Home > Fiction > FF – The Beacon

FF – The Beacon

Here is my story for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle. This week’s photo was contributed by Dale Rogerson.

Copyright Dale Rogerson

The Beacon pulsed, on… off… on… off… it was almost hypnotic.


For some it was. Completely. Irresistibly.

As he watched, another unfortunate stumbled towards the Beacon, touching it, exploding into bright white ash. The area around the Beacon was knee deep.

Ash. Dead people.

One day it would be his turn.

Population control, they called it. One day you’d hear the call. Then you’d be gone. Boom. Ash.

He was all for population control. Too many people. Too few resources.

A policy of “free condoms for all” seemed less extreme than blasting people to atoms.

But what did he know?

  1. March 24, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    All those nutrients wasted!


  2. March 24, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    He needs to start a revolution! 🙂


    • March 25, 2021 at 5:46 am

      I fear if he sticks his head above the parapet he could get noticed… 😮

      Liked by 1 person

  3. March 24, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    We’ve reached a stage where no policy is off the table for the government. Why not this?!


  4. March 24, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Have you got shares in Durex by any chance?


  5. March 24, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    Sounds like a sensible policy. Just a minute while I pull this mask up over my eyes!


  6. March 24, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    I wonder who’s at the controls, who gets to decide who dies and who doesn’t. Bit I’m sure it’s all very democratic. /s


    • March 25, 2021 at 5:57 am

      Yes, I do seem to remember voting for the Minister of Population Control at the last elections… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. March 24, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    A brutal way to control population. Seems sort of random. What if they zap a future Einstein or others who are brilliant in music, art, literature. We could be robbing the world of the very ones who could heal it.


    • March 25, 2021 at 5:59 am

      On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to be chosen for obliteration just because I wasn’t talented enough. Sounds a bit unfair. Toss a coin, I say!

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 25, 2021 at 12:54 pm

        Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that people who lack talent should be the first to go! I believe we all have something to offer, and the randomness in your scenario eliminates so much that could make the world a better place. Maybe they–whoever “they” are–really are just flipping a coin.


  8. March 24, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    I very much enjoyed the spin you put on the photo and your wry comment at the end.


  9. March 24, 2021 at 8:07 pm

    Reminds me of “Logan’s Run” and carousel. Great writing this week.


  10. March 24, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    The constant spread of STDs should tell you where people stand on the condoms or death question.


  11. March 24, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    And now I cannot help but think of “A Bug’s Life”
    “Stay away from the light!!”
    “But it’s sooo beautiful…..”


    • March 25, 2021 at 6:10 am

      I’ve not seen it but I can imagine the scene you describe. It is a bit like that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. March 24, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Dear Ali,

    Soylent Green is people! Sorry for the outburst. Those are some drastic measures of population control.




    • March 25, 2021 at 6:12 am

      Dear Rochelle,
      They are! And as Neil commented, they’re definitely wasting a good form of nutrients, turning people to ash like that 🙂


  13. March 24, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Will they recycle these atoms for food for the population they ‘control’?


  14. Lyn
    March 24, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    But think of all that ash…when it snows, no slipping over 😱⛄


  15. March 25, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Let me guess, the elite are safe? One way of dealing with the plebs. Shame it doesn’t help fertilise or something.


  16. March 25, 2021 at 8:37 am

    It’s much more fun to watch people explode into atoms…


    • March 25, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      It’s something of a spectator sport. Not only are “they” missing out on all the free nutrients, they’re also failing to sell tickets…


  17. March 25, 2021 at 9:37 am

    This was a bit different for you, Ali. Good sci-fi though. 🙂 — Suzanne


    • March 25, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂


  18. March 25, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    Nothing would surprise me any more. 🙂


  19. March 25, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    Oh! I love where you took this. A little wry humor and a whole lot of truth.


    • March 26, 2021 at 5:57 am

      Thanks, hopefully it won’t become reality any time soon!


  20. March 25, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    sounds like moths attracted to the flame. 🙂


  21. March 25, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    I don’t believe in overpopulation, but I love the idea. Such a neat way to go. If they work on it they might eliminate the powder too. Just puff and gone.


  22. March 26, 2021 at 10:16 am

    A gripping story, inventive take on the prompt. I’m sure the population doesn’t want to control itself, given the choice. Perhaps randomness is best ?


    • March 28, 2021 at 6:18 am

      You’d certainly make the most of life, knowing tomorrow it could be you…


  23. March 26, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Griping, but sad, story. Sad that we humans always seem to want to control everything, but we never seem to do it in the best way possible.


    • March 28, 2021 at 6:19 am

      Just the easiest, quickest and cheapest way 😦


  24. Liz
    March 26, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    This was soooooo good!


  25. March 27, 2021 at 2:49 am

    Good story. For some strange reason, now days young people have more children: five or even seven are not uncommon!


  26. March 27, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    I thought of moths being drawn to the light, but the change to people being zapped was horrific. But i expect it is a good idea!
    Like the old man in the corner of the pub once said, “The trick to having a long and happy life is to avoid the light”.
    I think he was talking about the media limelight, well maybe not.


    • March 28, 2021 at 6:21 am

      “Don’t go into the light”, as the famous film quote goes.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. April 7, 2021 at 11:30 am

    Condoms vs blasts…. Hmmm…. Depends who we’d be blasting, I guess.


    • April 8, 2021 at 7:40 am

      We could blast all the nasties and then start with the condoms…


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