General Fiction posted May 16, 2017

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A man is informed that the end of the earth is imminent

Time's up

by oliver818

The warm quilt fell back and my feet landed on the cold floor as the dog's barking grew more and more excited. My fingers followed the wooden edge of the drawer until I found the handle. My hand banged against the handle of the pocket knife I keep in there and I pulled it out. The short blade gleamed in the light of the street lamp that still burnt outside.

The cool morning air ran over my face as I pulled open the front door. The barking stopped, and I saw a group of animals in front of me. At the front was a beautiful, white Husky, behind it a long, striped tiger, the twisting tail of a dark green crocodile, and various other smaller creatures. The dog rose up in front of me. Instinct kicked in and I dropped to my knees to escape the oncoming mouth and thrust out the knife. The mouth closed on my hand and the knife jingled to the ground.

"Ow, shit," I said, rubbing my tender hand. My eyes looked up at the teeth-filled mouth that hung above me.

"Human, I'm afraid it's time to leave."

"What? You, you can talk?"

"Why do humans always ask that? Yes, I can talk. I am Krigil, a representative from Galaxy Company, and a middle manager in our asset management team. Your lease has run out and it's time to leave. And not a minute too late, look what you've done to this place. It's a mess."

"The lease? Of my house? You're mistaken, Krigil, this is my house, I own it."

"Not the house, fool, earth. You, and all human kind must leave. You've dug it up, burnt it, fouled it, it needs a good resetting. It'll be thousands of years before anyone can settle here again. Needless to say, you won't be getting your deposit back."

"Hang on, I'm confused. You're telling me humanity leased this planet from you?"

"From the Galaxy Company, yes. Six thousand years ago. I have a copy of the contract here. Now hurry up and pack, we still have a lot of other people to inform."

"But how will we leave? And where will we go?"

"Well, I guess it's true, you are much less advanced than when you arrived here, obviously a result of your rather short life span. But if you read your contract, you will find there is a clause stating that any reduction in your people's level of technology and civilization is absolutely not Galaxy Company's responsibility."

"But what happens if we can't leave?"

"Again, article 6 of your contract clearly states that the planet will be reset after use. That means intense, rapid, cooling followed by intense heating. You won't survive that so you'd better think of something. Thank you for choosing Galaxy Company, and have a great day."

The barking of the dogs echoed down the street as they knocked on doors. I turned on the TV and by 7am, all the networks were reporting the story.

I packed my bags, listening as the president of the United Nations discussed live with the extension of the contract.

"Oh come now, surely there must be a way around this? We have a lot of money."

"Well frankly, we are disinclined to rent to you again due to the state of the place. And anyway, Earth money is of no use to us, you know that. Article twelve clearly states all leasing fees must be paid with Intergalactic Money."

"And where can we get that?"

"Well, Jupiter has an ATM, but you need a bank card. And I imagine you lost yours. And a spaceship would help too."


"Listen, I don't have time for this. If you haven't left earth by tomorrow, eight am, I'm afraid you will all die."

Civil defense alarms rang out, as I called my parents. They had been informed by a leopard and a python that they needed to leave, and his father had thrown out his medical marijuana, before seeing the news report.

As I write this, the cooling has begun. The animals have all left, and humanity has done what it always does in times of tragedy, turned on itself. If you find this, please remember, the Galaxy Company is not to be trusted.

Sunday, Monday, Doomsday... writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a flash fiction story up to 700 words that involves a doomsday scenario. Anything goes, but the end of the world, or its perception, must be a driving force in your story.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Anne at

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