Havok Publishing

Tag - post-apocalyptic

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A Lonely World

“What happened to this world?” Jake whispered, peering through the gateway.
Lila pulled a gizmo from her pack and stepped through. “That’s what we’re here to find out.”
Jake followed hesitantly, clutching his tranq gun. “It looks so… normal.”
Lila shot him a quizzical look. “Every world looks normal, more or less

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The Hardest Words

The clock struck nine and the dog winked out of existence.
George watched, openmouthed, from the breakfast table, the scent of bacon tickling his nostrils. Behind him, Mary hummed to herself over the crackle of the frying pan. He looked around slowly, measuring his movements.
“Mary?”
She turned. Her hazel eyes sparkled with life,

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Rust Bucket

It’s been weeks—months, maybe—since the world ended. Since my city burned. But the smoke lingers, turning the sky gray-gold.
I catch my breath in the shade of a dune, listening for something beyond the hollow rasp of wind over sand.
Trolls never give up once they have the scent

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Hope Never Dyes

Olivia held a test tube up to the gray sky. Diffused light filtered through the greenish water. Please, let today be the day. She propped the glass against a rock and dug out a pack of litmus strips. “Maybe once the silt settles—”
“Probably not.” Mari’s hazmat suit crinkled as she walked past.

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Quilted

Two years ago, people would have said the old farmer was paranoid, putting electrified razor wire around the whole perimeter of his property.
Today is a different story.
The line of hunched-over shoulders shuffles toward the fence line. One by one, the men ahead of me approach the gate and speak to the warden,

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Just Like Once Upon a Time

“And with one mighty swing of his ax, the woodsman split the wolf in two, and Red Riding Hood and her grandmother came tumbling out!”
I stood and began clearing away the dishes, warmed by the familiar tale. Happy endings were always my favorite. “The last time you told me that one,

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The Dying Sun

The sun is dying. The world is dying. But I am going to live.
I walk down Main Street one final time. The sky is orange, but the orange is not sky—thick smog clouds blocked it out long ago. Only a touch of color finds its way through.
I cannot remember a time

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A Short Visit Home

My aunt and uncle will kill me when they find out I’ve left. The compound, they remind me daily, is the only place we’re safe.
I set out early, planning to be back before they realize their oldest niece is gone. It’s only eight miles to our house, and I’m in good shape.

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Worlds Collide

When the elders told Jaakko to bring back evidence he’d gone as far into the wastelands as anyone had ever traveled, he hadn’t expected this. He’d envisioned discovering an ice succulent like his father had before him—a notable accomplishment which would allow him to vote with the elders and might even get Adda’s attention

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A Cool Drink of Water

Nila tipped back her head and let the crushed rocks spill into her mouth. Wind cut past their tent, and she clamped her hand over the cup to keep the dust inside from escaping.
“I suppose you drank it all.” Vo wiped dirt from his face with his upper arm.

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The End of Everything

It hardly qualified as a graveyard. Nineteen graves in a single row, no fence, no road, no flowers. The foliage grew unchecked. Raw boulders from the nearby stream served as tombstones. They didn’t need markings, for each grave contained the same person.

Me.

A sheen of fresh rain coated every mossy branch and shrub. Fog hung low against the leaf-strewn earth.

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Filter

It was my job to lead us out of our underground dwellings when the surface was finally safe. I expected to encounter many things upon our emergence. Destruction, scorched earth. But not a summoning.

It was just lying there. Waiting for us. A metal cube. When I picked it up, it projected a trail of red footprints on the cracked ground.

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