WEP 1000 words FCA. Footprints

When the first ones crawled out of the bog, they looked more like miniature lizards than dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. No one was sure what was the catalyst that pushed all the microbes together and gave them life but they were cute and made you laugh with their antics, like colorful chickens.

Conservative media made a big deal out of finding a new species. Climate change was for losers. Meanwhile, here in Wisconsin the water table was rising and the crops were tending more towards rice than corn. We take what God gives us around these parts and we’re grateful.

So we kept right on pumping hydrocarbons into the atmosphere and then evolution did a fast break and the next new thing to leave its birdlike footprints in the muck was not so cute. They had wings, leathery and shiny like something out of a night terror that makes you pee your sheets. And teeth. Sweet Mother of God, rows of vicious, flesh ripping teeth. Where the small ones were adorable goofs, the big ones were sleek with an air of menace.

The bigger ones hunted down the little guys with terrifying pack mentality. Strewn guts covered the roads, blood soaking into the wet soil. The smell of rot clung to the ground, carrying a thick cloud of putrification everywhere. We started wearing little white masks, like they do in Japan.

They didn’t seem to much notice humans, at first but as the smaller dinosaurs learned to duck and cover whenever a shadow touched them, people began to find their dogs and cats missing. As the flyers ran out of easy prey, their black shiny eyes started looking at us. Really looking.

Everyone found a reason to stay inside around that time and hoped the military would get off its big old behind and save us. And they tried. You had to give ‘em that. But once they realized we were trying to kill them they decided to kill us right back. And they were better at it than we were by a long ways. They slaughtered the army of conventional warfare like it was choir practice. Soon, our military was battered and scattered like wheat chaff on the wind.

Just when things looked like we ought to be kissing our collective sweet hinnies goodbye, we got the word through the church calling tree. The Colonel wanted everyone in a pew on Sunday. There’s only one service here and you better be there or they go right on saving souls without you.

The Colonel grew up here, out in eastern Wisconsin, shooting and trapping and generally honing his sites on anything to kill the boredom.

On that bright sunny Sunday, the First Lutheran Church of God was packed with people in urgent need of saving. Even the Jewish guys who had an art store in town came. For the homily, the Colonel and the pastor stood up. After a moment the pastor sat as the Colonel stared him down and took the pulpit.

He looked out over us and he waited. Fans stopped waving, babies stopped fussing, until there was a hole of silence we waited for him to fill.

“These abominations have to be stopped. They threaten to take over our world, make it their own. I’ve word that a new, larger species has been discovered. Or maybe it’s better to say they’ve discovered us and are spreading rapidly. My sources say this emerging threat will be here in two weeks at the most. Now, I don’t know about you, neighbor, but I’ve never fancied being part of someone else’s food chain. No one’s taking my land from me and I’m not much on running, neither.“ There was scattered laughter at the very thought.

“What’s left of our troops is in retreat as we speak. Our military doesn’t train soldiers to shoot, it trains them to pull the trigger and hopes for the best. Most soldiers not only can’t hit the broadside of a cow at ten paces but are too petrified in actual combat to even pull the trigger.

“These creatures can be taken out by a headshot. A direct hit on something the size of a baseball.” He let that sink in for a spell.

“I spent my youth here in plinking squirrels at 25 yards or tapping a rabbit on the run. I know many of you share my enthusiasm. I don’t think I exaggerate when I say that some of the best shots in Wisconsin are right here in these pews.” People’s heads bobbed because it was true.

“Now I personally think it was a mistake when our country asked us to turn in our guns when they passed the No Death on Our Streets law, couple of years ago. I also know that like me, you’ve all got one good gun you’ve designated as a family heirloom to keep at home for protection. Well, I for one, hope you kept plenty of ammo for that firearm.

“I’m saying now’s the time to clean that gun. We survived the Holy Trump Wars and by God, we’ll survive these things.” He slammed both hands on the sides of the pulpit and leaned in toward us and no one even breathed.

“Maybe we can’t defeat them. Maybe there’re too many of them and too few of us, but we’ll damn sure show the world how to make those things think twice before they set a claw in Wisconsin.

“We take care of our own problems. Why? Because that’s what we do. And I say, we take care of this mess before it gets any worse.”

And he walked out down the center aisle. And people rose and followed just like the ushers had dismissed them, row by row. And I marched right out with them and I’ll be there tomorrow, by God I will, shoulder to shoulder with my neighbors and kin. So, if you find this, you’ll know either how it started or how it ended.

Published by dixiejarchow

I'm the author of two published books under Daisy Jerico: The Love Thief and Sparks Fly, and three published as Dixie Jo Jarchow. I’ve proofread for the Surgeon General’s office, a physics textbook and a terra cotta textbook. My passion is to write and help others write. Write on! And have a normal life with GDP.

39 thoughts on “WEP 1000 words FCA. Footprints

  1. Hi,
    I love the way you brought out truths hidden in humor. You have packed into the world you built a reality for the readers to think about. These changes could happen anywhere on the European Continent or in the USA.
    Great job.
    Have a Merry Christmas and a great crossover into 2020.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G


  2. From beginning to end, your story had me captivated. I love the tone, I loved the progression of events, and like everyone else, I loved that last line. Who knows what the consequences of our actions on this planet will be, but you did an excellent job of creating a horrifying reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a horrifying outcome. Weaved all the way through were issues that made me laugh and shudder. Hopefully, the beasts win. 🙂
    Very well done!


  4. ‘Hopefully the beasts win,’ says Yolanda. LOL. I loved how you crafted this Dixie, with humor and true grit. It reminded me of a scene from a movie when all the bad ole boys and girls grab their firearms and go forth and conquer the beast. You had many gems within your story and I loved picking them out. ‘We survived the Holy Trump wars,’ particularly appealed to me.

    Thank you Dixie for your regular contributions to WEP. You’re valued by us all. You always give us a great read.

    Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Hope you continue with us to make WEP 2020 great! (If you survive the beasts!)


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very powerful and topical. Loved the tension, loved the sly humour too – holy Trump wars 🙂 The ending was an absolute killer (pun intended). Brilliant use of the prompt! Thank you for sharing this superb flash.

    Happy holidays and a wonderful New Year 2020!


  6. This story was straight-up kick-ass and should absolutely be made into a movie. That is if you got the right special effect team who would make the creatures seem real and not ruin things with bad CGI.
    ~The Real Cie~


  7. This was awesome. That last line is stellar! Definitely poses a question a lot of people hate to think about, especially in these times where anything can happen anywhere…

    This reminds me of the Nike ad a few years ago where a chainsaw killer was hiding in the home of a woman who also happened to be a runner. When he attacks her, she outruns him, and he’s left gasping for air. The tagline… “Why sport? You’ll live longer.” Here’s the link to the ad on youtube -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=ybTdNKjUBis

    I can see the tagline for this… “Why guns? Because chaos happens.” A bit silly, but with a hint of truth in it.


  8. Opening hooked me and your choice of words worked well, Dixie. From ‘cute’ to ‘menace’ and building beyond. You capture the ‘world’ in so few phrases – I can even see the movie version. I like the open end – ambiguous…like the morals. Can the crackshots undo the problem sown in the mud?


  9. The thoughts you have put in this story are quite worrying – scary beasts, gun control, politics, greed and a myriad of other attributes that make me wonder whether we will ever find an answer to these questions. Great writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks Dixie. Very effective chilling story with a good dose of humour to boot. Loved your opening with the cute little lizards.
    Unfortunately, the planet will have cleansed itself of all living species before it creates new ones. So, I guess we have to fight each other (the alarm ringers against the sceptic individualists) if we wish to survive. Against the Planet itself, we don’t stand a chance.
    Happy Holiday writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very interesting premise, creepy thriller indeed. I had no idea how you were going to solve that problem. Or even if you did. Well done. Some terse writing there.


  12. Hi Dixie – I’m late … but your entry rings more true now than last year … we certainly live in interesting times … I just hope we live on. All the best for 2020 – cheers Hilary


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