This whole writing fiction every week, isn’t as frightening as I thought it would be.
Latest piece below.
Most people think that the end of civilisation will be a big thing. One event that wipes humans out, but it started much smaller than that. It started with cow shit.
It wasn’t the acrid stench of the thing, or the fetid odour coming from the stables. It was the sun that set everything off. The ball of fire in the sky, ripening the bacteria in their guts until they burst in blistering, pus-filled carcasses. No one explained it to me, and I don’t think I’m smart enough understand anyways.
“Millie.” My father called from the back porch. His voice rough from being out driving the cattle for the past month, his legs bowed, and his back hunched.
Shoving my pitchfork deep in the earth, I turned to him and wiped the sweat from my brow, my slick arm only smearing more cow crap across my face.
He ambled down the steps, a mug cradled in one hand, and a slice of bread smothered with honey and butter in the other. His wide hat, dusty and warped from the sun.
“I found another one dead this morning.”
“The same as the others?”
“Yeah. Just like ’em. Looked like she just keeled over.”
As he bit into the bread, I watched the vet load the dead cow into the back of his ute. His hands coming away wet with the fluid leaking from their ears, noses, eyes and assholes. Wiping them on his plastic apron, he patted Rocket, my dog, on the head and left.
Rocket was dead the next day. The vet two weeks later. My parents not long after that.
I don’t know why I’m left. Maybe shovelling the shit pile since I could walk helped, or maybe I’m already dead, but just don’t know it.
I’ll ask the next person I see.
Few and far between these days.
Photo by Stuart Chalmers via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons