The Only One Left

Submitted into Contest #101 in response to: Write a story in which the same line recurs three times.... view prompt


Fantasy Suspense Teens & Young Adult

      The sun rises and falls the same time each day.  Each village reacts the same way, waking up at the crack of dawn and starting their day immediately. No matter what village, the morale is still the same, upbeat and positive throughout every single hour. With the sun blazing down on their straw-covered hats, and the wind blowing a cool breeze their way, what could they ever have to argue about?

           Every person is pleasant to the other, and the night workers say a hearty “good morning” to the day workers as they switch shifts. Each day, the same single thing happens, and everyone carries on. The soil is fertile, there is an abundance of appetising fruits and vegetables, and all of them are working together as a community – this is the life right?

           That’s what I thought too, before it all happened. Oh, how wrong I was.

           Of course, the sun rises and falls the same time each day. And that is the one thing that has stayed the same throughout all of this. Throughout the chaos, throughout the dull and misty weather, throughout the danger, the only thing that got people through was the promise that the sun would arrive the same time each day. But she eventually stopped hoping too…

           I guess I should start at the beginning. We were all so used to having each day identical to the other; we weren’t even sure about what was happening until weeks after it had already begun. Winds gradually started becoming more ferocious, fighting with our clothes. It was like a herd of lions, playful, but with the intent to kill you. And with the wind, came the torrential rain. It not only drowned out millions of our crops, it also drowned our spirits. Houses we had worked on for years were bowled over so easily – it was disheartening for us all. But that’s not all.

           In fact, the elements were only the tip of the iceberg. We didn’t know it yet, but there were plenty more problems to arise.

           The arrival of the bugs petrified everyone the most. Massive mosquitos and gnarly gnats would buzz around our ears, itching to get hold of our vulnerably exposed flesh. That, topped with the heat that just kept on searing down – unimaginably getting hotter each day – it was unbearable. You either risked getting burnt to a crisp, or bitten by a venomous insect. You’d think you’d rather be burnt, but the pain people suffered – it was intolerable.

           They’d break out in boils first, unable to lie down, or even sit, but standing would also burn the bottom of your feet. Anywhere you go, you’d feel the pain, and it took months to heal. To be completely honest, most people didn’t survive after two weeks of it; it wasn’t that they died from it, but their determination depleted, and they didn’t think it was worth suffering for anymore. And yet, there was still more to come.

           A few weeks passed, and everyone was tired of the flying gremlins and the insufferable weather, but most of us had managed to survive. A new wave of optimism soared through us, as we realised that we all stuck together. We can do this, right? We survived this altogether, so we can survive anything!

           How dumb and naïve we were. How wrong we were.

           Next, disease fell upon us. Of course, with all of the bugs and such, this was only to be expected. Only, this wasn’t just your average common cold; this killed millions. Wiped most of us out almost instantly. Bed-ridden, vomit-laden, putrid-smelling houses, all filled to the brim with at least a dozen people. Each family took the precautions they could, with the little money they had, but it still wasn’t enough. To prevent the bugs from flying in, many families had to throw the deceased onto a pit, right at the back of the village, far away from all of the homes. There was no time to mourn; we all needed to survive.

           Yet, as the bugs fed on our deceased family members, no one could survive. The bodies we were so eager to throw away, was the nutrition the bugs were so eager to consume. Each miniscule bite they took, they grew. They kept growing, and they haven’t ever stopped since. They tower over us now, what’s left of us, with their pointy, razor-sharp teeth covered in blood and fragments of bone.

           We don’t know what possessed the bugs to choose our village as their home. I guess we are just the unfortunate ones. With little communication to the outside world, we couldn’t ask for help. Not that we could afford it, anyway. One by one, we stopped being a little community, and we started clawing at each other’s throats like animals.

           The weather destroyed our soil, and there was nothing for us to nourish our plants with. We had no crops, no food, and no hope. Farmers, what was left of them, were laid off, and wreaked havoc in every other area of the village, outraged that they had their jobs stolen from them. Riots started, and people were scared. It all led to us turning on each other. Which, I suspect, is why the bugs came down in the first place.

           The bugs are gone now. They left a while ago, and they took our sanity with them. I say our sanity – I’m the only one left. I’m the only one who survived the outbreak. I hid in my bunker for weeks on end, starving and dehydrating by myself, refusing to leave until I was sure that all trouble was gone. It took them minimal time to uproot everyone’s lives, and yet it would surely take a decade to rebuild.

           When I first reared my head, bodies littered the streets. Some of them I knew, some of them I pretended not to know so it wouldn’t hurt as much. I can guarantee the bugs moved onto the next village, to try and cull the herd of the world’s growing population, and I hope more of them were able to make it out alive than in my village.

           So yes, the sun rises and falls the same time each day. But it’s all different now; everything has changed. Everyone has died, leaving me here by myself. A new start, a new life for me. But I won’t forget the faces of horror which will forever be ingrained in my memory. The sun may stay the same each day, but we certainly don’t. 

July 09, 2021 18:45

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Jacen Patchwork
04:09 Jul 10, 2021

This is really good. The atmosphere you create here and the sense of growing oppression is quite well done. It's much like a train, where you may know where you're going, but there is nothing you can do but continue on regardless of where it all ends up. I think I'll read some more of your work...


Abbey Long
02:45 Jul 14, 2021

Thank you :)


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