Humanity vs Survival – Author’s Notes

Humanity vs Survival - Author's Notes

Naufragos/Shipwrecked. CC2.0 photo by Luis Marina

I’m still catching up with posting my old entries to Flash! Friday so here is my entry from October 2015. That week’s competition was inspired by the novel Moby Dick. Using the elements of conflict between a woman and a man along with the character of a captain with a wooden leg, I came up with my flash fiction tale of Humanity vs Survival. You’ll be able to read all 122 words below the break

Humanity vs Survival

“Ready?” The Captain’s voice the calm before what was coming next. Her wooden leg clicks down the distance to our target, a horse and cart with a single oil drum led by old man.
‘Horse first then the man’, the captain’s orders barks over and over in my head. I’ve given up adding ‘if necessary’. We need the oil for survival. Humanity ended with the oil fields.
The Captain’s gun cracks the air and the horse. The old man hobbles away for his life. Her second shot fells him. Blood stinks up the air. My job is to check the barrel. I pop the top to find red numbers ticking down. We’ve been tricked. I make it just. The Captain doesn’t.

Author’s Notes

The photo above, that was the original photo prompt on the Flash! Friday post has a bleak, post apocalyptic sense which inspired my story. Considering that humanity keep going to war over oil, and a similar conflict powered at least one Mad Max movie, it was a good MacGuffin for my tale. In fact the ending is very similar to Mad Max 2.

As you can imagine it has been a while I have looked at this tale. Often in this situation you find all the wee mistakes that you wish you could change such as badly worded sentences or odd metaphors. However, I only see the good in this story especially the line:

‘Horse first then the man’, the captain’s orders barks over and over in my head. I’ve given up adding ‘if necessary’. We need the oil for survival. Humanity ended with the oil fields.

It feels very arrogant to say this, but I feel the above line actually says something about humanity in such bad situations and how civilisation is a privilege that is dropped in a situation of life and death. My attempt to capture this in my title is not as subtle.

What did you think of Humanity vs Survival? Let me know in the comments below

Humanity vs Survival is a post apocalyptic tale by @The_Red_Fleece #FlashFiction (Tweet this tale)

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