I can feel the rhythm behind me. I glance once again over my shoulder, but the streets are empty. The electric lights glimmer against the black wet tarmac. All my senses tell me to run. I can’t. I have to keep the pace steady, or else I won’t only let myself down, but I also will jeopardize the lives of others. The lights flicker, meaning it is close and ready to attack. I reach for the side pocket of my trousers. My hands shake as I try to take hold of the black box there. I can’t mess this up.
Something clang not far behind me. I shoot a glance there, wishing to see an alley cat. Not in luck. A black shelled tentacle slither in the air, hanging from the streetlight. I lift my gaze up, seeing the beast has its full attention on me. Its black mirror-like eyes are locked on mine, and I freeze. I only have to push the black box’s button to send a pulse towards the alien to make it lose all its senses and then grab my gun. My hand doesn’t obey me. The alien tilts its head, and I follow the movement with mine, trapped in the blackness. I swallow. It marks my slight movement but doesn’t react. The entire city seems as if it has fallen silent. As if everyone is holding their breath and waiting for what will happen to me.
I try to push the button. But my fingers don’t react. They shake a stiffened tremble, making me dropped the box. The alien cocks its head from the noise and jumps down. I back down, fumbling to take my pistol off the belt. I hoist it up and put the gun between the alien and me. I can’t shoot. I just can’t. Those black mirror eyes control me. I do what I always do at the shooting range. I steady my left arm and balance the weight of my right hand and the gun on my palm. The alien approaches me, shifting its weight from one side to another to test me and my reactions. All I manage to do was to back away while my gun refuses to obey.
Soon the grey-black long cold fingers tie around my wrist. I scream. The alien flinches, drawing its head. It bares its sharp mauling teeth. I continue screaming. I have failed all the safety protocols. They will use me as a cautionary example of what not to do. Forever remembered as the fool who got herself killed. It is silly to think about such minor things when I am about to die, but if my life has to merit to something, I wished it isn’t this.
I let go of my gun as the fingers tightened around my wrist. Then an emotion flashes, flooding in with images of the city, humans, and some kind of nest. I see everything with more colors than I knew existed with extra vibration. Every wall, every being sends waves towards me. The walls of the constructions are not stable. They are immersed in the surrounding air. I feel the most powerful connection to everything, being part of the flow rather than an individual life fighting to breathe. My body relaxes, and I crash on the street. When I open my eyes, the alien is gone. The gun and the black box are next to me on the ground. I fight to fill my lungs and adjust back to reality to see the city as it were. Everything looks grey and dull. I hear running feet. The rest of my crew comes to me. They shout and spread around to look for the alien, their rifles and boxes ready. I get it only now that I was never meant to go alone. More like an initiation rite to be used as bait.
“Are you alright?” Erik asks, kneeling next to me. As I don’t respond, he continues on, “We lost you there…” The rest of his words turn into incomprehensible babble as I watch his purple-green skin bend space and matter.
Thank you for reading, have a lovely day ❤ Lick an alien if you see one.
© K.A. Ashcomb