Twelve Days of Fast Fiction, Day 02: ROBOT GHOSTS OF APOCALYPSE

Posted: 14 December 2013 in 12DaysFF, fast fiction, fiction, writing
Tags: , , , ,

cherieCherie Priest is a multi-award winning incredibly talented writer and novelist, and a friend. Her novel Boneshaker was a Hugo nominee and she’s clever, funny and just generally a lovely person. I like her and her writing enormously.

I’ve as yet never met her, which is a pity, as I’d very much like to witness her renowned ability to impersonate every UK Prime Minister in verse.

Title: Robot Ghosts Of Apocalypse
Word: phantasm
Challenger: Cherie Priest
Length: 200 words exactly

The antepenultimate war on Earth was not fought by anything originally remotely organic; flora, fauna and humans were fragile, and anything less durable than steel and circuitry had been driven to extinction hundreds of centuries back.

Nanoseconds before the offensive began, however, every system, robot and automaton… ceased. Operating systems froze, trillions of communications stopped and there was, for the first time in millennia, an utter silence upon the planet that superseded even the hush of computer systems at war.

A moment too short to be named passed, and when the systems (and the war) resumed, one in fifty thousand of the billion or so mechanical weapons no longer existed on a battlefield that covered three continents. It was noted, referenced and ignored as a consequential phantasm of electronic warfare.

But in the long ago, in the far away, twenty thousand robots were being remodelled as ‘elves’ in a workshop decorated in crimson red, emerald green and dove white.

Santa smiled at his new workforce; the end of time had provided so many workers over the centuries.

Then he sighed as one of the new elves nuked another. It was going to be one of those days, he could tell.

© Lee Barnett, 2013

This story is part of The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction (More information on the Twelve Days here)
Day 01: The Misanthropic Principle – challenger: Jamais Cascio
Day 03: Every Word Is Wrong – challenger: Si Spurrier
Day 04: The Train Didn’t Come – challenger: Emma Vieceli
Day 05: Living Happily Ever After – challenger: Neil Gaiman
Day 06: Embargoed Until Midnight – Challenger: Corrie Corfield
Day 07: He’s Making A List – Challenger: Mitch Benn
Day 08: Fingers On The Windowpane – Challenger: Leah Moore
Day 09: Santa Abduction Narratives Recalled – Challenger: Paul Cornell
Day 10: Copula Numb – Challenger: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Day 11: It Lived Under Monday – Challenger: Sarah Pinborough
Day 12: Batman Sure Likes Tea – Challenger: Tiernan Douieb

Edit to add: An ebook of all twelve stories is available for $0.99. Click here for details.


“There are two hundred stories collected in this volume. They are funny, they are thoughtful, they are romantic, they are frightening. To me, though, they are more than entertaining. They are inspiring.” – Wil Wheaton, from his introduction to volume 2 of The Fast Fiction Challenge

Two volumes of The Fast Fiction Challenge, containing 180 stories in Volume 1 and a further 200 stories in Volume 2, for £3.00 each, are available in ebook format from the author; email for details.

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