Gas masksShort Stories

Eaten by flies

The face of the child is buried in mud.

The infant turns towards the red sky: half of the jaw is missing. Teeth are scattered everywhere, and warm blood is mixing with the crumbling earth, forming a gluey paste of dark tar that spreads across the child’s face. The left eye is gone and the right one is closed and bruised.

The deafening sound of explosion persists. Nothing but a strong, high pitched humming that resembles the aftermath of a large detonation, perhaps as a result of a mega bomb.

Around the child, who is twitching and crying, burning ruins extend as far as one could see. Carbonised bricks fall from collapsing buildings, red hot pieces of metal and wood hit the scorching earth and a dense, warm air is agitated by an unnatural wind.

From the distance, two shadowy silhouettes are moving towards the child who is now dead. Their shape is distorted by the heat which makes them look as if they are dancing among the ruins.

A man and a woman in dark lab coats, wearing black gas masks and black military boots are marching towards the place where the child with his spine and guts pulled out and partly burnt is waiting to be transformed into oil.

The sky above is red. The clouds are crimson and block the sun. The wind intensifies and rubbles begin to form small tornados here and there.

The two people in lab coats arrive next to the dead child.

‘We apologise for dropping the bomb on you! We wanted to make sure that we achieve the goal of a sustainable economy, and you were human number one billion and one. We can’t have “and one”. If you can still hear us, we hope you understand,’ the man spoke to the half burnt cadaver of the two-years old baby.

‘We did good, didn’t we? Yes we did. We did as the books said. We did good. I am sure you would understand that. Well…you can’t understand now. You are a piece of charcoal, but you would have understood, I know that: our version of the future is better, far better than any future you could have possibly had,’ the woman shouted through the mask.

The building behind the child collapses in flames. A purple blaze arises in the hot air, dispersing stone and hot metal parts.

‘We did it for the greater good, for the progress of all humanity, as the wise master with bald head and grey, blue eyes has envisaged it at the conference, years ago. We worked tirelessly towards achieving sustainability. Equality, love and peace. Colourful days and smiles on people’s faces. Candies and nukes,’ shouted the woman as they both burst into dance.

It was a happy ending for them: they obeyed and succeeded. The child paid the price of their obedience, however.

Ten years earlier, at a conference in central Europe, between mountains and under a clear, blue sky, the fate of the unborn was decided by men and women planning their future without any future in mind.

Categories: Short Stories

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