Home > Fiction > FF – Poisoned Air

FF – Poisoned Air

Here is my story for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle. This week’s photo was contributed by J Hardy Carroll.

Copyright J Hardy Carroll

He watched as the fields raced past. Plenty of greenery, that had recovered quite nicely. But no people. No birds. No animals. Only plants.

This wasnโ€™t life. Sitting at the carriage window every day, watching the remains of the world rush by.

The Train. A blessing or a curse?

He walked to one of the Termination Cubicles. Tapping in the required codes, he accepted the warning and the external window opened.

In seconds he was dead, the poisoned air searing his lungs. Once the air was recycled, he would be too. Nothing wasted.

Maybe one day people might survive outside again.


  1. July 14, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    I hope it doesn’t come to this


  2. July 14, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    This will be true very soon. Great story.


    • July 15, 2021 at 7:11 am

      Eek, I hope it won’t get quite this bad! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 15, 2021 at 8:26 am

        Well, lets use one factor. in 1996 1-in-12 people would get cancer in their life time. in 2021 its now 1-in-2 this is all because of the pollution drowning earth.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. July 14, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    Chilling and thrilling at the same time. Well written but I hope humankind manages to come to its senses before then.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. July 14, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Dear Ali,

    I hope this isn’t our future.




    • July 15, 2021 at 7:13 am

      Dear Rochelle,
      Me too. Pretty grim ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


  5. July 14, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    It may come to this!


  6. July 14, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    Have you watched snowpiercer?


    • July 15, 2021 at 7:19 am

      Ha, I was wondering whether I should put “inspired by Snowpiercer” at the top! Yes, watched and enjoyed both series.


  7. July 14, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    I hope that it doesn’t come to that. A very chilling take, Ali!


  8. July 14, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    I’d better buy a season ticket before it’s too late!


  9. July 14, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Yowza… that is a very scary thought…


  10. forestbather
    July 14, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    V powerful….searing…


  11. July 14, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    Powerful and chilling. I hope we come to our senses before we get to that stage!


    • July 15, 2021 at 7:24 am

      Me too. Things are changing, but are they changing quickly enough?


  12. Lyn
    July 15, 2021 at 1:32 am

    That’s really scary. Let’s hope the Delta variant of Covid doesn’t mutate and become like that.
    Bit different to your usual tale, Ali, but very good none the less.


    • July 15, 2021 at 7:25 am

      A few weeks since I did a funny one now…
      Fingers crossed for a future spent in the outdoors!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lyn
        July 16, 2021 at 3:46 am

        We’re in lockdown again. We haven’t been able to get enough supplies of vaccine for everyone yet. I’m classified as “vulnerable” being in the over 70’s age group. I’ve had my first jab and get the second one next week. Stay safe over there, Ali.


        • July 16, 2021 at 6:52 am

          I had my second one a month ago – just as well since our restrictions are being lifted on Monday ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
          You stay safe too.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. July 15, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Where I live, we’d call this a Moderate Air Quality day…


    • July 15, 2021 at 12:38 pm

      See, you’re already immune. There is hope!


  14. July 15, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Wow! That’s a scary one.


  15. July 15, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    I’d probably choose to die too.


  16. July 15, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    nature can only be abused o a certain extent until it comes back with a vengeance.


  17. michael1148humphris
    July 15, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    Great imagery,


  18. July 16, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    Now that is not a pretty picture for hope! Well done but not my outlook for the future.


  19. July 16, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    A grim and chilling tale.


  20. July 16, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    Good story- – conveyed a sense of being imprisoned in the train, seeing devastation out there. I shall never look at a train toilet the same again ! ‘ A termination cubicle..


    • July 17, 2021 at 5:15 am

      He took the only way he knew to escape ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


  21. July 16, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    That’s very grim. I wonder why the plants survived… I really hope enough of us come to their senses before it becomes this bad. But you can always count on the greedy ones to have their bunkers ready, with all the luxuries they can buy… only there’ll be no one left to serve and supply.


    • July 17, 2021 at 5:17 am

      The plants survived because… they were in the photo ๐Ÿ˜‰ On the plus side, hopefully they’re cleaning the air.
      I’m sure the richest have some very luxurious bunkers.


  22. July 16, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    Dark story. Interesting how matter of factly the character was able to end his own life, like taking out the garbage.


    • July 17, 2021 at 5:18 am

      Yes. I get the impression he’s gone a bit numb after all this time.


  23. July 17, 2021 at 12:13 am

    That was an ingenious flip of the normal poisoning INSIDE! Not what I was expecting at all. Nicely done.


  24. July 17, 2021 at 2:04 am

    Dystopian horror at its finest. Creative way to go. I’m sure the overlords want it as seamless and efficient as possible.


  25. July 18, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    Was he the last survivor on the train? Very understandable that he felt there was nothing left to live for.


    • July 19, 2021 at 5:04 am

      I wasn’t thinking he was the last, just had enough, but he could be.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. July 18, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    Gloomily perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚


  27. July 18, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Yikes. Scary but nicely done.


  28. July 18, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    I can relate to this one today. We Well re in the center of a triumvirate of wildfires. I need my COVID mask just to go outside.


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