Back in the summer, we had a family holiday in Portugal, in an area we’d stayed in a few years ago. Unsurprisingly, not much had changed, but I started imagining what the place might look like in the future—especially a future where we were leaving the planet. Who would visit a place like this when tourists were all going elsewhere? And as the cafes and bars and shops all closed, what would it be like for the last place standing?
This short story, Prepared, arose from those thoughts. I’m still not sure if I admire the main character for their perseverance, or am saddened by the futility of their existance.