While there had been considerable opposition to the idea of using the older children as sentries, the settlement’s leaders had, at last, conceded they had little choice but to do so. As the aliens expanded and consolidated their territory, fewer and fewer refugees were finding their way here to the Badlands and so survival demanded everyone contribute to the bastion’s defenses.
Carlos scanned the horizon, his slim hand shaking with the weight of the heavy iron bar he clutched. As their resources dwindled, the refugees had been forced to forego the use of tech in favor of the simple expedient of a large brass bell to warn of impending danger.
As his eyes drooped closed in the hot afternoon sun, the alien sniper’s beam struck him down and he died with his trembling fingers mere inches from warning the others that death had come for them as well.
This story was written for the weekly Five Sentence Fiction flash fiction prompt: ringing.