No Return

j.m. raymond By j.m. raymond, 15th Oct 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

Apocalypse in 400 words. A piece of flash fiction. Hope you enjoy.

ancient trees, promised wine
now devastated.
existence, aspirations
like those trees, this ruined land
blasted. Unfulfilled.
-- lament of the traveler

His name, now devoid of meaning and value, he had not used since the initial step of his journey. He had adopted a title: Traveler. More of a description really, but it was strong enough to serve as both. In certain portions of this new world, it was spoken with the reverence of legend.

Those portions where it was not spoken, the most vile gesture known to humankind was substituted for it. On a world where water was now scarce, one did not waste a single drop. Thus, the act of spitting on the ground, voluntarily expelling such precious moisture from one's being to have it simply waste away in the red dust and the dirt was the epitome of contempt, the signal flare of acute hatred. It was a gesture directed at the Traveler on more than one occasion.

The breakdown of civilization had progressed swifter than any would have guessed. Several communities had very quickly descended into anarchy; hoarding supplies, building enhanced edifications to protect themselves and those supplies from marauding bands of thieves and potential killers, refusing contact with those outside of their close-knit clan.

The world and life as they knew it had been obliterated. Their fear was understandable. Their irrational behavior and voluntary isolation were not. They had no hope of survival if they splintered off into self serving groups and dissociative bands of individuals.

The Traveler had watched in dismay as the ensuing chaos stripped the dignity, the conscience—the humanity—from his fellow human beings. He had watched many of them metamorphose overnight into defiant, ghastly creatures incapable of reasoned thought and immune to all logic.

He had taken it upon himself to continue to attempt to enforce the laws, to retain some semblance of order and civilization. He spent his days journeying between the isolated communities, appealing to their better judgment, their common humanity. Life, for as long as he could remember, had been about survival. It was all he knew. The laws would help them survive even in this new description of "life in the present".

Night had fallen. He turned to stare into the black night, thinking of home.

They had to survive. He and the others living on Mars were now the sole living remnants of the human race.

Tags

Apocalypse, Flash Fiction, Michael Raymond, Near Earth Asteroids, Science Fiction, Short Stories

Meet the author

author avatar j.m. raymond
Satire, humor and fiction are my primary interests, although occasionally, I make forays into the worlds of technology and small business management.
You can also find me on twitter: @rentedfingers , my website at micha...(more)

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
15th Oct 2010 (#)

Loved the story and especially the ending...
you got me.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar James R. Coffey
15th Oct 2010 (#)

Nice. I enjoyed this!

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
15th Oct 2010 (#)

Great job. I like your paragraph spacing and pacing! Poignant and moving story my friend.

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author avatar j.m. raymond
15th Oct 2010 (#)

Denise, James and Melissa, thank you all for reading and your comments. Greatly appreciated.

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author avatar LOVERME
15th Oct 2010 (#)

very good and gr8888 write

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author avatar j.m. raymond
15th Oct 2010 (#)

thank you, loverme.

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author avatar Horror Nerd
15th Oct 2010 (#)

Wonderful story. has a feel similar to the Fallout games. I can imagine your main character being like Roland from Stephen King's Dark Tower novels.
Great work, I could see this extended into a longer story as well :)

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author avatar j.m. raymond
16th Oct 2010 (#)

Thank you, Horror Nerd. Might be a longer piece lurking there.

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author avatar Angelique Newman
26th Oct 2010 (#)

Great piece of writing. I thought all along it was earth and was surprised it turned out be Mars.

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author avatar j.m. raymond
26th Oct 2010 (#)

Thank you, Angelique. Greatly appreciated.

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author avatar Magic quill
22nd Nov 2010 (#)

looking through your work you do something which i find very difficult and that is different voices.

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author avatar j.m. raymond
9th Mar 2011 (#)

Magic Quill, just stumbled across this comment of yours. Thank you. Most of the time, those different voices are simply the ones residing in my head. Which ever one is clamoring the loudest usually gets the page. ;)

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
11th Jun 2011 (#)

Could it happen here?
You're good, j. m., really, really good,.

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author avatar j.m. raymond
11th Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you very much, sir.

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