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The Brink of Disaster

William Shaw is a writer from Sheffield, currently living in London. His writing has appeared in Star*Line, Space & Time, and Doctor Who Magazine. You can find his blog at wiliamshawwriter.wordpress.com and his Twitter @Will_S_7

The world was ending; this was no time for sentiment. I had the last working car in the neighborhood, one hour to get to the designated army base, and no room for passengers.
"Please, take my baby with you!" cried my neighbor, holding aloft her snot-nosed toddler.
"I'm sorry Mrs. Jones, there's no time!" I put my foot to the floor and accidentally knocked over one of her bins as I shot out of the driveway. Whatever. In just a few hours the asteroid would hit, and the bin would be the least of her problems.
"False alarm, everyone!" the shout came across the crowded army base.
It turned out the scientists were wrong. The asteroid would sail right past the Earth, causing nothing worse than a few trippy sunsets.
Everyone was sent straight home.
I turned onto my street and saw that Mrs. Jones' bins had been emptied across my lawn. I pulled into the driveway and found her and her toddler standing on my doorstep. Mrs. Jones tapped her foot.
"Listen," I said. "I think we've all made mistakes today...."
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Author Comments

This story came from a conversation with my friend Max Curtis about disaster movies, and what might happen if the hero ever had to meet the people he snubbed in act one again.

- William Shaw
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