When the radiation cleared, they were ready.
When they ventured, blinking, out onto the surface, they were overwhelmed, but they were ready.
When they followed the maps, found the seed vault intact, they were ready.
When a fat mouse ran across the littered cement floor – no one was ready.
Sarah Krenicki likes writing short fiction about large things.
An uncle told me TV laughter was dead people—It’s canned, he said. For years I couldn’t eat tuna, soup, or beans.
Until the bombs.
Now, canned food is all that’s left—hoarded in caves and holes. And let me tell you, no one’s laughing anymore. Not even the dead.
Daniel DiFranco lives in Philadelphia. He graduated from Arcadia University with an MFA in Creative Writing. His words can be found in Smokelong Quarterly, LitroNY, and others. Full list of pubs and miscellany can be found at danieldifranco.net
A hundred years on, tumble-weeds race along deserted interstate highways and a gigantic crater tells of unimaginable destruction. As we land and take readings of the surroundings, we discover our home is barely habitable.
“At least it’s recovered more than the red planet.”
“We’ll start terraforming this one first, Adam.”
Connell wrote this late at night.
The other survivors kill the animals and cut down the mango trees to build fires to cook the carcasses. No longer starving, they laugh and spit gristle, their greasy chins shining in the firelight.
In the peacock cage, I pick up a feather and put it in my lover’s hair.
Scott Ragland has an MFA in Creative Writing (fiction) from UNC-Greensboro. Before taking a writing hiatus, he had several stories published, most notably in Writers’ Forum, Beloit Fiction Journal, and The Quarterly. More recently, his work has appeared in apt, The Conium Review, NANO Fiction and Newfound Journal, among others. He lives in Carrboro, N.C., with his wife and two dogs. His three kids have left the nest.
Afterwards they rose to meteors scribing violet and crimson arcs across the sky.
“Too beautiful,” she said.
“Near the end, when the halo ice burns, we’ll see fire falls.”
Later, she whispered, “We’re still fabulous together.”
“Never better,” he agreed.
Together, they watched the night become the incandescence of extinction.
Jack Kogut is a mostly professional engineer and mostly amateur scribbler of mostly fiction.
The church bell chimed, a signal of hope.
In the streets, the dead tore apart the living. Ancestor feasted upon descendant.
As the innocent ran towards the high church tower, the sky became red. Buildings burned; mothers cried.
As folks poured in, the priest’s black eyes showed the true cause.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the apocalyptic hills of West Virginia.
We starved in the fallout shelter, awaiting winter’s end, with limited and repetitive rations.
One day, someone yelled cruel words: “Fresh-baked bread! Whipped butter! Crispy calamari! Spicy cocktail sauce! Grilled teriyaki salmon! Freshly brewed iced tea!”
When the kicks and punches started, I finally realized: the crazed person was me.
Michael Janairo’s last name is pronounced ha NIGH row. His writing is forthcoming in Star*Line Magazine and has been published in Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, among others. He lives in upstate New York with his wife, son, and dog, and blogs at michaeljanairo.com.
“Mommy, why you crying?” He interlocks his warm little fingers with mine and squeezes tightly.
I look out the window. It is overtaking the horizon, blocking out the setting sun.
“Because I love you so much.”
“Are we gonna be alright?”
I squeeze back.
“Everything is going to be okay.”
Corey Niles had a 500-word flash fiction published in the fall issue of Eye Contact.
I managed to buy myself an underground bunker just in time for the 2012 end-of-the-world early Christmas party. My guests and I said our prayers, drank our champagne and got ready for the new beginning.
It didn’t happen.
Everyone went home highly disappointed. So much for that stupid Mayan Prophecy!
Olga Klezovitch is a scientist who lives in Seattle. Her previous work has appeared in 50-Word Stories, Necon E-Books, and A Story In 100 Words.
Where cars once drove there is now wilderness, overrun with animals who never used to call this place their home.
The buildings now serve as monuments for a great society forgotten in time.
He stares across the city and listens to it speak, with the realization he is truly alone.
Adam Randall has previously been featured on 50-word stories, and hopes to one day complete some great masterpiece. He just needs to figure out just what that might be.