WORN

Back stooped, legs bowed. Face weathered and scored with lines, each one telling a story of a long life.

She has lived through a pandemic, the third Great War, the rise of the machines. Still she walks on, unbowed.

Her family is long gone: her true love long ago when the disease caught him; her son in the war; her daughter succumbed to the lure of artificial intelligence and is now a stranger to her.

The incessant rain drives into her. She remembers a time when there were whole days, weeks even months, without rain. Not any longer. When she was a child they didn’t have hurricane season here. Now it beckons, and she will batten down the hatches once more.

With luck she will emerge again, surviving another year, another small piece of her eroded away by whatever history decides to throw at her.

Like the other survivors, she will endure. It is humanity’s final quality the refusal to submit: she is obdurate in her will to survive.

She walks the few worn steps to her door. She enters with her carrion and her picked leaves and berries – enough to keep her going if she eats sparingly.

The door closes, shutting out the world that cannot destroy her.


worn-steps
Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt: Worn curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.


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38 responses to “WORN”

  1. Oh! Iain, so dark. So possibly the future. It scares me . 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is enough to wear me down just thinking about it. I would like to hear about a sunny, happy future where none of these worries exist please!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes me too! But I am a realist!😜💜💜💜

        Liked by 2 people

  2. It will take a lot to rid the planet of humans, we will always survive, some of us, but who would want to be a survivor? Great piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It doesn’t sound like much of a life, does it?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sadje 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Iain

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It is that contrast between hope, memory and the obdurate will to survive that makes this piece so chilling, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another excellent post Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great story for the picture. I can just see her trudging up those worn steps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet – yes that’s what I saw, and then I thought, why would she be trudging up there?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Powerful story! Not a vision of things to come, I hope! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OH if only this was far fetched fiction! I have said that before about your stories, haven’t i! LOL!
    Very moving, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – if only there was a future where none of these things were something we had to worry about!

      Like

      1. Exactly! And you are welcome!
        I left a review on Amazon for your book. 🙂 Good luck with it!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, fantastic, I will have a look for it. Always grateful for any review and feedback, especially if it helps convince one or two others to give the books a try 🙂 x

          Like

          1. I hope it does!! And will be anxious to read your next series. No pressure of course. LOL!

            Liked by 1 person

  9. There is a bigger story behind the door.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, and a much longer one!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. A testament to our indomitable spirit. Well done, thanks Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, much appreciated 🙂

      Like

  11. She’s a force to be reckoned with. She’s a survivor. Great story, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  12. If only more of us were like her. Positivity is a powerful weapon.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I see this as a metaphor for Mother Earth, although dystopian in many ways.

    Note:
    I have added a comment to the Missing review. It is a simple request for you to consider.
    Many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You should write the news….this is plausible and quite possibly probable for the near future for the lot of humanity. Wonderful take on the prompt! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Lisa – I hope I’m only writing fiction though, and it stays that way!

      Like

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