Hot Rockin’ at World’s End: Dystopian Flash Fiction

Source: imgur.com via Scribe's Cave, Picture Prompt #34

Source: imgur.com via Scribe’s Cave, Picture Prompt #34.


Short lexicon to follow story.


 Hot Rockin’ at World’s End

Genre: Dystopian science fiction, literary fiction

Word Count: 296 (without lexicon)

Warning!! Harsh adult language & violence might not be suitable for younger readers.

Schrödinger’s Cat had rounded up enough interested parties—or,  more to the point, partiers—for one last, big bang-yer-head at the end of time. Sure, part of the lure had been the location. All the underground dead trees had shrieked in King Diamond font:

“Kewlest Party of ANY Century! DON’T MISS special guests Megaton Leviathan and Eddie’s Hammers, Dec. 31, 2099, Erasin’ Hell at the Mosh Room!”

WorldCits with special oc-imps did a slam dance at the prospect offered by the small type, in Britny Fox font of course, promising 37⁰C temps at partytime. “BC’s fridginest freakhouse,” it shrilled.

“But, the acoustics. Color me concerned,” singer and theremin player Blind Watchmaker complained to Schrö.

“It’ll be fine, bro’. Former colliders like the ‘Shroom have excellent sound capabilities, I’m told. Besides, everybody there will be so busy stonin’ and bonin’ . . .” Although he shit-grinned, consummate concert-promoter that he was, Schrö let his voice lose volume, as if the answer to Armageddon was always achingly obvious.

“And the poser was at least partly right,” Blind Watchmaker was to recount years later. “Desperate WCs did surface for the gig—droves of them—and the sounds were tight. I think if a person was outside in the withering Canadian sun at 10 a.m., he probably still woulda felt the music crunchin’,” he pointed at the dead-center of his chest, “about here, instead of hearin’ it.”

The truth was that nobody had anticipated literal carnage. Sardined in the metal musical box, leather on jeans on synfibes like Ex-Spand, ‘bangers were squashed underboot like long-haired lightning bugs. Either trampled or crushed against coils of chilled niobium tin, some 4,700 lost their lives for love of loudness.

And still, the new century dawned, a sunken sun under the skin of night.

 LEXICON:

BC: British Columbia, a Canadian province.

Dead trees: Something like the newspapers and tabloids of the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Oc-imps: Ocular implants.

Synfibes: Synthetic fibers (example: Ex-Spand).

WorldCits (thereafter, WCs): World citizens, as people of this dystopian future are called.


Written for Andreé’s weekly Scribe’s Cave photo challenge. Andreé’s own speculative fiction response to the prompt is here — and stay tuned, prose spelunkers, because her newest spec-fic book is due in November. I always love me a late-Halloween lit baby! And fellow metalfans, see if you can find all the 20th- and early 21st-century heavy-metal bands, songs, and other tropes.

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10 thoughts on “Hot Rockin’ at World’s End: Dystopian Flash Fiction

    • No problem, Hilary. I’ll admit it wasn’t a completely accessible story, especially if one isn’t familiar with the dystopian genre and/or hard rock/heavy metal music and at least a few facets of the lifestyle. Thank you kindly for reading it, nonetheless!

  1. Great stuff. I’m transported back to the days of reading Halo Jones. One phrase jarred: “withering Canadian sun” seemed out of kilter with the language. I love the boldness off the new words, so for me you could drop the lexicon.

    • Thank you for your insightful feedback, Ali. I completely agree; it seems too high-brow a word for BW’s dialogue. But you’d better be careful; if you keep being so helpful and perceptive, I will attempt to recruit you as a beta reader on longer pieces or a novel at some point! 🙂

  2. I’ve just decided that my speculative fiction can definitely not be classed as Dystopian. That is a fascinating piece of flash fiction, although my ‘ole brain persuaded me to read it three times, until I got into the soul of the piece. I wonder if I could get my head around a whole novel written in that style. Certainly a challenge, but one worth attempting.

  3. Had to read it twice (slowly the second time). A good write, but not to my taste. I think, like Hilary above, the colloquia overwhelmed me. You kept the tone through the whole piece and the dialog was sufficiently hip.

    • Thank you for your valuable input, Syd. My beta reader also wondered whether those who didn’t enjoy the musical genre would at times be lost with or give up on the story. Food for thought — I really appreciate it!

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