In which the Plague Brats emerge

The last adult to die in the facility, did so at 3.17 p.m. on an unrecorded day in the fifteenth year of the plague. Her final move was to deactivate the lock-down. It was her decision alone and she waited until the last possible minute but one, to break the seal and let the contamination in.

It was a timed event.

At 00.00 the electronic latches on the containment cubicles clicked decisively, and eight children woke at the unimaginable sound of all the steel barriers splitting open and sliding apart.  The lights in the corridor flickered dully, buzzing like angry insects trapped in a jar.

Z10625 was the first to venture beyond his cell.

He looked left and right searching for the adult who would tell him what she wanted him to do next or where he should go but the grey passageway was empty in both directions. The realization that every cubicle was open, hit him with a dizzying sense of nausea and he wondered if he should shut his eyes as the other figures began to emerge.

Boys and girls, dressed alike in brown coveralls, step beyond the confines of normality and saw each other for the first time.

A girl with one green eye and one blue, spoke first.

“Who broke the world?” she said.





Comments

  1. The closing line, the feelings overwhelming ZZ625, the uniformity of clothing... all of it took me to a place where death and the tiniest hint of future life stare each other in the face. Things have gone terribly wrong, but... the young are standing--different, wild, speaking--so there is hope to be had.

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    1. I'm glad this took you to a place, Magaly. I was in two minds whether to publish it or try again.

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  2. This is absolutely chilling! The prose piece as a whole has a futuristic feel to it. I nearly gasped at the end which makes me hope we are not heading towards chaos and a violent end of the world.

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    1. Even at the end of the world there are children.. maybe they can get it right without adults around.. Who knows?

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  3. This is so in spirit with the spec fiction tales and novels that have captured our imaginations. A very interesting and unraveling plot. The ending raises even more questions but there are no easy answers. Politically, it is very relevant too. An enjoyable read.
    -HA

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    1. Although politics was not the first thought in my mind, one cannot help be affected by the collective experience of the present when writing about the future.

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  4. Who, indeed. Chilling, and reminiscent of "The Stand."

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    1. I'm not familiar with The Stand.. had to google it and then I saw why. I'm not a fan of Stephen King novels. Weird, I know.

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  5. Yeppers. I got a bit of the The Stand from it myself. Who broke the world? the adults who lived and died before you were let loose. It seems there is no hope to be had in this world of the future many people are painting. I wonder why.

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  6. Wow. This makes me think of the children on the border in th US. We are almost in this place. Yikes. So well told, Kerry.

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  7. a sock in the gut and yet... hope. Amazing. I'm having a hard time writing to this but I'm giving it a whirl - just might not post it :)

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  8. ...and yet there is a small chance that by being set free some will still survive to start again and if they do will they too make the same mistakes their ancestors did? Great prequel to a book we will probably never read.

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    1. Thanks, Robin. That was the effect I was going for.

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  9. This is such an impressive beginning (or an end) of a speculative novel... I feel that all the blanks I have to fill in gives such an opening to a novel... I can imagine that this is written by Kazuo Ishiguro.... all the questions I get from this begs to be told.

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    1. Thank you, Bjorn. I think I may return to this tale for a while to come. It has opened a few avenues of thought for me.

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  10. That's the way we raise produce animals now unless they are "free range." Did you know schools for masses began at the Industrial Revolution time in order to train children to become regimented for the work force? That included adhering to regular meal times and bed and waking times, etc.
    ..

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  11. A chilling tale of what might be Kerry - the close very effective.
    Our future is our children and their children and then their children and so on - but I wonder when all will end...for we are denying the future of generations to come in our plague of greed, greed for today and to hell with tomorrow.
    I wonder if you have seen this film: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Girl_with_All_the_Gifts_(film) It is very good and follows a similar vein.
    Anna :o]

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  12. I have to say something here...lol. Kerry writing Spec Fiction? What a joy and what a day for me to go wandering. This was awesome. Felt like I was watching an episode of Black Mirror. Time for this to become a novel or novella. Miss you and loved it!

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