped package. I share my crisp sandwich with you, and suddenly miss the plaintive cries of gulls. We wonder where they have gone, whether they have found happiness on the shrinking icecaps up north. The birds used to be such pests, dipping and diving for scraps on the beach.
Behind us the fun park lies silent. Its splintered fibreglass slides and rotting whirlpools lie like giant faded coffins, denied the water they crave for a function nature can no longer spare.
No seagulls, no tourists. The only noise is the imperceptible hum of this suffocating heat.
And my crisp sandwich.