The following story contains elements which some readers may find upsetting.

by Michael J Watkins

In spring I take my son to see the city. 

The winter was bad this year. Many of us died including my father. My mother doesn't come up with us anymore. Once she loved the spring.

Why do the buildings fall down?

They need people to look after them.

And there are no more people?

That's right.

Can we look after them?


We still find food in the city. Everything worth eating is gone from the shops but in the houses there are sometimes cans for dogs or cats. 

What's this building?

They called it the Gherkin.

What's a Gherkin?

I don't remember.

And that one?

Canary Wharf.

What's a -

A type of bird.


Like a rat.

The gutters are full of rubble and the streets rush into black rapids. The water foams around abandoned cars.

Why does it always rain?

It didn't always. The weather changed.

Is that why everybody went away?


Will people ever come back?

I don't know. I don't think so.

What will we eat?

We'll be okay.

Parliament is a blackened ruin. In the square my son looks at the lions. The column has fallen but nearby the clock is still standing. The hands always say eight fifteen. 

I remember people hiding in the museum amongst the ancient paintings. It was late then.

Can we go home?

We need to find food.

I don't think there is any.

There will be.

It's dark when I see five people on the other side of the river. It's been years since we met survivors. My son wasn't born then and when we see them on the riverbank he doesn't know what they are.


Real people?


Can we meet them?

Yes we can.

He's excited and he wants to run but I tell him we mustn't frighten them. We cross one of the safer bridges built not long before the end. There is a great wheel submerged in the river. I tell my son people used to ride it into the sky.

I'd like that.

I know. But today will be better.

There are five of them. An old man who can barely walk and a simple-minded teenage boy and a pregnant woman with two very young children. She's done well to raise two children but they must be desperate to come into the city.  

Where did they come from?

Outside the city.

Are they coming home with us?


We use Charring Cross station and take them down into the tunnels. The pregnant woman stumbles in the dark and my son helps her find her way.

We use the tunnels to move around but there are other places down here that people used to fight the war. Not the last war but the one before that. Thirty of us live here with our children. It's safe and dry but we're always hungry.

When we bring the people home there is more excitement than I can ever remember. Our children are fascinated by the pregnant woman and they run their fingers over her swollen belly.



Can I sit with you?

I hope you will.

There's enough for all of us. We save the mother until last and she makes delicious noises as we play with her children. Her unborn fetus tastes like juicy pork. Sweet sweet pork.

Even after the end there are still good days.

Creative Commons License
EVEN AFTER THE END THERE ARE STILL GOOD DAYS by MICHAEL J WATKINS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

If you enjoyed this story, feel free to feed my dog a biscuit.


  1. Sort of scary and sweet at the same time. I might not have barbecue for lunch now, but I like it.

    The dialog without quotes or notation (of who was speaking) turned me around a little.

    And The London Eye sinking into the Thames is the best thing that could happen to that goofy wheel.

  2. So we have here some cannibalism eh? I was suspecting it but my mind didn't want to go there, especially because of the conditions of the victims. I actually wasn't too thrown by the lack of quotes, but I think that's because I saw it as just a flow, a part of the memory.

    This tale is...affecting, and I'm not sure how to process it right now. Very well-written and the imagery is fantastic. It *is* sweet, the protagonist talking with the son, trying to explain about the world before and what will happen now. Thank you for sharing it!