He walked through the deserted city. Phantoms wistfully disappeared around corners. The dead world; the dying world. Still, he trudged on, indifferent to the crumbling stone around him.
The world as he had known it had died tragically. One final breath was all it took. One last, fiery gulp, an expulsion of orange inferno – and the Others, of course. This cataclysm had been triggered by their arrival on our soil, their masked goodwill an equivocation of their true intention.
The dead city. And still he walked on, eyes focussed straight ahead, toward the murky twilight horizon. He had been walking for as long as he could remember; from the moment he re-opened his eyes to look at this eerie new planet.
As he crunched gravel on the deserted street, passing crumpled cars with their engines still steaming from the shockwave, brief flashes of the world’s death rushed past his mind’s eye. The craft, hovering over the skyline. The sun, blotted-out by its stark size. The unbearable static soundwave that permeated the air.
And the killing.
They had engineered it all. The arrival of their ship was the final piece of their three-year veiled mission to our world. They had allowed us to discover who were are, what our existence meant in the vastness of the firmament, proved that we were not alone… and when our trusting nature – that very intrinsic of human attributes – overcame our minds, they struck.
– A movement. Sudden. Sharp. His muscles tensed. The long evening shadows stretched across the tar. And then –
A flash. Strident sound; reverberation against the hollow buildings. Then deafening silence.
The creature lay in a heap on the ground. Its sallow, pale skin was flecked with a curious, dark turquoise liquid. Its large, insect-like eyes gazed lifelessly to the unreachable heavens. A metallic weapon lay just outside its spidery grasp. He stepped over the dead thing, swiftly hiding the smouldering pistol in his belt holster. Eyes looking blindly to his uncertain destination, a trail of death in his wake, the man walked on, a solitary figure in the vastness of an empty planet.
©2011 Rahul Dowlath. All rights reserved.