Prompt Short Story: Epilogue

CW: talk of a pandemic and resulting deaths

The world is dying.

“Up to 22% might survive!” they used to say, bright and peppy from their happy pills and good healthcare. But they were right about this one thing. Most people are dying.

I wonder how they felt when it came for them. I wonder if they thought back on all of their desperate aligning with the rich, and wished those bastards dead as well.

Of course the richest aren’t just happy about having good healthcare. No, they took their money and locked themselves away, either alone or with a few friends or family. And usually with a doctor and some medical equipment, both of which we need out here far more than they need it in there.

But then again, they’re always the ones who do this shit. Who helped cause more harm to our planet than any hundred-hell, a hundred thousand–of us, ever could. Don’t ever be fooled by the rich. They’ll flock to their moneyed friends before anyone else. That power. They can’t resist it and they will betray the people naive enough to think they’d be on their side without so much as a first thought, never mind a second.

But hey, with their assistance we found a real quick fix to help our planet recover from the devastations we inflicted on her, at least. The selfishness, the divisiveness, the way everything had become so Us or Them. When we were hit with a pandemic it didn’t take too long before folk were finding excuses for not doing the right things.

First they roared about being home in isolation for a few weeks, which would have curbed the virus.

Then they roared about masks. About vaccines. About conspiracy theories. About all of their own selfish wants, which could never come second to thinking about helping–saving the lives of–others, by going through a minor inconvenience.

And so many stayed so full of their own arrogant presumptions that it’d never get them, even when it started to take everyone…

Well, it fucking did get them. It got almost everyone. Right now there are over 25 strains flying around–that we know of. The info is a bit out of date because there aren’t enough people left alive to keep studying it, or convey the news if there were.

However many there are, it’s enough to infect and reinfect and reinfect again. The elderly, the disabled, the young, those with weak immune systems, and those with long covid, they all died first, in a wave. The virus just seemed to break through and wham, that was it, a tidal wave, followed by earthquakes, followered by the whispered sigh of final breaths, all over the world.

Then it moved on, sliding into every corner, every aspect of life. Nothing is left that doesn’t now have the ability to infect.

And those of us that have been, so far as we know, uninfected, are alternately adored and loathed.

Meanwhile, there’s nobody left to put out the fires–the forest ones, and the city ones. Nobody left to police the rubble. Nobody left to bury the dead, not in this place, anyway.

So I have to do my best by them.

Grave after grave after grave.

I’m tired of burying my friends.

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Writing prompt used:

I didn't know what to do, I just knew it needed to stop.
Grave after grave after grave.
I got tired of burying my friends.


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