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Myrto Lida Zafeiridi studied English Literature in Thessaloniki and has an MA in Translation. She likes writing short stories and lyrics.

The sky had a brilliant purple color and the air seemed somehow fresher, more fragrant than usual. The temperature was exactly right--not too warm, not too cold. All in all it seemed like a perfect spring day. How ironic that in a few moments this world was about to be destroyed.
A few hours before, there had been an announcement on every TV and radio station of the planet.
"Dear all, we regret to inform you that today at 19:34 GMT the planet will be destroyed. Please don't panic, use your remaining time to say your farewells to your friends and family."
Nothing more. No explanation--was it an alien invasion, World War III, Sauron from Lord of the Rings? Only the leaders of the world's countries knew the answer, after a videoconference that had been held that morning. The UN headquarters had received a letter informing them that Earth's membership to the Intergalactic Peace Council had expired. Failure to renew it would mean that Earth was an enemy planet and would promptly be destroyed within 48 hours.
Nobody knew where and how to send a reply. Hell, nobody knew that we even were members of the IPC, much less how it came to be. Although human beings are experts in bureaucracy, this was beyond them. Finally, the UN council had accepted the inevitable and decided to inform the world about its impending doom.
Ben gazed at the setting sun and the knot he had had in his stomach for the past two hours finally came undone. With a feeling of resignation, he closed his eyes and enjoyed the cool breeze that suddenly caressed his face. If it was the end then so be it. All around him, dozens of people where huddling together, mentally saying goodbye to their loved ones. He embraced his younger sister and gave her a quick peck on her forehead.
Then a silver shuttle appeared. It slowly descended in front of him, and a tiny robotic mailman emerged and handed him something that resembled a smartphone. Ben took it, speechless, and read the flashing message.
Dear Earth citizen, please answer on behalf of your planet:
Do you wish to remain in the Intergalactic Peace Council?
Please press Yes/No at the bottom of the screen
"I don't believe in government," he said, as he pressed No.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, May 11th, 2017
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