Downfall (Short Story Society Week 1)

Ahert is going to be our new home. I wonder how long we be able to survive on that planet, before it would fall apart. All these years they have kept the existence of Ahert secret – I don’t know how they did it, but they did – and it existence was only announced when the end of Earth was announced. All these years the governments of all countries have been hiding this from their people and they have built their new Earth. Well they have put their “interior” on Ahert. So that not only the world but the things build on it look like Earth. Like that “look” has worked out before.

As far as I heard it looks exactly like Earth, but it is a smaller version of it. Very much smaller. And that is also the reason why they started selling tickets for a place on Ahert, and by that a place in one of the spaceships that would fly to Ahert.

If only they had started flying back then, than we wouldn’t be in this situation. Only a few hours ago the Earth had started trembling. At first no one thought anything about, no one knew that within 24 hours Earth would fall completely apart and takes around 12 billion lives to the darkness it goes to. To death.

Only 1 million people were able to arrive alive on Ahert.

On the 24th of May 3027, Earth has given up his fight against humankind. He lost.  

Humankind destroyed Earth and in its downfall it took humankind with him.

I feel the earth trembling underneath my feet, it makes it even hard to walk as I was already having trouble with that. I place my left foot fast in front of my right foot and I try to place my right foot even faster in front of my left foot. Visions of what just happened are playing through my mind like I am watching a movie. I hear nothing of what is going on around me, I am just walking like a zombie towards my goal, and there isn’t much time left to reach my goal.

I’m so scared of what is going to happen, all that I can think of is that I need to get of this planet as fast as I can. I need to get of Earth, like I have promised.

Without papa I would be able to go to Ahert. He bought the tickets because he knew it was true. Papa was one of the scientists who came to the conclusion that Earth will destroy itself. Without him no one would have known until today.

I know that people are running and screaming around, but I am not registering it in my brain. Because my brain is showing me the sicking sight of my papa getting shot by a warning bullet from the police. The blood pouring out of his bullet wound, the way his skin because gray the moment the life left his eyes, and the last words he spoke to me “Safe yourself, Stellina!”

I had followed his instructions immediately, like a robot, and I am still in that robot like state.

I see the airport that is used to lance the spaceships, it is only a few miles away. I push my legs to go faster as they were already going. My legs start to burn with the exercise, a sharp stabbing sensation makes my legs feel numb. But my mind is on autopilot, so I am not stopping to rest my legs. I have plenty of time to do that once I am on board the spaceship or else I have an entirety to rest.


Finally I am walking through the airport to get to the gate I need to be for my flight. I have the tickets in my hand to prove that I have the right to be on board.

A hand in front of my face brings me out of my trance, as I am trying to get on board.

‘Ho there missy. Where do you think you are going?’ A deep, strong voice that belongs to the hand, speaks to me.

I look up to find a face that is connected to the hand. A tall, muscular man is standing broad in front of the entry of the spaceship. He has a police suit on and his badge is around his neck on a cord. He has a gun in his other hand – which he doesn’t need with those muscles in my opinion – and a dark glare on his face. You don’t want to mess with this guy that is clear.

My stomach flips at the sight of the gun and I feel the vomit coming up into my mouth. I feel the burning of the acidic stomach contents against my throat as I swallow it back in. I have no time for this. No time to remember what a gun has done to my papa.

I say nothing back for the fear of throwing up for real this time, instead I hold up the tickets and my passport.

The police officer places his gun in his pocket and glares behind me. That moment I see a crowd of desperate people behind metallic railings, there are all wounded and most of them are crying and shouting at the police officer to let them through.

How I managed to get over the metallic railings, I don’t know. But I do know that this isn’t a humane situation. All these people will die together with Earth because they do not have a ticket like I do.

I see a mother in front of the row together with a baby in her arms. My heart races at the sight of the sleeping creature, the idea of his dying in a not imaginable terrible way makes me want to scream of agony.

I can feel the mother’s fear for the future of her child from all over here and in order to not break, right here right now, I make no eye contact with her. Instead I focus back on the police officer, who looks like he wants to say something to me.

‘Your papers are in order, miss. You can board the spaceship.’

I nod at him and make the move to go on the spaceship. But I can’t pass, the hand is placed in front of me again.

‘You have two tickets, miss. Which means that you can bring someone with you.’ His voice begs me to bring another soul with me, to safe another life while he can’t do that.

He is right. I haven’t thought about it. Papa had bought two tickets, one for me and one for himself. So it is only obvious that I have one spare ticket, because I am here on my own, without papa. With this ticket I can safe another life, even though I couldn’t safe papa’s life. He would want me to do this, in honor of his death.

I hear the crowd picking up on the fact that I have a spare ticket. They start screaming and yelling at me.

‘Pick me!’

‘I’m too young to die!’

‘I can make the new planet great!’

‘You have to safe me!’

They are all so demanding, which I find to be logical because they are about to die.

The earth starts to shake with strong vibration, I lose my footing and fall backwards on the ground. A crack is splitting the crowd in two groups and some people fall into the crack. The last you hear of them is their high pinched, last breath scream.

As soon as the earthquake has calmed down, people start to scream more at me, but it isn’t only scream this time. They are pushing each other, trying to get through the metallic railings to get to my ticket. I see them pushing again the mother, who is desperately trying to protect her baby with all the strength she has in her.

‘Stop it…’ I want them to stop. They need to stop.

‘Stop it!’ Or they will hurt or worse kill the baby!

‘STOP IT! OR I WILL PICK NO ONE!’ My voice echoes through the open space. Ever muscle in my body is tensed with anger, my eyes would spit with fire if they could. I am making myself taller than I really am, I am making myself more important than I really am.

The crowd stops pushing and looks at me either with fear or with anger. But I don’t care about that, I don’t care at all.

I look over at the mother again and she mouths me a “thank you”, people have torn her cloths trying to get through her and scratched her skin. Tears of pain and relief are sliding down her face, as she is still holds her arms protectively around her baby, who had started to cry because of the happening earlier.

And she is also the first one who starts to talk again. ‘Please take my baby with you, I don’t care what happens to me. As long as he is safe, as long as I know he will be safe, I can die in peace.’ She spoke with a cracked voice through the hiccups of crying.

I lock eyes with her and I know that this is the right thing to do. I turn around at the police officer again.

‘I will take the mother and the baby with me.’ The moment I spoke those words, the officer’s eyes turned wet and are filled with remorse as he speaks the following words.

‘I’m sorry. But you can only bring one. That are the rules.’

This anger me, a lot.

‘Only one?! Can’t you make an exception for a mother and her child?! Will you be bound be rules until your very last breath?! Unbelievable!! This is outrageous! Inhumanely!’ I feel my cheeks getting warmer and my heart racing faster while my breathing because faster and more hollow with anger.

‘Yes. Those are the rules, miss. Only one…’

I turn around to the mother again, while the crowd has started screaming and yelling again at me to pick one them. They are all so selfish, while there is a mother here ready to sacrifice her life for her child, her baby. A baby who still has a whole life in front of him.

The mother can feel what is going on. I see the accepting of her own death in her eyes. As she mouths the words “Take my baby with you”.

‘I take the baby with me.’ I speak before I have registered that I spoke those words.

The officer nods at me and goes over to the metallic railings and I go with him. He pulls out his gun and points it at the crowd. Even though they would die within hours, they are still backing away from the officer in fear for their own life.

I am standing in front of the mother.

‘Here you have a bag full of his stuff. Diapers, food, clothes and some toys. His name is Tyler and he is 4 months old, he is a really easy baby. He doesn’t cry that much, there is nothing wrong with his health and… and…’

Before she could finish her sentence she starts to sob, holding her baby against her body. I swing the bag with baby stuff over my shoulder and wait for her to be ready, but the officer wasn’t.

‘Ma’am, please hurry up. The ship will depart any minute.’ His voice is ice cold, like he has blocked away all his emotions. I think he needs to do that otherwise he couldn’t bear with the job he has to carry out, otherwise he couldn’t live with himself even if it is for a few more hours.

‘I will take care of Tyler, the best I can, ma’am.’ I say as the warm body of a crying baby is placed in my arms by his mother. She nods sobbing at me and embraces herself as I walk away with her baby.

I know I am doing the right thing, but it doesn’t feel this way. I am separating a mother from her baby. With every power within me I turn around one last time as I am standing at the top of the stairs that is in front of the entrance of the spaceship. And for the last time I lock eyes with Tyler’s mother.

I walked mindless toward my room, the room Tyler and I will be staying in until we reached Ahert. Somehow there was a crib in the middle of the room, like the staff people were looking outside to see some sort of sick drama series. Like they were watching me from away and adjusting to my actions.

Tyler had stopped crying and was sleeping my arms. I placed him into his new crib, for me that would be the perfect place for him to sleep right, than I can install everything. Even though I don’t have that much to install, except Tyler’s bag.

The bag dropped from my shoulder as I look at the two beds in the room. One was for me and the other was meant for my papa. The images of him dying, the warmth of his blood on my hands but the cold I felt into my body, the blank lifeless stare he gave me as the life had disappeared from his blue eyes. The way his muscles relaxed while they were tensed from the pain he was feeling. The way people didn’t seem to care that my papa had just died in front of my in an inhuman way. They stepped on him, trying to get somewhere, they weren’t paying any respect to the body of the great man that had just passed away, the most important person in my life.

Now that I am finally “safe” in the spaceship I can let my emotions go. My body starts to tremble like Earth is still trembling, the emotions are running through me body. I lose the strength I have in my legs and I fall down on the ground. My knees hit the metallic ground and my butt falls on the heels of my feet. I wrap my arms around my upper body as I bring my head to my knees. Tears are streaming down my nose, mixing with the snot and falling on the ground. It starts out with soft sobs and hiccups but eventually I am screaming with pain and loss. I dig my nails into my arms and I am screaming for my papa.

I am crying for my loss and for the loss of Earth, and all the families who have already been broken in these last 16 hours, and who will be reunited within hours. We, humans, have destroyed Earth and it’s beautifully nature. Even when the Earth told us to stop, we continued going on with destroying it, without knowing. I have never felt this much resentment to my own race. If we had stopped nothing of this would be happening, papa wouldn’t be death, and families won’t be torn apart like this.

After a half hour of crying my tears are up and my throat is dry and hoarse. I heard soft noises coming from my left. When I look at the source of the noise, I see the crib and I realized that Tyler might need some bottle feeding. I look into the bag his mother has given me.

I unpack everything that is in the bag and there is indeed powder for Tyler’s bottle. But that is not the only thing that is packed, there is the stuff that his mother had said were in there but also a diary. Everything that has happened in his life is describe in there and more. She has made a sort note book as well of it, it has listed the development a baby would go through and in what phase Tyler is. It feels like she know, that in the end, she would have to give away her baby in order for him to be safe.

I prepare a bottle for Tyler as I feel the spaceship starting to move, through the intercom is announced that we are taking of. In the note book his mother has said that a baby should drink while you are taking off and landing of an airplane. Does that also count for a spaceship? I do as she has instructed. I secured my seatbelts and hold Tyler secured in my left arm.

His eyes are open and staring at me as I bring the bottle to his mouth, he lifts up his head to place the bottle into his mouth and as he is drinking we are taking of. His big brown and innocent eyes are staring at, full of wonder and somehow they look grateful. This life suddenly feels so precious. I have to protect him and make sure that he will survive and that he would make Ahert great. And the kind of “great” Earth was. He would make a difference, he would be on the good side of humankind.

At this moment I told myself that I would raise him and make sure that he would be a man his mother would be proud of.

He needs me. I need him.

Through the intercom is announced that it is safe to take off the seatbelts and that they will announce when to put them back on. I unfasten my seatbelt and through that process I don’t lose eye contact with Tyler.

I know that I could never replace his mother, but I can try to come as close to it as I can, so he won’t miss any love in his life. I hope that he would feel the love I felt from papa.

After Tyler is done with his bottle, I hold him up for a burb – which was pretty powerful for such a little baby – and after that changed his diaper – which was dirty. I walk around with him in my arms as I sing the songs I remember my parents singing to me when I was a child. He soon falls asleep, so I place him in his crib.

I walked over to the window. It is the only window in my room and it is placed between the two beds. It is as big as a mirrored closet, and I could see Earth at its full size through the window. It is a beautiful sight, seeing Earth it all this glory from space.

But then I saw that glory literally crumbling down. Every crack that was already in Earth, had cracked into a quadrillion pieces. It was a horrible sight, certainly when I think about the fact that I was just walking through the park with my father 24 hours ago.

This is the end of Earth. The end of Tyler’s and I’s life on Earth and the beginning of our lives on Ahert.


So this is my Short Story for week 1 of the Short Story Society. I really enjoyed writing this science fiction story. 

I love getting feedback on the things I write, this helps me improve my writing skills and it also teaches me some English, because it is not my first language. So if you have any feedback writing or grammar or vocabulary related, please let me know. 

I am excited to see with what I would come up for next week’s theme. 

– Debbie –

8 thoughts on “Downfall (Short Story Society Week 1)

  1. I love it! You are really good at building up the tension, and your plot is great! 😊 I really liked the concept of the girl having to choose someone to go with her, because her father died.

    Liked by 1 person

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