Disaster Strikes

Even when times looked their darkest, everyone could count of the sun to rise, and drive away the night and its memories. No one would ever believe that the sun would not rise, but that is exactly what happened on June 28, 3258. Reports indicated a massive black hole developed behind the sun and devoured it, just like one had to Jupiter three years earlier. We had less than twenty-four hours to get off this planet before we all perished. Thankfully though, our global distress signal was intercepted by the Third Intergalactic Fleet. I wonder if they eat humans.


This 99-word story was inspired by the Carrot Ranch’s prompt of: “not all is lost”

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Hagen folded up the city news and headed for the address. Out of work for over a month had made him desperate…desperate enough for anything. Two trains and four buses later, he found himself standing in a long line outside a very normal looking bar. One by one, the applicants were called into the bar. Some came out running and never looked back, while others came out and puked into the gutter. As more applicants came out in this state, the more potential applicants changed their mind and left the line. Hagen wondered if he should leave too, but rent was coming due in two days and if he didn’t have at least the promise of something coming in the landlord would kick him to the curb.

“You’re next,” a sharp dressed man said as Hagan stepped to the head of the line.

Hagen paused, gulped, and followed the man into the bar. From the outside it looked like a normal bar, but inside was an entirely different story. The place was packed with people of all shapes, sizes, and colors.

“This is the front of the house,” the man said, leading Hagen through the crowd toward the back room. “Your job would be back here in the kitchen.”

“Uh-huh.”

The man opened the door to the kitchen and Hagen’s stomach lurched into this mouth. You need this job, he reminded himself.

“Huh,” the man said. “You’re the first one to make it this far. Impressive.”

“You the new guy?” a voice called from somewhere in the kitchen.

“Um, yeah, if I can have the job. I guess I am.”

“Job’s yours.” The man shoved Hagen further into the kitchen and returned to his normal bar duties.

“Well, don’t just stand there! We have a lot of orders to get out.” The voice belonged to a two foot red creature with fangs and sharp claws for hands.

“What do I need to do?”

Hagen looked around the kitchen at animals and other creatures dangling from the ceiling dripping blood into buckets with ladles sticking in them. Glasses were stacked from floor to ceiling along the walls. Ladies, he assumed they were ladies, called out more orders through the window that separated the kitchen from the bar.

“Hear that? See the bucket with that name on it?”

“Um,” Hagen looked around. “Yeah.”

“Good…grab a glass, fill it, and get the order out. Sheesh, you humans act like you’ve never been to a blood bar before.”

 

Clones

Everyone, at some point in their lives, wishes they could clone themselves. One of them for everyone in their lives and a few extra for strangers. Imagine a world where that was possible. Everyone happy and content. But, would it really be paradise? How would you know if you were talking to the person or the clone? Would people become jealous of their clones enjoying things that were once treats?

Would anything hold value in a cloned world?

The Cleaning Crew

Everyone on the job site knew their job and performed it well, day in and day out without complaint. No one would dare complain anyway, what with the new laws about talking on the job. Joshua thought the new laws made sense, after all, people were there to work – not to have fun or make friends. A job needed to be done, so just get it done. It was that focus on getting the job done that pulled the country back together after the great war and he was happy to be part of that rebuilding process. That’s why he was the first in his city to sign up for the construction crews the government sent to rebuild.

“Get a move on,” the driver screamed at the crew as they stepped off the work bus.

“Joshua,” the foreman announced. “I want you to take your crew of carpenters into sector 3G and get that started.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Oh, and take the new guy too.”

Joshua’s heart sank. Why was his crew subjected to the new guy? These younger guys just don’t follow the rules and the certainly don’t have the work ethic of the older guys. “Yes, sir.”

The 10-man crew walked into sector 3G and glanced around. Rubble lay everywhere, but that was not their job. They were responsible for reclaiming what could be used from inside the buildings. After two blocks, Joshua pointed at their destination.

“What was Thomas Jefferson Elementary School?” the new guy asked, reading the sign over the entrance.

“Listen, Carter,” Joshua said. “Better get used to being quiet on the job. We have one job to do and that isn’t talking.”

“Geeze, I just asked—”

Another member of the crew shoved him in the back. Carter looked around as he quietly entered the building. Drawings of honey bees, flowers, and rainbows lined the main hall. Joshua pointed to three men and pointed to another hall. They started work there, while another three went upstairs, and another three stayed in the main hall. Joshua and the new guy started in the last room in the main hall.

Carter walked in the room and began reading the letters to the President that lined the walls asking him to stop the war. Joshua could see the glint of curiosity in Carter’s eyes and laughed. He too had been young and intrigued when he saw his first school.

“Researchers think the people who used places like this thought the world was full of possibility and wonder,” Joshua said, leaning on the large overturned desk. “We find letters like that all the time. As if they had anything to say about it.”

Carter looked around and listened as Joshua relayed what he had heard about this culture from the researchers. He listened to stories about the artifacts they have found and about how they used to skirl daily because they thought that made the sun rise. Places like this were used to house young people who were unable or unwilling to follow the rules where they would be told lies every day until they learned to see the truth.

“How very dystopian,” Carter said, flipping through a copy of Harry Potter.

“Downright terrifying,” Joshua said, taking the book from him. “Let’s get to work.”

They worked the rest of the day removing the remnants of life before the great war.


This story was inspired by the following prompts:
Swimmers One-Word Prompt — letter
Word of the Day Challenge — possibility
Fandango’s One Word Challenge — artifact
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day — skirl (means to play the bagpipes)
Three Things Challenge — carpenter, honey bee, dystopian