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FF – Not Any More

Here is my rerun post for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle. This week’s rerun was suggested by Kent Bonham and the photo was contributed by Janet Webb.

I first wrote this in 2013 but I’ve fiddled with it a tiny bit here.

To read this week’s other stories click on the blue froggy.



“Hey Dad, what’s up with Bert, all alone over there?”

“He’s sulking. He doesn’t like the wet stuff. He’s worried he’ll rust.”

“Where did all the flesh-things go? Did they rust?”

“Maybe. Or maybe they melted. They never looked very hardy to me.”

“Where did all the wet stuff come from?”

“Full of questions today, aren’t you? I heard it used to be solid and far away. Then everything warmed up and now it’s all wet and it’s everywhere.”

“So why are we here, Dad? Do we have a purpose?”

“Not any more, son. Not any more.”


  1. July 27, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    All that’s left are shopping carts, cockroaches, and aluminum cans. Ah, civilization.


    • July 28, 2016 at 7:06 am

      Not much to show for a few thousand years.


  2. July 27, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Poor little cart, never got the chance to fulfill his destiny. But who knows, maybe they’ll forge their own new society on what remains from the previous one. (Now there’s an interesting idea: what kind of society would sentient grocery carts form? And would they be in league with the cockroaches and aluminum cans, or mortal enemies? Hm.)


    • July 28, 2016 at 7:07 am

      I think the aluminium cans would be natural allies. The cockroaches are on their own!

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 28, 2016 at 12:59 pm

        The cockroaches are probably going to do just fine on their own, I imagine!


  3. July 27, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I like the simple language of their conversation. It makes it all the more profound. We’ll be in too deep the day this happens. Nice one, Ali.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. July 27, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Oh nooo!
    I had to read this twice to identify the POV.
    Love it.


  5. July 27, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    As the apocalypse continued, the poor shopping carts were forced to serve the Daleks…….


    • July 28, 2016 at 7:09 am

      There’s nothing worse than getting run over by a Dalek-controlled shopping trolley 🙂


  6. July 27, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Layers, nice.
    Shopping carts seem the perfect choice to illustrate the story, who would have thought they’d ‘win’ ☺


  7. July 27, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Still a good one!


  8. July 28, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Poor Bert- He must miss those fleshy-things . Nice one.


    • July 28, 2016 at 7:10 am

      He did enjoy being pushed around the place full of tasty goods!


  9. July 28, 2016 at 3:27 am

    This is the first FF rerun that I actually remember… or at least the photo. I’d forgotten the story… but good to see something’s still around to take over for us!


    • July 28, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Yeah, it would be a shame if all sentient life disappeared!


  10. gentlestitches
    July 28, 2016 at 3:35 am

    what would he do with a porpoise anyway? 😀


  11. July 28, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Good story, Ali, but scary in its own way. I’d rather not see the beginning of things turning into a real “Water World”. That movie bothers me a bit. 😐 — Suzanne


    • July 28, 2016 at 9:58 am

      There’s a lot to be bothered by in that movie, Suzanne. 😉


  12. July 28, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Dear Ali,

    I think I remember this one. A little cart to cart (or as you might say, “trolley to trolley”) dialogue. Nicely done.




    • July 28, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      Dear Rochelle,
      I changed it a tiny bit but not much! I’m glad you liked it again 🙂


  13. gahlearner
    July 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

    The elegy of a shopping cart. What is my purpose, now that I’m unfilled, unfulfilled, filled with emptiness… What fun. You even make a post-flood dystopian scenario funny. 😀


    • July 28, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      I expect it won’t be long before trolleys from one supermarket are attacking those from another. Or maybe that’s just a human/animal thing…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. July 28, 2016 at 11:35 am

    The flesh things! Love it!


  15. Merbear74
    July 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Poor solidly built shopping carts. 😦


    • July 28, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      If only they’d been built by someone with no work ethic they might have fallen apart by now and been spared all this 😦


      • Merbear74
        July 28, 2016 at 5:25 pm

        I know…my phone wouldn’t survive! LOL


        • July 28, 2016 at 9:23 pm

          Well, it’s possible to sneeze a modern phone to pieces. The only time a mobile phone survives forever is if you accidentally tick the “Yes, I’d like to pay £10 a month phone insurance for the rest of my life and beyond, please” box.

          Liked by 1 person

  16. July 28, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Even non-fleshy things experience existential angst. Brilliant! 🙂


    • July 28, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      There’s no escaping it, whether you be fleshy or metal. I’m glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 28, 2016 at 5:26 pm

        Nope, we’re all in this together! 🙂


  17. July 28, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    How sad! They no longer have a purpose because the humans aren’t around anymore. Great story, Ali!


    • July 28, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Left to their own devices, poor things.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. July 28, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    I loved this! The trolley-tone was just right, speaking as a ‘flesh-thing’. 🙂


  19. July 28, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    a future i wish wouldn’t happen. at least, in my lifetime. 🙂


  20. July 29, 2016 at 1:12 am

    The poor lonely things… At least they have each other, although no way to get together without the flesh-things to push them toward one another!


    • July 29, 2016 at 7:27 am

      They have to yell across the gap 🙂


  21. July 29, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Imaginative take! Speaking as a flesh-thing, certainly hope it doesn’t come to that 🙂


    • July 30, 2016 at 5:39 am

      Me too. I don’t like to think of all the poor shopping trolleys left to fend for themselves 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. July 29, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    The ominous tone of your story fits the prompt perfectly!


  23. July 30, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Abandoned as no longer needed, like so many things in our throw away society… I love the ‘voices’ of the trolleys and the way the conversation plays out. The explanation of where all the wet stuff came from is perfect! 🙂


    • July 30, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! Let’s hope it never plays out…


  24. July 30, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Poor carts, they know us so well.


  25. July 30, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Yes, excellent.
    Love the tone, understated apocalypse.


    • July 30, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Quite a casual discussion of the end of all things. I’m glad you liked it!


  26. July 31, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Clever, clever, clever! Especially the story stayed with it and moved to its inevitable conclusion.

    Sweet job, Ali!


  27. July 31, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I wonder where all the fleshy things have been gone…feels kind of creepy out there all alone 😀 Pawkisses 🙂 ❤


    • August 1, 2016 at 7:25 am

      It would be pretty creepy and lonely in a world without the flesh-things.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. August 1, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Love your work drali. I’m still waiting for the draliman anthology!


    • August 1, 2016 at 8:00 am

      Thanks! I keep meaning to compile one… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • August 1, 2016 at 8:04 am

        You’d have stacks of stories by now. Throw them together and get published!


        • August 1, 2016 at 9:58 am

          Just need to find enough which either don’t need a picture (they’re all copyrighted), or I’ve taken a picture I can replace it with!

          Liked by 1 person

          • August 1, 2016 at 10:11 pm

            They wouldn’t all need a picture would they? Not if they’re going into book form?


            • August 2, 2016 at 10:15 am

              Not all, but many would need a small rewrite as my stories are often quite linked to the photo.


  29. August 1, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Great words – flesh things, water stuff. A terrific, light-hearted story with such a serious message. Really good.


    • August 1, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Thanks, I’m glad you saw both sides of it!


  30. August 2, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Great perspective and story, No purpose–sad. Maybe they will find one? I like the language – “flesh things”


    • August 2, 2016 at 10:15 am

      I hope they do find a purpose. Maybe the cockroaches will mutate and require shopping trolleys for their things 🙂


  31. August 2, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    So sad, to lose your purpose…great metaphorical piece.


    • August 3, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Thanks. It’s one of the worst feelings, leads to so many other bad feelings.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. August 3, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Ah, that comforting sound of post-apocalyptic talk!
    Brilliant and mordant!


    • August 3, 2016 at 11:55 am

      They seem to be taking it in their stride/trundle 🙂
      I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

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