This image was commissioned by Pearson Publishing for C.J. Cherryh's short story, "The Threads of Time". It was found here.
This image was commissioned by Pearson Publishing for C.J. Cherryh’s short story, “The Threads of Time”. It was found here.

Well, it’s Monday again, and we are getting ever closer to the end of the world, and to Christmas. However, last Friday was also the release of The Hobbit movie, which I hope all of you got the chance to see. So, it’s time for another story challenge. You probably know the rules, unless you’re new: You must write a story of at least a hundred words, and not more than five hundred (if you want to post it as a comment – if it’s just for yourself, then it can be as long as you want).  The story must be about the theme given in this post.  So,  if the theme I give you is Life, don’t write a story about the lord of the underworld.  If the theme is War, don’t write a story about a farmer planting his crops.  Themes are very broad, so it really shouldn’t be hard to stay within a given theme, but I teach, so I know that some people have trouble with this.

Your theme: End of Time


6 thoughts on “Story Challenge of the Week

  1. It was year 5986 A.D. Balo came out of his cave and cursed himself for doing so. It was just early morning. But the sun was so bright that it was difficult to keep his eyes open. He has lived too much. Not many people were lucky enough to live past twenty. He was twenty three. His wife, who was his sister before she became his wife, died many years ago. His daughter was nowhere to be seen. The bitch might have run away. It meant no food and sex for him. He wished she’d come back.

    The war started when he was ten. It was like a virus which made people hate each other. First you killed your enemies if you had any. People like them, who didn’t have any enemies watched with fear when gang members fought on highways and parks. Then there came a time when people killed strangers for very little reason. That’s how his mother died. When she politely rejected to buy from a door to door salesman he hit her with a metal stick until she died. Then there came the time when you killed your family. His brother killed his father, because he didn’t gave him money to buy a ticket for a DJ show. That day, Balo ran away. His sister followed him.

    Balo was hungry and thirsty. There was plenty of water due to the recent rains. But it tasted of acid. It was poisonous and gave cancer. But he was an old man. Death will come soon anyway. Why die of thirst? His daughter doesn’t like to drink rain water. Maybe that’s where she went. To the well.

    She came with a can of water and a large dead rat. When he tried to secure a healthy piece of the rat she shouted at him and shoved him away with such a force that he almost fell to the ground. “Stay away old fool. I spent half a day to catch it. I will give you only if there’s anything left after I’ve eaten it.” If it was two or three years earlier he might have fought with her. But now it was useless. So he looked with self pity and unimaginable greed how she roasted the rat. The smell was so pleasant.

    Then she started to eat the roasted rat drinking clean water from her can between bites. It made him remember a scene from a historical fiction. There, people ate turkey drinking wine. How happy they should have been?

    His daughter saw him looking at her and threw at him a skinny piece which mostly consisted of a leg. Thank you angel.

    1. Hmmm… Delightfully brutal. This is definitely darker than what I had imagined. The poison rain is a nice touch, but I’m a little confused about the timeline. Things seem to have gone to hell within 10 years, but the world your describing seems at least a little inspired by the Morlock world in ‘The Time Machine’, which was thousands of years in the future. While I really like the ideas, I think you might want to clarify the timeline a little bit. You should also read through it a couple of times for grammar typos and changing tenses. You switch from past to present and back in at least one place that doesn’t work. The story will come across better if you keep a consistent tense throughout.

      1. Yes. I got it. Things should have been reasonable brutal even ten years ago. I didn’t think about it. And I admit I didn’t read it for typos. I was in a rush to submit it !! I haven’t read ‘The Time Machine’ but I must have read similar stories.

        Thank you very much for your advises. I mean really really thank you. Now I’m re reading it to catch where I mixed past and present tenses. 🙂

        1. You’re welcome. What I’d do is actually set this in the far future and have the war a thing of the distant past, instead of something he lived through. You have a few more typos in that response. I think the best thing you can do is make it a practice to proofread everything you write/post. That way you can make a practice of catching simply typos that you make consistently. Remember that one of the keys to writing effectively is simply paying attention. Typos happen to all of us, but the more we pay attention, the more we can eliminate.

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