Free Fiction: The Happiest Place

Book Cover: The Happiest Place. An Amusement Park Beneath Ominous SkiesFollowing the example of authors Kristine Rusch and Cora Buhlert I’m posting a free short story for the month of September.

The Happiest Place

A struggling father takes his two young daughters on a road trip in the shadow of an apocalyptic threat.

Genre: Speculative; Apocalyptic
Length: 9400 Words

Click Here to Read it


Where This Story Came From

Tip: Skip this next bit (or return to it later) if you prefer read the story without context.

Have you noticed that apocalyptic fiction tends to be dehumanizing? Apparently, if the end of the world arrives, we’ll instantly turn on one another and become monsters. Yuck! That’s such a cynical view of humanity.

At risk of sounding like Pollyanna, I suspect most of us would be cooperative in the end. Like: Perhaps instead of trying to murder each other, or rioting in the streets, we’d go to Disneyland? I had this mental picture of parents taking their kids to a theme park on humanity’s last day, making the most of the time they had left.

I wondered:

If the world was ending, would you tell your kids?

Might we be kinder to one another if we knew the end was coming?

Is it possible that the end of the world might bring out the best in (most) people?

What difference would kindness make to a person who was suffering?

With those questions in mind, I wrote this story about Jack, his daughters, their road trip, and the people they met along the way.