And I didn’t even get convicted

Caring for our fragile world

  12+   I had borne guilt and despair on the fate of our over-populated and polluted planet for many years. Then in a waking moment, I saw how I, a lowly middle-aged nobody, could save the Earth, her people and all her precious life.

A gathering of world leaders was my chance. I would evade the security cordon, I would infiltrate their private meetings, I would convince them of the need for urgent action with scientific facts and figures and impassioned speech.

Yes, there would be consequences. I would be arrested, convicted and spend, long lonely years behind bars. I would not see my children grow into adults. But the conviction and jail term would be worth it, to know that I had saved the planet for them, their children and their children’s children.

I smiled and made my plan.

Yet when the day came, I did nothing. I watched the world leaders on the TV news, pledging more “economic growth” and “security cooperation”, with no mention of poverty, pollution or climate change.

I lay in bed that night, sleepless, still wracked with guilt and despair. I didn’t save the Earth that day and I didn’t even get convicted.

© 2014 Robert Fairhead 

Robert Fairhead

Robert Fairhead

Sydney, NSW, Australia.
A middle-aged dad and dog owner, Robert is an editor and a writer for Tall And True and blogs at He enjoys reading, writing, playing the guitar, walking his dog, and watching Aussie Rules Footy with his son. Robert has worked as an electrician, sales and marketing rep, computer programmer, dog trainer and (wanna-be) writer. He also had a one-night stand as a stand-up comic.

This short, short story on “guilt” was written for a competition run by my local public broadcaster radio station. It was to be 200 words or less and to end with the line, “and I didn’t even get convicted”. I received a nice thank you, but I didn’t even get selected!


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