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"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

Music for the End of Days

Brenda Anderson's fiction has appeared in various places, including Flash Fiction Online and Andromeda Spaceways. She lives in Adelaide, South Australia and tweets irregularly @CinnamonShops. This is her fourth appearance in Daily Science Fiction.

The End of Days has come. The flyers told us. They rained down on us, a paper blizzard that clogged waterways and oceans. END OF DAYS, or its equivalent in every language on Earth. And on the reverse side:
It's happening.
By now, of course, nothing techno worked except, clearly, the production of paper. End of Days? Some of the older folks disagreed, and insisted that there had to be a trumpet. Which made no sense at all. But the forests have gone, cut down (we supposed) to make the flyers.
Next, food supplies and water ran out. Panic set in.
But not among the children. They got very excited, and gathered the flyers together to make paper planes. Turned out the paper's super strong. Who knew? As soon as they got the knack of it, they made planes big enough to get in, and strong enough to carry them up, up and away. Laughing and cheering, they flew god-knows-where. In the paper blizzard we saw them reach out, grab handfuls and roll them into scrolls, or something similar. Kids having fun, huh.
The oldies said that perhaps the children had found the only way out. "Unless you become as a little child," they quoted, "you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven." But when adults tried to make planes, they crashed. Lift-off only happened for children.
Then we saw the planes, overhead. In them, children were blowing on long, paper cylinders that together produced, oh God, the sound of a trumpet.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, June 16th, 2022

Author Comments

This short-short went from idea to "submit" literally overnight--as I remember, with only one revision. It's awe-inspiring to me that I could write a story like this. It just worked.

- Brenda Joyce Anderson
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