Flash fiction: The Last One

Flash fiction: The Last One

Hello! It’s been a while since I blogged. I thought I’d break the drought with a futuristic short story. I hope you enjoy it x


The Last One

The woman had been running. That was obvious though she now stood quietly like the rest of us on this train platform. A single drop of sweat crept down the side of her face. She must have realised what I’d done and followed me here. Her chest heaved beneath the white lab coat. She peered sideways at me. Quick as a bubble bursting but it told me all I needed to know.

I adjusted the parcel, careful not to wake the creature. I thought I’d gotten away. No one would dare stop me once I reached Frieda’s turf. We would have been safe in the Forest District. I couldn’t… No! I wouldn’t let it all end here.

The engine of a train growled in the distance. Determination has a flavour. I licked my lips, inching backwards as others stepped forward.

Another lightning-flash glance from the woman as she mirrored my move.

‘Shhh,’ I whispered into the box though nothing stirred within. But it wouldn’t be long. Away from the gas the creature would soon wake.

As the train rolled in, two men bounded onto the platform. I recognised the Ynitsed logo etched above their hearts. A desperate person is capable of surprising courage.  My next move shocked even me. The woman caught the men’s eyes and in that moment they fixed on each other I leapt onto the track and crossed it, the rolling train nearly clipping my heel.

From the box I pulled the stirring creature, wrapped it inside my jacket and climbed through the side door into the crowded carriage. The thumping of my heart was so great I feared people would mistake it for a ticking bomb but other than a few side looks no one took notice.

The Ynitsed wouldn’t halt the train. They couldn’t alert police. Keeping this last known creature from a world mourning the loss of them all would be too much. It was Ynitsed’s mass experiment that left us humans alone here, the skies barren.

I watched the Ynitsed staff pace along the platform. Hopefully they would assume I’d run away and hadn’t boarded. That plan looked possible until the creature, raising its long beak, let out a cry so loud a hundred eyes turned on me at once.

The woman appeared at the window. She yelled to the others.

‘Shhh,’ I urged but it was no use. In the box it had felt safe enough but now, in my anxious embrace and surrounded by this throng of humans, it wanted out. It smelt freedom. It struggled urgently in my arms. I couldn’t risk hurting it. I pushed back out onto the platform. The woman leapt at the creature managing to snag a single feather.

‘Don’t,’ a passenger called.

I raised my arms in victory. ‘You’re free,’ I whispered.

Its wings struggled, then spread and thrashed at the air.

Gasps rang up the platform. Faces lined the windows and doors as we all watched the last bird fly into an acid washed sky, without a backwards look.  Survival impossible, liberty secured.