The invasion begins.
|Linda's heart pounded like a punk band's drummer during a furious solo. It had all happened so fast. She had been sitting comfortably on her couch, watching her favorite show, when a suddenly she felt what she thought was an earthquake. After it subsided with minimal damage, she switched to the news to see if they were running a story on it.
The newscaster was speaking of an alien spaceship that had crashed in the center of the city. Linda watched in awe as the shaky camera focused in on the shiny cobalt ship as the octagonal shaped door opened. It was explained that they were waiting on the military to arrive and assess the situation.
Suddenly there were gasps and the camera panned to the crowd as three men ran beyond the police barricade and to the ship. They reached the door and one of them turned to the crowd and waved a peace sign before vanishing inside. A few minutes passed and the men reemerged, slouching and shrugging. As they neared the barricade, the police arrested them. One man was interviewed and spoke as if his expectations had been dashed as they found no signs of life in the ship.
Later that day the military organized, and entered only to come out with the same news as those three young men: no aliens.
Days passed and nothing seemed to change, save for the discoveries scientists made as they probed the ships interior. It fascinated Linda as it did for people across the globe. She tuned in every day to see what new miracle they had discovered. She only wished her mother was still alive to see the day.
One sunny, lazy Saturday, Linda’s father announced he was going for a walk. She was planted on the couch, watching the news as usual. “I’ll see you later, Dad. Love you!” She waved him a goodbye. Not long after he left, feelings of guilt set in. She had practically been glued to that television since the story broke and she let her father walk out alone. Linda tied her blond hair back, put on a nice top and her favorite blue jeans, and went out for a walk. Perhaps she would run into her dad and besides, some fresh air would be nice.
The neighborhood was rather peaceful that afternoon, no one around and barely any traffic. She didn’t see any other people until she arrived at the market and came across a woman huddled in an alley next to a trash bin. She trembled, rocked, and cried. Linda took pity on the woman. Probably a victim of drug or domestic abuse. It wasn’t as uncommon in their quiet neighborhood as people would like it to be, but someone had to reach out to these people.
Linda approached the woman, who then screamed at her upon notice. “Stay back.” The woman pushed herself up against the wall.
Linda raised her hands in front of her. “It’s okay. I don’t have any weapons. I’m not going to hurt you.”
“You’re one of them aren’t you? Don’t come any closer!”
“I just want to help you. Tell me, who’s after you?”
The ragged woman took in a few deep breathes, then seemed to calm down. She beckoned Linda to come closer. “They are after all of us.” She whispered. “None of us are safe.”
“I’m sorry, you’ve been through a lot. Let me make a phone call, and we can get you some place safe where you can get the help you need.”
“No one can help us.” She hissed. “The aliens will get us all.”
“But there were no aliens on that ship. I’ve been watching the news since the crash landing."
“They didn’t figure it out. The three men that went in, came out different.”
“How do you know this?”
“Because.” She closed her eyes and streams of tears rolled down her cheeks. “One of them was my boyfriend. He believed that one day aliens would arrive and lead humankind to salvation. That day I picked him up from the police station, he seemed normal. But that night I heard him in the bathroom talking to himself. I was worried so I peeked through the door and saw those eyes. The whites of his eyes were red, and his voice was low and he spoke like he was gargling water. I heard him talk about something called the Hive Mind and their plan to embody every human on this planet. All they need is to penetrate the skin and get into your blood and they control you." The woman stared blankly for a moment. "I ran away and never looked back.”
Linda was beginning to regret this outreach, she wasn't certified to deal with this level of crazy. “Look, I’m sorry, but I have to get going.”
The woman grabbed her and shook violently. “Soon they will become bold and attack anywhere. Find your loved ones and leave the city, find a place where no one will find you and lay low.”
“Let me go.” Linda broke free, pushed the woman away and ran toward home. What a nut-job, she thought. Sure it was strange they found nothing in that ship, but inhabiting people? Obviously the woman needed medical help or at the very least, lay off the Syfy Channel.
When she felt safe, Linda slowed and found a bench to rest. Suddenly two cars collided in front of her. One man got out and shouted angrily at the other driver, who calmly walked to the man, punched him out, then lifted the man overhead and with his fingernail, sliced the man’s neck. Small droplets of blood dropped out and into the other driver’s mouth.
Linda shrieked in terror. When the man turned to her, she saw the red eyes, and ran as fast as she could toward home. She couldn’t believe it, she didn’t want to, the crazy woman was right. She needed to get home, find her father and get the hell out of town. For what seemed like hours she ran up and down her neighborhood. Adrenaline pushed her to new limits as she tirelessly searched for her father. She heard her father's voice from behind.
“Linda!” He called out to her.
He seemed unhamred. Linda rushed to him and embraced him. “Thank god you’re safe.”
“Are you hurt?” He asked.
“No.” Tears streamed down her face.
“Good.” He held her tighter.
Linda felt relieved, now they could get out of there and never look back. In his arms she felt safe and secure, until his teeth tore through the flesh of her neck.
Submitted for Writing.com "Short Shots" contest. 1108 words.