In lieu of flowers

In Lieu Of Flowers

In Lieu Of Flowers

“…in lieu of flowers.

We should have done more tests.

(interference – loud buzzing noise)

 It is too late for us now. God have mercy on us all.”

(interference – prolonged loud buzzing noise)

(interference – banging noise)

*** MESSAGE ENDS ***

*** MESSAGE REPEATING ****

*** MESSAGE BEGINS ***

“My name is Dr Jules and I am an apiarist and biologist. I work for M(interference – high pitched squeal) Proprietary Limited, or at least I did. I don’t know if anyone can hear this… I don’t know if anyone remains. I.. I have left this too late. I..

(interference – buzzing noise)

..n’t know. I’m sorry

If you are left, please rip out the seedless crops sold to you by M(interference – high pitched squeal) and replant any old seeds that you can! Please! We are finished here, but you might be able to prevent this if you are quick. I must…

(interference – buzzing noise)

(interference – banging noise)

…efore we run out of tim…

*** PART MESSAGE CORRUPTED***

…started with my company addressing the CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder. Bees were dying by the hives, millions every year, and nothing we could do would stop it. Analysis was that the bees were doomed, and global starvation, even human extinction was possible. Likely.

This is when M… the company released its latest pre-fertilised seedless crops to the world. These crops didn’t need to flower, they went from seed straight into to crop production. Low water requirements, fast growing, built in pesticides, protein and trace mineral boosted – these were miracle crops courtesy of GMO scientists. Of course, they wouldn’t produce seeds, which meant only the company could sell the next season’s crop, but they were cheap, plentiful, and easy to grow.

The company released variety after variety, quickly cornering the market. Every other crop was replaced by the PreFert plants, and humanities food production was totally secure. The company became ridiculously rich, but poverty was a thing of the past, so who cared?

Of course, it was the death knell for the remaining bees, or so we thought. With every crop in the world now flower-less, the remaining hives started to starve, and five years later, we thought they had disappeared entirely. Bees were declared an extinct species in 20…

(interference – prolonged loud buzzing noise)

…rebounded! I was, I mean we, biologists were confounded. How could bees come back from extinction when we had removed all the flowers? Bees need protein from pollen, the liquid sugars from nectar? It just didn’t mak…

(interference – prolonged loud buzzing noise)

*** PART MESSAGE CORRUPTED***

…went dark and all communication ceased. We rolled in and found the first… hives. It looked like the whole village, some two-hundred people, plus every other dog, cat and other mammal nearby, had been… stitched together, bound in a reddish-brown wax, and –god- the way it oozed that bright red honey. The noise was terrible, at first we thought it was the drone of the millions of bees in the hive, but as we approached we realised that it was the townspeople. Groaning. We started forward to rescue the survivors, but then the swarm reacted to us and the team barely got…

(interference – loud buzzing noise)

…ouldn’t have been predicted, but I disagreed, loudly. That got me fired for my trouble, but there is no job, no company now anyway.

I tell you what I told them. Blood contains everything a bee colony needs, it’s basically nothing but proteins and liquid sugars, and really, what did we expect them to eat in lieu of flowers.

We should have done more tests.

(interference – loud buzzing noise)

 It is too late for us now. God have mercy on us all.”

(interference – prolonged loud buzzing noise)

(interference – banging noise)

*** MESSAGE ENDS ***

*** MESSAGE REPEATING ****


A quick new challenge story, this time from bekindrewrite! The challenge had few rules (unless you desperately wanted some) and gave a list of possible ‘story triggers’. I chose (obviously) IN LIEU OF FLOWERS.

I think this theme has been buzzing (sorry) about in the back of my head for a week or two, at least since reading an interview with Jon McGoran on Terrible Minds. I haven’t read Dead Out yet, but I plan to.

As always, let me know what you think! The ‘repeating message of the last survivor’ is so frequently used its basically a trope now, is it overdone? Did it work for this ‘bite’ or should I have avoided it? I only had a lunchtime to do it, so I tried to compress this into its basic core ideas – did this work or is it too truncated?

Cheers

KT

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2 thoughts on “In lieu of flowers

  1. M…onsanto?

    This was really great. I enjoyed the plot, but I loved how you told the story. It was so much more interesting with the narrative jumps. I’m sure it’s a trope, but nothing is ‘overdone’ when it’s done well.

    Liked by 1 person

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