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The Culling

A Fictional Story About What Might Happen When Earth Is Over Populated

By Donna Fox (HKB)Published about a year ago 12 min read
3
Image Created with DALL-E Software.

The doorbell rang, unexpectedly.

Furrowing his brow in confusion, Jamieson walked towards the door. Whipping out his phone and checking for expected deliveries. But seeing nothing he pocketed it.

Swinging the door open he was met by the sight of a large drone.

It spanned the width of his door. Hovering in place as it carried a sizeable package, about the same size as it. Which swung side to side beneath it as it slowly began to move forward, entering the house.

Jamieson, stepped back, leaving the front door open and allowing the drone in. Stepping to the side, he allowed it to make its way to his living room and place the package down.

Before it zoomed out of the house through the front door.

Standing in confusion for a second. Jamieson looked from the wide open door to the package and back. Still expecting the drone be there or for it to return. But nothing happened.

After a few seconds still nothing happened. So he closed the door and approached the package with curiosity. Tilting his head to the side, he leaned over and read the label: Do not open until January 25th 2025 at 8:25pm.

Scoffing to himself, he went to the kitchen and came back with a knife.

The second the knife slid across the tape on top, a beeping sound came from the package. Followed by a large explosion that engulfed the entire house, leaving no survivors.

* * *

“Hundreds of drones have been reported delivering packages. Causing mayhem across the country. Hundreds of civilians are dead after having opened said packages. Authorities are yet to determine the cause or reason for the deliveries. Not to mention who is sending them. The public is asked not to accept or open packages if delivered. I repeat, do not open the packages. You are instead asked to call the authorities.” A red haired woman on the news channel informed the viewer.

* * *

Another doorbell rings.

Sitting at his desk, Henry opened his phone to view the doorbell camera.

A drone with a package, hovered just in view.

Humming to himself, Henry opened his bottom desk drawer and pulled out his hand gun. With a deep breath he calmly walked to the front door. Flinging it open, he pointing the gun at the drone. “Get off of my porch before I reach three.” He bellowed. Crouching in a defensive stance, gun pointed at the drone and eyes fixed upon his target.

Seconds later, a sharp clicking sound split the air. Like that of the sound of a silenced hand gun.

The next second, Henry fell to the floor with a flop. A bullet sized hole now in his forehead, his body motionless as blood tickled out.

* * *

“Do not engage with the drones. I repeat, do not engage. Hostile residents are being killed by drones. The body count continues to grow as more civilians try to resist their agenda.” The red haired woman on the news informed the viewer.

* * *

Another doorbell rings.

Conroy checks his doorbell camera from work.

Seeing the drone, he immediately stands up and calls his wife.

“Janette, do not answer the door. Take Timmy downstairs and wait for it to leave. I’m calling the cops.” He sputtered, sweat beading and beginning to run down his face.

* * *

At Conroy’s House.

Janette quickly gathers her son and they go to the basement. Keeping the lights off as they sit downstairs in the dark with flashlights.

“What’s going on mommy?” Timmy asks in a small squeaky voice.

Ding, dong. The doorbells rings again.

“We are playing hide and seek.” She explained with a faux smile. Her eyes unable to hide the fear and worry.

Ding, dong. It rings again, interrupting her.

“Daddy will come find us when it’s time to come out.” She continued, her voice shaking nervously. Janette’s eyes wandered to the basement door as she said a silent prayer that they would be safe.

Then came the crash of glass breaking, upstairs. Followed by a thud of something falling on the floor and a beeping sound.

Next, an explosion and the house erupted in flames.

* * *

“We do not know who is sending the packages, the authorities are unable to intercept and track the drones. Calling the authorities is no longer recommended. As this has resulted in several hundreds of death alone. The death tole reaching well into the thousands now, with no sign of stopping.” The lady on the news channel reported. “It is recommended that you allow the drone inside in a timely fashion. Then follow the instructions on the package. All that have been peacefully delivered say not to be opened until January 25th of 2025 at 8:25pm. Being tomorrow, we expect that no more packages will be delivered after that time.” She explained, blinking nervously into the camera at the viewer.

The doorbell rang and Felix turned off the TV. Getting up and shuffling his way to the door, opening it lazily.

Only to be met by the sight of a drone with a large package.

“Oh, I thought you were my pizza delivery.” He commented off handedly. Opening the door wider and stepping to the side so it could enter.

“Won’t you come in.” He offered, as it zoomed in.

Placing the package on his coffee table and zooming out.

“Bye.” He bid the drone, closing the door behind it.

Walking over to the package, he read the label : Do not open until January 25th 2025 at 8:25pm.

Pulling his phone out, the time read 8:20pm.

“Only five minutes.” He muttered to himself, setting a timer on his phone and grabbing a knife from the kitchen. Then taking a seat on the couch, to wait for it.

Moments later, his phone began to buzz.

Silencing it, he used the knife and opened the package.

On top there was an old DVD player with a disc along side it. Written on the disc: Put in and push play.

“If you say so.” Felix muttered to himself.

Doing as instructed, he set it up and put the disc in. Placing it on his coffee table, beside the package he waited for it to load.

While he waited. He peaked into the original package and saw several other small packages within.

Soon the DVD came to life with a chiming sound.

His attention drawn back to the DVD player, Felix was met by the sight of a nondescript person in a mask.

They entered the screen and sat upon a large black leather chair.

“Good Evening,” they began in a cryptic scrambled voice. “The rules of this game are simple. Follow my instructions and you will survive. For those who fail to do so in a timely manner, this will be your fate.” They paused and the screen changed. Showing several short clips. Each one showing a package exploding and destroying everything around it.

Felix, sat emotionless, watching the small screen before him.

“These were the people who failed to open the package at the instructed time. This is your first and final warning. Now, your first task is simple. At 9:00pm exactly, you are to open the next package. Let the games begin.” The masked person stated. Followed by the same chiming sound that had happened at the beginning of the video. Then the screen went black.

Looking at his phone again, the time read 8:52pm.

Feeling he had lots of time still, Felix decided to rummage through the package a little bit. Pulling out five packages in total, four of which had various times written on them.

Likely for the order of the following tasks, which he lined up on the couch beside him in ascending order. Placing the now empty original box on the floor beside the coffee table. He then moved the DVD player so that it was in the middle.

Looking up at his wall clock, the time now read 8:59pm.

Grabbing the one labelled 9:00pm he sat and waited for the time to turn. Opening the package promptly at 9:00pm, to find a small box of jelly beans that read: Eat me.

Following the instructions, he took the box and tipped it into his mouth. Chewing a mouth full of lime flavour jelly beans, Felix looked in the box for more instructions. Finding nothing, he tossed it aside.

In the next moment, a familiar chiming sound came from the DVD player.

The masked person appeared again.

“Congratulations on following the instructions. Half of the jelly beans are poisoned and some of you have failed to follow the instructions. Here are the consequence.” The masked person paused.

Next, several clips of people exploding began to play again. Others choked on the jelly beans and died, likely from the poison. Other clips showed authorities arriving at peoples homes, followed by explosions.

In Felix’s mind the message was clear, do not call for help. His only option was to follow instructions in order to survive.

“The next package is to be opened at 9:35pm.” The masked person instructed. Before the chimes sounded and the DVD player went blank again.

Looking at his phone, it read 9:25pm.

Giving him ten minutes to reorganize the boxes beside the DVD player on the coffee table and grab a snack. Coming back with a bag of chips, he sat and waited for time to tick onward, until it was 9:35pm.

Opening the package, he finds an index card on the top. Reading: The first and last will die. Press before 9:45pm.

Below was a large red button.

The DVD player turned on, displaying the time in blinking red numbers.

Felix took a breath and watched the time tick by. Waiting until 9:41 to push the button. Which resulted in nothing.

He sat in limbo, looking between the button and the DVD player for the next five minutes.

The DVD player chimed and the masked person appeared again.

“Congratulations to those of you who have survived, thus far. I am surprised at how few of you there are left, being that these were the easy tasks and it’s about to get harder.” The masked person paused, “That being said, now would be a good time to say your good byes. Open your next box at 10:15pm.” They finished and the chimes sounded again.

Looking at the time, it said 9:45pm.

Sighing to himself, Felix had no one left to say good bye to. So instead he set a timer on his phone and waddled to his front door. Collecting his now cold pizza that sat on his door step. Reheating it, he had himself a silent last meal. Before returning to his spot on the couch, just as the timer went off.

Opening the box, he found another index card that read: Diffuse bomb by 11:00pm.

The bomb began to beep to itself. Indicating the passing of seconds as time started to run out.

Gently, Felix set the box on his table and walked to the garage. Grabbing his tool box and sitting down in front of the bomb again.

Ignoring the beeping, he remained calm. Setting the tool box down, along side his feet. He used both hands and slowly pulled the bomb with all its wires out of the small box, it came in.

Feeling a small bump on the side, he turned it around and found a switch that read: On Off.

Following his gut instincts, he clicked the switch and the bomb stopped beeping.

Suddenly script appeared on the DVD player, reading: Waiting for other contestants.

With a shrug, Felix walked back to the kitchen for one last piece of cold pizza. Coming back, just in time to hear the chiming from the DVD player.

The masked person appeared, “Congratulations to the three that have survived.” They began in an all too cheery voice. “This will be your final challenge, open next box at 11:20pm.” They instructed, followed by the chiming sound and silence.

Lazily, Felix glanced at the time and grabbed the next box. Waiting for time to tick so that he can open it.

Promptly opening it, he finds it empty except for an index card. Reading: Be the first to solve this. ouY rvsieuvd het stifr linculg

Grabbing a scrap piece of paper. Felix began to scribble out all the different word combinations he could think of. Until he finally found the phrase that made sense. You survived the first culling.

Reading it aloud, he is immediately met with the sound of the DVD player chiming.

Then the masked person appeared, “Congratulations, here is your prize.”

Suddenly the screen is split in two. Showing simultaneous videos of the other two contestants blowing up.

“The last box is for you to open at the time of your choosing. I have now sent all the recorded footage of this culling into the closest news station, to be played nation wide. Thank you for participating in The First Culling, Felix Bennett.” The masked person finished.

Shuffling in their seat, they removed their mask to reveal their identity. United States President Lilith Black.

With a deep breath she began to speak again. “The World Health Organization has made a decision. The best way to deal with over population is to begin something we will call The Culling. Each country will perform their own, doing so as they see fit. The Culling will continue until the population is in balance, once more.” She explained. Swallowing hard with a nervous look at something off camera. Then the chiming played again and the DVD player turned itself off.

Felix closed the DVD player and turned to the last box. The smallest of the bunch, held easily in one hand. He gives it a shake and it makes no sound. With a shrug, he tossed it on the coffee table and cleaned up all the boxes in his living room.

The last box would lay forgot for many years. Eventually being tucked away in his sock drawer as time rolled onwards.

Felix would carry on with his life as usual. Until interrupted by the fame that came with being the winner of The First Culling.

He went on to find a wife, have children and build a family.

Many years later, he would return home, alone.

Having said good bye to the love of his life, Felix began to clear out her belongings. Until he found the box again.

Faded and still sealed, he opened it.

Pop.

Confetti burst from the box, filling the air and scattering on the floor.

Then, bang.

An explosion went off. Felix and his home, were no more.

A last untouched piece of paper fluttered through the air. Landing on the ashen ground, where Felix stood previous.

It read: Let The Second Culling begin.

MysterySci FiShort Story
3

About the Creator

Donna Fox (HKB)

Thank you for your support and feedback! 💚💙💜

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Outstanding

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (3)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran10 months ago

    At first I was like, dude, how can you like not open the final box for years???? Like the suspense would have killed me. Then he opened it and I was like, oo-kayy, thank God he didn't open it earlier. But seriously, the culling has to happen. Humans are overpopulating the planet. And the best way is to make them follow simple instructions. Because they can't. Lol! Awesome take on this challenge!

  • Novel Allenabout a year ago

    Rechecking the old, waiting for the new,

  • Novel Allenabout a year ago

    This is great. Quite the imagination. They say that Corana virus is a form pf culling. Who knows? Weird stuff happening in the world. Timely story this one.

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