Forgotten footprints

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A mob of people were banging into each other, running in random directions. It would have been funny except their eyes had progressed from quivering pupils to blank constricted ones. Empty hands swung involuntarily as their feet moved with a heavy tread on roads carpeted with money. Shiny beautiful clothes adorned their bodies. Their possessions lay strewn on the pavement. Diamonds, emeralds, gold, rubies all winking in the sunlight but nary a person near them. A few families were carrying coffins.
Some people sat with slumped shoulders on the periphery of the crowd with one hand holding their child and the other their head. The children stared at the sky and the sun, breathing heavily.

"What is happening?" 12-year-old Lina asked her father, Mark.

"Like the saying goes, the world is ending not with a bang but a whimper."

"Why? Everything seemed so normal till last month." Lina furrowed her brows.

Mark looked at the pavement near them where a torn poster floated.

"Footprints from the past will determine your future." He murmured.

"Is the eternal footprint that people have been searching for since the last twenty years?" Lina's eyes widened.

Mark nodded and closed his eyes.

"But we can still find it?" Lina clutched her father's hand.

Mark looked at the clock tower whose hands were not moving.

Lina looked from the clock to the crowd and a tear made its way past her cheek.

Just then, two voices were raised above the slow muttering of the crowd.

A couple of smiling faces parted the crowd. "We've found it!"

There were no reactions.

"Seriously, we found it. Look at the clock."

The tick-tock of the clock's hands started getting mingled with racing heartbeats.

"Where is it?"

The two led the way as they pointed to a landfill, then marched on to the junkyard, shook their head when they came to a gas station and finally picked up a plastic cup from the street and kicked it into a recycling bin.



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16 comments
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As usual, remarkable. That’s all, remarkable! ❤️🤗💕

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I'm glad they figured it out before extinction 🙌🙌🙌

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Well had to be a happy ending, not sure we'll have ours.

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Thanks so much for posting your short stories in The Inkwell.

Also thank you for keeping the community strong by engaging with other authors!

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Beautiful story. Finally the long search for the eternal footprints were found. Am glad they did.

You did a good job with prompt💯💯

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(Edited)

Ahhh, the unending shedding of our plastic skin. A human chemical creation that will never biodegrade. It's a sore subject for me as I've never returned from a scuba dive without a pocket of plastic weighing the pockets of my BCD (buoyancy jacket).

I loved the twist at the end, and the way you juxtaposed the ending of time and the dead-eyed people, uncaring of all the material things of the world that express status right at this moment... but the truth is that with scientific evidence now coming to light that microplastics are becoming evident within the fish we eat, it is not such an improbable guess that we will go out metaphorically in a slow exhalation, or as you put it so well in a whimper as we're poisoned from within.

Or it is entirely possible that I read a lot more into this story than you meant. But it moved me so I thought I'd let my thoughts out unedited.

An effective and emotive short story @diebitch 🙂

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Yes, that is what I was going for considering the theme of show not tell. It feel great if someone understands your intentions.

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show not tell

Is the first, and most important rule for creative writing for sure and you nailed it.
I understand that satisfaction you're talking about as well, I often get it with my poetry where the reader (or even the listeners as I've started performing my poetry again at poetry nights in my home city) get exactly what I meant through the imagery of the poem.

It is truly a sign that you have done a professional job as a writer! I also have had similar comments on my fiction but the poetry comments stick in my mind often because they're coming from a person talking to me at one of these performance nights 🙂

Anyway, I loved your story 🙂

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