Flash Fiction, Shorts

The Only Thing Left

Broken down cars lined the streets of the abandoned town. What could be salvaged from the various clothing and outlet stores was gone. The windows were lined with lonely, naked mannequins, who now made up the remaining population.

An old Victorian house with gray flaky and faded chipped paint stood on the corner. A faint smell of sulfur and mold emanated from the structure.The top hinges of the doorway were broken, and the door teetered at a funny angle. Inside, the evidence of looting was clear, and there were several piles of ash scattered about in clumps where fires had been tended.

In nearly every room of the house was a monitor. Some were old, cracked computer screens. Others were full HD television sets. All of them were left behind.

What had been taken in their place was all of the paper. All of the books and journals and diaries and legal pads and sticky notes. And with them, every writing tool imaginable from pen and ink to stubby wax crayon. Even dry-erase boards and markers had been taken.

It is curious, I must say. I write this on the last scrap of napkin that I have, in front of my fire that will soon become just another pile of ash in this ghost town. As a species, our ability to record was once unlimited. And with that limitlessness that was taken for granted, our quality suffered…

Enough. I’ve run out of space. And none of this matters. The only thing I knew how to do is gone. The only thing left is survival.


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