Standing before the Public Thing


A submission for Flash Friday volume 2-7. (This story got an honorable mention.)

Wind moaned through the empty streets. City plaza stood empty, except for the two newcomers — and her. She was an imposing figure, chiseled in stone in an era past.

“Why are we here?” asked Walker. “Who was she?”

Zed stood unfazed by the blustery winter wind despite his tattered jacket and threadbare clothing.

“She was a goddess. Or… a memorial to greatness.” Zed surveyed the empty ruins of the city. “These people obsessed over greatness. Believed in manifest destiny. Aspired to do great things. They never understood… their fate was the same as everything else. Simply, their only destiny was to die.”

The duo admired the towering goddess: her stoic face, gilded robe, and crumbling beauty. Zed scratched the peeling skin behind his neck, then grinned.

“Everything dies. In a way, we are Destiny incarnate.”

Walker laughed. “The Undead Republic.”

“Come,” Zed patted Walker’s bony shoulder. “Let’s find something to eat.”

“Brains?”

“Brains.”

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