Tuesday 8 December 2015

The Last Word (flash fiction)

Arts venues close for dubious reasons, libraries close because no one really needs books anymore, certain books are deemed unsuitable - and I remembered writing this flash.

The Last Word

The poets were the first to die. Shunned, scorned, their souls poisoned by the angst they couldn’t vent. Unused rhythms burst their over-flowing hearts and strangled their creativity – they choked on their rhymes.

The philistines smiled.

The playwrights didn’t mourn the poets - those twisters of words - but untold conversations soon spun their brains into frenzy. They talked, shouted, argued and made up with their own egos. They wandered, muttering, taking their final bows to empty seats and empty heads. Their sense of drama decreed that poison was the most fitting finale.

The philistines laughed.

The novelists sneered. Playwrights were melodramatic fools. But then they wondered, in this new world, who would print their novels? Who would read them? Had they ever been good? Was the purge justified by their inadequacy as artists? Paranoia bred despair, despair denied them sustenance, malnutrition brought their demise.

The philistines rejoiced.

The journalists recorded the events with glee. For so long the bastard children of true artists, now they were the only surviving wordsmiths. Yet they were still looked upon with disgust, even as they revelled in the success of their masters. They took solace in alcohol, their words became as drunk as their minds, and soon both dried up.

The world’s readers, with no means of escape from their own stories, became an unproductive, uncaring, unfeeling mass.

The philistines’ success went unheralded. There was no one left to write the eulogy.

The word and the world ended.


  1. Gloomy stuff, Karen. Yet, sadly, probably not too far from the true course of events. Nicely done.

  2. Cheers, Dan. So many arts venues and libraries being closed these days, so many councils who can't see the value of anything vaguely related to culture, it really is depressing.