Save the Last One

Author: Tori Morrow

Like the other adults in our neighborhood, mom and dad blew their brains out the night the pods arrived. I always thought that was too harsh for you to know, but in the year I’ve been awake, I’ve become close friends with Natalie, the Chief Science Officer of Calamity. She’s from Sacramento.

Natalie reminded me you’re thirteen, almost fourteen now, and she said that’s old enough for the truth. Then she said tome there is no truth in space, while spinning amongst the stars, except for God. She said it’s the only thing you can’t make up- the feeling of insignificance. The feeling that, out here, at least, something is greater than you.

I asked her about the night we had to leave home. About the moment your small hand slipped from mine and you were trampled. I asked her if she thought that was God, too. She climbed into my lap and kissed me hard, willing me to forget that memory, but it’s the only one I have now.

You and I were the last kids to leave Verona Hills that night, so we heard every gunshot and every scream from the neighbors that used to bake us pies for Christmas. I’ve attached a picture, just in case you’ve forgotten what it looks like. Our neighborhood, I mean. Not the dead bodies that lined our cul-de-sac.

Before we left the house, I adjusted your bookbag on my shoulders (it was Hello Kitty), and tightened the bandana around your nose and mouth. Before I opened the front door and let that chaos into our souls- before I changed our lives- I stroked your brown hair. I kissed your forehead. I whispered, “Close your eyes.”
You buried your face in my leg and trusted me to guide you through the flames that raged through our gated community. I told you how brave you were. How good you were doing. How we were almost there.
I’m sorry.

Even now, as I lie here and watch Jupiter float by my window- as I watch cyclones spin and dance around its magnetic poles- I can still smell burning flesh. When I close my eyes, I still hear that sickening crunch all those bullets made as they found a home in the skulls of old men, women, and babies.

I often close my eyes against those memories, but there are some sounds I can’t escape. Others, I’d give my life if it meant I never had to hear them again. Your cries are one of them.

Natalie says I should let you go, because there are too many stars between us now, and another fire in the cryo chambers that’s damaging life support systems onboard. She tells me I shouldn’t act like I’m the only one who lost something that night. After all, she lost the necklace her great-grandmother gave her.

Our captain lost her dog.

I’ve finally accepted the fact she’s right, and I rest easy knowing you’re safe in this new galaxy.

I rest easier knowing your ship, at least, will make it to our new home.

Forever & Always,
Your Brother


  1. xdhz8

    Evocative and effectively ambiguous. Very nice.

Submit a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Random Story :

  • Chronos

    Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer “Underarm with the knife!” …

The Past

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.

Flash Fiction

"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member


We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.

Voices of Tomorrow

Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.

If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact