Jim sits comfortable upon a simple grey chair.  Dressed in his best Sunday suit, a Calvin Klein stolen from the remains of a men’s store.  Jim adjusts the wide brimmed fedora upon his head and settles into the mass of broken concrete and remains of the world’s past.

“The world imploded on itself,” Jim thought stretching his feet out in front of him.  He was miles away from Philadelphia but it was still a breathtaking view of progress, peace and hidden angst.

“The whole world was a tinderbox of anger.”

It started as a rebellion.  An excursion of terror that was dismissed as palatable.  The rebellion grew as others realized life, as they knew it, was incorrect and wrong.  States fell and peaceful nations stood and watched as ‘those other people’ suffered.

“Those other people wanted to be at peace.  They wanted what we had and became desperate to have it.”

In order to grasp the horror of the incoming wave of the rebellion the, once peaceful, states punished the fallen states.  They pummelled them into submission as the rebellion scurried away and rebuilt.

“The rebellion spoke of oppression and sold a solution to the ones that were listening and beat the mantra into the ones that were not.”

The rebellion rekindled as peace washed over the world but failed to soak the population.  The positions of the politicians had changed.  They had a demonstration of brute strength that worked.  A policy of terror that would save the peace and color the people white with candy-coated smiles.

“I didn’t see any smiling happy people roaming the streets with an oversized lollipop and a skip in their step,” Jim thinks as he hears a distant rumble.

Void of emotion, Jim watches as a tower of glass falls within the city.  It’s steel structure standing upon the human optimism that used to exist.  The dust cloud bellows upward toward the sky only to fall short and roll outward.

The emotion empty, except for a partial tear hanging onto the dirt covered face of an overworked, post-apocalyptic father of four.  Jim turns his head suddenly.  His chair skirts over the concrete and tumbles down a mountain of rubble.

“Daddy,  Katie and I want to play ball with the Watson family down the street.”

Jim looks down and stares at the blue eyes of his youngest child.  Her face covered in dirt and her clothes torn.

“Well, you have your playing clothes on already.  Watch out for debris?  Make sure the adults cleared the area you’re playing in and someone is there to watch you.”

“Ok, daddy,” the small child answers and turns when Katie pulls her hand but she stops and turns.


“Yes, dear,” Jim replies.

“What are you doing?”

The tear, hung so well, builds and becomes heavy.  It falls and disappears within Jim’s shoulder.

“I’m at church.”

For Elements of Genre Writing


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