After The Beep

They say necessity is the mother of invention.  I say bullshit.  Looking down at the rubble pile of phones filling the hole of a city that was, it would never cross my mind that these square and glass boxes were ever a necessity.  But I'm a child of the new age, so what do I know?

After the crash our grandmothers and grandfathers wept.  They learned how to be human again.  They were forced remember their instincts and so many of them died because of it.  That was fifty years ago, and those of us who survived are better, stronger than they were.  We’re a new breed, but there’s a lot of that going on around here.

I spot a rabbit in the mix of plastic and glass.  It's an 'active, three ears and wiry green fur trade marking the remnants of the nuke war, the crash.  We've all changed, in some way.   Loading my crossbow, I take aim.  The rabbit dies, 'active or not, and we’ll eat just the same.  Nan doesn't like to eat the 'actives, she says that God didn't make them that way, so we shouldn't eat them like that.  But I'm not sure God has anything to do with the world these days, and if we didn't eat 'actives, we wouldn't eat at all. 

I make my way to where the 'active is bleeding.  Green fur or brown, he bleeds the same.  One of the cells crack beneath my boots.  Nan would be beside herself. 

"When the power comes back, you'll see,” she’d say.

"Yes, Nan." I still have to be respectful.  She'll be dead soon, so it doesn’t matter all that much.  We'll all be dead, soon. 

Nan’s still stuck in the world that was.  She likes to talk about moving fast and thinking fast and all the quicker ways to do things.  But I’m a child of the aftermath, beyond the crash.  The thought of food that lasts for years and metal heaps rushing about with the speed to kill you with a touch makes me sick and stupid.  Rabbit blood leaves red tears on my boots, and that’s all I need.  Boots and crossbow, and I’m ready for the world.

When I get back to the hostel Ma is putting things in jars.  She’s never been quite right.  Some of us respond by growing new ears and funny fur.  Others go mad.  I cross through the collection of tents and kiss her on the forehead.

“Look Ma, we have meat tonight.”

“Do you like my dirt?  I’ve got the whole world in my hands.”  She holds up the jar with the rusted lid.  Inside I can see a two headed pill bug try and make its way up the glass. 

“That’s beautiful.”

From her tent Nan hisses.  “I won’t eat it ‘cause it’s green.”

But she will.  She always does.

I've been meaning to write a dystopia.  I love them, eat them up.  But I've never found the right one or the right voice.  I'm putting this one in my for later file and maybe I'll use it for a WriMo.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!


  1. Very cool, very intriguing!

  2. This is great Megan! Wonderful world building and wonderful job with your characters. Definitely would love to see more of this story!

  3. Natalie the SingingfoolMay 8, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Love the whole world you've created here! Well done!

  4. I agree with Natalie- this was really cool how you set up a living, breathing world here. "Some grow new ears and fur. Others go mad."

  5. you just made me rethink all those days when I wish life would slow down just a bit ;) great creation!

  6. Thank you Joy!

  7. Thanks Brie! I really enjoyed writing it :)

  8. Thank you Natalie!

  9. Thank you Suzanne :) I've added an additional 2k to this and it's coming out novella ish and I'm so stoked!

  10. Thank you Kay!

  11. Oh shuddery and new-world-viewed and wonderful. I loved this.