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An Hour at the End of the World

I hope you enjoyed reading "An Hour at the End of the World". The rotund border collie in this story was indeed based on my loveable pup that was too fat to be sleeping behind the couch. The inspiration for this story was a simple question that crossed my mind every now and again. What would you do to spend another hour with your childhood pet?

Would you go so far as to jeopardize the salvation of humanity? Extreme, but maybe. Throw some plausible deniability in there and we might be working with something.

Thank you for reading,

John liked how quiet the apocalypse was compared to civilization's peak. He was still on course to save humanity and all, but he found the silent world peaceful in a somber way. The house where he stood had blown over in the war, leaving just its foundation, and that stopped creaking a long time ago.
He patted his right pocket for the fifth time, the flash drive that would save the world was still in there. It had been in there the other four times he checked too, but he had to make sure. The USB drive was only the size of a car key but weighed about eight-billion people. He patted it again.
The rectangular device on John's forearm lit up when he poked it and a distressed voice came through his earpiece a second later.
"John, where are you? You've been off the grid for hours."
The strain in her voice was ruining his peaceful apocalypse vibe. Saving the world was stressful, he got it.
"Yeah, I must've gotten the time threader wet or something, I'm on my way back now."
John punched in the new coordinates.
"This isn't a game, John."
She was going to keep scolding him. She had the right to seeing as he had hijacked their mission. A man came through the speaker instead.
"Those coordinates will send you back too far. Adjust them now."
"You really should have made this thing waterproof; I think it's acting up again." John said.
He pressed the green button and threaded time.
The house had four walls; afternoon light peaked through the living room windows. John's face sat in frames around the room, albeit a much younger face. He had shaved before the mission, but fifteen years living through an apocalypse wasn't exactly what dermatologists recommended to achieve a youthful glow. It was the best he could do.
He clapped his hands twice and something moved behind the couch. Ollie was too fat to be back there, but that's where he slept. He tracked Ollie's progress by ear as he slid between the couch and the wall until the black and white head of an old border collie popped out.
John crouched and opened his arms. He smiled, hoping he looked young enough for his dog to recognize him.
"Hey old man, its me."
It was his voice that did it. Ollie squeezed himself the rest of the way and wobbled over to meet him. He did not have the youth to wag his tail, but his glossy black eyes were happy to see him. John wrapped his arms around him as much as he could and held him there. The world could wait an hour to be saved.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, April 6th, 2020

Author Comments

Michael works as a corporate financial analyst where he spends his days drinking coffee and crunching numbers. When he is not working, he spends his time drinking coffee and writing. It is unclear if he would be able to do either without the coffee. This is his first story published in Daily Science Fiction.

- Michael J.J. Flood
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