Mike and the two other men watched as Joe lead the nine children across the glacier to the launch pad. Joe had drawn the longest straw. Three of the children were Mike’s. They turned one last time and waved to their father, and he slowly brought his hand up with a final goodbye.
Mike patted the other two men on the back, “Let’s go prep the launch.” They turned back and made their way to the control room.
A few hours later, everyone was secured in their seats, and the rocket was successfully launched.
Mike smiled, “We saved them.” He turned to look at the other two men.
There was silence. The room was empty. He was in his cabin, not a control room. The two other men were nowhere to be seen.
The ice had crept up to his doorway and sealed it shut. The electricity had shut off a week ago, and he was bundled up, huddled under every blanket he owned, shivering, starving and feverish. The last radio announcement — was that a week or two weeks ago? or a minute ago? — was that the entire planet was entering an ice age. The only way to be saved would be to leave the planet.
His children were safe, that’s all that mattered. Mike closed his eyes one last time.
Thanks to Jez Farmer for Jeremy’s Weekly Challenge. Jez provides us with photo, quote, and word prompts and asks us for 200-word-count flash fiction or poetry between 14 and 20 lines. Everyone is invited to participate. Just click on the blue froggy to add a link to your piece.