The World On Fire – A Dystopian Flash Fiction (Sci-Fi)

image of a city being bombed in a dystopian flash fiction
image credit: TheHilaryClark via pixabay

“I remember the day my world ended in explicit detail. It was not a day I want to remember, nor a day I enjoy remembering but it is a day I will not allow myself to forget. It was a day that hell opened its gates and unleashed suffering like never before upon the Earth. A metaphorical hell, that is.

The first thing I can remember was the flash. It was a flash like no other. A flash as if the sun itself had given up hope and decided to blow us all into oblivion. I was one of the lucky ones. The flash scorched the eyes of those around me, the screams etched into the recess of my audio memory like some sick tune stuck on repeat. I remember the genuine awe of the whole scenario; a strange kind of awe that chills you to the bone with fear. The only thing that saved me from this horrific fate was the welders mask strapped to my face and even then, my eye sight is no longer what it used to be.

The next big thing I remember was this deep rumble; like the ground itself were splitting in two. It was deafening and only got stronger with every second that passed. The ground shook, like some powerful earthquake was gripping the soil of Central Scotland. We never got earthquakes there, it really was quite something. Everyone was rolling around or panicking. Most of them probably couldn’t see and had no idea what was really happening. I distinctly remember this one woman, she just sat on a bench with her head in her hands. She had been caught by this flash too but she seemed calm almost. Strange.

Then came the telltale sign of what had just struck us. It took me a moment of squinting to see what it was and then a few more moments to process the sight. When it sunk in, I mean when it really sunk in, what I was seeing; my initial reaction was sheer dumbfoundment. Then, I guess, it was a form of panic. I didn’t even disconnect the blow torch. I simply dropped it and ran.

I didn’t really know why I ran and at the point, I didn’t really know where I was running to. It just seemed like the appropriate response to seeing what I saw. My immediate thought was to find some kind of shelter. I had no idea what to do in a circumstance like this because most of my generation grew up not really having to fear such an event. I mean sure, my generation grew up with a firm education and grasp on the disaster of such an event, but we never really thought it would actually happen. Nobody really did. The only reason we had such an education was due to the fact our parents grew up in the midst of the cold war. Naturally, that ingrained fear of a nuclear blast was passed down but it was never felt.

Not until that day.

It was an open drain pipe cover that saved me. I was part of this construction crew, working on the pipes below the streets. Back then, most of what we called the developed world had massive drainage systems for waste. It wasn’t pleasant, but it saved my life. I spent a lot of time in that drainage system, staying out of harm’s way. Sometimes I feel guilty, for hiding away for weeks and only really coming up for food. When I did, all that surrounded me were ashes of a once bustling city. I wasn’t sure, for a long time, if there were others. I imagined there would be. I needed there to be. The thought of my woman, held up somewhere, somehow surviving, kept me going.

While this is a tale of gloom and doom, those thoughts were the only thing that kept me going. The thoughts of her. That first walk in the park we took after meeting for the first time. The dinner for two she insisted on cooking and the taste of it; like nothing I had ever eaten before. The thought of holding her close that one last time saw me through a lot of rough days. And, I think, that is what you need to take away from this.” I looked round the room of teenagers taking notes. My old, frail voice continued,

“Even with the world on fire, my hope never died.”

More about Lore and the Author

This dystopian flash fiction was written by Stewart Storrar, Lore’s founder and an avid fan of dystopian Sci-Fi. Dystopian Sci-Fi has always been a passion for Stewart, so much so that his honours year dissertation was on Dystopian Sci-Fi; particularly the film genre. It is a genre that Stewart wants to write more in, and his flash fiction work, and upcoming short stories reflect this.

His inspiration comes from the Iain M. Banks books. He enjoys reading the Culture novels series as they present a unique type of dystopian Sci-Fi in that they are outwardly utopian until the themes and plot points play out.

Here at Lore we love to bring you flash fiction and take great pride in bringing you fairly regular content of all kinds. We have articles, short stories, flash fiction, micro fiction, poetry, and a commercial release; A Nihilist’s Bible.

All in all, we hope you enjoyed the read and continue to stay up to date with our future flash fiction releases.

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If you enjoyed this dystopian flash fiction from Stewart, why not take a look at his other stories here on Lore Publication:

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We accept submissions during our submission windows throughout the year. There is no set date for the submission windows and they open up on the basis of time and workload. After we have worked through our current submissions, we usually open up the submissions window to gather our next round of stories from authors. You can read more about what we are looking for and our submission process here.