Like Titan A.E. in 2000, a number of movies are coming out this year which explore the idea of life after earth.  Tom Cruise will Star in Oblivion.  Father and son, Will and Jaden Smith will play a movie titled After Earth.

What might life be like on the dawn of the Apocalypse, what type of life-forms might still exist on the earth that remains?  Use this week's prompt to explore your ideas of the next step in evolution or the types of people/creatures who might endure global devastation.

Guest Judge: Anthony Box

This week's judge is Anthony Box.
Anthony Box is 23 years old, and lives in Bakersfield, California. He has a BA in English from Cal State University Bakersfield, currently working towards getting a teaching credential, and hopes to teach high school English.

Anthony is also an assistant wrestling coach at his old high school. He was a student athlete in college, wrestling for CSUB (a NCAA Division I program). His senior year he placed 4th in the PAC 12 conference tournament.

Anthony's "Painted Black", features a young man "gifted" with abilities far beyond ordinary human beings who is drafted into an army of "talented" individuals with a frightening agenda.

The Prompt

[The human race has become obsolete]

*The words inside the bracket may be altered as long as the meaning still reflects the extinction or the impending doom of mankind as we know it.*

The Rules

  1. The story must start from the prompt.  This means the prompt must be the
    first words in the story.
  2. No more than 500 words (not including the prompt).  No less than 100 words.
  3. Any genre (in fact an unexpected genre will get you more brownie points.)
  4. Entries must be submitted by Tuesday Noon EST0
  5. If your story would be rated R or NC-17 in a movie, please post a note to that effect at the beginning of your entry.
  6. The winner of each week's competition will win a kindle copy of "Song Stories: Volume I"
  7. The winner and runner-ups will be entered into a drawing to win a beautiful paperback edition of song stories
  8. Have fun!

3/24/2013 11:28:54 pm



"They're gone - all of them."

"Are you sure? They've ruled the world for so long that it's hard to imagine they're all dead now."

"Will you just look at that mess? No, I don't think there are any of them left this time. We'll have to start hunting again - no more handouts."

"And you and I may be friends, but you know that the hatred between your race and mine is going to come back in full force."

"It's only natural. Now it's a question of survival. I just hope we don't end up as they did."

"We won't: they were always ambitious beyond simple necessity. They never understood that it was possible to survive AND to coexist."

"At least there won't be any more 'fetch the newspaper.'"

"Nor any more 'who wants a ball of yarn?'"

139 words

3/26/2013 07:51:37 am

This totally made me LOL. What a great ending.

Robin Abess
3/25/2013 04:52:32 am


“The day that the button was pushed, the human race became obsolete. They just didn’t know it yet.”

The mechanical voice droned on and on. Lira yawned and stretched; she was tired of listening to the teacher-bot. She already knew the history of the human race. Now she was eager to step foot on the Earth’s alien soil for the first time. None of her race had ever seen a human, but they had been curious about the creatures ever since the probe had been caught in their interstellar nets and brought in for examination. Some of the information inside had been damaged in its travels through space, but the recordings had still worked. Once they had been able to interpret what the strange sounds meant, they had learned about humans and where their planet was located.

A team had been dispatched to travel to the far distant planet and try to make contact with the humans, but when they arrived, they found no signs of mammalian life. Buildings still stood and plants and trees flourished, but nothing human walked. In studying old writings they had determined that the humans had annilihated themselves with some sort of weapon. They sent their findings back home, and other teams were then dispatched to see if the planet could be suitable for habitation.

Lira had been fascinated by stories of the humans and what they might have been like from the time she was old enough to understand language, so her goal had been to join a Research Team when she was old enough. Now she could scarcely believe that she was actually here, sitting in the ship’s classroom, just measures away from walking on the planet. The voice had clicked off at last, so she followed her two other team members, padding along with bare feet. She was thankful that the atmosphere had tested as breathable; she hated wearing the filtration unit.

Silently the aliens moved out the door of the craft, levitating slowly to the ground. There was a pungent green aroma and Lira felt a soft breeze brush her silky brown fur. A bright yellow sun lit the sky, strange to her blue green almond shaped eyes. She liked it, even though it was far different from her world’s dark blue sun. Each member of the team moved away, in three different directions. Climbing through tangles of vines, Lira found herself outside a heavy door. ‘Keep Out’ the sign on the door stated. She paid no attention, opening the door with ease and stepping inside.

A long dark hallway led downward, but Lira needed no light in order to see. She emerged into an empty room, filled with images that assaulted her senses. Inside her head, they were screaming as one of the anthropods pressed the red button. Seconds later, all of them lay still on the ground. This was where death had come…and still waited. The red button glowed, and Lira walked slowly toward it, one clawed finger outstretched.

500 words {not including title}

3/26/2013 07:52:35 am

I'm guessing here that "Lira" is a pseudonym for my toddler, for whom "DON'T TOUCH" is a clear invitation.

Robin Abess
3/27/2013 02:58:26 am

~lol~ We have one of those all the time and two of them sometimes.

3/26/2013 01:46:22 am

Handwriting Analysis

“Statistical analysis concludes the continued presence of species: Homo sapiens within the confines of ecosystem specified constitutes a null profit proposition. Corrective measure indicated by analysis is removal of species: Homo sapiens from the confines of ecosystem specified with maximum expediency by most decisive means available.”

While most of those present in the control room reacted with stunned silence or confused ignorance, my undeniable response was unrestrained laughter. We’d all just been given a crash course reminder of the old adage to not ask questions you didn’t really want the answers to.

I suppose, at its core, the project had seemed not only viable but ingenious. It was no longer solely within the purview of a small clique of alarmist tree-huggers and end-of-days crackpots, but common knowledge that Mother Earth was screwed.

With a population floating around 12 billion souls, the elitists and intellectuals were learning a lesson the most uneducated Third-World matriarch already knew. No matter how well she could stretch what she had, there would come a point when children wanted for more than Mama had to give.

We’d exploited every natural resource to its breaking point. We’d engineered and synthesized every artificial element within our knowledge base. We’d modified and enhanced every square foot of the planetary surface to support habitation. Bottom line? It wasn’t enough.

Project Phoenix was seen as humanity’s best and last potential solution. Over the course of the next five years, the best and brightest bent our efforts to the most ambitious technological endeavor in all of recorded history. That solution involved inter-linking a dozen Cray Titan supercomputers resulting in a hybrid…creation capable of maximum energy efficiency while providing an exponential increase in capabilities.

Simultaneously with this hardware triumph, the programmers, climatologists, biologists and all the other –ologists busied themselves providing all of the software input Phoenix would require to evaluate the crisis and postulate a resolution. Twenty-seven brilliant minds became irretrievably unhinged in the deal, but every omelet requires broken eggs, we rationalized.

Our beleaguered world watched and waited once Phoenix was brought online. The sheer number of variables to be factored in was expressed only by theoretical mathematics. To the common man, the talking heads merely expressed it as being a really complex question with no easy answer. Well, it turns out the anchorpeople were pretty wrong. While the question was unaccountably difficult, the answer should have been obvious to us all.

So, while my colleagues, co-workers and fellow condemned folk wrapped their monkey brains around Phoenix’s response, I was already laughing at the absurdity of our situation. We had asked our Techo-God to answer our prayers and answer It had. Oh, it would take Phoenix a week or so to complete the calculations and finish up the machinery required but that was no longer of any consequence really.

The true import of what Phoenix had arrived at came down to something as simple as this: the handwriting was on the wall and the words that hand had written were “Goodbye Humanity”.

500 words @klingorengi

3/26/2013 07:54:00 am

Looooved this, Jeffrey. What a clever and fresh response to the overcrowded planet problem. Strong writing, great voice, compelling and engaging tale. Really great job.


Leave a Reply.