World War Seven broke out while I was inspecting the Doomsday Shelter twenty miles below Area 51. I was incommunicado the whole time, so I had no way of knowing.

I was in the Shelter only three days. But during that time, Martians staged a sneak attack, waged nuclear war, won, and departed Earth with the spoils.

When I came to the surface, I checked nearby Las Vegas. No survivors. I checked Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix. Same thing. Horrors! Beside me, the only other survivors were cockroaches.

Fortunately, the Doomsday Shelter had lots of supplies. Except for human companionship, life was as normal as possible.

I spent my mornings working out in the massive gym that was built for 500,000 people. Afternoons, I whiled away the time reading in the Shelter’s vast library of a billion volumes. The days passed quickly. But after six months, I found myself dying of loneliness.

Then I discovered a most unusual series of books that contained photographs of all female cockroaches in the United States. The covers said they had been published by the Royal Cockroach Press, commissioned by His Royal Highness, The King of North American Cockroaches. The address of the publishing house was in Las Vegas, just a few blocks from Caesar’s Palace Casino.

Waving a white flag, I approached the place. In seconds, I was surrounded by some very nasty looking, heavily armed cockroaches. I told them I came in peace, and I wanted to see their King.

Recognizing that I was human, they put away their weapons, and one after another shook my hand. Then they told me to lie on my back. When I did, untold numbers crawled under me, lifted me, and carried me to the royal chamber.

“Your Highness,” I said, as they put me down at the foot of the King’s throne. “I’m so glad to see you. And I’m pleased that you and so many of your people survived.”

“We all survived. Your scientists were right.”

“In what way, Your Highness?”

“They predicted that after nuclear war, the only survivors would be cockroaches. So, how did you manage to stay alive, seeing that you aren’t one of us?”

“I was inspecting the Doomsday Shelter. The one I designed and built for this nation at a cost of 75 trillion dollars. I was twenty miles below the surface inspecting the wiring. When I came to the surface, I saw bodies laying everywhere, and all the destroyed buildings. I saw some of your kind scurrying here and there, so I knew that there were other survivors beside myself.”

“So what brings you here?” he asked.

“I saw your books in the Shelter’s library.”

“Ah yes. I had those published to show how beautiful my female subjects truly were. I sent copies to all the casinos in town, hoping to convince them to hire my subjects as show girls.”

“I see. Considering how beautiful they are, I can’t imagine why I never saw any of them on stage at any of the casinos. Actually, that’s why I’m here. I have an idea.”

“Let’s hear it,” he said.

We spoke for hours. When I finished he heartily agreed. He immediately ordered a beauty contest to be scheduled in which only the most stunning of his subjects would participate.

The contest was held on the stage in what was left of Caesar’s Palace. It rivaled in grandeur any Miss America Contest I’d ever seen on TV. Not only were those cockroaches talented, but they were also incredibly beautiful. Seeing them posing in swim suits was something to behold.

With the king’s approval, I married the winner.

Since then, we’ve mated hourly to repopulate Earth. The cross-species pollination is working. When we have sufficient mutated offspring, I’ll build a humongous army, nuclear weapons, and rocket ships.

Beware, you genocidal Martian bastards! The cocka-humans are coming to get you!

"Genocidal Bastards"

Copyright: © 2010  Michael A. Kechula

Michael A. Kechula is a retired tech writer. His stories have been published by 128 magazines and 36 anthologies. He’s won first place in 10 contests and placed in 8 others. He’s authored three books of flash fiction, micro-fiction, and short stories: The Area 51 Option and 70 More Speculative Fiction Tales; A Full Deck of Zombies--61 Speculative Fiction Tales; I Never Kissed Judy Garland and Other Tales of Romance. eBook versions available at and Paperbacks available at

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