The Demand – flash fiction by Ray Dan Parker

“Hey, you!” the words cried out from the page that moments earlier had been blank.  “Remember me?”

I must admit I hadn’t a clue.  I turned to see if there was anyone else in the room. Perhaps some prankster. I was alone.

“Of course, you do.  I’m the young woman growing up in what she thinks is a normal city, only to discover, years later, that it’s nothing more than an underground bunker filled with survivors of a nuclear holocaust, people filling their empty days with delusions of surrounding woodlands and the flow of seasons.”

Staring out my window at the darkened landscape, I wondered if I’d finally succumbed to hours of deprivation and had lost my senses.

“Remember how I discovered, bit by bit, that everything I ever knew was wrong, how, through luck and cunning, I escaped into the wastes of the dreaded ‘outlanders,’ how from such nothingness I grew into a fully actualized human being, an individual, not just a member of a collective consciousness?

I’m still waiting.  So, tell the damned story already!”

I have no idea how long I spent typing.  I looked up, at length, to see the sunlight bursting through the oak trees outside.

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