The Last One

(Photo prompt © Na’ama Yehuda)


They passed through the neighborhood with trucks and flags and camouflage uniforms.

Clean-up crews. Of sorts.

Sterilizers, they called themselves.

They traveled under the cover of night, removing festivities, restoring streets to what they saw as law and order and conformity.

They gave no warning.

“Better,” they were told, “to ask forgiveness than to get permission.”

It also prevented protests, dodged chaos, and avoided the otherwise inevitable secreting.

They were ordered to “take everything.” To make it fact.

And they did.

To the last one.

Or almost.

Because walking the dreary city after the Holiday Decorations Ban.

She saw.





For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers. Also, thank you for using my photo for this week’s prompt. Curious to see where people will take it!


56 thoughts on “The Last One

    • Thanks, Rochelle. Yes, I think it ought to remind us of another times and places, as well as of some in current times who aren’t loathe to control by deceit. I’m glad this resonated, and may it remain a fiction only. xoxo Na’ama (you’re welcome for the loan of photo, as you already know! 🙂 )


    • Ah, thank you for the comparison!
      And, yes, the fears of tyranny are real (some may say that we at the US escaped with the skin of our teeth this past January!) – and some equate a move toward equity with tyranny, and see history-teaching as ‘hate spreading’ but, yes, history had taught us that absolute power corrupts absolutely and that no one person alone ‘can fix it’ … 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very true.
        The dividing lines are very slender, and sometimes can be crossed with the best of intentions.
        My own politics are deep in an ‘old school’ of European socialism which at best has in theory a benevolent authoritarian streak. That said; the operative word is theory. My reading of history suggests ‘An’t never gonna happen’ because of the corruption or the fanatical factors.
        You may have been aware of Jeremy Corbyn the previous leader of the UK’s Official Opposition Party Labour and his grouping Momentum; these claimed they were Left Wing. Corbyn was a man simply out of his depth with no idea of the realism of politics. His followers:
        They were (still are) the mirror image of MAGA. Their man could do no wrong. There were conspiracies at every corner. The media were against them. And anyone who came into their sights was subject to verbal violence. (They were also selectively racist, the charges of which are guaranteed to make them explode) They didn’t have a tame media wing like the Republicans have, which was just as well.
        The only hope for the ordinary folk of this world, is a bumble along but determined to get things middle of the road approach. As you say no one person can ‘fix it’
        The alternatives bring conflict or tyranny.


      • I’m indeed overall okay with bumbling along with middle-of-the-road solutions (where both ‘sides’ work in good faith for the better good, rather than claim a need for bipartisanship while categorically refusing to participate, voting en-masse against everything, and then blaming the majority for the lack of bipartisan solutions …), and where there is respect for science, humanity, equality, human-rights, and freedom of press, religion, and peaceful assembly. Ya know, what ordinary folk want. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, I agree with the overreach described in the story, though I disagree about the parallel of that realities to the virus and to the efficacy and importance of the vaccine. That might be because I have family in medicine, sciences, chemistry, immunology, research, and infectious diseases – in different countries around the world – and they are unanimous in their evaluation of the pandemic’s seriousness, the vaccine’s safety, and the virus mitigations as necessary, efficacious, and minimally invasive. The are familiar with the virus’s delivery system from years of research into similar applications in medicine and bio-medicine.
      That said. You are entitled to disagree.
      Have a lovely rest of the week!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Chilling portrayal of a future, but with an element of hope and the proof that there will always be people who find a light.
    I particularly like the layout of the end of the story, reflecting the reaction to finding ‘one’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In such a society, a singe missed bauble must shine out like a star of hope. I wonder if it was carelessness or if one of the “sterlisers” has become disillusioned and left it there deliberately…?


  3. The horrible thing is that tyrants always find people who are willing to be ‘sterilizers.’ The urge to tell our neighbours what to do and not to do is wide-spread and easily abused. Great story with a little glimpse of hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, there are always those who are happy to do the bidding of those who want to grab power, deny reality, dismiss science, and vilify those who point out truths. Power is easily abused, especially by those who put their personal-gain-at-all-costs above the well-being and safety of others, and are willing to misinform, no matter the cost. Thankfully, however, there are still more who fight for truth, who don’t see a dichotomy between personal-choice and social-justice, and who understand that science, community, information, and outreach are good things. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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