#LastLineFirst – A #FlashFiction Challenge: Week 6

last line firstHello and welcome to another round of Last Line First. How did we get to Week 6 already?

Your last line prompt this week is from Killing to Save by Paul. I picked it as my favourite because it’s short and snappy and makes me want to read on.

As always, you have until midnight (GMT) on Sunday to comment on this post with your ≤200 word flash-fictions. Remember, you can tweak the last line however you see fit. For a full run-down of the rules and easy access to previous challenges and their stories visit this page.

So, here’s your new first line:

Sometimes you feel like you’ve just saved the world.


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9 thoughts on “#LastLineFirst – A #FlashFiction Challenge: Week 6

  1. The Ripple Effect (195 words)

    “Sometimes you feel like you’ve just saved the world. But of course, the next day you could feel like you’re destroying it. Every decision we make, has a ripple effect,” the professor pauses in his monologue to motion towards the screen behind him. Images of a ravaged landscape loom above the lecture hall. With each click of the pointer, a new, more devastating scene is set before them. Huge masses of land depleted of all nutrients from years of logging, pesticides and rapid growth using who knows what
    GMOs. In another slide, mountains of landfill piled high and stretched wide; all that’s recognisable is the ‘throw-away’ culture of generations before. Those who didn’t pay head to what their choices would mean for those to come.
    “There is no guarantee that the same thing won’t happen to the next planet we inhabit, but the challenge for you, the first generations to travel there, will be to create a society that is conscientious. A society that thinks more about how their decisions will impact the generations to come. For if we, as humans, do not change the way we live, humanity will simply cease to exist.”

  2. Unknown Saviour

    200 words

    Sometimes you feel like you just saved the world. Your heart swells. You feel there must be sign, a huge neon arrow pointing at you flashing the words “Saviour of the World as We Know It”. Then you look around, and no-one is staring, no-one is cheering, no applause, no news crews waiting to interview you.
    And you realise that, yes, you may have just saved the world, but not one single, solitary person noticed. Their lives carry on without so much as a blip, no flickering lights, no tell-tale alarms, no dip in the power supply. And that is down to you. To your genius, your skill. To the fact that you are so good at saving the world that you spotted the problem and solved it before anyone even knew there was one.
    And that’s good, because if people knew how fragile their world really was, well, they would never sleep in their beds, would they?
    But oh! Sometimes, wouldn’t it be nice to get the credit? To hear the ripple of appreciation stirring through the crowd, to have your hand clasped, fervently shaken, and to be thanked.
    “Thank you.”
    Yes, just occasionally, that would be nice.

  3. Why? – 200 Words

    Sometimes you feel like you’ve just saved the world. And sometimes you feel like you’ve just destroyed it… As a scientist, I just wanted to help people; make the voices in their heads stop; their dreams less nightmarish.

    Instead, those that don’t need it abuse it; treat it like some kinda ‘high’. It’s strange that a drug developed to calm the savage screams of those that need it, creates the same screams in those that don’t.

    Six teens took 4 each all at once. They repeated this twice every week for just two months. Every time they did this, they were taking 8 times the prescribed dosage if they had the illness to start with, which they didn’t.

    Ironically, they do now; all 6 of them. The screams constantly torment them; the voices never stop. And now there are no drugs to help them; they’ve broken their immune system beyond repair by overdosing on something they never needed… Something I created…

    I did all the human trials required, and more, ensuring they aren’t addictive… And yet it seems, one person can convince the masses to abuse it.

    Of course, this begs the question… Why do people do what they do?

  4. We are the Stories
    200 words

    “Sometimes you feel like you’ve just saved the world,” Nadia said. She and her companion had stopped along the hills overlooking the village. Terraced fields spread below them.

    “We did good,” Jasper agreed. “The food wasn’t too shabby, either.”

    “I still don’t know why you picked me, ” Nadia sighed. “I’m nobody special.”

    “But you are,” Jasper said. ” I couldn’t save that village alone. They don’t trust strangers. Tigers or bandits, what choice did they have? They were lucky we came along.”

    “I guess we were lucky they were looking for a girl and a tiger. Just like their stories.”

    “We are the stories.” The tiger smiled at the dark-haired girl.

    The two friends continued on their way. At last, they came to a crossroads in the forest. “Which way do we go, now?” Nadia asked.

    “You go this way.” Jasper pointed. “That path will take you right to your door. You’ll wake up in your own bed. You don’t want to be late for school.”

    “But what about you?” Nadia cried. ” I don’t want to leave you.”

    “I’ll be here,” Jasper said. His stripes blended in perfectly with the shadows of the trees. “I can’t wait for our next adventure.”

  5. Sometimes you feel like you’ve just saved the world, said the man in the iron suit, brushing down his armour. The crowd roared, and I imagine he must have been smiling inside his helmet.

    Remnants of the alien ships were still dropping out of the sky in wet, fiery clumps and occasionally the crowd would surge forward, away from falling debris. The streets were packed, and my son Jasper clutched me as we were swept this way and that.

    We’d been Christmas shopping for his mum and brother when the attack happened. We’d lost our bags hours ago. Looking up, squinting into the softly falling snow, cheeks pink in the light of burning buildings, he looked exhausted, the earlier fear spent, but his eyes were now rekindling with excitement.
    “Can we go meet him? Please, Dad?”

    The metal man was trying to make his way through the crowd, who were reluctant to part for him, everyone wanting a photo, a touch. Scooping Jasp up in my arms, I started pushing forward – I’m a hefty guy – until I saw the trail of uneven, bloody steps the armoured boots were leaving. Too abruptly, I dropped my son to stand for himself.

    (199 words)


  6. Victory Sandwich

    Sometimes you feel like you’ve just saved the world even if all you have done in stop one small company going out of business.

    “We’ll sign the contract.” The words become children inside me, powered by excitement. I’ve done it. I got us across that magical, everything will be okay line. A quick nonchalant email to the boss, the boss, announcing the news then off to lunch. The fine detail can wait. A victory sandwich is called for.

    The rain teems down, not a single drop can dampen the rush inside me. I dodge between speeding cars to reach Sandwich Mecca, literally the Mecca of sandwich shops. As always I go for the Old Boy – cheese, ham, mayo and slaw – on doorstopper bread. Weighty and important, the way a victory sandwich should feel.

    The rain outside is heavier, pavements start to flood, cars light up. A quick left and right, and across the road. Nothing can stop the buzz, not even a ten ton lorry, light’s bright. So bright they hold you in place.

    Metal on flesh, flesh on concrete.


    (Word Count 181)

  7. Sometimes you feel like you’ve just saved the world. You sit back in your car taking stock, sighing from your ordeal. Nearly over, just need to get home. You did it.

    You reverse out, navigate the couple having a chat and the abandoned trolley. And join the snaking queue leaving the car park. Edge slowly forward while a jolly Disc Jockey breaks the silence. You feel a bit like stabbing him just from the sound of his voice. Retune. Move forward two spaces. Listen to a Politician. Wonder if you needed toothpaste. Pause to let someone out in front.

    The rain starts. You swear at the rain and the politician. Retune. Harp. Soothing notes massage your aching muscles. While the wipers lull your brain. The lights turn green and you move. Almost onto the road. Well, Nearly. A cyclist crosses your path. Stops you from going and the lights redden again as a car horn from behind shatters your calm.

    The harp finishes. You remember you needed milk. News report . Awful. Distressing. Retune. Oh goodness. You haven’t heard this since… Oh my! You’re really transported then. The lights turn green and you’re off.

    (197 words)


  8. The Importance of Human Interaction

    Sometimes you feel like you’ve just saved the world from sinking into an abyss of inhumanity simply by helping and engaging with someone face-to-face, thought Sam. She was walking back through the hospital’s main atrium having checked in an elderly lady for her appointment and accompanying her to the Urology waiting area. The lady had been so grateful that volunteers were on hand to help patients visiting the hospital many of whom, like herself, were anxious about their appointments and having to use the computerised self check-in. She’d been relieved that she’d been able to communicate with somebody who was warm and welcoming rather than an impersonal computer screen.

    Sam looked over towards the main entrance and, with the experience of a long-term hospital volunteer, spotted a white-haired gentleman hobbling in, a stick clenched in each gnarled hand. Walking over to him she said, “Can I help you, Sir?”

    “Thank you my dear. Could you please help me to the Neurology department? I know it’s the furthest away and I can’t walk that distance”, he said.

    “Certainly”, said Sam. “I’ll get a wheelchair for you.”

    © scribblesbysmudge February 2015

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