Last Lesson by Hannah Whiteoak

They swarm around the ruined city. Shining, silver. Picking over relics from The Before. For one terrifying year, they were killers. Now, they’ve returned to their intended purpose: clearing up our mess. I expect it’s a lot easier for them since they reduced our species to a few thousand. Why didn’t they finish the job? Perhaps they think there is still hope for us, that we can learn from this experience. Live a little more gently on the Earth. Hiding behind a half-demolished building, my hand tightens around a rock. I can take at least one of the bastards out.

Hannah Whiteoak studied physics at Cambridge University. Their stories have appeared in Flash Fiction Online, Escape Pod, Luna Station Quarterly, and elsewhere. Find out more at or on Twitter @hannahwhiteoak

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