Apocalyptic fiction has been around since the origins of mythology. Modern recognizable stories started in the early 19th century and became mainstream after WWII since nuclear weapons brought global annihilation to public consciousness. A quick google reveals that the apocalypse genre can include all sorts of sub-genres and causes of mass destruction, such as a pandemic, aliens, zombies, cybernetic revolt, meteor crash, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Setting For All Prompts: Aliens have invaded earth and humans have all been “reset”–brainwashed into a new way of living while having forgotten what the old world was like. Nothing looks the same as it had before–buildings are made of strange materials and human technology is irrelevant. Human memory has been extracted and stored for research purposes.
Poetry: Describe the last moments of your memory before your mind is wiped and you restart. How was your memory taken? Did you manage to hide your family? What did the process feel like? If you’re feeling ambitious, write a follow-up poem that describes your first experiences with a reset mind.
Fiction: Your character stumbles into (or sneaks into!) the archives and finds data of the old world. Describe their experience: do they remember the old world? Do they get caught looking? What are the consequences of them finding this information?
Fiction: Describe the old-world from the perspective of an alien who was in charge of collecting the data. Describe how they footage was collected from human memory, the types of images they perceive, and their thoughts on human life. You could write this in the form of a data-log or a personal reflection. (Plot Twist: Do the aliens have a hive-mind and collective consciousness?)