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The Last Member

by scriever 

Posted: 15 May 2017
Word Count: 978
Summary: For the challenge, the final something or other. Here's the story of the final member of Boat of Garten Golf Club.

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Gerry occupied his usual seat, by the window, looking out over the golf course. He saw his fellow members lining up putts on manicured greens, pacing the fairways, searching for mis-hit golf balls in the rough. The roar of a great beast brought him back to reality. Somewhere in the wilderness that now covered the course there was something big. Something that wanted him dead, just like all the other animals out there, the Barbary Apes that watched from the trees alongside what had once been the eighteenth green, the packs of dogs that howled far into the night, every night. The fairways and greens that had been Boat of Garten Golf Club had been long subsumed by The Wild. To venture out on to the course now would be instant death.

His domain had shrunk to these few rooms on the first floor of the clubhouse. The ground floor was uninhabitable, at least by his kind. He knew that his time here was limited too. Every day the creepers reached higher, and the animals and god knew what else became bolder, their attacks more effective. And they learned more in each attack. Each sortie made a bit more ground, made him more tired, depleted his ammunition, damaged his defences. He lived in squalor, eking out a miserable existence, always on guard, never relaxed, never fully asleep.

He was the last member of the golf club. The rest of the members had fallen to the savagery that now colonised the world. He, Jim and Robert had made the decision, a few short weeks ago, to set up base here, thinking that they would be better on their own than in a Government centre where the majority of the country's population had fled to. They had quietly gathered tinned food, water, firearms, and made the place as impregnable as they could. And they had watched the news on the screen, horrified, as the Government centres became centres of a hurricane, a storm of animals, plants, birds, all intent on overwhelming the humans that huddled there. They had fallen, one by one, as perfidious nature, red in tooth and claw, had perfected its tactics.

All of nature had seemed, incredibly, to be working together, working to some kind of plan, as if they were being directed by a mastermind. But there was no grand plan. The world had just had enough of man. Their computer screen went dark before their own power supply went down. Then they understood. Mankind was finished. Nature was intent on wiping it from the face of the earth.

They had managed well enough for a while. The location of the course, in the Highlands, well away from the centres of population, helped. The animals were as they always were. But then it started. Creepers snaked from trees, binding the overgrown bushes into a seemingly impenetrable barrier. Soon the clubhouse was surrounded, cut off. Shadows moved through the trees, watching, waiting. 
Then the first casualty. Robert's doberman, which had unthinkingly, obsessively, followed every one of his master's commands for seven years, turned on him, in a snarling, biting fury, turning his throat into a bloody mess of pulp before the others had managed to put a bullet into its brain. They had to do the same with James. They moved the bodies outside, and barely made if back to safety. The smell of the dead meat distracted the feral attack dogs just long enough for them to get behind the armoured door. They had looked at each other, pale with shock, as the dogs fought over their unexpected meal on the other side of the metal door, and then made sure the rest of the building was secure.

For nearly a week they had kept the world at bay, spelling each other, killing everything that got through their defences. They had managed, somehow, until one night, just before dawn, Gerry had been wakened by Jim's screams. When he reached the room which had once housed the club's trophies Jim was dead, his flesh being ripped by sharp teeth. A snarling, bloodied face turned to Gerry, who cut it down with a single burst from his gun. He had found the broken window guard, and fixed it back. A thick creeper was curled round one of the hinges, had pulled it from the wall. His machete had taken care of the creeper, and he had used the last of the glyphosate, spraying it round the edges of the window before he sealed the room and retreated back to the lounge.

And now he was alone. He was tired, so tired. He hadn't eaten anything but cold tinned meat for days. His clothes hung from his emaciated frame. He knew, with a sickening certainty, that he wouldn't last long. But something kept him going. He wasn't aware of anything any more but the battle for survival, and a fierce hatred for the animals out there that were baying for his blood. He wasn't human any more; he had been brought to the level of the basest, most feral beast. They had won. 

The realisation brought him a strange sense of peace. He sat back in the padded chair, and, for the first time in days, relaxed. He realised that if had gone unusually quiet outside. For a moment he wondered if the savagery might be over. Perhaps nature had called off its troops, in the realisation that it had defeated humanity.

A sudden noise behind him brought him to his feet. He swung the barrel of his gun round, caught a brace of baboons, fangs bared, full in the chest with a hail of bullets. He would have to find the breach, repair it quickly. He took a deep breath, slammed a fresh cartridge into his gun, stepped over the fallen bodies and through the door.

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Comments by other Members

Cliff Hanger at 09:44 on 21 May 2017  Report this post
Nearly missed this, Ross as you didn't put a link in the forum.

I know lots of golfers I'd like to throw to the wild. Hah, hah.

Great yarn.


BryanW at 10:25 on 21 May 2017  Report this post
I thoroughly enjoyed this, Ross. You place the human race's last stand, representing the very last outpost of human civilization, in a golf club - What a delightfully satrical touch! You sustain the account of this catastrophe very well - with lists of convincing detail, for example. The simple-seeming line: "The world had just had enough of man" is very powerful. And the line "Shadows moved through the trees, watching, waiting" made me shiver, as you build up to the final, tragic and heroic image of Gerry going through the door to meet his fate. A really effective piece of Flash.

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