It was supposed to improve crop yield in arid places and for a time it did. The concept was simple enough; thinner leaves that required less water but produced the same energy for the plant. Then the mutation started. Leaves became thinner and stronger. Harvest was difficult, then impossible. Lawns turned razor sharp; capable of cutting through shoes, flesh and bone, and then even the blades used to control them. Deforestation slowed and stopped as the rainforests fought back. Governments fell as sticks once again became the state of the art in warfare. The message to humanity was clear: Leave.

Written in July 2019, and shortlisted for a 100 word flash fiction competition run by Retreat West. Submitted stories had to contain the word 'Leaves'.

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