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When Last We Left

Our intrepid heroes were making their way across the wastes of the world. We were in the future. The entire world was wasted. It didn't care anymore, and neither did we, but the heroes, they cared, and they picked up the trash we had left behind to rot. The trash couldn't rot because it was plastic. Everything worthwhile was artificial. Still, the heroes collected the trash and built new heroes from it.
We were buried under a plague of noble heroes. We were in the future. The heroes lived in our homes without our permission and they judged everything we did or didn't do. They frowned when we didn't replace the empty roll of toilet paper. They frowned when we threw the cardboard roll into the recycling bin. We didn't know what they wanted. They refused to tell us.
Our brave heroes were in trouble. We were in the future. Someone was picking them off one by one and the survivors were scarred. They wore missing limbs and clouded eyes like medals. The heroes were ugly. The heroes looked like villains.
The determined heroes finally returned all the ills of the world to Pandora's box. We were in the future. They sealed the box in concrete, dropped it into a vat of molten lead, then shot the whole assemblage into the sun. Weeks later, people collapsed on clean summer days under cloudless skies. The ills of the world were spreading, at light speed, throughout the universe.
Our desultory and overdramatic heroes were asked to come by for tea. We knew what the future held for us. We put strychnine in their cups and we toasted to their successes. They drank and they died. We were not heroic. We were not trying to be.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

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