Short Stories

Short Story: Him

She glanced at her wrist clock and looked up at the night sky. Nothing. This was the usual time. It should be already happening. Her calculations couldn’t be that wrong—every abductee was taken every third month, precisely at twenty past three on the first Thursday. And in addition, the rotation pattern marked this spot as the right place. But as soon as she had arrived, she had her qualms. She was in the middle of an abandoned gas station out of nowhere. There was no one there except her. Maybe some poor bastard would drive past here on their way to their last gig to haul something somewhere or while going back home after a long, long voyage.

This place made her wish she had a partner. But no one wanted to believe a crazy lady whose husband got abducted by UFOs. Not even those at the forums. They had laughed at her calculations and patterns, saying that there was no way to predict the sightings or disappearances. That how could she separate those who had gone missing for other reasons? At first, she hadn’t been able to do that. Then days and times emerged, and the past year she had been right. She couldn’t let someone else be taken. It was her moral duty to stop it.

She once again glanced at the clock. It was turning already one past the usual time. And she was sure aliens were precise. She killed her car engine and waited in the darkness. Which now, as she thought about it, didn’t feel like a good idea. Her sister would complain her obsession was getting worse and putting her in danger. Not only would, her sister had already said that more than once. Her entire family was trying to get the authority to run her finances and take guardianship over her. But she hadn’t gone crazy. She was sad. It hurt every day to get up from the bed and not to feel him next to her. But that didn’t make her insane. Just in mourning, feeling pain like no other.

She reached for the glove compartment, flipped it open, and found her flashlight there. She pushed the door open and got up from the car. At least it was a beautiful night—no city lights to over flood the sky. She turned the flashlight on and showed the beam around the parking lot. Nothing but trash and leaves. She headed to the crumbled gas station, which sign hanged from rusted bolts. One strong wind and it would come down.

As she walked to the building, she waited for something to make a noise. There was only the eerie silence of being surrounded by empty fields, fleeting tree lines, and dark mountains at the horizon. If there were animals around, they were keeping it to themselves. She yanked open the door, partly wishing it was locked. It wasn’t. She took a deep breath in and stepped inside. The shelves were empty, and the place had been at this state for years from the look of it. 

The gas station had only one small front room and an even smaller break room with a dirty bathroom. When she got out of the bathroom, she found the back door illuminated. It looked like car lights. Her care lights, to be precise. She ran out, her feet getting caught in a fallen metallic shopping basket. She tripped, face flat on the floor. The lights went out as everything in her way clanged, starting from the basket to her flashlight, ending up to an empty spray can. She couldn’t lose the only chance she might get because she was clumsy. She couldn’t go back home. Not anymore. She just couldn’t.

She scrambled up and out through the front door. Her car was as dead as she had left it. She got back to her car and opened the door. Everything had been for nothing. She slumped to her seat, tossing the light to the seat next to her. She couldn’t move. Pushing the pedal and turning the key in the engine felt like giving up. When she finally got the stamina to put the key in, the gas station started to sink, or more like, her car floated up surrounded by bright light. She felt relieved.

Thank you for reading, have a great day ❤

P.S. Sorry about including aliens again. I was meant to move on, but I guess I am still stuck there. But this is truly the fault of others, who made me jump to the conclusion that maybe all those who disappear in the world are abducted by human-eating aliens and transported back to their home planet as quality meat to be served at cocktail parties. Morbid, I know—shame on me. Goes to hide.

© K.A. Ashcomb

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