The Encroaching Dark (be warned: this is pretty bleak)

It’s perfectly natural – it’s built into our genes – to act to protect, as best we can, our progeny.

But all creatures are related, interdependent; and cousins should be more kind to each other.

The super-rich were the first to see what was coming. Even those who weren’t the sharpest tools in the shed were freed of the need to struggle from day to day, and had the freedom, the leisure time, to reflect.

Some saw the inevitability of the storm on the horizon years in advance. Some recognised it decades earlier. All knew that control was crucial; and so, they used their wealth to leverage their power. They gamed the system to funnel ever more into their own coffers, while at the same time acting to misinform the masses – perhaps, in their own own minds, they justified this to ‘prevent panic’.

As the global crisis deepened, crops failed on a massive scale. Even those in the ‘Civilized West’ found their supermarket shelves bare, and began to starve. Governments acted, imposing severe rationing. But that did not suffice. The people were offered the choice of avoiding death by starvation by opting for euthanasia, and were rewarded for their sacrifice with increased rations for their nearest and dearest.


The Resource Wars were brutal. Billions died in agony.

All the while, temperatures mounted, inexorably.

Overfished and polluted, the oceans’ incipient dead zones spread. Algae bloomed, sucking life-giving oxygen from the atmosphere. The dying seas, no longer a source, became instead a stagnating, stinking sink.

The world’s forests and jungles burned to ashes, and the glaciers and ice caps melted.

Secure in their faith, the religious continued to maintain that God had promised never again to flood the land. Yet still the waters rose.

When life outside became utterly unbearable, the elite abandoned their personal jets and helicopters, their expensive yachts and their expansive mansions, and fled to their hermetically sealed bunkers. As civilization fell, they survived… for a time.

Oxygen generators and water recyclers were repaired continuously – and spare parts stocks dwindled.

Then, blight afflicted their hydroponic crops.

When the lights finally went out, they waited in the dark for the end.

Word count: 360

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in ... wait, what?, Core thought, Flash fiction, GCD: Global climate disruption, Science Fiction and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to The Encroaching Dark (be warned: this is pretty bleak)

  1. One is rather ashamed of being a member of our earth-unfriendly species. Great post! 👍

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Dr Bob Rich says:

    You forgot about the small group who emigrated to Mars, to wither and die there.
    But there is sunshine beyond the cloud you so well described.
    Earth is a school for souls. Let me assure you, it is one of uncountable zillions of such schools. I know, because I have attended two others. So, we may meet again in an utterly different seat of life.

    Liked by 4 people

    • peNdantry says:

      I didn’t forget about the Mars colonists’ plans, Bob. Their missions never launched; those ambitions were always just ludicrous hubris-derived pipedreams.

      I hope you’re right about those other schools of which you frequently speak. But I also hope that you’re not intending to leave this one anytime soon, I’d miss this incarnation of you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a great read!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The stuff of science fiction…Isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes you can see it going this way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Not so much fiction as becoming fact Colin.. Hunger Games!, … And not so much “opting for euthanasia” as Mass Genocide.. But then this is only Flash Fiction…
    Like farmers being paid to leave fields barren and turn over to parkland… They know that not so many will be needing food in the next couple of years if their plans go ahead…
    Sending Congratulations upon your Flash Fiction story Colin.. 2030 not so far away!!!….
    Mega Hugs :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jilldennison says:

    Chilling. Funny that 50 years ago, this would have been considered sci-fi, but today we can already see the beginnings … the beginnings of the end. Some days I’m very glad to be old.

    Liked by 1 person

    • peNdantry says:

      I sometimes think what a cruel joke the universe played on me (along with, of course, all those of us egg-spurts around at this time) to, potentially, be around to see the end.

      And when I think that it’s entirely possible that ours is the only species in the galaxy, or maybe even the entire universe, with the ‘smarts’ to appreciate the fragile beauty of the pale blue dot (and everything else), my heart bleeds at the utter lunacy of what we (may) have done.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jilldennison says:

        Well, there are a couple of ways of looking at that. First, you can think of it as you are being given the opportunity to be a part of the solution, to help ward off what seems to be inevitable. But, if all else fails, methinks that by the time the end arrives, you and the rest of those who remain will welcome it, for what comes between now and then could be catastrophic in every sense.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I like how this prose has so much poetry in it. A calm warning!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. sklyjd says:

    Very nice, great reading, you are light years ahead of me… or maybe just a few decades.


  10. Bill Ziegler says:

    I kept reading this slowly and deliberately, waiting and wondering if there were some random iota of an objection to a single world you’ve written here. In terms of the scientific method, the strength of a law. QED.

    From the James Webb Telescope looking outward, to the microscopes looking at impossibly small iotas inward, with eyes that popped up in the breathtaking Cambrian Explosion. Beyond my grasp either way.

    Bleak stuff piques my interest.


  11. jai says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the scenario in your story plays out in real time. The rich get richer and the rest of us…well, we get shafted. But sometimes, all the money in the world cannot save you.

    Liked by 1 person

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