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Jufilup t1_j1e6jfk wrote

Angel died yesterday, probably. His lifeless frame was found crumpled, his skin long gray, gross-smelling fluids oozing from his eyes and mouth. But it could have been earlier, I suppose than yesterday that he perished.

I mostly kept busy with the day's sudoku while the others dealt with him, as they're want to do.

The puzzle had a quite beautiful X-wing that took me a handful of minutes to find. By the time the ink had dried, they stood outside around the little mound of dirt, singing.

One of the young ones beckoned for me, pointing to a crying welp. The stench of Angel's liquids, still soaked into the floorboards pounded my temples, though. I snapped at an older girl, pointed at the baby with her full diaper, and went to lie down.

Sometime later, I woke up in a sweat. One of the damn children had opened the curtain, letting the blazing sun bare down on us.

Entering the kitchen, I took a portion of beans cooked by the older girls of the house before the scent of Angel's rot filled my nostrils.

Thankfully, one of the little ones noticed my revulsion. She jumped to her feet, abandoning her plate. Returning with incense sticks and candles, she lit them before rejoining the table. I gave her head a little pat, her cheek a little squeeze.

Leaving the filth of the grubby ones behind was a necessity. I spent some time tidying my one refuge, my bedroom, before opening a warm can of premixed jack and coke.

Finally, I felt a lightness in my chest. The drink went down easy, and I was shortly on my second, sitting jovially in my rocking chair. I flitted from book to book, from game to game, from thought to thought, playing music loud enough to escape the irritations of the other room.

Yet, in a moment of utmost joy, I smelled it again. I whipped my head about, looking for the source.

Instead, my eyes landed on the vent, and I erupted from my haven, knocking down a few oafs who had been waiting by my door.

I launched into the baby room and retched. Diapers piled high, in long decayed garbage bags. The thin reedy cry of a baby much in need of water filled my ears, and intense anger accompanied me.

The feelings mounted. The whine escalated, permeating through my spine. The smell of shit and decay flowed rapidly from my nostril to invade my brain, clouding my vision and thoughts. The needs and the wide-eyed stare of children clutching soft, dirty blankets disgusted me.

The need for alone time, for a place of my own, for a refuge piled.

I rushed to my bedroom, locking the door and even propping a chair under the handle. Towels and insulation were stuffed in the vents and cracks, and nose plugs were followed by ear plugs.

I couldn't hear the heavenly sound that accompanied the jack and coke cracking open, but I could taste the sweet bitters.


armageddon_20xx t1_j1etx81 wrote

Cracks ran deep into the pavement, a microcosmic representation of our shattered world. The children didn't seem to mind, running to and fro among the twisted metal of rusted cars, gleefully playing as I gently steered them away from potential harm. I often thought that they would never know what the world of my youth was like, know what comforts we had and neglected to be grateful for. They had never turned on a light, played a Playstation, or scrolled a phone, and for as long as this endless war continued, they never would. My hope, my final hope, was that one day I could convince their parents that they were fighting for nothing.

The dilapidated remains of the city were in the distance, the lair of the enemy that rained bombs down on our hills. There were no sirens to let us know when they might strike, our only protection was to know what they would target. It was never the road. Here, among the remains of the cars, we were safe. This is where I met with the children each day, to give them whatever lessons I could impart, doing so without books or pens, and oftentimes under the weather. Some days, we were forced to learn in the remains of a charter bus. The children didn't mind. Again, they never knew what luxury was.

Comfort wasn't the priority of our leaders, as adamant about taking the city now as they had been decades ago when the civil war began. Whatever precious resources we had were funneled into the war effort, including many of the lives I had looked after in my years. Many of them I never saw again after the day I bid them a tearful goodbye. I often wondered how our leaders could be so stupid to lose their own children to the conflict, but then I was reminded that they hardly did anything smart. A body was a body in their eyes, whether it was their own or someone else's. It seemed that nothing I said or did could put a drop of heart into them, to tear them from their wretched greed. Sometimes I would tell them that we could run, go far away, and build a society based upon our own values under our own banner. Then they would tell me that the city was theirs and that they had to have it back.

Such was war.

The skies turned a deep gray, promising a thunderstorm. I huddled the children together and directed them toward the bus. We were almost to the sunken vehicle with its tires long gone when I noticed some kind of commotion down in the valley. Wishing I had binoculars I squinted to try to make out what was happening, seeing what looked to be a mob of people in body armor. They were coming towards us, faster than I would have liked. I turned back and told the children to run to their homes.

As the mob got closer my heart sank, as they were beyond a shadow of a doubt the enemy. I debated running but thought of the children. If just one of them were to perish I could never forgive myself. No, I needed to stay and try to buy time for them to get to safety. I gulped as I started to feel terror. Death was perhaps the best outcome of this encounter.

I stood in plain sight so that the enemy would see me when they reached the road. Rifles were drawn and pointed at me right away, and they told me to get down on my knees. A man with thick tanned skin and a motley head of blonde hair came forward and introduced himself as Lieutenant Seargeant Abrahms. He asked me if I was one of the usurpers, to which I replied I was. No sense in lying about what was already obvious from where I was and how I was dressed. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was foraging, to which he laughed.

"We know you're looking after kids up here. We've been watching you for a while. Now, we're not interested in killing kids, but you gotta tell me where your leaders are. 'Cause it's about time we put this thing to bed. Ya know?"

It occurred to me that something bad must have happened because these soldiers should have never been able to get here. I wondered if our front line had somehow fallen through or if we had been compromised in some way. Perhaps, we had finally lost the war. I said nothing, loyal to my cause and my banner, unwilling to give the enemy even a shred of information, knowing that every moment I stood there was another moment the kids had to get home to their parents, and hopefully get them to send some help.

"So it's gonna be like that, huh?" Abrahms said as he gave me a hard slap to the face. Tears came to my eyes as I struggled to recoil from the blow.

At once I understood why the leaders were so unwilling to give this conflict up. I had been shaded from the worst of the war, having had nobody to lose. They had been hurt in a multitude of ways and had the lives of loved ones taken from them. Many had died themselves.

I didn't have much longer to think, as I heard a bang before Abrahms fell forward. I looked back for a moment and briefly saw the face of one of my children looking down before he hid behind a rock.



laancelot t1_j1ewydx wrote

I had never been a productive member of society before the End. Time changes us all, as they say, and after a fashionable time off spent digging myself out of a pile of concrete, I came to the realization that the world had changed, and so did I.

The daycare was, at first, more an orphanage than a daycare. I gathered little survivors who had lost their parents. At first they were afraid, and they cried, but surviving the worst had made me a new man. I had gained patience and empathy, two traits I never though I possessed. One by one, they came to accept me as their foster parent.

After a fashion, some of their parents who they though dead found my little orphanage. They came to me with humble gratefulness and took back their kid. Some of them I never saw again, yet most of them came back on a regular basis. Everyday, during foraging and warring hours, raiders, nomads and techno-barbarians started using my services as a keeper. A children keeper.

There must be a word for that job, but I never bothered to learn it. Yet I did it splendidly. My orphanage slowly morphed into a daycare. My daycare became a haven of peace in a wasteland otherwise known for it's murderous ghouls, barbarians and mutants.

The parents would thank me, at first sheepishly, then earnestly. Mortal enemies would sometimes meet while on my ground, and they would ignore one another. Everybody came to know that the daycare was a new form of holy ground. A place of peace in a brutal world.

I still had to keep them in line from time to time, though. All children keepers must know that kind of parent:

"Mister Longshot? May we have a chat? I've heard little Wink speak ill of Tadpole's parents. It lead to a nasty fight between them."

"It has?"

"Yes. I could convince them to make peace after a while, so all is good, yet... could you please keep the warmongering talk outside of your kid's life, at least for a couple more years?"

"I, uuuh... yes, for sure. I'll be careful for now on. Thank you for letting me know."

"Thank you... who?"

The warlord shrank a little bit. Although being in my shadow, he started sweating.

"Thank you, Doctor Apocalypse. Thanks for everything."


russrussrussrussruss t1_j1fccu3 wrote

Croc was on his way out when Gil walked in. Two of the most powerful men in the region, who’s respective factions, the Waterrunners and the Trailmen, had been at war for a decade, simply nodded at each other as they passed. I smirked, they knew better than to do anything here.

I remember the day all this started. Ironically enough, my wife was on the way home from our daughters daycare when the earthquakes began. They never made it back, one of many others lost to a bottomless ravine. Once I was sure the ground was still, I made left my concrete cellar and waited for Maggie.

After an hour the realization set in.

After a week I left my ruined home, a shabby mess of a man, because I needed supplies.

After a year, I had somewhat recovered, and found new meaning in a lost 6 year old child I returned to her small shantytown nearby.

After 5 years, I repaired and converted my house into a place where people could leave their kids as they searched for supplies.

After 20 years, I was responsible for nearly every child that resided in a 5 mile radius.

That takes us to today. Gil smiled at me, and reached out his hand. “Hey Gil” I said, shaking it “Bobbi’s in the wash-“ then, the ground shook like it did all those years ago.

The floor gave way, and I fell into an abyss of darkness. I didn’t scream.

My only thoughts were of the dozens of children who were in that place with us.


Jce_WritingPrompts t1_j1fr7o0 wrote

    Down in the valley, on what is perhaps the last patch of real lush green grass in five hundred miles, was also the last neutral place: Ulysses' Daycare. Today children played tag, their laughter, shouts, and sometimes cries filled the bright sunny day. Ulysses thought it felt like the before time on days like this, at least in here. Normally he spent his day enjoying the sounds, manning the door, and delegating tasks to his assistants, but today he kept an ear towards two parents who waited to pick their kids up.

    "Melton," said Harrison, who led the vicious Nightcrawlers, the radiation had given them the ability to see in the dark.

    "Harrison," said the man across from him, Melton, who lead the industrious Curies, full of chemists that flooded the streets with recreational drugs, but also medicine.

    "I thought we had an agreement"

    "Olivia needed the night off, ok, chill, it's a one time thing," said Melton, his eyes bloodshot and suit even more torn than usual today. Ulysses thought maybe Melton had been testing his wares all night.

    "We had a fucking agreement, you get the day, I get the night. I dont give a fuck what sorta shit excuse you've got. I dont want your shitbag kid talking to my Ruella."

    "You take that back Harrison," said Melton, now inches from Harrison's face.

    "Shitbag. fucking. kid," Melton pulled his laser pistol from his belt, pointed it at Harrison's face, but just as he was about to pull the trigger he vaporized into ash.

    "Threat neutralized," said Ulysses' PRO-TEC 9 XL robot. It was an older model and bulky, but he really appreciated the full vaporizing feature, it made cleanup much easier.

    "Fourth one this week, Harrison," said Ulysses.

    "It's a lot easier than fighting out there," said Harrison, with a wink. Ulysses went back to reading his newspaper and Harrison turned to the children filing out of daycare, "Ruella! How was daycare today, princess?"


BioQuillFiction t1_j1fx4jk wrote

I remember the end of the world like it was yesterday. The world didn't end in fire, more floods, nore droughts. It ended with a cough. A sniffle, and a 110° temperature that killed you in less than an hour.

Somehow, despite the high rate of infection and high lethality, some managed to survive it. Either through being Asymptomatic, Naturally immune, or possibly even divine luck.

I was in the later. I remember wanting to die, the heat was ungodly. I passed out, expecting to never wake again, only to wake up two days later.

At first, those who survived the virus just tried to figure things out. People then took to making groups.

Those groups laid claim to territory, resources. Other groups would want said resources. Wars broke out.

I was lucky to be in a group that formed a strong, well respected no conflict treaty while on our territory. How? Simple. We raised the kids.

It started when orphaned kids who lost their families would be moved from groups to group, and after several passed away in conflicts, myself and several others formed a split off tribe. We simpliy by The Daycare. Children from birth to eighteen are raised, live safe, and educated within this community.

Anyone who tries anything is dealt with via public execution, their body crucified on the defense walls for all to see.

Cruel, yes, but it gets the message across.

The end goal of this place has, in recent generations begun to take root. Despite all the kids coming from different groups, many of which are rivals, the younger generations raised here and returned to their tribes once they become adults have begun fostering more stable, corporative relationships between tribes.

One of which became a tribe leader, and married their love from The Daycare, who was from another tribe, leading to the two tribes becoming one.

We hope, in two or three more generations, humans will no longer be separated by the tribes, and just return to something like before, but better.

I might die before then, but I'll die knowing I'm making the world better for these kids, and the future of humanity, simply by teaching kindness, compassion, and empathy.


stopusingredditnerd t1_j1ginj2 wrote

"Time changes us all" wow that was a great main idea for the audience to hold on to the back of their minds as a start to your story. Big events in our lives can really radically change our core foundations, either for the better or for the worse. Great opening for any apocalyptic setting.

I also liked the first person view narrative, felt real and the main character seemed very likeable to keep the reader invested into reading more. Good job man 👍


Similar_Document_964 t1_j1gn5xj wrote

I can hear the trains come in at daybreak. It’s time to get up.

Groping across the bedside table for glasses, coms, light switch; I hear the hooting of the first arrivals. thirsty. Get water.

Five tracks stretch and bend away from the DaysWard, in shapes resembling craggy cliff faces.

In the initial rebuilding, the DaysWard was simply the Ward. An improvised, shadrack city whose only purpose was triage and treatment.

Smoke in my eyes. Has that been burning all night? dribble water on it. ashtray soggy. finish the cup.

During the rebuilding, the five tracks were all active. Trains came from one empty mega city, two broken municipalities, and two isolated ethnostates.

None were at war, yet. Most were too busy dying.

Now only three trains arrive, and only in the early morning. Anyone over the age of twelve is not permitted on the trains.

I look around the room for my shoes. eye drops?

It won’t last forever. The electronics instructor consistently talks of the day when only two trains will arrive.

“That’ll be the end of it.” his slow Irish baritone mumbles through crooked and broken teeth, “and we’ll know who’s killing us by which one is missing.”


GumGuts t1_j1gockb wrote

It was Russia who fired first. When Finland and Sweden were formally admitted to NATO, the Free World began militarizing their borders and funneling in masses of armed forces. We never thought Putin was crazy enough, but we were wrong. Russia declared war, China and Iran quickly followed suit, and the world was dragged into a hopeless war. 

The mobilization of US armed forces created an intractable political divide in the country. Spouts of violence started. First between individuals, and then small militias, and finally entire states. California voted to separate from the Union, followed by New York, then Oregon, then Massachusetts. An already thinly-stretched federal force wasn’t enough to stop them.

Still, the World War raged on. For four years, major battles were fought on every major continent, involving nearly every country on earth. Finally, it seemed the end was near, as NATO forces neared Moscow and Beijing. 

We should have known. Maybe we did, but what could we do. The non-nuclear pact signed at the beginning of the war would never hold. On Christmas eve of the year 2029, a deranged Putin launched every nuclear missile in the Russian arsenal. 

Washington D.C., London, Paris, San Francisco, Seattle, every major city in Europe and North America, was leveled in a matter of days. The retaliation was even worse. Russia, China, and Iran were demolished. Estimates say at least seven hundred and fifty million people died instantly. 

And just like that, the war was over. None of the nations could hope to muster enough forces to continue to fight, and if they could, couldn’t risk the possibility of another nuclear attack. And on New Years day, 2030, a non-aggression pact was signed.

But in America at least, the damage was already done.

I was a nurse before it all happened. I enlisted in the Red Cross, and was deployed, first to a hospital in Germany, and then to a combat hospital in Henderson, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas. California Separatist and the Federalist would clash frequently there, and it seemed there was no end to the wounded streaming in.

It started when a Separatist, wearing combat fatigues and sporting a rifle slung around his shoulder, walked in with his two young children, a boy and a girl. He seemed confused at first.

“Can I help you?” I asked.

“Their mother is dead and I have to fight. I’m leaving them with you.” And as quickly as he came, he was gone.    

They rarely talked, didn’t like to play, and had to be taught how to clean themselves. They were the only ones the first few months. Then we got a wounded Colonel. I was administering an IV when he pointed at the two children.

“Who are they?” He asked, in a grizzled military tone. The children looked at him sheepishly. 

“Their father left them. We’re looking after them.” I whispered. He humphed. A week later, he was discharged.

And then they started to come. First it was two Separatist soldiers, with five children following behind them, all looking like they were from different parents.

“Our Colonel said we could leave them here.” We now had seven children. Then twelve. Then seventeen. Then word got to the Federalists. By the end of 2032, we had forty two children.

Every month, it seemed there were less wounded and more children. Reserve forces for both sides were drying up, and neither side could risk an assault. Gradually, and not necessarily by choice, we became an orphanage rather than a hospital. 

It wasn’t easy. Food rations from the Red Cross were scant, and many of the children had faced untenable trauma. Supplies always seemed to be running low. Fortunately, the doctors and nurses who had been treating the soldiers found a new calling in the kids.

We did the best we could, but it was hardly ever enough. Sadness and hopelessness seemed to seep in at every corner. Even the staff would break sometimes. These children had grown up in war, seen the bodies and the injuries, had never had a stable home. Many of them didn’t talk, and many liked to fight. They’d often be caught stealing. 

Still, the civil war raged on. We don’t know how long it will be until it ends, or what the world will look like. It’s hard to say the children can even imagine a world that isn’t war. But we soldier on, hoping one day, for peace.


LadyAnarki t1_j1he61i wrote

"What's the problem?" I asked the guard waiting for me at the enterance warehouse.

"New blood." he simply shrugged his shoulders, looking bored.

I sighed and walked through the door into the dim metal structure, my skirts billowing behind me. The walls were lined with lockers. Those small ones that used to be littered at shopping malls so you could lock up your bags of useless crap to engage in even more vain & selfish consumerism.

Two more of my guards stood on the opposite end at the only door to the outer wasteland, surrounding a man holding a small figure in his arm. His second arm held a pistol.

It was a rarer sight than it used to be. When the earthquakes & floods first ended, we were decimated. A global loss of communication systems separated us as much as the enormous trenches and deep lakes. Survivors came together locally, but conflicts over resources soon turned into full-scale territorial wars. Factions broke out, with nomads-turned-prisoners bringing news of what was happening in other parts of the country. The coastal cities had been wiped away first as California broke off into the Pacific. The volcanic ash covered the ground from Wyoming to Kansas.

I watched the world end from the Midwest. Or was it the southeast now? My father was a prepper, so our sprawling farm quickly turned into a fortress. He was a good leader in a crisis: stabilizing and fortifying our land, commanding the loyalty of our neighbors who produced food under his protection, and training the wandering soldiers he took in. Many showed up at our gates during those days. Many were turned away, especially those who had children.

It wasn't right, I always thought. Before, my father used to say that women were only good for popping out kids. After, he said that kids were a waste or resources. Many didn't survive, or couldn't work, or their loyalties stayed with some fantasy birth parents that hadn't even bothered to prepare for the worst. So when my father died on a raiding mission in year 5 A.A. (After Apocalypse), I decided to make a change.

"Hello, welcome to The Daycare" I smiled as I approached the newcomer. On closer inspection, I could see that he was shaking. I motioned for the guards to take a step back to give him breathing room. "Have the rules been outlined to you?"

The man's eyes focused on my face. He looked young, somewhere in his late 20s. Probably a child himself when Yellowstone erupted.

"I'm not giving up my gun," he scowled. "I need to know my daughter is safe."

"This is The Daycare." I replied sweetly but sternly. "I'd be surprised if anyone in the drylands says that she wouldn't be safe. That is why you're here, isn't it? Because you've heard of me and the sanctuary?"

The man's face flickered through a range of emotions as I patiently waited for him to remember why he came to me.

"I... I didn't believe it existed... I... we've traveled so far. So many close calls. I just... I want to be sure."

My smile widened. "You can be sure. Just put your gun and any other weapons, poisons, or gear you have in the locker, take the key, and I'll be happy to show you."

He hesitated for a second, contemplating if he could trust me or the rumors of the orphan oasis I knew circulated far and wide. Then he crouched down to place his daughter on the ground. She looked to be about 3. Right at the age where separation from her father wouldn't bring too much instability. I watched as he whispered something quietly to her, stood up, and began emptying his pockets into the locker by the door.

"Her bag as well." I said gently as I noticed her holding it. I saw him scowl again as he turned to look at me, then smile as he addressed his daughter. Once I was satisfied all their belongings were packed away, I gestured for him to follow me through the backdoor of the warehouse.

The keys were a formality. Polite manners like the games of Victorian era nobles from a civilization that no longer existed, but its survivors carried the same hateful beliefs and ideologies. Even now, after everything.

My guards would thoroughly check their things, noting any technology or substances from the outside world. Anything of use would be collected as payment. He would be given his tour, shown the food forests and gardens, the children running around laughing, the libraries filled with books I collected. He would not be shown the military force I'd built up to protect it all. The training fields and weapons arsenals. The soldiers I raised with absolute loyalty to their home, to me. Then, he'd be shown the door. Just like all the parents before him.

Notes: This is the 1st thing I've written in a really long time. Thank you for sparking the creative flow.


johnpu1 t1_j1hm34n wrote

In the Before I was an investment banker, made a lot of money but it never filled me with joy or sense of pride. I drove my cars, slept with women, drank on the weekends. But I have never felt as much pride as when I started the Daycare sanctuary in the After. The After came about approximatelly three years ago, but it was not anything like you would expect from an apocalypse. No asteroids, aliens or crazy war. Over couple years cropps slowly stopped growing and all the other plants slowly followed. When there was not enough for everyone panic set and people started organizing in groups and then it slowly went to shit. When there was only couple of million people left, war started. And after there was just the Wasteland. I stayed out of the war but lost all my wealth since money meant nothing.

After I recovered from the shock I realized I can do something meaningful. I used my charisma and appealed to all the warlords in the are for a safe haven at least for the children. To my surprise all the warlords agreed. So the Safe-Haven was established and respected by everyone.


blue7silver t1_j1hzuac wrote

Their parents, at least, were still human.

Far below the surface, away from the wars fought by whoever was left over whatever was left, I watched over the first children of the apocalypse. I taught the kids old fashioned values. To be polite, to be kind, and not to touch the barrels of nuclear waste buried deep in the ground. 'Keep all tentacles, claws, and fingers to yourself and don't eat the green goo' read the sign I posted above the daycare.

When Timmy's parents came to pick him up, they often told him nasty things about Ur-Grak's mommy and three daddies, who eventually returned the favor. I had to enforce our no fighting policy between parents more than their children. But while Timmy could speak at a tenth grade level when he was five months, Timmy merely listened to the diatribes, blinked his many, many eyes in boredom, and then wrapped himself in his wings to make himself fall asleep.

Humans, Timmy would warble to me while one of his heads drank magma from a fissure in the wall, his pre-nap ritual. They all look the same to me, he would say. What are they so worked up about?

I guess the more we change, the more we become the same, I would reply hoping it meant something. And then I'd tell Timmy stories about how humans used to hate each other based on the color of their skin, and Timmy would warble with what I hoped was laughter.

I learned a lot from those kids. When they eventually came of age, took to the surface, ended the human wars in one single terrifying display of strength, and made me their leader, I could hardly say no. I owed them much. We all do.


XanderJayNix t1_j1i4136 wrote

If he wasn't the one who ended the world, then he may have gotten the name because he has an alliance with the people of power due to watching their children, and can cause problems for anyone that causes problems for him.