[ an-tee-pi-nuhl-tuh-mit ]
- Third from the end.
** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash fiction, a poem, painting, dance move—inspired by the word, antepenultimate, where does it take me? Where does it take you? Learn more about “The Word” here.
It was three minutes until midnight when the world ended. That’s three minutes earlier than it was supposed to end, too! Not sure what those scientists got wrong in their calculations, but I guess it’s within some statistical range of error. That doesn’t really matter now, though, does it?
I can’t really explain the science of it to you because I don’t understand it. All I know is that Earth’s core exploded from the inside out.
First, volcanic eruptions became a thing of such regularity that it was reported with the day’s high and low temperatures. A side-note addition when mentioning humidity percentages!
Then, every body of water became a hot spring, and as the ice caps melted, the water level remained constant. We lived in a perpetual state of fog as the air and water were becoming so consistently warm that it wouldn’t condense.
Finally, things got violent with earthquakes and massive continental shifts that you wouldn’t believe! I’m talking shifts of a few miles in a matter of a day. You have no idea how crazy that is!
Fortunately, we weren’t there for that part. By then, we were all in orbit as the solution became apparent ages earlier.
And so, I speak to you from our new planet…
Not one we moved to, but one we created. Yea! Slowly, and over about a century, we moved all the people, animals, materials, and so on, into space. Our planet died, but we made our own.
We control everything now: the weather, the gravity, everything. That’s my job… gravity. I adjust the pull in certain areas, at certain times, to help move heavy objects around. No, I don’t understand how that works either, but I can push buttons easily enough.
Why am I sharing all this with some unknown aliens? With whoever you are? It’s because, after all our incredible achievements, I think we’re really about to be destroyed. I think there’s someone on our planet purposefully trying to destroy it.
You might think, tell someone! And I have. They don’t think I’m right, or they just don’t think I’m clever enough to uncover something like that. So, I have said my peace. Systems shut down and come back online at random, and I believe someone is testing the waters. If they have things shut down at once, all together, we’re doomed.
It’s up to me then to stop ’em then. So, like I said, we’re doomed.
I love an unlikely hero. This person telling the story is clearly considered to be not so bright. Yet, sometimes it’s our intelligence that can be the greatest hindrance to finding solutions. Do you agree?
I find that the more I know, the more I often overthink a problem and a solution. The answers, I remind myself, are often the simplest thing right in front of your nose.
That could be the ultimate message of this story— with this unlikely hero—someone who sees the obvious, the glaring truth, while others explain things away with complex theories.
Plus, we have a man-made planet… fun! And space! That’s another cool idea I love. What if the solution to continuing our species is not to occupy Mars, but to create our own man-made planet? Something fun to think about.
What do you think of Antepenultimate?
Did you think… how the hell is he going to write a story about this word? Well, I thought it… and it took a while to find a cool idea. I hope you enjoyed it!
Leave your thoughts, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did antepenultimate or my story take you?
If you liked this story, check out my podcast of short stories, More Than A Story.
Today’s word is from Dictionary.com.
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