The Last Day
by Margaret Langendorf
Florencia Costello wouldn't leave for a trip without scrubbing the walls of the shower, vacuuming the front carpet and remaking the beds. No exceptions. Who'd want to return to dirty sheets or a filthy bath?
No one, that's who.
"But Ma, we're not coming home. We have to go now. It's an evacuation," her son protested as Florencia pulled on rubber gloves. He tried to get her to look at his phone, at the Official Notification of Evacuation, which his father had forwarded two hours ago, and how did his mother react?
She ignored him. So maybe her son was right and she wouldn't return. But someone else might and they wouldn't find that Florencia Brunilda Costello left this house, her home of thirty years, anything but ship shape. Her daughter, watching this exchange, divined her mother's train of thought.
"Ma, it's a planetary evacuation. Everyone's leaving. No one will see this room ever again. Please, listen. They'll leave us if we don't go."