Extinction Event

When a species is too stupid to save itself, what can you do?

One hundred and fifty years ago I stood here on Mt Fuji and gazed out over a lush, green valley, breathed deeply of pristine air and delighted in the melodies of bird song, the playfulness of forest animals and the ingenuity of man.

Today, I have returned to confirm the emergency; our worst fears come true. This world and its humanity have reached total societal collapse.

The dire wolf beside me whimpers with despair and I push a hand through his fur as his gigantic body brushes against my fragile one.

My large head and slight limbs don’t suit the gravitational pull of this planet. My pale skin burns easily and the sun hurts my large, dark pupiled eyes.

‘Hold, Diego,’ I say.

Diego sits, his great shoulders slump and tears roll down his snout.

‘I know, my friend,’ I say. ‘It is a sacrilege, but we knew it was coming. We were lucky to save *you* from extinction.

As a puppy, Diego became the last of his true kind. We have had success with cloning and so he has companions. His species was ‘saved’ but they are unable to reproduce.

My kind are the great collectors of the universe. This world is off the beaten path for us but we love its complexities and cultures, despite the flaws of the people. Our interactions are few and often end in pain, for us. Death for them.

It is hard for us to see a dying world and so we tried to warn humankind. We left signs, like the occasional ‘natural’ disaster or deadly virus release, in an attempt to bring their attention and concern back to basic caregiving, and away from selfish expansion.

It was easy for us to insert code into scientific work; to push science in the right direction.

Our concern was twofold.

The peoples of this planet would destroy all other living creatures, including plant and fauna, before erasing themselves. Or they would attract the attention of less friendly extra-terrestrials who would see the rapaciousness as a clear and present danger. A pest to be eradicated or at least encouraged to self-destruct.

I can no longer stand here, as I struggle to breathe. With a mourning soul, I move toward my ship.

Diego growls, always my faithful bodyguard and I look up to see people gathered around us. They carry small belongings, hold the hands of children and stare at us in awe – and with hope.

A voice in my ear says, ‘They have gathered at all the sacred mountains. We are their last hope.’

I look again at the dense smog covering the land, the desiccated trees and the corpses.

And I answer.

‘Tell all ships. Bring the people on board.’ [455 words]

Written for Furious Fiction September 2022 – non-winner (nor shortlisted, longlisted …)

Story prompts: 500 Words.1st line must contain FIFTY.  Must contain a four-legged animal. Include the words: Emergency, brush and board (or derivatives thereof).

Text describing Furious Fiction the ultimate flash fiction challenge

Furious Fiction, flash fiction challenge


When you realise that you’re really over your boyfriend

‘Everyone met Holly? Babe, you know everyone, right?’

Such an arse, I thought. Tony, my dickhead, soon to be ex-boyfriend and his obnoxious artificial bonhomie.

He’d been so angry when I rocked up in girly blouse, mini skirt, sandals for a bush walk. My quiet rebellion.

Two hours of hiking this coastal bushland before this lazy introduction.

‘Hiya, I’m Sarah,’ said a pretty brunette. She held out her hand. ‘Sorry. Old habits.’

I smiled. She seemed nice. Genuine. Quite the surprise in Tony’s world. She looked comfortable, good walking shoes. The other women looked hungover, their men much the same. Although, ripped, athletic, tattooed. Delicious.

‘Nice to meet you, Sarah. Enjoy hiking?’

‘Love it,’ she said. ‘These aren’t my kind of peeps, but Johnny,’ she pointed to a dreamboat, ‘he’s working something with Tony.’

‘Part of the deal. I know how that works.’

Sarah raised an eyebrow.

‘Do I look like a hiker? I’m paid to attend.’

‘You’re a hooker?’ Sarah asked. I laughed.

‘There are similarities. Look, last night we attended the Aria Awards.’

Sarah cooed her delight.

‘You’d think so, right?’ No. Posers. But new dress, shoes, dripping in diamonds that I can keep. A tidy stash, and I’ve earned it.’

‘You don’t like him,’ she said.

‘I hate him, arrogant prick. But he has opened doors I would never have walked through. Some I wish I hadn’t. You ever tried bondage?’


‘His version of the Red Room. No safe word. Free to his mates. He sweetened the deal, but I paid with body and soul. I’m set up and cashing in.’

‘You’re leaving,’ said Sarah.

‘This afternoon. Chalk and cheese this life and where I come from. Time to go home.’

Tony dropped his sweaty arm across my shoulders.

‘Time to hit the peak, Hols. Let’s give those sandals a real workout,’ he said. Smiling, with cold eyes.

‘You don’t want to talk a little more business?’

‘Nah, bunch of losers. No offense, S.’

Sarah looked livid, about to strike back.

‘Some alone time, darling,’ I quickly said. ‘And, better views.’

‘Instagram worthy,’ said Sarah. I’d rescued her and Johnny from disaster.

Treacherous walk, feet slipping in sandals, wind up my skirt, hat threatening to blow away. I reached the top, gasping for air. The vista took what was left.

‘Drop your knickers,’ he said, abruptly.


‘You heard. Drop em.’

The bastard being true to himself.

Suddenly, my hat flew over the cliff.

‘Stupid bitch,’ Tony yelled as he reached for it.

It was the fork in the road.

In seconds, I was at his back. With desperate power, I pushed. He fell.

His broken body far below. My eyes watered from salt air. I dropped and began to scream.

‘Help me!’ [457 words]

Written for Furious Fiction March 2022 – non-winner (nor shortlisted, longlisted …)

Story prompts: 500 Words. A character who commits a crime. Some kind of door being opened. Words to include: Chalk, talk, fork (or derivatives thereof)

Words describing the Furious Fiction flash fiction challenge, with an image of pencils wrapped in a detonator timer

Furious Fiction flash fiction challenge