Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Micro Fiction March Day 29

I had a few ideas for today's challenge that revolved around aliens choosing to cancel our culture, but none of them really felt right and then - while on the train - a different idea appeared and I decided to run with that instead. So here it is...

Cancel Culture

Professor Cartwright burst into the room having run up six flights of stairs and then proceeded to wheeze and clutch his chest for a few minutes. He was clearly excited about something, so I didn’t want to point out to him that using the lift would have been equally effective. 

“There’s a pattern,” he said, breathlessly, “There is a pattern. And a marker.”

My heart raced, could Cartwright, our brightest remaining mind, have succeeded where so many had failed?

The Cancelling had begun in late 2023, but no one had noticed immediately; after all, people disappear all the time. Sure there were a couple of strange cases; a bus in Florida that crashed off a bridge and the driver’s body was never found, a woman in Austria who swore her husband had disappeared in front of her while serving dinner; but it wasn’t until February 2024 when the President of the United States disappeared in the middle of the State of the Union address that people realised something was very wrong.

And though scientists quickly deduced that more than 80,000 people worldwide had already been cancelled by March 2024, they couldn’t understand the cause, they couldn’t detect any energy signature, and they couldn’t establish any pattern.

The world changed. We had to adjust to a life in which any one of us could disappear at any time. It changed everything. How we lived. How we loved. Despite not understanding it, the Cancelling was the most profound event in the history of humanity.

“More than that,” panted Cartwright, “I know how to stop it. It’s all about inverted magnetic fields!”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“The missing factor, what we never realised, it’s-”

And then Professor Cartwright was gone and with him any hope of understanding The Cancelling.

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