Prompt Short Story: Excavation

Tensae carefully brushed the dirt and dust of ages off the rectangular object one of the volunteers had excavated from the dig. Anthony, another of the volunteers, watched her closely,  excited as ever.

“Wait, an iPhone?” He exclaimed, comparing it to various data and matching the correct one. “One of those old things? Does it still work, d’you think?”

Tensae shook her head slightly, “Unlikely. We’ll test it, sometimes we can get them to hold power, but these things weren’t exactly built to last.”

Anthony looked disappointed but nodded, “Can I be there when you try?”

“Sure. But right now I need you back out on the site, we’re behind schedule on section 7.”

“Right you are, boss, off I go.”

Tensae watched him bounce off in the generally correct direction and set the old phone aside for tomorrow, when she would spend a day back in the lab in the city – apparently with Anthony for company.

They were finding valuable things here. Things that told the story of why the human race had collapsed. The weight of their own hubris, their selfish ways, so much power given to those least inclined to use it for good, manipulation of the population to direct their ire to the wrong places.

She looked out of the tent, appraising her volunteers, a mix of Stanisthesians and humans – heavily modified by her own species to survive on the planet they destroyed – and nodded in satisfaction. It would all make for excellent lessons back on her home planet.

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Writing prompt used:

“An iPhone! That old thing. I haven’t seen one of these in agss. Does it still w9rk?”


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