The Seven-Billionth Baby.
The Seven-Billionth Baby. human stories
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Short weird story on the end of the world.

The Seven-Billionth Baby.

You must be careful of babies. When they gurgle and squeal, with long strings of drool sticking to everything. You could be forgiven for thinking that there is nothing but amused ignorance filling those downy-haired heads. But then, you'd be wrong.

*START OF TRANSMISSION* Hello, is anyone there? Hello? Oh Lord, I hope this works. Most babies are perfectly safe. Technically. A top-secret study was carried out in Uzbekistan at the height of the Cold War, and they calculated that there was a 14

percent chance that a singular baby could pose a significant fatal risk. Unfortunately, unlike every other wartime secret, this one was never leaked. And therefore, people kept having babies. Unwittingly walking (or birthing) us into the most dangerous situation that mankind has ever faced.

The situation of the Seven-Billionth Baby. For some reason humanity has always had a problem with the number seven. We have had seven world wars, we avoid growing seven fingers on each hand, and we artificially cooled Antarctica below comfortable levels to discourage urbanization there.

No one is quite sure why the number seven is so offensive, but we do know that anytime anyone had ever tried to remove it from its natural habitat on the number line, they have died. Painfully. The billion bit, who knows. We're still working on that. The current hypothesis is that babies work on critical mass.

So when we reached the seven-billionth baby, it spelt the end of humanity. Quite literally, on those wooden alphabet blocks. The ones that really hurt when you accidentally drop them on your toes. Typically the baby's parents were more interested in the fact that it had mastered the complexities of syntax,

grammar, spelling, and clear communication aged four weeks than what it actually spelt out, but that is parents for you. Typical, the end of the world, and it is ignored. Humanity is indefatigable in its stupidity. Not long after doomsday was announced (and cooed over) it happened.

There wasn't some Hollywood hero to save the day, or eccentric-but-cute-looking young scientist (more's the pity) to develop some special serum, instead, the whole of mankind just keeled over.

See, that is the brilliant thing about using babies for an apocalypse. Babies are everywhere, and highly effective at mass murder. They also come fully equipped with high-tech defence mechanisms. Squirm and slobber. Babies are almost impossible to catch, and if by sheer luck you do, they pull the ultimate weapon.

The giggle. Oh, the giggle. Imagine yourself, fighting for your life, desperately pinning its chubby arms behind its back. And then it turns. Not its whole body, just it's head, like an owl. Twisting around while letting out a burble of delight. You are powerless. As if mind controlled you drop like a stone, and slowly, slowly it inches forward on its little pot belly, preparing to gum you to death.

Now imagine that all over the world. Babies exist everywhere, in every home, every city, every nation. If there were people, they were breeding. And after nine months out popped a little sticky bundle of death. Everywhere.

In fourty-nine hours (they worked systematically in multiples of seven) all the major cities were down, by seventy-seven, there was radio silence across the globe.

So now there's just us. We sorry band of scientists who happen to be the world experts in penguins (come to think of it, we are pretty much the world experts in everything now, seeing as there is no one left to argue with us). Stuck in Antarctica we were safe from the death slobber.

But now our supplies are running low, and the penguins have started avoiding us after we ate their matriarch. Please, if there is anyone out there. Human, alien, anything. Please come help us. We are dying, one by one. We are all that's left. And there are eight of us.

*END OF TRANSMISSION*

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