The cubic had appeared one midday afternoon at the sky, freaking people out. It now hovered at the exact spot as it had done ever since three months ago. She had climbed on her rooftop after work to watch it, as she had ritualistically repeated every day. At first, the world had come into a halt. Some people had locked themselves indoors, some had committed suicide, others had lost their minds, and some had turned religious, seeking refuge and explanations from the old or from the new. The newest religion called themselves Spacies. But soon, when nothing happened, no signal, no space aliens marching out to take over the world from the three hundred and thirty feet tall cubicle, everything had gone back to normal. The schools had opened; the work had become mandatory, and the economy kept rolling on like a rock which would never collect moss. Only the tears of the desperate. The remaining reminder of the fear was the ever-present military force underneath the cubic, media circus competing to get the scoop first, and the scientists from all over the world. And her watching it every night for hours until she was too tired to keep her eyes open.
The cubic didn’t shine, it was a block of the plainest gray substance it could be. Still, the military lights shone at it twenty-four-seven with helicopters and others constantly whooping around it, leaving people like her in the neighborhood anxious. They weren’t the only ones. The around the clock live stream made people all over the world keep guessing what the cubic meant until their eyes and ears bled from the sheer concentration. The most reasonable explanation was aliens. She thought so too. But some thought the cubic was divine intervention. Some felt more in the line of retribution and brimstones. When none of those ideas could be explained away, people talked about nuclear bombs and wars and the big powerful countries began to accuse each other. At first, it was a doomsday machine, a weapon of some sort. When nothing exploded, or the electronics didn’t jam, they retorted it was spycraft to be used to control geopolitics. That only got everyone back to blow it up with nukes. But the environmentalists and scientists and the reasonable politicians had talked everyone down such a destructive path. She had sighed in relief as her home and country weren’t wiped away because of the fear of the unknown.
Others were jealous the cubic had chosen insignificant Iceland as its spot. They thought, in reality, it should have selected the White House. Or some other place in the USA’s soil. At least they would have been better equipped to handle all the tourists, the media circus, foreign military, and other officials, holy orders who proclaimed the cubic to be a message for them, and other nutters. She rather saw them all going back home and leave the cubic alone. Whatever it was, it would eventually reveal itself. Maybe it was shy like she and needed its time to let others know its inner secrets. Perhaps it was some form of torture to inflict upon humans to keep them guessing until they were all driven mad or killed each other. But that wasn’t true. For a moment there, people had been kinder to each other. They were less interested in quarreling about the latest fashion, what shape a butt should be, or gossip after useless celebrities and their abundant life where meaning was sought through escapist drugs. They had started to wonder what kind of consequences there might be for their actions, both the private persons and those in the government. Morals and ethics had seen an increase in their popularity when annihilation was possible because of divine retribution or space aliens.
She had read the Vatican had gone all defensive and cut out their media feed outside world, trying to ignore all the questions aimed at them. New Noah Arc? Proof we aren’t alone in the universe? No God? There is God? No one wanted to appear a fool and give a full statement before the secret was known. Also, she was gleeful about the fact that at least geopolitics had a united concern, and other moronic issues they had with each other were put on the back burner for a while. She was sure they would come back if this prolonged indefinitely. People were inventive that way, especially when we were known being able to blindly ignore the reality.
Her eyes were getting dry and tired. She couldn’t keep watch any longer. She carefully stood up, not to slip down the tiles and break her neck. The robe she had installed to help her move more securely, hung loosely from the open hatch. She grasped it and pulled herself one step at the time towards the opening. She let go of the robe when her hands touched the wooden ladder she had made from scratch. Soon she was in, and she could shut the hatch and lock it securely. She did it anyway, knowing well no one was moronic enough to break in, when the state-of-the art military units patrolled not a block away. But it might stop demons or some invading species getting in.
She took off her clothes, letting them fall on her bedroom floor. She was too exhausted to pick them up or even go to the shower. Tomorrow she would have to be up at six a.m., and there were only so many hours to sleep. She lifted the covers and slipped into the bed, dreams taking her instantly after she pushed the earplugs deep in. Whatever the cubic was would have to wait. Now won.
Thank you for reading! Have a spacy day/night!
© K.A. Ashcomb