Bill Engleson Wins Flash Fiction Popular Vote

Bill Engleson is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. This week there was a tie,  so the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules. Without further ado, here’s the winning story:

Gate 6 at Spokane International Airport flash fiction writing prompt
Photo copyright K.S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Gate 6
by Bill Engleson

One arrives at the airport with no fanfare. Restrictions have been lifted. The world awaits the traveler. The skies are safe. The air within the planes is virus-free. All passengers and flight crew are immunized.
When you land, wherever you land, advance parties of government health officials have ensured that you are safe from disease.
Crime has been eradicated. The pandemic has brought forth an international ethic of social and health awareness, of equity of resources, incomes, shelter for they have learned that to survive, we must be as one.
“It goes on like that Sam. Two thousand words espousing a changed world. It’ll be in the Gazette tomorrow. And it punches home with this: ‘Yeah, in a pig’s eye,’ said the vegetarian to the carnivore.”
“Ten of you serious thinkers speculating on how the Virus has changed the world for better…or not. Who’s the vegetarian, Charlie? I sure ain’t.”
“Oh, Sammy, I know you are a supremely enthusiastic carnivore. For your sake, I’ll be the vegetarian. My point, and maybe it is too metaphorical for the likes of you, is that some people are fantasizing that this pox has changed human nature.”
“You’re suggesting nothing will be changed? After all of this?”
“Human Nature, my friend. You can always count on it to let you down. There’ll be flights of fancy, government types and their wishful thinking. Fact is, we’ll be back to the same ol’ same ol’ quicker than you say…”
“Say what?”
“Exactly!”

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