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The Last Man on Earth Sat Alone in a Room…What Else Was He Supposed to Do?

Today One Forty Fiction published my microfiction tale “Who’s There? Who Cares?”

Stories don’t open better than Fredric Brown’s 1948 short story “Knock.” (“The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.”) It’s so good an opening that the rest of the story is often forgotten. One day I started riffing on those 17 words, and couldn’t stop. Go read “Who’s There? Who Cares?” and then check out my other six variations. Feel free to join the fun with your own microfiction.

1. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. He didn’t hear it. He was wearing headphones.

2. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. It was just the wind. He went to bed.

3. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. “Great! I didn’t miss the last man on Earth con,” said the stranger as he entered.

4. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. It was the last woman on Earth. She looked pissed.

5. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. He didn’t answer it. He liked being the last man on Earth.

6. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. Fucking Avon Lady, he grumbled.

Comments

  1. Why would you try to improve perfection?

  2. The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. He opened it and let himself in.

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