Thursday, November 13, 2008

Flash fiction Friday

Nothing like a good futuristic tale of Zombies...

By the end of the conflict few lives had been left unchanged. Of those most affected none would claim freedom as they trembled at the toxic aftermath. Those least affected, however, were the ones you had to watch out for; the ones unable to grasp the scope of what had transpired, but somewhere in their tiny underdeveloped brains they knew. Cut off from the battles by dementia, madness, or a combination of both the crazed unhumans were poised to inherit the scraps, the leftovers of a bitter world rendered incapable of sustaining civilization as defined by modern standards. To them, none of this mattered. Their time was now, and they were damn hungry.

"Daddy, why do they do this?" The innocent brown eyes of the girl child made her father want to cry.

"Because," he replied, "that's all they know."

At first the unhumans scavenged in groups for food. A small rodent here or a mangy house cat there, anything with a pulse seemed fair game for feeding and cause for a violent tussle between them should there not be enough. Before long any semblance of natural order within their ranks deteriorated and it was every mutant for itself. No surprise. There was nothing natural about them or their actions and this, it seemed, was their main weakness. Impervious to pain, fear, or gunshot the remains of the human race pinned their hopes on their ability to organize--and hide really well.

"I tried to shoot one in the head," said one of the oldtimers as he attempted in vain to stem the steady flow of blood from the stump where an arm should have been. "Seems all that nonsense from the movies is just a bunch of made up crap."

There were a few successful attempts to deliver them to the grave. But for every mutant death there was a sequel, and for every sequel there was more gruesome death. Soon the number of non-mutant humans dwindled into a small band living underground like primates, their hopes of rebuilding the world they once knew a mere fool's errand.

Until she came along.

Some say Faridah had superpowers, although if asked, she would shrug the notion off with nothing more than a half-grin and a swift change of subject. But to watch her either in or out of action was like listening to a masterful performance of a Bach Cantata; even the slightest of her movements were perfectly controlled with unparalleled precision. With her leadership and guidance there was hope, which was the one thing the people needed more than any weapon or strategy.

"This is not your fate," she cried, as she rallied anyone left capable of putting up a fight. "You destiny lies above ground where the air is growing fresher by the day and the sunlight makes an appearance at the most unexpected of times. Would you rather stay down here and live in fear and squalor, or die fighting for what you deserve?"

Mumbling went through the small crowd.

"We'd rather you go up there and kill 'em all for us," said one man. "But if that is not an option, I'll stand beside you in victory."

"That is all I needed to hear," she said, and with that they developed a plan.

One by one they ascended from the sewers, filling the air with their scent and sending the unhumans into a frenzy. Last to appear was Faridah and the man who had initially stood beside her. Sensing her powers the mutants stood their ground, but not willingly. When she stepped forward the sunlight she had spoken of appeared and the mutant's flesh began to burn. With arms outstretched the clouds parted and on that day hope was reborn.

Many years in the future the remains of the unhumans can still be seen on the streets where they burned, and in the middle of the dark stains stands a statue of Faridah with her palms to the sky, never to be forgotten as the one who save them all.

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