The Things That Last

By Bart Meehan

sfgenreThey watch the clock ticking on the wall.

32 seconds

She asks: Do you think time will exist afterwards?

Profound, he says smiling. Why wouldn’t it?

She shrugs. Tree falls in a forest sort of thing, she says.

23 seconds

I’m glad we didn’t have any children. It would be too hard.

He doesn’t say anything.

18 seconds

He looks around the room.

I don’t know why you vacuumed.

You know I can’t stand mess.

What does it matter now? Who’s going to see it?


He’s quiet for a moment, then says: I guess it was something to do. Maybe I should have mowed the lawn.

14 seconds

She asks: Have you ever wondered why now?

He shrugs.

It had to happen sometime. Everything that has a start, has an end.

11 seconds

Are you hungry?

He shakes his head. Anyway, it’s a little late, he says. It’d all be over before you got to the kitchen.

She looks at the clock.

I should have made something before, she says. Something fancy. Isn’t that what you’re suppose to do? Have all your favourites?

There wouldn’t have been time to wash up. Would have left a terrible mess.

He smiles but she doesn’t like the joke.

8 seconds

I’ve been thinking about all the things we didn’t do, she says.

Think about the things we did instead.

She nods: I suppose that’s better. She pauses for one tick, two ticks, then says: Funny it’s so quiet.

What did you expect?

I don’t know. Some kind of noise. There isn’t even anyone in the street.

Sometimes things end with a whimper.

Now who’s being profound?


A bit late for that, I think. She smiles for the first time in a long time.

5 seconds

Maybe we should pray, she says, her head tilted down and looking at her hands folded in her lap.

He laughs.


She blushes and snaps defensively: Someone might be listening.

If they are, they’ll wonder where we’ve been. It’ll be like long lost relatives turning up after a lottery win.

3 seconds

I suppose we should say goodbye.

Her voice cracks for the first time.

He reaches across and squeezes her hand.

It’s trembling.

He says: You know how I feel, don’t you?

She nods.

I’m thinking I should have said it more often. I just wasn’t that sort of man.

The strong, silent type, she says, smiling again. Then the smile fades and she asks: Do you think anything will survive?

He looks at her, realising it’s the last time. Then he touches her face and starts to say something remembered from Sunday lessons when he was a boy: three things will last forever...

The clock stops.

rocket crux 2 75

About The Author

Bart Meehan

Bart Meehan lives in Canberra, ACT. He has published several stories in magazines and e-zines, including AurealisMattoid and Alien Skin.


AntiSF & The ASFF

AntipodeanSF supports the ASFF

asff img

Please visit the ASFF website and consider joining for up-to-date info about Australian SF cons, awards, competitions, and to receive the Foundation's newsletter, Instrumentality, and more.


Download AntiSF E-Book

Epub version: 

Kindle version: 

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 229

20% Error
by Robin Hillard

by Zeb Carter

by Kevin J. Phyland

Do Not Reply
by Nicholas Sheppard

by Ed Errington

General Zirkon's Last Feelings
by George Nikolopoulos

Inside Amy
by CpSingleton

by Marco Smith

The Symptoms Of Interdimensional Shifting
by Jason Lenzo

Time Capsules
by David Scholes

Get Dimension 6


Get Dimension 6 Speculative Fiction

From Coeur De Lion Publishing

Here at AntiSF
Download D6 Now!

"Trust me, you want this free speculative fiction e-zine."
(Rob Hood)

AntiSF July 2018



Speculative Fiction
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

rocket crux 2 75

Radio Show Schedule

Aberdonia: July 1

Trojan Crocodile — by DW Walker
The Fate Of Mutineers — by Pamela Jeffs
Triumvirate Judgement — by David Scholes
Panel presentation "Teleporters — Is T-Mat The Public Transport Of The Future?", at Contact 2016 — Chris McMahon (Moderator), Charlotte Nash, Sean Williams (part 1)


Ablkes: July 8

Recycling Unit — by Shane Griffin
A Chip In Time — by Garry Dean
Panel presentation "Teleporters — Is T-Mat The Public Transport Of The Future?", at Contact 2016 — Chris McMahon (Moderator), Charlotte Nash, Sean Williams (part 2)


Abnoba: June 15

Narration Blues — by Mark Webb
Cliqué — by Meghashri Dalvi
Still Water — by Mark Tremble
Panel presentation "Teleporters — Is T-Mat The Public Transport Of The Future?", at Contact 2016 — Chris McMahon (Moderator), Charlotte Nash, Sean Williams (part 3)


Abramov: July 22

The New Ocean — by David Golding
Dogs — by Rob Riel
Panel presentation "Teleporters — Is T-Mat The Public Transport Of The Future?", at Contact 2016 — Chris McMahon (Moderator), Charlotte Nash, Sean Williams (part 4)

Abstracta: July 29

Webs — by JM Williams
A Thousand Ways Of Not Detecting Aliens — by Russell Hemmell
The Theory Of Everything — by Nicholas Sheppard
Panel presentation "Teleporters — Is T-Mat The Public Transport Of The Future?", at Contact 2016 — Chris McMahon (Moderator), Charlotte Nash, Sean Williams (part 5)


2NVR - Nambucca Valley Radio

20:30 EAST — every Saturday


Live Stream 2NVR Here

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show Podcast

antipod-show-50The AntipodeanSF Radio Show delivers audio from the pages of this magazine.

The weekly program features the stories from recently published issues, usually narrated by the authors themselves.

Listen to the latest episode now:

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show is also broadcast on community radio, 2NVR, 105.9FM every Saturday evening at 8:30pm.

You can find every episode online here: 

SF News From The ASFF

CSFG/Conflux 13 Short Story Competition
Conflux wants your stories of 4000 words or under, in any speculative fiction genre, on this year’s theme, which is, BLOOD, GOLD, LIES. More information here: <>

A Bertram Chandler Award 2017
Long time ASFF member, and former committee member, Bill Wright was awarded the “Chandler” at Continuum 13. Congratulations and let’s all celebrate this wonderful gentleman. Read the full citation on the ASFF website.

Continuum 13 short story competition
Congratulations to Emma Mann (1st prize) and Fergal Bannon (Second prize). In the past some of our well known Aussie SF authors have won this competition so we wish Emma and Fergal well in their future careers in the spec fiction scene. Since 1992, the Australian Science Fiction Foundation (ASFF) has provided sponsorship funds to the Australian National Science Fiction Convention (The Natcon) to run an Amateur Science Fiction competition.

Ditmar Awards
Results are here. Congratulations to all the winners and commiserations to the runners up, especially ASFF members Jocko Allen, Bruce Gillespie and Gillian Polack. Very strong field this year.

For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <>


Nullus Anxietas VI
The Discworld Grand Tour — The Lakes Resort Hotel, West Lakes, Adelaide, South Australia on 4-6 August 2017.  More information: <>.

Conflux 13 (2017)
Canberra 29 September through to Monday 2 October 2017. Guests: Ellen Datlow, Angela Slatter, Kaaron Warren. More information: <>.

Swancon 2018
Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth. (Easter) 29 March to 02 April 2018 . Guests: Kameron Hurley, Ryan Griffen, Barb de la Hunty. More information: <>.

For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <>

S5 Box

Login Form

S5 Register

You need to enable user registration from User Manager/Options in the backend of Joomla before this module will activate.

SF Quote

If your God is everywhere, if He is always watching, why should your people make houses to go to worship Him? Faced with an all-seeing, everywhere-being God, I would think what is needed is a place to hide.

Tad Williams, Caliban's Hour