#writephoto — The Gloom

47BFD74B-7538-4F4A-9319-5AF04BF063E9The year was NC221. Thick, dark clouds had enveloped the entire planet since shortly after the Nuclear Holocaust, or NC as it was commonly known. The descendants of the survivors called it “the Gloom.” No one alive had ever seen the sun, the moon, or the stars. There were people who thought that tales of such “heavenly bodies” were nothing more than an ancient mythology.

Simon was leading a small party of gatherers scavenging for insects and, if they were lucky, a large rodent or two. Other hunting parties were looking for small game, such as wild dogs, coyotes, or feral cats. Several species of fish had managed to survive the NC, but because of the levels of radiation and other pollutants in the lakes, ponds, and streams, fish was rarely consumed by the descendants. Few other land species had survived the NC.

Simon and his group had been out for nearly five hours when he decided to take a quick inventory to see if they had collected enough to call it a day. When he was satisfied, he told everyone to grab their bags and they started the trek back to the base camp.

As they reached the top of the last hill before heading down into the valley, they all stopped and stared at the sky off in the distance. Some of the gatherers were frightened by what they saw. Others were in awe. Several even began to cry. Even Simon wasn’t sure what to make of it. There appeared a large hole in the cloud cover,  with a bright light emanating from it. “What is it, Simon?” one of the gatherers asked.

“I honestly don’t know,” Simon said. “It may be the sun or the moon shining through a crack in the sky.”

“Or maybe the gods are angry and are going to punish or destroy us,” another said, cowering in fear.

“We shouldn’t be afraid,” Simon said. “Some of the old books talked about how the Gloom might eventually lift. This may be the dawning of a new, bright age and a rebirth of our planet. We should celebrate and not recoil in fear.”

The small party of gatherers hurried back to the base camp, which, by the time they arrived, was bathed in the bright, warm light.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

24 thoughts on “#writephoto — The Gloom

    • Fandango November 2, 2018 / 5:43 pm

      Let’s hope there will be some still around to carry on the human race.


  1. James Pyles November 2, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    Depending on whether the nuclear conflict represented a major world war, or “only” between two nations such as Pakistan and India, the length of nuclear winter, which is what I think you’re describing, is pretty variable. If every nuclear nation went all out and launched their entire arsenals, it would probably lead to another extinction event, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    As an aside, you might want to read Isaac Asimov’s novel “Nightfall.” It tells of a planet with a unique orbit around several suns, whereby they only experience true night every so many thousands of years, and even the concept of night is a thing of myth and horror.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sight11 November 2, 2018 / 4:48 pm

      I don’t think that world war should only be used when US is involved.. India and Pakistan has a proximity to China, which is basically a super power now. Any confrontation of any kind would bound to send ripples to the entire world more importantly climate effected by radiation effects the world as a whole.

      Liked by 1 person

      • James Pyles November 2, 2018 / 7:22 pm

        Actually, the radiation is relatively short lived. The real, long term danger is nuclear winter. Once crop plants can’t grow, humanity suffers a global famine.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sight11 November 2, 2018 / 8:02 pm

          But radiation travel on wind current for miles not to mention the marine life is the one that may/may not get directly effected. Overall there is also the concern of food being imported nowadays. Seeing that many of us don’t know how global supply and demand of food is met, and also how ocean serves as a lifeline for the trade it seems rather irrational to not consider these in the long term also as told the global geographical location is such that any escalation or threat that results in such wars couldn’t be ignored. There was a time of Cold War, during which many people were of the opinion that world would be engulfed in nuclear winter if the two powers collide. The fact that the word of ‘world’ is only involved when Western powers (in this case the New Civilisations or the New World) are in the play is the mindset I’m contesting.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango November 2, 2018 / 10:41 pm

          Yeah, I know my story wouldn’t pass the scientific sniff test, but it was fun to write and it is flash fiction! 😏

          Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 2, 2018 / 5:46 pm

      I’ve read many of Asimov’s books, but not that one. I’ll give it a read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • James Pyles November 2, 2018 / 7:20 pm

        I liked it. I recall there was once an article proposing that a planet with such a strange orbit might possibly exist. It’s actually a terrific social study, and Asimov knew both science and people.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadje November 2, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    A vivid imagination to come up with that story. Great

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marilyn Armstrong November 2, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    I like to think that if we get rid of us, the earth will rebound. It did after Chernobyl. Let’s just hope VERY hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. newepicauthor November 3, 2018 / 10:22 am

    That line that you wrote, “a rebirth of our plant” made me laugh. I guess it is a typo for planet, but maybe there is a magic plant possibly a giant beanstalk that they can climb to get above the clouds.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. leigha66 November 10, 2018 / 4:16 pm

    It is good to think somehow a small bit of humanity will survive. Good story!

    Liked by 1 person

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