I haven’t posted anything in a while, fiction or otherwise. So I figured after the 90 minute freewrite I did earlier, I might as well post it. Heck, someone might even leave a comment – heaven forbid! 😀 Anyhoo, comments and suggestions are welcome.
Warning: May include some science fiction cliches. It is also a first draft written on the fly.
I don’t know when it happened exactly, but I do remember the day. It was the fifth of July, a cool winter day and I’d been sitting inside the house for the better part of the afternoon trying to make sense of one of several reference books that I’d gathered for an Agricultural assignment due in a week. I heard mum’s voice just outside my closed door and I growled in irritation at yet another interruption. It wasn’t her fault, but over the past few days I’d been in a foul mood.
I opened the door and stared at a pale-faced woman with wavy brown hair that seemed to have a life of its own. One or two of the boys at school had made remarks about how much I looked like her, but I didn’t really care.
“What is it this time, ma?” I replied trying to not to be grouchy at her.
“There’s a news report… just switch to channel four, kay?”
“It better be good…”
“Please, just switch it on!”
I conceded defeat with a, “Whatever, ma?” before she walked back down the stairs.
I walked back to my desk, picked up the remote and switched on the television. Moments later I was on channel four watching the bizarre news feed that would change history. My jaw dropped as a strange creature that was unmistakeably an extraterrestrial addressed the United Nations.
It had a grey, bulbous head that seemed too heavy for its tiny neck. Two extra pairs of large purple eyes were visible above the first, reminding me of some spiders I’d seen in a documentary I’d seen several weeks before. I couldn’t see the rest of its body behind the podium, but I supposed it must have been around the same height as the Homo Sapiens it now declared dominion over.
“For those unwilling to concede, know that we will bring all of our military options to bear. Know that our military strength far surpasses your own and we will not hesitate to use it against that that would not comply to our demands!”
My mouth went dry as I realised the implications of those words. After humanity had spent so much time fighting amongst itself, our species were now being subjugated by the alien race that I would later learn referred to itself as the Order. I had no idea what would happen next, but I was deeply afraid for myself, as well as my friends and family.
“As a demonstration of our capabilities, we will blow up a notable landmark – one that has been a symbol for many generations. We apologise to the friends and family of the casualties that are a result of our next act, but we hope this will avoid many more in future.”
He was terribly polite.
Several minutes later, there were reports of a large blue beam from space atomising the Statue of Liberty. The images of the crater were reminiscent of the Twin Towers after the September Eleventh attacks. I didn’t know what to think, so I just turned off the television and went for a walk.
Most of the neighbours were beginning to arrive home from their workplaces and schools in response to the new threat, but it would make no difference other than to delay the inevitable. The human race now had to deal with the consequences of their years of conflict, one faction of small-minded individuals fighting against another. Instead of looking towards the stars, we were closing ourselves off to the dangers that lurked beyond out own solar system.
The first nuke was fired several hours later by a USA president that had been lagging in the poles for several months. The White House was destroyed not long after that, along with the Pentagon. Other countries around the world would soon follow suit, but the Order was sure to avoid destroying more than they needed to in their attempts to pacify what remained of the human population.
My mother never got over dad’s passing in the terrible week that followed. They’d been trying to reconcile after a trial separation, but he’d been trying to escape from Sydney when it was hit by a pulse attack. I barely knew my dad, a man that had spent most of his time away from his family. I wasn’t sure if he’d been a good man, but I knew that he didn’t deserve to die like that.
I found mum’s lifeless body hanging from the fan in her room three weeks later.
Nobody was spared the loss of someone or something precious to them. For the first time, I felt a part of something greater than myself. Where once upon a time I felt like an outsider, I was no longer alone in the world. I would grieve alongside everybody else – for my dad, for my mother, for the one or two friends I’d made over the years, and for my terrier that was hit by a crazed driver that following week.
On the twelfth of August, I discovered the unsettling truth that I was not alone in the world.