3 Word Challenge Story – Fifty Six


 3 Word Challenge Story – Fifty Six


This will be a bit different from my usual challenge posts. It is a challenge, though.

Brian Lageose, of Bonnywood Manor, has challenged us with coming up with a story, using 3 words he chose for us.

You can visit Brian’s blog at the following link. He has lots of interesting posts, and has written a couple of wonderfully humorous books.

Writer to Writer: The 3-Word Challenge


My three words were: Happiness, Drought, Flower


“Fifty Six”

I emerged, fragile and pale as a newborn. Inhaling deeply, I breathed the first unfiltered air since that dreadful day, fifty six years ago.

Overwhelmed, I shaded my eyes from the glare of sunlight, and looked around. Squinting, I saw nothing.

My name is Flower, and this is my story.

I was a child of twelve on that beautiful October day, with not a care in the world. Oh, I’d sensed the uneasiness in the way my parents spoke in hushed tones. They didn’t know I was listening to their conversations any chance I got, yet still it didn’t make sense to me.

As it happened, my carefree days were soon over.


We descended into our spacious, but spooky storm cellar. I hated going down there with the spiders. I was surprised though. The cellar had been cleaned, and even enlarged. There was now a small kitchen and bathroom, and places for hundreds of boxes of food and water. My parents must have been preparing for a long time.

At first I thought our seclusion was an adventure, some game or experiment, but as time went on, I came to know the truth. Wrinkles and gray hair appeared on my mother and father, and I myself changed through my teen and young adult years. Still, we remained underground.


Now I am old, older than my parents were when we first were hidden away. They are senile now, and I take care of them as best I can. Lord, when will this be over? If you say I hadn’t thought about just ending it all, it would be a lie. So many times…so many times…


We had ran out of food, two days before, and I knew we couldn’t last much longer, when I heard a scritching, squeaky noise coming from our air vents. I stared, as a long flexible tube snaked it’s way out from a tiny hole. Afraid, yet curious, I touched it, and noticed small letters printed on the hose. I collected my magnifying glass to read them.

‘This is a happiness indicator. Blow into the tubing to be accessed as to your readiness for extraction. Notification will follow shortly.’

I blew, then I held the tube up to my mother and father. We waited. Soon we heard a mechanical voice.

“You have passed. You may open the hatch to your domicile.”


Nuclear winter was over, but the fiery blast had left behind devastation. I saw no buildings, no people, no animals. Smoky skies from the fiery blast had caused widespread drought, leaving no vegetation. We were alone in a strange land. From the air around us, we heard again the mechanical voice. 

“You have a choice,” the voice said. “You may stay here and perish, or be taken as immigrants to our newly established civilization, somewhere in the universe.”

We made our choice.

My name is Flower, and this is my story.

Fifty six years ago, the world as we knew it ended. Today it begins anew.

The End


Thanks for visiting! Peace ☮️

© 2018 BS




6 responses »

  1. This is terrific, Barbara! You have such a great imagination, and I’m excited about sharing this one. There are a few folks ahead of you in the queue, but I will get this up as soon as possible. Thank you so much for participating!

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