a short story about the end of the world, but not humanity

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The Bones Beneath

a short story about the end of the world, but not humanity

“I’d be useless in a zombie apocalypse,” you once joked to me over a cup of tea in my living room. “I’m too soft-hearted.”

And yet when the world came undone—when the lights went dark and food ran low and the knives came out—we needed you. For all the apocalypse fantasies we had nursed of being strong and resourceful and independent, we needed you more than we’d ever admit.

The more the world unravels, the more it needs people who feel and listen, who wipe away tears and open the saferoom door for one more lost soul when the rest of us would shut it and call our fear “strength.”

It needs people who tell stories and dream of a tomorrow not grimed over with the mud and sweat of today, who help us bury our dead and plunge our hands deep into the pools of our grief when the blood on them gets to be too much.

It needs people who remind us that what keeps us moving is not some kind of unholy shambling grudge against death, but an unholy shambling love, a belief that when the skin of the world has been ripped away and we are left to stare at the bones beneath, we can still gather around the campfire, brew a cup of tea, and talk.

This story is from my new book featuring 50 all-new micro-stories! It just released today and I'd be thrilled if you could consider picking up a copy!


Short story written by Peter Chiykowski

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Story prompt taken from a photo by Denny Muller

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