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The Antarctic winter was closed around us like a frozen blanket, suffocating us, chilling us to our bones.  Even inside the habitation module where the heating was turned up high we were cold.  We hadn’t seen the sun in months.

Claustrophobia was rife, and we took any break in the blizards to be an excuse for an outdoor excursion.  The morning of the end of the world was no exception.  It was late August, and the winter was starting to retreat.  We expected to see the sun today, if only for a few minutes.

We had bundled up so that no part of us showed.  The only way we could tell who was who was because we had our names on our jackets.  As we left the module we faced into bitter winds, but the sky was clear.  We did not go far.  To do so would be suicide in this climate.  After twenty yards we stopped, facing the lightening sky.

With almost religious devotion, we watched the sun emerge from its long sleep, casting harsh shadows on the ice.  We thought that the tremor was our imagination, the world reacting to the return of day.

The next day, the sun did not return.

When we went to investigate, there was a blizard blowing.  It was like no blizard we had ever seen before.  No snow here, or ice.  This blizard was pure ash.  It covered everything, got into every crack and crevice, filled the sky.  We retreated in confusion.

Our computers had been monitoring everything.  When we consulted them, we discovred the truth.  On August 14th, just as the sun was rising over Antarctica, there had been a massive earthquake.  From the readings we were getting we calculated the epicentre, and that, with the ash storm, told us we were doomed.

Yellowstone National Park no longer exists.

Our radio tower was taken out by a storm in June.  All we can do is wonder.  Will the first plane arrive as we expected, in three months time?  Or will they all be too busy dealing with the erruption?  Will anyone remember us?

We have four months supplies remaining.


Note 1: For the picky among you, yes, I know that Yellowstone errupting would not cause ash to fall in Antarctica.  It would probably cover most of the US, but the southern hemisphere would be largely unharmed (except when the global temperatures began to plummet and so on).  Call it artistic licence.

Note 2: Inspired by this:


The Author

Nicola Higgins is a 30-something martial artist who runs two Brownie packs and works full time. She somehow still finds time to write.

Her favourite genres are near-future and alternate world science fiction and fantasy.

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