‘2040,’ he reads aloud, ‘last living bird, the common sparrow, dies from avian influenza.’
He moves along to the next panel and taps the touchscreen.
‘2078: the last female crocodile in captivity, and last reptile known, dies of old age.’
He shakes his head in disbelief.
‘2123: rising water temperatures lead to the death of all oceanic fish and mammals.’
He takes a deep breath before moving to the next screen.
‘2236: last mammal on earth, male human living in southern China, dies age 98.’
He taps his antennae together thoughtfully.
And with a flutter of wings he is gone.
I felt a little sci-fi this week since my short story ‘Meet the Martians’ was recently published in the StringyBark Future Times Short Story anthology (hard copy and ebook). It’s an exciting moment to see my name in print, especially in a genre I’ve never attempted before. But bring it on! There’s something rather exhilarating about predicting the future, especially a future that’s been taken over by insects…Follow @jessieansons
Friday Fictioneers is a challenge set by Rochelle Fields where writers around the world create 100 word stories inspired by the one image. For more information see: http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/24-october-2014/
49 responses to “Extinction (Friday Fictioneers)”
I hope we’re not really facing a future of intelligent insects. Well done sci-fi. And a hearty congratulations on your short story. There’s nothing to compare to seeing one’s name in print for the first time. Revel in it.
Thanks Rochelle! It’s a proud moment, showing that hard work pays off.
A rather brilliant take on the prompt and one that has a high probability of coming true. ‘We strut and fret our hour upon the stage and then are heard from no more’….except in the fossils. Great work and a lesson that will be ignored in the long run by the vast majority…soon to be gone.
Yes! Oh Hamlet! I just recently read that one as part of my 100 book challenge. What a brilliant line.
Another great story from your pen. Congrats on your short story being published.
Thank you for the ongoing support! Glad you enjoyed it.
Ooh Jessie, this is great. I didn’t see those last lines coming, although I did have a brief thought about who built the information boards if the last human is dead – but then if they can read them, then the insects can surely build them.
And congratulations on the short story publication!
They’re very talented insects, that’s for certain 🙂 Thank you!
Jessie, I liked it a lot. I can expect that once the insects rule the world there will be a band called the Beetles playing. 🙂
The way spelling goes these days, that might have already happened in the 60’s. 🙂 Congratulations on both the publication and this story, Jessie.
Oh hahaha… someone had to go there!
Quite a twist there – a wry twist. Well done.
Thanks Sandra 🙂 Your positive feedback means a lot.
Loved this piece. Great job!
Very Cassandra. If only it weren’t true. Fine piece of writing.
What do you mean by Cassandra? Is love to hear more about that reference.
Lol. Nice idea 🙂
Thank you 🙂
Whoa! This is very, very nice. I looked at the plaques along the rail and thought, “I love those when we’re travelling. They tell so much.” But not as much as your story.
Thank you 🙂 glad it gave the response I was after.
I guess the insects inherited the earth after all. Hopefully this isn’t too accurate a prediction of the future. 🙂 Congratulations on the published story.
Thanks David! I honestly think insects will be around long after we say goodbye to this earth.
Cute story, congrats on the publication!
So that’s what the future holds, Jessie. You do have a knack for SF as this great story shows.
Congratulations on the publication!
Thanks Karen. I never thought it was my cup of tea, but it sure is fun!
At least the insects are starting out by lamenting and memorialising what has been lost. Their future looks a little brighter for this reason. A thought-provoking and sobering story.
Good point Marg 🙂 thanks for stopping by and commenting
Great story Jessie. I wonder how far from the truth it will be!! Congratulations on your publication – well done!
Thank you Maree for all your support! I suspect the insects will outlive us, but I don’t know if they’ll be making interactive plaques in the process.
I really liked the ending and the implications are stunning ~ Congratulations!
Thank you John 🙂
Lovely twist. and what is scary is it may just end up being true
I know! Thanks for reading 🙂
Congratulations on publication! From what I’m reading here, SciFi and speculative fiction in general could be what you were born to write. I enjoyed your flash this week–tightly written and neatly sewn up at the end into a complete story. That complete story thing is the true challenge with but a 100 words to use.
All my best,
Thank you for your lovely comment. It sure is challenging but I love how it makes us question the purpose of every word.
AnElephant finds this entertaining.
And he, of course, lives forever.
Of course he does!
Jessie, Congratulations on having your short story published! Good and creative story. That was a great twist at the end. Being a human and lover of nature, I hope that doesn’t happen. Well written. 🙂 — Susan
Thanks Susan. Let’s hope things change for the better and we and the giant winged insects can live in harmony.
I have one word for all aspects of your post – flash fiction story and publication announcement: Fabulous!
Thank you for your fabulous comment!
Oooh _ like my sci-fi, and this is nicely done. Last human dying in captivity is a turnaround on the usual ‘last man alive’, which is clever.
Oooh I just read your two pieces too! Beetles… I’ll never look at them same again!
Dear Jessie, Wow, how surprising! Great story and very entertaining. You have a wonderful imagination! Nan 🙂
Thanks Nan! My imagination is my escape from the everyday 🙂
Nice “easy-to-read” Sci-Fi. I liked this story. … GREAT CREATIVITY
Thanks Mike! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂