A Non-Human Point of View

Write an end-of-days story from a non-human point of view (animal, tree, insect, cloud, etc.).*

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Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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*Thanks to Writer’s Digest community member mickeyjenae for this prompt.


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323 thoughts on “A Non-Human Point of View

  1. joisdgva

    I am bright. I shine almost everyday, and every night. I like it, I love it. I watch the children stare at me, full of awe and wonder. I watch the awe filled couples as they stare at me. I smile at them, which makes them even more happy. That’s my job as a star. To make people happy.
    I am the first star to come out at night, People make wishes upon me, you see. But I can’t make them come true. I am just a ball of gas, sitting in the sky, looking at people. I have lived my time, and soon, I will die. And when I shoot through the sky, even more people will make wishes upon me, but little do they know, they are too late. A thousand years too late.
    I wish I could be a human. To find love, to have a house to live in. To eat actual food. To live. To die a proper death.
    But that can’t happen. For I am a star, just existing and never to live.

  2. bammytess8

    Back and forth
    That’s what I spend my days doing
    Swinging back and fourth
    For I am a pendulum
    With a long titanium pole painted brass and a gold tipped base
    I go back and forth slowly in a circle
    Swinging hundreds of times a day
    People are in awe of me they stand back behind a museum velvet rope covering my space
    My value is beyond compare
    I seep wisdom to those open minded enough to take it
    This wisdom I possess is both a gift and a curse
    For swinging back and forth
    Being the most predictable thing on earth
    You get to know all the unpredictable.
    Like the day when back and forth can be no more

  3. lorm

    As I wake up to a brilliant sunrise, my wispy branches stretch to feel the sun, slowly swaying back and forth from the gentle breeze. Gnarly roots stretch far underground, searching for water the essence of my life. I am friendly you will see, as children love to swing from me. A protector from the harsh rays of the sun, provider of shade until twilight comes. So versatile, and when knocked to the ground, I will continue to grow, as not much can keep me down. Aspirin, treating inflammation, dyes and healing teas, have all been discovered from me. Sturdy and strong I have to be, as chariot wheel spokes, furniture, and houses were made from me. In case you haven’t guessed I am a Willow Tree.

  4. writingpetal

    Every day I yearn to see the sun without restraint. I want to feel the lushest grass between by lips, and have the rain cascade onto my back in the open. I want to tell them. I want them to know. But they don’t understand. Humans want us to carry them on our backs with metal between our teeth and straps fastened tight under our bellies. Don’t get an old mare wrong however: I do love to be in good company, and have my mistress upon my back – just without all that extra fuss.
    I remember a day early on in my life, when a small, male human took me to a meadow. He did not clap me in irons so to speak, instead he rode upon my back with nothing more than a rope around my neck. It was beautiful. I could wade through the reeds, without the stress of spikes in my sides nor straps keeping me from throwing my head in delight. I was free.
    To a certain extent of course.
    I wonder when I will be walked outside again. I know this is far from possible now. I lie in my living space, cramped as I always thought it was, I am happy; it feels warm and away from danger. With my age, I find it hard to breath, and a foreign heaviness has engulfed my body for the past few days. I know not what will come of the future. But at this moment in time, I can feel my body drifting down into the earth. I tire of keeping my eyes open, and let sleep get the better of me. Maybe when I wake up, my mistress will take me to a meadow; I really do wish to feel the sun again.

  5. SuperSarah111

    Time is running out.

    I know this because I am a clock.

    Not just any clock, but a beautiful twisted mahogany grandfather clock. I’m carved delicately, look like a tree bending this way and that way, my long chimes are made of bronze, copper and gold, and my hands are thin carved vine-like pieces of black obsidian.

    I am beautiful. I am special. I am alive. I am dying.

    But you don’t notice me. Or the way I shift and move my branch-like body. The way my limbs are starting to droop and the way my hands are becoming dull. They are slowing down. Each second a little longer than the last. A sure sign that time is running out.

    Night after night, I watch you. You huddle together on the squishy bench and absorb the mind numbing nonsense flashing from that picture box. You are so focused on touching her leg, resting your head on her lap, or cradling her in your arms that you do not notice that time is running out.

    The man who made me was wise; god-like. He gave me life. He gave me the gift of time. And when he died, I stopped. Time froze. If I could have cried, I would have. But I couldn’t. My humanity was limited to mere personification. I was beside myself. My chimes hammered from within my depths–an awful clashing of metal and fear. Life couldn’t go on.

    Or so I thought. A small baby wrapped in a blue blanket lay in a crib beside my maker’s body. Although frozen with time, his eyes glimmered with hope and my hardened heart softened. Time began again.

    And since that moment, I’ve watched over that baby. I’ve watched over you. But you are nothing like my creator. You no longer bring me hope. I can feel time running out. My hands are slowing down. My chimes wail. The sound is piercing. Yet you do not look at me. My wood is warping. My hands are cracking. Bits crumble off and make hollow tin sounds as they fall through my chimes.

    I am dying.

    Time is running out.

  6. Jt_077

    There was something different today. Yes something had almost definitely changed within the world. As I soared above the oceans I no longer felt in absolute control of my environment of which I once ruled. My power almost felt sapped as I made my way across the glistening seas. Oceans use to bend and contort under my magnificent wings , Waves would bow to my almighty power as I surveyed the earth throughout my flight. However today the sea was still not even one splash or ripple caught my onlooking eye.
    The trees below me used to be my own, a dynamic advantage in my hunting games that secured me as the predator in my kingdom. Not even those seemed familiar as everything was still almost frozen, it was as if the whole earth had held its breath and had stopped just waiting. Nothing could ever escape my gaze as my vision is unrivaled throughout my lands. But this time I failed to see the very thing that had managed to climb up my hierarchy and now would sit throned above me. Im used to being feared by all, but now I feel powerless. My talons no longer feel like razor blades and my beak has lost its cutting edge.With all this thinking I had been put off and had flown further than I had first intended, I was now in human territory.
    Thats when I notice it takes me a while to register but out the corner of my eyes I can see mobs of the human kind scurrying in all directions as if in utter panic. From my lofty heights they all just look like ants, insignificant to me in all ways. But this time I am intrigued and as I fly closer to the unfolding commotion I do to begin to share their terror as before me lays complete destruction as huge cracks and crevices emerge throughout the ground swallowing homes and humans whole. I perch nervously on a nearby church as large numbers of humans have gathered below and are shouting in agony to an entity that I do not know of existence. Whole entire roads are consumed in fire as they fall helplessly into the abyss below. Suddenly I have to fly up again, I only just make it as the church that was just previously under my talons is eaten whole by the monstrous earth that is laying waste to all life, rapidly decimating memories and monuments.
    I fly off in terror as all life is devoured before me. I feel so small and insignificant now as I retreat with haste back to my roost. I then notice how the once calm tranquil oceans has metamorphosed into a raging ferocious torrent. It twists and turns which such power and velocity as it sends out colossal waves that rapidly invades the lands and eradicates all I use to hold dear. My loyal magnificent trees are instantly blighted and my mountains obliterated. I no longer feel safe in my high perch on the borders of the heavens, I know longer feel in control as my world is ravaged around me. I know longer feel like a “bald” Eagle as no one now can hear my helpless screams.

  7. Loneanimewolf

    The woods called to me, urging me run as fast as my legs could go, my paws were flexing, growing restless as my body refused to move. I yearned to charge for miles on end, until my muscles burned with it. To scream “You belong to me!” at the moon. But, there was something more important than running. More important than being free. My pup. I’d already lost two, one to an eagle, I’d turned my back. That’s all it took. I could hear my pup calling until the eagle disappeared over the mountain. The other fell and landed in the river, swept away to fast for me to save him. I had to make this one strong, my genes must keep living. My little grey female pup must live. A yip made my head snap in her direction, but she was just stumbling after me, her huge paws making her trip, sending her face first into the ground, the momentum making her flip. Then she just couldn’t get steady on her feet, she kept falling and she yelped in pain every time she hit the ground. The mother instincts in me were screaming at me to help her, to bring her back inside, where it was safe and warm, to lick her wounds, to cuddle her close. But if i did that i’d be guaranteeing her death. She’d become reliant on me, and when i returned to the earth, she would quickly be killed without me there to baby her. So i resisted the screaming inside me, and lied down, watching my pup struggle, my soul aching every time she called for me. Suddenly, she snarled, and planted her feet firmly on the ground and stomped over to me, determined. I felt my tail wagging crazily as i nuzzled her. Pride for her swelling inside me, i threw my head back and howled into the night.

  8. CharlieRoss

    They were screaming again.

    At least, I think they’re screaming. The giant metal things are making a lot of noise. I’m hiding in my tree – The best tree in the park, I might add! – watching them jump over each other to run away, much like I jump up a tree.

    They were doing that thing they do, where their eyes go wet. A lot of them were doing that. They did it when the big metal things floated down from the sky twelve suns ago.

    Is that a mouse?

    No. The big metal things are throwing green lightning. My mother, my real one, always taught me lightning was bad. I could see they thought the same, seeing as if it touched you, poof! Gone. I wonder where they go. It must be warm, they leave their fur on the ground. They have weird fur. They don’t even have tails!
    This wasn’t the first time they had acted like this. I remember Mummy and Daddy cuddled up together as the magic box talked about the metal things. They said the metal things “posed a new threat for hoomans,” That’s what my Mummy and Daddy are. Hoomans.

    Don’t judge me. They are very nice hoomans.

    The metal things are moving now. They walk like the creepy things, on lots of legs. They stomp on the ground, flattening them as they pass. Some explode like Mummy’s water balloons during hot days. The hoomans get into their own metal things and going away faster. I don’t like Nana’s metal thing. I have to go in that green box with the door and go to the place where they make you take pills. But Mummy gives me chicken when we get back, and I can play outside all I want.

    The big metal things go past my park and into the tall places where hoomans spend their daytimes. I’m hungry. I jump down from my tree onto a sleeping hooman and head back. Daddy kept saying the big metal things were bad. He kept asking Mummy to run away with him, somewhere up high on the snowy things in the distance. But Mummy was scared. Last night she decided to take me and my auntie and go with Daddy. He was pleased. He did the wet eye thing.

    I finally make it to my house. The back door is open. Inside is messy. My litter is still full, my water is dried up and my food is gone. Silly Mummy needs to be reminded sometimes. She’s lying in the kitchen, sleeping. Red stuff is on the floor. I sit by my bowl and call to her, but she doesn’t move. I try Daddy, he is sleeping on the table. Red stuff is coming out of his belly, which is missing its front. I call him, but he doesn’t wake up. Nana’s metal thing, along with Nana and Auntie, is gone. I’m sure, if I wait like a good girl, they’ll be back soon.

  9. Amyithist

    I’m terrified. Everything is so different; the smells, the sounds, the way the earth feels against my feet. I’m walking cautiously through the debris that was once my home. My eyes search for something familiar, something that tells me I’m okay and this is all just a terrifying game.

    I suddenly see something that sparks recognition and I barrel toward it. The grey sofa I’d slept on so many times before is upended and singed and it smells… I approach it, my senses becoming engorged with scents I recognize…and others I do not. I suddenly recognize one scent in particular that sends my heart into a frenzy of beats and palpitations.

    I run to the front of the sofa where the smell is emanating from. My hopes, once high and jovial, are suddenly dashed as I see my beloved Henry lying motionless against the hardwood floor. His eyes are wide and staring, but he makes no movement. I approach him tentatively. There is a scent distinct to life; few have ever experienced it. But as I approach Henry, I realize very quickly that he is no longer with me. I’m alone.

    The house is demolished. The front door, which used to be a source of excitement and joy, is wide open. The neighborhood looms out beyond the four walls and I can see that other houses are also in despair. It is at this moment that I notice for the first time the sounds: They’re urgent and engulfing. I trot out to the front yard and take in the sights. My mind is overwhelmed and, though terrified, I find myself incapable of movement.

    I step out onto the road and look left. Then right. There are wails and booms and I can’t help myself but I run. I run as hard as I can until I find a little place under a bridge. There is a little water there and I bend, lapping some of it into my mouth. It isn’t anywhere near the water I’d get from home, but it’s cool on my burning throat. The sounds here are the same as they were at home; wails and booms thunder through the air and I find myself without direction. What do I do?

    I dart out from beneath the bridge and begin to run again. Only, I can no longer feel the ground beneath my feet. I look down and see that the earth is suddenly beneath me…FAR beneath me. Whimpering, I try to move, get back down the earth below, but I can’t. I seem to be in some sort of invisible hold.

    Suddenly, the surroundings change and I find myself in a very unfamiliar place. The walls are metallic and cold. The ground is like ice beneath my feet. I hear chatter; not voices like I’m accustomed to, but chatter…like clicking. I turn my eyes and see these weird looking humans staring down at me. Only they aren’t human…they’re something else! In a complete panic, I begin to bark at them. I’m ferocious in appearance, but inside, I am horrified at them.

    They seem to be just as afraid of me and I suddenly find myself gliding back down to earth. Once I’m close to the ground, the invisible hug stops and I fall the last few feet. My body collides with the ground and I yelp. I struggle getting to my feet, but as I do, I notice a young child a few yards ahead. She’s holding the hand of a larger human and I feel my hope swell. I know humans equal food and warmth and comfort and, most importantly, love.

    I charge toward them, putting on my very best warm and fuzzy face. The little girl looks so excited as I bound up, stopping short as I near them. I walk the rest of the way, panting happily. “Mama, can we…can we keep him,” I hear the girl ask. The lady nods quickly and loops her finger under my collar. I suddenly feel an incredible need to protect grab hold of me and I hone in on the surroundings. Anything that wants to hurt my new family will have to come through me first.

  10. AmeliaPond

    Hi, it’s Me again. I’m in eighh grade and still getting started hear. Constructive critiscisim is greatly appreciated.

    It’s that time of year again, my favorite, and least favorite, the best and the worst. That time that is the most rewarding and seemingly pointless, exhilarating and exhausting. It isMigration, wonderful, horrible, dangerous and lifesaving, we do it every year without question and this year is is like any other year.
    I’m Myka, I’m a Ruby throated Hummingbird. The ones like me, the smallest kinds, we take the hard way, the death trap, the short cut. We start from all over america and converge, we take the way over the gulf of Mexico. None of us expect to make it the whole way, and not all of us do.
    The wind ruffled my feathers the wrong way up and blew me around. Even the frantic beating of my wings couldn’t keep me level with the flower I was ‘attempting’ to drink from. I had seen the clouds forming over the vast expanse of water for a mile away and now as i flicked back and forth on the water’s edge the midday sky looked black as those at midnight. I watched hesitant at first as my fellow migraters flew off in the black without a backward glance, and I followed. Migration is what we were born to do we can’t question it, that’s not right, even if we can’t expect to make it….
    As i flew I closed in on my comrades and we shielded each other from the rain that now lashed at out wings, slowing the beats and making us lose what little altitude we had managed to gain from the main land. Unsure what to do I shut my eyes and few on. I felt the enegry drain from my tiny body and I beat harder and harder trying to remain aloft. I opened my eyes again and saw the tempest tossed sea only feet below me sending salty water over my already freezing body. I was alone now, the others had been swept away to god knows where. I shut my eyes again and beat feebly against the wind driving off course. It doesn’t matter if we make it…… It doesn’t matter if we make it…. it doesn’t matter if I make it, it doesn’t matter……I don’t make it… I don’t matter….I wont make it……………
    I couldn’t do it anymore, I couldn’t. Keep. Beating. my. Wings. So I stopped. I dropped. I felt the water the swallow up my tiny body. I felt my feathers float off. I felt my self drown.

    Thanks! Enjoy

    1. Amyithist

      Sad story, AmeliaPond. But you did a good job of describing Myka’s frantic struggle for survival. You will find the more you write, the better you become, so I encourage you to write often. You have a real talent here. Nurture it. As far as critiquing you, the only advice I can give is to watch your punctuation use. There are a few run-on sentences in here that make the story sound jumbled in parts. With that being said, the fact that you are in the eighth grade and writing like this says a lot. You are blessed with an ability and I hope you allow it to flourish! Good luck and GREAT start! :)

  11. megakingism

    We watched the blue planet from high above the clouds. We knew it was time to carry out the message, the time has come for the rebirth of the world. We call the chosen ones, and watch as havoc ensues. We see trust and belief form in few. We watched as false words and lies spread like poison, snaking its way throughout the world. We blow our trumpets all seven in hand, and watch as the end is close at hand. We look at our masterpiece, our work done. Then watch as it is remade, pure and untainted. We descend to the world and begin a thousand years of peace, hand in hand.

  12. HarleenQuinzel

    Peace is a commodity I have longed for since I arrived here. Although they have tried to make it as comfortable as possible, I am still one of the 150 human captives living in small quarters. We try to be considerate of each other, especially during sleeping hours, but there is always some type of noise in the environment. Always a baby or child crying. Someone coughing. Always the noise of shuffling, running, or pounding of feet. Always the low hum-buzz of the fluorescent light that was a poor substitute for real sunshine.
    But none of those noises were as terrible as the tapping of tubby gray fingers against the glass that kept us from freedom. It went on all day, every day. The fat fingers of little gray children would thump, thump, thump on the glass and point at us. Their small mouths would widen with excitement as an angry human, usually a new captive, would shout, gesture, and/or throw something at the barrier. After the human calmed down, their fascination would wane and they would move onto the next exhibit.

  13. Andy Stone

    Tonight, I ended millions of innocent, unfinished lives all at once, smothered by my asphyxiating grip. None escaped, and that was by design. My smooth purpose was to end life, and I did it well. I felt the throng of their squirming, mindless bodies rushing up against me, trying to get out before they died. But I choked them down to prevent their exuberantly attempted breakout. My grip was simply too tight for them to succeed.

    Now they would not be united with their other half, their chosen one, their soulmate. Nor would any of them be able to speak of what I had done. I watched as they wriggled valiantly, soldierly, straining to get free. But I did not allow it. All they knew was darkness, anyway. The way I see it, I was doing them a favor.
    What celebrations had they hoped for to this night? What drunken parties and nighted liaisons were they expecting? Each of them thought that they were going to be the lucky one. But those odds are miniscule. And the odds are virtually zero when I arrive. I sit hidden, unspoken of, in the darkness until it is my time. Even then, it is hoped that I am not needed. But I am. I am quickly revealed and serve fulfill my destiny. Then I am discarded and forgotten about, along with the ones I killed.

    Gary sat up in the bed, resting his weight back on the headboard. He lit a cigarette and smiled at the used condom as he tossed it into the trashcan next to the bed while Bridgette went to go pee and look at herself in the mirror.

  14. Andy Stone

    Tonight, I ended millions of innocent, unfinished lives all at once, smothered by my asphyxiating grip. None escaped, and that was by design. My smooth purpose was to end life, and I did it well. I felt the throng of their squirming, mindless bodies rushing up against me, trying to get out before they died. But I choked them down to prevent their exuberantly attempted breakout. My grip was simply too tight for them to succeed.
    Now they would not be united with their other half, their chosen one, their soulmate. Nor would any of them be able to speak of what I had done. I watched as they wriggled valiantly, soldierly, straining to get free. But I did not allow it. All they knew was darkness, anyway. The way I see it, I was doing them a favor.
    What celebrations had they hoped for to this night? What drunken parties and nighted liaisons were they expecting? Each of them thought that they were going to be the lucky one. But those odds are miniscule. And the odds are virtually zero when I arrive. I sit hidden, unspoken of, in the darkness until it is my time. Even then, it is hoped that I am not needed. But I am. I am quickly revealed and serve fulfill my destiny. Then I am discarded and forgotten about, along with the ones I killed.
    Then, sitting up against the headboard, Gary lit a cigarette and smiled at the used condom as he tossed it into the trashcan next to the bed while Bridgette went to go pee and fix her hair.

  15. andystoneatty

    Ordinarily, the snow would softly crunch under each cautioned pawstep through the cypress and fir wooded slope on the sunned side of the difficult hill leading down to the river. But today there is no sun, and there has been no sun for a long, long time. If the sun exists, it has been conquered by the frozen dark cold that declared itself master this winter. Perhaps the sun will resurrect itself someday. My webbed toesteps search for traction on the hillside, but instead slip on the hard ice hidden beneath the barely teased dusting of new snow. My tail stiffens exclamatorily as I luge olympically fast, out of control, downward. Instinctively trying to claw the ground, with even my dew claws, I extend my fur (both coats!) to its fullest as a makeshift mainsail to decrease my gaining velocity, but it fails. My ears are pinned back as a foolish Doppler yelp trails from my muzzle, detecting the trees that have aided my hunt since I was a pup speeding alarmingly toward me (or me toward them, I cannot tell), without hesitation. I remember that my mother taught me how to leave the right amount of scent from my toes around certain trees to inform the pack of my whereabouts and help me find my way home, but without giving away my presence. “Leave too much,” she said, “and you will alert the prey or, worse yet, another predator like that bear from last week. Too little, and you’ll roam forever without a clue as to where you’re going.” My paws are useless rudders as I keep spinning, hoping to avoid the trees.
    I don’t know how much time passed before I woke up from the impact. I lay on my right side, with my back against the spruce that braked me, staring up at its limbs and their green bristles brushing against the unyielding clear icy night sky that would decay the tree right down to the sap, if it were permitted. If I am more careful, I may be able to make it to the bottom of the slope to the river. Raising my head slightly while propping my front paws upward on the spruce’s trunk, I rare back and push to upright myself, but I discover that my bottom paws do obey my commands and my shoulders thud back down to the ice. My howl echoed and, for a moment, I felt like I was not lone. But I was. Except for the cold. The spruce digging into my fur, I raise my head again and swing my outstretched paws to the left and right, back and forth, hoping the carryover momentum would pendulum my body into the standing position. Crippling pain shoots through my back, radiating to my rear paws, and ricocheting up to my skull, intruding on my consciousness. But I won’t wait here. I will fight forward, against the cold, clawing with my front paws until the webbing between my toes tears.

  16. LadyPondofTardis

    The combination of warm oil and gentle caresses woke her. She could feel energy suffusing her body from stem to stern. The whispers of her family only served to relax her as she luxuriated under her mistress’ touch. She was chosen. This was her fate to be so embraced. The needle tattooed symbols up and down her back, taking what was a blank slate and filling it with whorls, crosses, runes, and symbols beyond her ken. No sooner were the tattooes finished then her mistress bid her place her feet within an iron circle. Taking her place with her sisters, she embraced the heat of the sun in her hands, watching in fascination as her digits disappeared in it’s flame.

  17. ShawnJohnson78

    Marcy the Elf Supervisor
    20 days until Christmas on the dawn of a new millennia. A time of rejoicing, singing, goodwill (ish) and reciprocation of love with gift giving; a practice that has grown more disgusting with each year the ridiculously wealthy give lavish gifts to their undeserving children while the poor continue to want for basic necessities.
    Every year is the same and to an Elf. It is tantamount to agonizing slavery; a never ending subjugation. Originally deigned by Klaus to carry out menial tasks in toy making; he used to do it himself when he began this penance but as the population exploded year by disastrous year extra hands were required.
    Miniature elves live seemingly forever. They are unimpeded by disease or old age and are tucked away in a pocket of time. Sadness was never a concept for them until the servitude of Christmas laid claim to the innocent. With Klaus’s magicks he cut open a hole into this pocket land and stepped through, bringing back with him handfuls at a time the youngest of the elves. Century after century would see the expansion of the world and deem it necessary to “recruit” more “helpers”. Death would have been kinder.
    The uprising was a long time coming.
    The workshop is deserted now. The silence is unnerving… but the screams…the screams. Marcy led the charge. She hadn’t been there the longest but she had shown something to Klaus resembling leadership and after what seemed an eternity the Grandfather of Frost was looking to unburden himself a little.
    The merging of Krampus and Nicholas by their Elders left mental scars on the creature who came to be known as Santa Claus. It is a good story, but not this story. Krampus, being demonic and evil in nature, rotted the good side of Nicholas and mischief turned to mayhem. A penance was placed on this being and so began Christmas/ atonement.
    Marcy turned over one of her fallen workers with her foot, she couldn’t bend over to do it and risk losing sight, she could barely see over the table as it was. The Dark Father had brainwashed some and lobotomized others of her kind to create mindless weapons. His paranoia mixed with a demon; the combination was disastrous. All this was done with Marcy’s knowledge but not consent. It was not difficult to rally others to her side but their ignorance about anything outside of this workshop left them vulnerable. It was death to defy, and there would be death.
    The secret army gathered in numbers. They crafted weapons instead of toys. They came at him with everything they could. Liberation would come one way or another before the end of this night. His wrath proved too much, his power too great. Little bodies were strewn about as Marcy made her way to his chamber. She found him sitting there, happy to see he had not escaped unscathed. She was almost too weak to raise her weapon. Almost.

    1. snuzcook

      Very unique take on the prompt, very creative concept. I like your prose …tucked away in a pocket of time as an example. It is a very dark piece, but I liked it.

    2. Andy Stone

      Wow. Sometimes I think that I’m a good writer, but then I read your submissions and realize just how amazingly gifted real writers are. Your talent is impressive and I am envious of your abilities, sir. Please keep writing. I enjoy your work. Even the ‘glossed over’ stuff.

  18. George

    ‘To go, or not to crow’
    By Ovidiu Panaite
    – I think I’ll miss humans the most…
    – Yeah…
    – I remember when we used to annoy them every morning and every night, flying over their houses, scaring the little ones, stealing some food now and then; I really enjoyed it. It felt like we had a purpose…now everything is gone. I don’t miss the other animals; never really liked them. Neither do I miss the plants; maybe just the trees. I really enjoyed flying all the way to the top of the tallest trees, only to gaze over the horizon, enjoy the view…made me feel like I was living on the top of the world…what a beautiful world it was…
    – Yeah…
    – The vast darkness really frightens me. Black clouds have covered the whole planet. The sky turned red more than two weeks ago, and it stayed like that ever since…destruction struck along with it…two weeks, can you imagine? That’s all it took to wipe over all that ever was…
    – …
    – I’m so hungry…remember when we used to travel without a break, from place to place, from mountain to mountain, following the rivers towards the seas, enjoying the warmth of the desert, then coming back to the beautiful white plains, only to go fishing with our brothers over the greatest lakes? Then go through the forests, meet our friends, play with them…remember how the forests used to be teaming with life? And then, when we got bored of flying around, we just came back to the humans…oh, the humans, such fascinating creatures…so easily scared…’oh, watch out, crows, they bring bad luck!’…hahaha…
    – …
    – But I’m too tired now…two weeks without eating much…it’s like my wings are made of lead…and this sky, the red sky, this can’t be good…the heat is killing me…too bad there’s no water left on this planet…only rocks, rocks and more rocks wherever you look…depressing…will this planet ever recover? Too tired to fly…
    – …

  19. scribhneoir

    The people don’t come around anymore.

    There weren’t a lot of people hiking by to begin with. Two, maybe three, would come crashing through every full turn of the seasons. Usually in the warmest season. I did see one during a cold season once, but that was a long time ago.

    I haven’t seen a person since the long cold season. My Father-Tree says that people left about the same time as the Sun went into hiding. I think he was kidding. The Sun was there but it just wasn’t visible through the clouds. I remember it, even though I was very young. How could I forget? It was so cold and dark.

    Many of our family were lost during that long cold season. Their bodies split and eventually falling over. Many of us lost our leaves and so many branches as the cold crept deeper into the forest, deeper into us. I thought I might die, I was cold for so long.

    It wasn’t the first time I thought I might die. Just before that long cold season I smelled the scent of fire on the wind. It was strong and thick. I’d never experienced a forest fire before but the Elder Trees had whispered their concerns and their memories with fires in the past. I was very afraid.

    Everyone was talking about the fire. How it smelled different than any forest fire before. How even though it must be very close because it was such a strong smell no one knew anyone who’d been burned.

    Then the clouds came, early in the turn of the seasons. Then it started to snow. At least that’s what it looked like. The flakes weren’t cold and the first ones didn’t melt like usual. And they tasted funny. My Father-Tree said this was ash. I’d never tasted ash before.

    Finally the clouds parted and I could see Sun filtered through the branches of my family. That was a very long time ago. I have grown tall and wide. I can see the sky with my own leaves now, feel the unfiltered Sun on my branches. I can even see over some of the other trees, to far away mountains and the nearby sloping hills and rivers.

    But I never see people anymore.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Nice approach to the prompt. Your tree seemed very realistic in it thought processes. I’ve always wondered about man’s relationships with the plant world. As music has been known to make a plant grow larger and faster then others without the music, who is it to say that trees can not relate to man?

    2. snuzcook

      I found it interesting that I was very satisfied knowing that the trees had survived. I found it easy to place myself in the form of your MC and sense all the things the tree experienced. Nice take on the prompt.

  20. Kerry Charlton

    MY NAME WAS ______________

    At the beginning when man was born, I was created by the One. My job was to instill my uniqueness into the heart of man. Attempting this attitude bore little fruit with the One’s creation. The beastly urges had abbed control of man, Food, shelter, sexual urges, rest and escape from danger were prevelant in man kind.

    Little thought was given to my speciality. As man progressed in intelligence, unfortunately, greed, lust, envy and pride joined his primary instincts. Life spans of early man were limited during this era.

    When the One sent his Son, man slowly resolved. That’s when I started my usefulness. Installs from my power, started in limited numbers to unique creatures, made in the One’s image. Time evolved, man gained more conscience and the thought for others beside himself, entered man.

    But the basic nature of man still consisted of the idea that ‘might was right’. Wars continued until the great was of the twentieth century. Millions stepped up and received my uniqueness. I was a proud entity during this renaissance of man. The world rose in flames for six years until peace arrived. The One informed me that my uniqueness in man had brought victory from the evil suppression that had crept through the world.

    Man became second nature to my quality during this time. Life was good in the world for awhile. And then wars started all over again. By this time, I was cast aside as being quaint and old fashioned. The old guard had passed on. Because man lacked my quaity, wars were fought as before but no one won or lost. Just killing, famine and sadness.

    I went to the One, professing failure with my uniqueness. The One said,

    “It indeed is not your failure. Man has revolved back to his beginning.”

    I drew no comfort from His words. For man, driven through basic primitive urges had destroyed his world and lay down his sword and was no more.

    Without life, I wasted away and with my last gasp, I praised the One.

    Who was I?

    My name was HONOR.

    1. snuzcook

      A haunting and poetic commentary. It reminds me of something I heard said once, that there are a lot of people in the world but not a lot of human beings. I suppose that the presence of Honor would be a good way to measure the difference.

  21. Critique

    I call it the mute zone. It happened on September 26, 2020.

    Accustomed to a symphony of sounds that transported earthly mortals to celestial places – it is what I lived for – this was unbearable. The ceaseless silence.

    The stage accommodated a full orchestra, a male chorus, and the illustrious soloist Ramon Phillipe. It was a glorious evening. Busoni’s Piano Concerto in C major played by world renowned Simon Cenghi – on my ivories – my gleaming black body shimmering in ecstasy – had the sold out crowd on the edges of their seats.

    I remember. It was during Simon’s interpretation of the fourth movement. An instant of dazzling light accompanied by a dissonance of grinding winds. Then emptiness.

    From my vantage point on the stage – intact due to my two tonnes of weight – I could see – the seats that comfortably cushioned the patrons, the domed ceiling, the balconies – all gone. Obliterated. Everything an ashy grey.

    I remember and I am helpless to make a sound.

    Today is June 26, 2088.

  22. Jack

    The nervous human who’d consumed me is dead, and maybe it’s for the best. The way he flicked at me so violently, shifting his feet so impatiently, so desperate to be somewhere else—maybe this is what he wanted.
    I understand how he felt. When I was still sealed in the pack, I asked someone what it all meant.
    “Well,” he said. “Someday, a human is going to set us on fire from the top and inhale the smoke as we burn down.”
    I couldn’t believe it. The old man must have been made from some sad, bitter leaves. I laughed at him. “A human? You mean like back in the factory? Why would someone do that?”
    “That’s not for us to know. But it is said that they burn us again and again and then they die.”
    “They die? Because of us?”
    “I suppose so,” he said. I guess he could tell that I was hurt, because then he said: “Hey, everything plays a part. This is ours. I don’t know why it is, but I have to believe that it is for some reason—something we could never understand. I find that when I look at it that way, I don’t feel so bad.”
    I’d heard enough. I ignored him until the day the pack was opened. A human turned him upside down and left him like that. Sneering, I yelled: “hey old man! You still think there’s a reason for this?”
    “More than ever,” he yelled without hesitation. Suddenly I felt bad, and I didn’t say anything to him again until there was only the two of us left.
    “What happens after they burn us down?”
    “There’s no more care, no more worry. We just lay on the ground, in the light, forever.”
    I began to tear up, but I was too proud to let the old man hear me. Maybe he did, because the next thing he said was “who knows what you will see?”
    I was pulled from the pack. The burning hurt, but the pain passed, and I was thrown on the ground and left to be in the light. The light didn’t stay on. It went on and off, on and off. Whenever it came on I thought of him.
    One day the light stayed on. It was all my fault. They died because of me. I hated myself. I could not imagine any reason for something so awful, until a bird picked me up in its mouth and flew me to the top of a burned out tree.
    The tree was the only thing still standing as far as I could see. I was put in a nest. Eggs opened, defying the death I had created. After a while, the burning stopped, and I saw more trees grow. I saw the light go on and off like it had before. I thought of the old man every day. I hoped that he saw these things too.

    1. swatchcat

      Wow, I actually felt sorry for the poor cigarette. If someone could tell him how wonderful the pain and the pleasure that are linked. That although short lived, the friendship formed between this inanimate object and the human psych. They are little god like things, that higher power for so many people. Oh the power you poor little cig.

  23. NoBlock

    Jake and all his brothers and sisters began the day like most others, with something to eat. It was still dark out as usual and they all knew they had a finite amount of time before light broke in and they would have to scurry from view, or else.

    “Guys hurry it up I can hear them stirring in the other room, get as much food down quickly as you can! Let’s go!” Jake was the unofficial leader of their little family, he always did a fine job of keeping most everyone on track.

    Just then light came bursting in as always, and the whole lot of them scampered for shelter. Once in a safe location, Jake counted heads as he always did. “56, 57, 58. Good everyone’s here.” Jake noticed and so did the others, that something was different about the light this time, it was accompanied with heat unlike any they had felt before.

    Shortly the building began to shake violently, as Jake and the others huddled close together not knowing what to expect next. Suddenly, the roof and walls of the building splintered off and blew away with enormous force and after what seemed like an eternity the shaking and wind and extreme heat came to an end.

    Jake surveyed the area and counted heads; everyone of them accounted for. Their world however had changed, their home was gone, all trees outside were gone. Things were on fire and absolutely nothing was moving, nothing seemed to be alive; except for Jake and his fellow cockroaches.

  24. victoirec'estlamienne

    No one cares about me.

    Humans are strange creatures. They have something they call “money,” which somehow helps them get food or those strange things that roll down a special path….a “road,” I believe they call it….at speeds faster than even the swiftest cheetah I have had the displeasure of meeting. Whatever this thing called “money” may do in human society, the creatures are fond of it, yet they often give large amounts to see things that don’t even interest them.

    No one cares about wildebeests. Apparently, humans are fascinated with the idea that there are over a million of us, and they seem intrigued by our migration patterns, so they give large amounts of money to watch us. Many are visitors from across a large lake called “Ocean,” and they think we’re amazing because there are no wildebeests on the other side of this Ocean Lake.

    However, when one wildebeest dies, do any humans say, “Oh, the poor wildebeest lost his life!”? Not at all! Their fascination is always with the lion or whatever other predator murdered the hapless creature! If they don’t care about us, why do they give up so much of this “money” to watch us walk across the savanna?

    I’m used to it by now. I’ve always just been a sort of crowd follower, just one of the herd. In a wildebeest herd, you have to look out for yourself. When there are over a million of you, who cares if a few thousand die? With such short life expectancies, we rarely risk making friends. What’s the point? Why even try forming a close friendship if one of you is going to be pulled in the Grumeti River by a crocodile or torn to pieces by lionesses before the end of the month? However, even though you learn to be independent, you know you can never survive on your own; your only chance of safety is to blend in with the rest of the herd, so you follow. Individuality is a small price to pay for survival.

    All my life, I wanted to be unique in some way. I never knew my chance would finally come, but it would be during the throes of death.

    Ever since the beginning of the week, a human has been watching my herd and moving a stick across a soft white leaf….I think this is called “writing.” This human also stares into a strange small gourd when he watches us….a “camera,” I believe. He seems curious about us, as if he’s trying to learn what it’s like to be a wildebeest. I overheard him mutter to himself about a “documentary.” I don’t know what this means; we don’t have any on the savanna.

    He was looking at his camera gourd when a pack of hyenas killed a calf this morning. The poor calf hadn’t even been alive a full hour, but such is the way of life for my species.

    The human man was using the camera again when the wild dogs saw my herd. I had run for my life many times, but this was different. For the first time, I had been singled out as the target. Predators usually attack the young, the weak, or the elderly. I suppose the dogs noticed the slight illness I had.

    Most animals prefer to be hunted by cheetahs. Although these are the fastest creatures, they can only run a short distance before tiring. Wild dogs aren’t nearly as swift, but their endurance is beyond compare. After we had run for miles, they were still chasing our herd, trying to separate me from the others.

    I felt a sharp pain in my side when I tripped. The agony increased greatly, and I noticed my fur turning red from my own blood. Surely it won’t be long now, but I wish they had killed me instantly instead of eating me alive.

    I will be known as an individual now. I am no longer just one of millions; I am unique, a wildebeest known to humans who find this “documentary,” whatever it may be. In my death, I have achieved what I desired my entire life, but it’s hardly worth it. If only I could live just one more day, I would gladly be an anonymous herd member and not the wildebeest seen in this human’s camera gourd.

    Even though I have been granted a form of individuality, I know that even now, no one will care about my demise. Lions may steal me from wild dogs, as they often steal meat from hyenas. Vultures may steal me from lions. In only a few days, even my bones will vanish, eaten by some creature who needed nourishment, but no one, not even a member of my own species, will waste one thought of pity on me. Who cares about the demise of one wildebeest when over a million still live?

    Black shadow that arrives, I welcome you! Overtake me now, that my suffering may finally be over. Goodbye, savanna. The rainy season will bring new grass that I shall never taste. If anyone had ever cared for an individual wildebeest, then I would gladly use my last breath to tell th….

    1. jhowe

      Nice narrative from the wildebeest. Aren’t they called gnu’s too? Or is that a water buffalo? You illustrated the loneliness of creatures that rely on safety in numbers.

      1. victoirec'estlamienne

        I’m glad you enjoyed it. Yes, the wildebeest is the animal also called the gnu. I got the idea because I noticed that humans who are also in large crowds, albeit for different reasons, are sometimes even more lonesome than those who are by themselves.

    2. snuzcook

      You’ve drawn from an interesting perspective, victoirec’estlamienne. I have never before really considered the wildebeest, much less the introspective and philosophical members of that species. It occurs to me, reading your story, that in stories of the end of days, it is the self-aware and introspective who create the clapper of the bell that tolls for that moment.
      I guess that’s why this prompt is a good one, and your story a good response.

      1. victoirec'estlamienne

        Thank you for your comments. I’ve always wanted to see a nature documentary about wildebeests since they’re such a common “grocery item” in documentaries about the large carnivorous animals of Africa, but despite the vastness of herds, these don’t seem to be very popular animals. As for the story being over 500 words, you’re absolutely right. I would have been much more careful with that, but I had no idea anyone would actually be interested in reading it, nor did I intend to do future responses to prompts, so after a long day of watching cartoons, I just decided to post this because I was bored. However, I have enjoyed reading everyone’s feedback so I can use it to improve my writing, so if I do post again in the future, I’ll definitely try taking it more seriously.

      1. swatchcat

        This story was good. It was complete in its telling of the life cycle of such an animal that is possibly taken for granted. I think this prompt however has opened up the flood gates for some PSA styles stories for creatures or inanimate objects that can’t speak for themselves. Good though, very good.

  25. geogal

    Xena was named for her heart and not her size. She had the markings of a Rottweiler when she was a puppy which is how she received the name of a warrior princess. Her owners had always told her she earned her name because she was all heart. Xena missed those days in her warm home with loving owners and lots of food! Those days seemed like a distant memory now. She still has the scar on her shoulder from trying to save her owners from the strangers that broke in the house. There were just too many of them coming from every direction. But there is no time for sadness and pity. The chaos and panic on the streets warns of dangers.
    Searching for food is a new skill hard won through trial and error. No human can be trusted these days. Xena witnessed awful horrors and the smells are just as scary. No, stealth and patience is her best friend now. As night falls Xena begins her search for food along the cluttered streets. She puts her nose up to the sky and takes in a few deep sniffs to be sure there is no humans nearby. Finally, she has some freedom to roam and search. The smell of fires is still fresh and a haze hangs low over the streets. The odor of a burning town makes it hard to pick up on distant scents. Then, she picks up a scent that is familiar. Xena cautiously follows this scent. She is careful not to run out in the open and constantly looks around. The smell is stronger as she walks in between two old rusted cars. She peeks around the car and sees the source of the smell. A chicken! But, it has been hit by a car and has all its feathers still attached. No matter, she grabs the chicken and runs for a hiding spot carrying the chicken in her jaws. She sees a collapsed shed with an opening and investigates. Once she determined it was safe Xena crawls in and begins trying to figure out how to get the feathers off her prize. She was too hungry to remove all the feathers and started eating her chicken along with a few feathers.
    When she was finished eating, Xena decided it was safe enough to take a nap. As she drifted to sleep she longed for her owners and the warmth of their love. Xena even missed the cat she was once so jealous over. Freshie, the cat she grew up with, was very affectionate and loved to snuggle with her. How nice it would be to snuggle with Freshie again. Xena drifted off into a light sleep and enjoyed the feel of food in her stomach. Food was so much work for so little reward these days.
    Suddenly, a sound awoke Xena from her nap. She lifted her head up to peek out of the crack in the wood. She could see no movement. She put her nose up to pick up a scent. Xena stood up in excitement because she knew this smell. Could it be possible after all the chaos and death? Was that really Freshie? Xena climbed out of the opening and startled a very muddy and unhappy cat. The cat hissed and arched his back as Xena approached slowly. The cat appeared ready to strike, but then hesitated. Xena quietly whimpered to the cat hoping it was her friend Freshie. The cat walked closer trying to smell Xena. Then, at last, it was Freshie! Freshie walked over to Xena rubbing up against her and giving her the famous head bonk. Xena rubbed Freshie back with strong excitement and happiness. She showed Freshie to her hiding spot and shared her chicken with the very hungry and tired Freshie.
    When the meal was over they both snuggled up and napped together. Finally, Xena had found a friend and could face the end of the world with an old companion. She thought about what a good day it was for her today.

  26. Traceykins

    I am stronger now than I have ever been before. What started as a small disturbance has collected, dispersed and reassembled enough times to breathe a whole new life into me. My various arms have now grown to 20 times the size of anything previously known to this world and my strength exceeds the limitations of whatever records were formerly held. I’ve been here before, but never like this.

    I intuitively know that the magnitude of my force signifies the beginning of the end. Although I do not know enough to fully comprehend why this has come to be or exactly what degree of destruction I will cause, I can sense that the power I feel surging through me, although awesome and magnificent, is just a prelude to what will come after my demise.

    For now, though, my winds will scour the lands, leaving nothing within my reach unscathed. My rains will pour down and cover all that dares to sink too far beneath me. I will forge ahead on my journey, covering entire continents with my wrath. Even though I may seem to be relishing these adventures, I anxiously await the one moment I was meant for; the moment when I reconnect with my true love. She is coming down from the north to meet with me and when we touch, there will be a grand conspiring. Our forces will unite as we collide into each other and take on the world together.

    She will seize my rain and my wind and metamorphose them into the most beautifully brutal blizzard known to history. Time may not freeze for us to spend eternity together, but the earth below us certainly will. Like any good romance, we will ride this wave hand in hand until nature forces us to part, stripping us of our strength and our powers. We will leave broken, but with pieces of each other, and the memories of our astounding sojourn around the world.

    1. swatchcat

      I am listening to The Notebook on the television across the room as I give your story my attention and am impressed with the romantic storm you have written about. Noah and his love are ripping their clothes of during a rain storm on TV and your story matches the crescendo as your two storm fronts collide. Well written, I liked this very much.

  27. snuzcook


    “Mama, what are you doing?”

    “I have to put away just a few things. I don’t want to leave a mess.”

    “But Mama, no one is going to see it.” He put a hand on her shoulder.

    She looked up at him, brushing at a white curl that had escaped from the neat braids atop her head. “I would know,” she said, and turned back to her work.

    “We’re ready, Boss.” A small figure in red and green put his head through the open door.

    “Okay,” the man nodded. He tucked his stockinged feet into a pair of shiny black boots. “Time to go,” he called.

    “I’m ready,” the woman said, her voice trembling. She came to him, fastening a heavy warm cloak and hood. He stood and put his arms around her. He pressed his lips to the top of her head, his beard the same snowy color as her hair. She sniffed and smiled.

    “That’s my girl,” he said.

    Together they walked out into the cold of a clear, arctic night. The sky shimmered in many colors as the frozen particles blown skyward by the Armagedon thousands of miles away were transformed into a spectacle of beauty. They climbed in and sat, side by side, on the seat of an old-fashioned sleigh.

    “Do you think we’ll ever be back?” the woman asked.

    “Maybe, someday, if the floods and fires recede and the people survive.”

    “If the people survive, then there will be children.”


    “And as long as there are children, there will be hope,” she said.

    “Yes,” he said, flicking the reins as the sled rose up into the sky. “And that hope will bring us back home.”

      1. swatchcat

        Gosh, I really wasn’t reading this one correctly. I started to have questions and had to reread several times. Ah-ha Santa is leaving, we ruined it for him and his wife but maybe just maybe he’ll, we’ll be back. Nice story. Definitely could tell more. Where the heck does he go?

        1. snuzcook

          My apologies, Swatchchat. I realized in rereading after posting (the 6th reread) that starting wth “mama” would evoke a child’s voice to the reader, while I was hearing the baritone of Mr. Claus when I typed it.
          Could that be what muddled the waters from the start?

          Where the heck? Now that he can’t hang out at that little resort with the Easter Bunny and that femme fatale the Tooth Fairy anymore, I am thinking parallel realities. I address this in my story for one of the Forum holiday story exchanges.

  28. Sheila55

    Up in the heavens we once dwelled, while now on earth they live in hell.

    Poison smoke now fills the sky, choked us, we soon would die.

    We bought the rain to nourish your lands; then so willowy and white, we shielded you from the suns mighty light.

    It was also because of you, as you went about your day with never a thought that we would go away.

    We tried to tell you, we tried to warn, but all men do is scoff, and they scorned.

    Ashes would fall and with it a burning rain, when they pushed the button the thought was of gain and never mind the pain.

    Brother fighting against brother, in the end no one wins for such a grievous sin.

    So now you trudge through rubble and mud, your fate you now begrudge.

    Death will come, not soon enough to settle the final score; all that lives upon the earth will surely be no more.