Thursday, 22 December 2022

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 275

This week's picture prompt was taken by, Italian photographer, Anna Ovatta. Sadly I have not been able to find a website for her. She used to be on 500px, but her page no longer exists. She has taken some stunning shots, I found this article showing some of them.  

A bright inspiring picture, but that gives me even more reason to go the opposite way: a dark tale. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

A collection of small stones on a beach balanced perfectly upright in an arch with the sunsetting in the background. Photographed by Anna Ovatta

Building Blocks

Damien fought the urge to kick the arch of stones over, and instead slumped down on the beach next to it. He looked closer at its design and for a moment marvelled at how it maintained a perfect curve suspended in the air. He wondered how the builder had done it, and then realised that the art would now be lost – as would all design and building and a million other human skills.

There was only him now, alone out here on the beach. A part of his brain told him that he couldn’t be the only one, not when there were so many billion people in the world, but he knew he was, being as he’d been the only one with the antidote. And this wasn’t just some silly little infection like the stream of novel viruses that went round the world a decade ago, oh no, he’d engineered this one to be much stronger.

He’d been inspired when watching Contagion and decided to see if he could match it. It was one of the benefits of being a fully qualified chemist who had mastered in infectious diseases. He’d set up his own lab after that film and managed to get his hands on what had been considered innocuous viruses and bacteria, and combined them with different animal derivatives. It had been fun and interesting and definitely his thing.

But an antidote was imperative if he really wanted to see it through. If he didn’t survived how could he watch it unfold? It had been so much faster than the film version and the response in trying to halt it nowhere near as effective. There was no day that everyone got vaccinated and could go back to normal; as expected the infection had mutated and ramped up, wiping out huge swathes of people. Strangely the rich were the first to fall this time, rather than the poor. He’d had a chuckle about that as everyone knew money meant nothing if you weren’t healthy. It had been like watching one of those domino competitions on telly; who would fall the fastest?

Damien hadn’t been stupid, he’d prepared for it. He’d bought a self sustainable tract of land, and considered all eventualities and gone off grid before releasing it. He’d booked up his round the world trip and taken his time, enjoying it all, leaving little bombs ticking all over the globe, counting down to d-day. It had all gone smoothly.

He’d tried to make the infection so that it wouldn’t wipe out the wildlife, but some species had been affected, which was a shame but to be expected when it started to change and adapt. He’d made it his mission to travel round and release any caged wildlife he could find and inoculate it. He’d made a list of the key places and plotted a trip. He’d covered everything - or at least he thought he had.

It hadn’t occurred to Damien what being truly alone would be like. He might now have the world to himself – he could cover a lot of the landmass if he was careful and resourceful - and a completely empty world might be a nice idea, but being and living alone wasn’t quite like he had imagined. In fact, he’d had no concept of it at all. Not really. The entire point of the human race was community and connection. And even though he’d shunned that when everyone had still been here, there’d been people all around him who he had interacted with every day whether it related to working, shopping or using services. Plus there were friends who he’d kept in touch with, all be it in a limited fashion. He was beginning to wonder if he should have left at least one survivor for a bit of company. But it was too late now. It was just him, for the rest of his life.

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