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Last Ark

The doors of the ark slam shut. But are you on the right side?

By Jerald WegehenkelPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - February 2024

The door slammed shut. The entire ark shuddered as the massive bolts slid into place. Silence filled the entryway. The hammering resounding oppressive silence of separation from mother earth. I stared at the gun in my hand, how many had I killed? The chaos at the door, the last surge of humanity, crushing to board. They could not all fit. They would not all fit, I made sure of that.

A rumble from the depths of the ship. It drove up through my soles, into my spine, vibrating every bone. The main engines come to life. I grasped the console looking into the monitor. The crowd outside, they didn’t flee, they didn’t panic, they just waited. Quick death by the fire of our ascent was preferable. I could see prayer on their lips, felt mine following along.

Somewhere out there were my parents, my aunts, my uncles, my family. Not in the crowd outside the door, nor in the sea of humanity at the spaceport. They were content to stay home, wait for the fate that nature or gods or demons had brought. Yet somehow I knew, the prayer was on their lips as well.

How had we come to this, come to a state where abandonment was preferable? The heads on the screens, they talked, and talked and raged and blamed and talked, but it meant nothing. The time of doom was at hand. “Make peace with your gods and prepare for the end.” And then a golden voice rang out. “Perhaps some can be saved.” it said. And we listened. Those with the gold brought it forth, and secured their places. Those without cried out in anguish. And then the golden voice came again, a lottery was formed. Thus ensured that some would go, some who had not the gold.

Months ago the lottery came and took me in the night. There was no choice, no bargaining, no forewarning. This was the way of the lottery.

My place was prescribed. To stand in the doorway, to be a preventer, a blockader, a separator of life and death. It was not granted to me to choose, only to enforce, An angel of fire, or a demon of denial, only a doorside of difference between doom and destiny. This also was the way of the lottery.

I performed my duty. I stood in my place, I am a savior of humanity. I culled the many so the few might live.

The rumble has ceased. The golden voice speaks once again. We are free from earth, we go to our destined place. The gun in my hands is useless now, but I see, I still see...A stream of bullets from my gun ripping into their flesh, I spewed raging death upon them from afar. Their broken forms, piled and smeared outside the door. The fires have erased their bodies, but their souls live on, following me on this pillar to the stars. Here on this ark, this seed of humanity, I see their blood on my hands, a stain that seeps into my soul.

Was it worth it?

There is no one left now, only the fires far below, the fires of torment that I will carry with me.

Was it worth it?

We built this ark, we humans. Scraped together the last of the precious resources, How many died so that we could build it, how many wasted away in the shadow of its construction. This ship, a promise that a few might live while the rest wither behind.

Was it worth it?

The stain on my hands is growing. The prayer on my lips is unceasing. I still have one bullet left.

Is it worth it?

Short StorySci Fi

About the Creator

Jerald Wegehenkel

Part time writer, full time weirdo. I focus on short works of fantasy and fiction, and dabble in a bit of poetry.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (10)

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  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Francis Connor2 months ago

    Captures the idea of what may come well.

  • Rayya Abu Ghosh2 months ago

    Congratulations! Jay, reading this .. as enchanting as the flow of the images and feelings are .. was surprisingly not as sci-fi-ish as I would like it to be. Given the affairs of the world today, i feel there is too many people who should feel the way the protagonist here feels. But maybe the problem is, they don't. Thank you for you imagination and for sharing your gifts.

  • Christy Munson2 months ago

    Interesting read! Congratulations on Top Story! I agree with Dana about "The Ark." Your story also reminds me of New Model Army's song, "One Bullet" which asks "do you keep one bullet left for yourself..." If you enjoy editing as much as writing, if you ever choose to revisit this story, I'd love to see what you could do playing with present and past tense. Just a thought. Again, nicely done!

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    Your stat is challenging your story is so beautiful you write like this you will be a great writer I wish and yes one more thing please open my vocal id and a story come later

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    This one rings a little like the SYFY series, "The Ark" that debuted last year, but I like the fact that this focuses on the last ship to leave, and telling it from the perspective of the prescribed "blockader," along with his inner conflict makes it a great read. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    I really like this one, sir. Well done and well-deserved Top Story!

  • Matthew Fromm2 months ago

    ooo this is nice. Great work building the world through internal conflict.

  • Test2 months ago

    Great job! Keep up the fantastic work—congratulations!

  • Kim Jones2 months ago

    So many emotions! Everything we know and were taught as a civilization is questioned and challenged right here! Excellent read

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