Cataclysm Report: Year Five

Proud to be on the ad hoc engineering committee working to re-invent the wheel. We are going to get it figured out. Humanity will rise again.

Not far, probably. Given our condition, any improvement is incredibly welcome. As long as we refrain from actually eating each other, I’ll still root for us. Let’s cross our fingers. Everyone who lived through it agrees that we made a giant mistake. Oh well. That world’s gone. Basic business keeps us busy. Hand to mouth, scrambling.

All the dead who could be buried are finally underground. There were so few of us and there was so much shoveling. And the ones we couldn’t get to, bless them.

I was ecstatic to change work-tasks. Now the wheel, next year maybe we can turn on electricity in a concentrated area. If that succeeds, the rest gets easier. If it happens, we’ll put out word, gather scattered survivors.

Before the Cataclysm, opinions were divided: pro-apocalypse and pro-progress. Roughly equal camps. Really. In hindsight that sounds strictly insane.

This is a form of Afterlife. Isn’t it? It’s far from glamorous. Haven’t seen angels lately. We did it to ourselves. That’s the maddening fact. We weren’t victims of invasion, we pulled the levers.

But I’m not so interested in the done-is-done past, history lessons. I believe in striving for solutions. Trying. Yes, we ruined everything. And yes, we will make repairs. A few. We should be realistic. Those who have pictures of what used to be, keep them. Nothing we can do will get us there.

Todd Mercer won the Dyer-Ives Kent County Poetry Competition (2016), the National Writers Series Poetry Contest (2016) and the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts Flash Fiction Contest (2015). His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, appeared at Right Hand Pointing. Mercer’s recent poetry and fiction appear in 100 Word Story, DOGZPLOT, The Ekphrastic Review, Eunoia Review, EXPOUND, Flash Fiction MagazineFried Chicken and Coffee, Gnarled Oak, In-flight Literary Magazine, The Lake, Literary Orphans, Main Street Rag anthologies, Postcard Poems and Prose, Plum Tree Tavern, Split Lip Magazine, *82 Review and Two Cities Review.

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