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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Action/Adventure · #2304343
after the end of the world, jake Lee finds the last of the hummingbirds

In Search of the Last Hummingbirds.

762 words

         20 years after the world ended, Jake Lee was a scientist at Southern Oregon State University, one of the few universities to have survived the fall of the ancient world, and was one of the few bird experts left. He was engaged in a survey of native bird life. While out on his early morning walk on a fall day, he thought about the cooling temperatures and the speculation that with the collapse of the global economy, following the nuclear and biological wars that had killed off most of humanity, a new ice age was starting. Only a few scattered small towns had survived by building fortified towns like Ft. Ashland.

         He came upon an unusual and welcome sight. Some hummingbirds were flitting about. He thought perhaps they were the last of the hummingbirds left.

         He continued on his walk and {he noticed the b} the smell of a campfire ahead. Four men were sitting around, and he knew they were illegal poachers perhaps thinking that they could capture the hummingbirds and sell them at the Jackson country market held in Ft. Jacksonville every Saturday. Local militia ruled Jacksonville, who took over after Medford, the largest city in those parts, had to be abandoned. Only scavengers went there now. Ft. Ashland survived because the university provided technical training to all for free, kept much of the knowledge of the old world, and restored limited power through solar and wind power. It was a beacon of light in a dark world.

         He went up to the poachers, pulled out his gun, and had Sam, his dog, ready to attack.

         “Okay, now. I don’t want any trouble. Just want to know what you are doing on university land. Didn’t you see the no trespassing signs?”

         The leader of the group stood up and said,

         Man, we are just hunters. We were going to go to town and trade some of our games for a place to stay for a few days. We don’t mean any harm.”

         “Did you see the hummingbirds?”

         “No, we did not. What’s a hummingbird?”

         “They are very rare these days, might even be the last hummingbird, and I assume they would fetch a good price up in Ft. Jackson which is where I assume you are from?”

         Nah, we are up from Ft. Red Bluff and just passing through. We had heard of Ft. Ashland and Ft. Jackson.”

         Joe put down his gun and they sat down and chatted some more.

         “Ft Red Bluff. I thought there weren’t any towns left in California.”

         “Yeah, well there are a few here and there. The Bay Area, Sacramento, and LA are dead zones because of the nuclear attacks. But who cared about Red Bluff? Reading had to be abandoned.”

         Joe said,

         “Listen, Shane, I have a job offer for you. Come to Ft Ashland with me. I am looking for some people to do some landscaping at the University and I need to hire someone to rake the leaves as it is getting out of control. Hard to get workers given all the other more urgent things we have to do to keep the town fed, and safe from outside attacks. After that, if you want to stay, we can hire you for the hunting team, or send you on your way.”

          Shane shook on it, and they returned to town. But Joe was right, they were after the hummingbirds as was Joe. A few days later ,after they finished the landscaping, Joe went back to Shane and said,

         “Shane, I have another mission for you. I need your help in capturing the hummingbirds. There are about ten of them. I want them for university use, and you can have four to take to Jacksonville. If you do that, we can give you a reference to move there.

         The next morning, they went down armed with nets, and they captured ten of the hummingbirds. A few more escaped, which was fine with Joe.

         On the way back, some African lions attacked them. They fought back and killed one lion; the rest ran off in the woods. African lions and tigers, who had escaped from the animal safari parks, along with cougars, coyotes, black bears, feral dog packs, wolves, and cannibal neo-savages were an ever-present menace in the woods outside of the towns.

          When they returned with the hummingbirds, everyone was amazed that they had somehow survived when so many other birds had perished during the biological plague that had wiped out so many animal species and so many humans as well.

Include all of the following in your story or poem - they must be bolded:

cooling temperatures
early morning walk
last of the hummingbirds
smell of a campfire
hire someone to rake the leaves

This would make a good chapter in my unpublished novel Ft Ashland. There are lions and tigers in several wildlife parks in Southern Oregon. in many post-apocalyptic novels, lions and tigers escape and become common predators along with feral dog packs and wolves. And cannibal gangs.
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