Drabble: The Blue Ticket

We stand in line waiting our turn. There are only a few people in front of me with a long snaking trail still behind me. The woman passing out tickets only had a sliver of them left and I worry that I won’t get one in time. One, two, three, the tickets disappear and the sliver grows smaller. When I reach the table, and the final blue ticket is placed in my hand, I’m giddy with relief.

I step aside and hear cries of pain and outrage behind me, but I clutch that ticket to my chest and don’t turn back. With one hand on my suitcase I head to the tunnel. I pass by a child crying on the floor, a glaring old woman grinding her teeth, and two armored guards with guns on their hips. Still I don’t turn back. I don’t want to see the ones left behind or their desperation.

When I exit the tunnel, I gasp. The ship nearly fills the sky. Families cry and hug one another here in the fenced in yard, in stark contrast to the tension outside. When the ground trembles beneath our feet, a frightened hush falls over us. We might be safe soon, but the others won’t be. I allow myself to turn and see the long snaking chain of people. From here I can’t see the fear and hatred in their eyes, but I know it’s there. I can’t blame them.

As another tremor shakes the ground, I know none of those people will make it off this ruined planet in time. Regardless of what ships are scheduled to come, regardless of the promises that were made, this will be the final ship to leave.

I almost return my ticket and let someone else take my place.


Prompt: The Participants

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Originally posted on Typetrigger. Fiction in 300 words or less. Please pardon typos or grammatical errors. See sidebar for copyright information.