FIRE!” Bullets flew
across the air and plasma bolts burned the earth, scorching it to a dark black.
Men screamed as they were torn limb from limb by the brutal creatures. I
strained my eyes in the darkness to see what was attacking us in such a bloody
fray. Black objects dashed around the group, picking out soldiers and killing
them at will. I started shooting at the things with random determination. As I
fired, I noticed one glare right at me; its vibrant red eyes glowed luminously
amongst all the others. It stopped, and charged at me, pushing everyone else
aside and pounced on me, knocking me to the ground. My final sight was the beast
bringing its claws up high and driving them right down into my chest.
nightmare, this was my second tonight. It always repeated itself, always the
same setting, always the same carnage. Why wouldn’t it leave me alone? Why did
it keep coming back? When would it end?
with the Virsons were not pretty ones. I saw my best friend get ripped to shreds
like a piece of paper, and then my son; he foolishly joined the army despite my
concerns, and was burned into ash by the largest of them all, a
I still remember
when my brother was killed on my wife’s birthday. A Valasyve crushed his car
while he was travelling to my house to celebrate. These attacks were frequent,
but nothing serious, according to the government. The military tried to stop
them, but all attempts were futile. No one knew where they came from, or why
they attacked us. Armies attempted to annihilate them, but none were successful.
Yet one day, there was silence, no attacks, nothing. It seemed we prevailed in
defeating the invading aliens. However, one year later, and I mean exactly one
year later, they returned.
received on every radio transmitter on the earth. The world was under attack by
the Virson armies. Fortunately for humans, they gave us enough time to replenish
our supplies. Perhaps they were just testing our willpower the first time, or it
was just practice for the full frontal assault. Thasticers, Virsons, Vircos,
Vernons, and Valasyves attacked all the major cities in the world. Civilisations
were destroyed, billions were killed, and half the world became a desolate
have been triggering my dreams; they would always be the same, everyone dying in
the same way, the same brutality, I needed help. I decided to see a therapist
and find out if something in my sub-conscious activated all these nightmares. I
skipped breakfast; I didn’t even say goodbye to my wife, the first time in
years, which is how serious this had become. I walked down my front porch,
opened the garage, and slowly opened the door to my car. I drove out slowly,
cautiously in case of anything uncertain. I knew that would never happen, but I
still did it.
While I drove to
the therapist, I noticed everyone looking at me as I drove. People everywhere
would stop what they were doing to stare at me. Gardeners stopped their raking
to look up at my car; children ceased their games of hopscotch and rollerblading
and stared without conscience towards me, right into my eyes. When I pulled up
to a red light, the people in the car next to me stared at me with soulless
eyes, as if no human were in control of their minds. They continued to stare
even after the light turned green. I turned on the radio to avert my attention
from everyone looking at me with their gazing eyes.
I reached the
office without noticing anyone else staring at me. I
walked up to the front desk, and looked at the woman sitting in the wheelie
chair. The receptionist had red hair, pushed up into a bun, and a purple scarf
wrapped around her neck. She wore crimson lipstick, and poorly managed green
eyeliner. The receptionist was taking a call and took no notice of me. I
stood there feeling stupid while the receptionist talked on for five minutes.
what’s your name?” The receptionist finally said to me with a
cigarette-charred voice, “Say, have I met you before?”
don’t think so,” I replied stunned, “I’m Jerry Harrison, I haven’t got
a scheduled time, is it still possible to see the therapist?”
“Yes it is
actually, you will have to wait for that child over there to go in, then it will
be your turn, hon.”
“And how long
will that take?” I replied, feeling anxiety welling up in the pit of my
depends how long the possessed kid take.”
I pretended not
to hear that answer and took a seat next to the magazine pile. There was nothing
that intrigued me in TIME, so I decided to look around. The only thing other
than the apparent possessed kid was the receptionist desk, a plant that was in
need of a good watering, and a picture of the President. I turned to look at the
kid; he seemed like a normal little boy, he wore a blue baseball cap, red and
white striped t-shirt, shorts with pictures of yachts on them, and bright yellow
shoes. He could never have a demon in him. He turned to me, a freckly face that
seemed full of life, brown ruffled hair, and big blue eyes.
“Hi,” I said
in a friendly voice.
waiting for you, Jerry,” the kid replied in a deep voice, he then
smiled an evil grin; his teeth were all sharp-pointed fangs
I turned away
startled, and began reading the magazine again, then put it down after five
minutes. I decided to see whether or not I could sleep. I didn’t care if the
nightmares plagued me again; I thought that maybe I could describe them more
vividly if I had just witnessed them. I leaned back against the wall and closed
my eyes. I heard the therapist come out of his office and say he was ready for
I’ll be seeing you later, Jerry,” I heard the kid say
After half an
hour I’d fallen asleep, but this time I didn’t dream the same dream that
always came to me while sleeping. Instead I dreamt I was still in the
therapist’s office, but everything was blurry and white. Two figures started
talking. I couldn’t make them out, but I recognised the receptionist’s voice
when they started talking, about me.
he came in, he’s right over there,” the first figure said pointing at me.
plan will finally work out from now on. Everything will be to their liking,”
the other replied. “The time lapse will be completed, humanity will be no
figure took a step closer to me. His body started to tremble, his skin started
peeling off in layers: muscles and organs disappeared to reveal black scales.
His fingers turned into sharp claws, his mouth morphed into a massive gaping
pit, a tail layered with spikes aligned grew out of his back, and his legs
unfolded to twice the normal size. He stood eight feet tall.
suddenly charged at me, and I jumped out of the way. It crashed into the wall,
and I ran to the opposite side of the room, grabbed one of the wooden chairs and
held it tightly. It regained its composure and charged me again. I hurled the
chair as hard as I could at its head, but it ducked out of the way easily. I
seized a second chair and held it in front of me. When it was within three feet
of me, I brought the chair high above my head and swung it hard down onto its
chest. The figure’s momentum carried it careening into my stomach and I
collapsed to the ground with the figure landing on top of me.
I pushed it off
me, and finding a splintered piece of wood, repeatedly stabbed it in the neck.
The figure started thrashing around, trying to slash me with its claws. It
connected with my right forearm, and I winced in pain, but continued to stab. As
it let out its dying breath, a satisfactory feeling of accomplishment swept over
me and I stood up, wiping my forehead with my hand, cleaning it of any blood. I
turned around to face the second figure, but to my amazement, a bewildered woman
stood in its place, a sense of complete shock on her face.
“Where did it
go?” I growled at her.
what go?” she replied in horror.
thing, it looked just like this one!”
I pointed to the
dead figure lying on the ground. Her eyes moved, but her expression stayed the
I looked down at
the figure, but it was missing, the little boy from before lay in its place,
blood streaming out of his neck. I rubbed my eyes, but the scene didn’t
change. I rubbed them again; a dead boy with a hole in his neck still lay on the
compared to what you’re about to experience!” she roared in a demonic voice.
She fell to the
ground and began to convulse madly, large veins throbbing intensely on her neck.
She vomited blood, and her eyes turned crimson red. She stood up, faced me, and
issued a high-pitched scream. I covered my ears and cringed in pain.
She leapt across
the room, and in an instant, she reared back, and tackled me to the ground. I
looked up into her eyes, and she smiled with contempt. Her fingernails
sharpened, and her grip around my throat increased. She began slashing at my
stomach, shredding my skin and flesh with each blow. I tried to fight back, but
she held me down with a death grip. My last vision was her claws plunging deep
into my chest.
woke up sweating; the receptionist gently shaking my shoulder and telling me to
wake up, and that it was my turn to see the therapist. Her long fingernails dug
into my skin. I stood up, thanked her, and walked over to the therapist’s
office. A short man greeted me at the door.
I am Dr. Fitzgerald, I will be your therapist for today. Now, what seems to be
the trouble with you?” the man said. He was a little shorter than I was, wore
thick glasses, balding around the forehead, and dressed in a plaid light-brown
replied, “I wouldn’t really want to talk about it in this area.”
sorry; shall we go into my office?”
When I stepped
into his office, the first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t white, but
brown. Usually they were painted calming colours, such as blue or green, or at
least that is what I’d usually seen in movies. I sat down on the couch while
the therapist pulled out a pen and a notepad from a nearby desk. He placed the
notebook down on the chair near the couch, walked back over to his desk, and
picked up his laptop.
“If you are
going to type your notes into that computer, why did you just get the notepad
out?” I said confused
for patients who ramble on and on about nothing, I draw pictures while they
talk, doodles really,” he replied smiling, “so, what seems to be the
trouble, Jerry? Hmm, fancy that, being named after a mouse.”
“What can you
do? It was my parents’ job naming me. The real problem is every night when I
go to sleep, or for that matter anytime I sleep, it’s always the same dream,
every time, no different, same setting, same time,” I responded, laying down
on the couch, making myself as comfortable as possible.
about two years ago, when earth was under attack from Virsons?”
remember it very well,” he replied, looking at me from under his glasses.
“I became a
soldier in the effort to stop them, but that was after my only son joined the
war, and was killed by a
what the dream is about?”
involves more carnage. I have never told this to anyone, not even my wife.”
“Please, continue, but start from the beginning, the very beginning, the day you joined the army…”
was a hot June day as I waited in line at the enlistment office to sign up into
the army. My brother had just been killed by a Valasyve that had attacked his
car, and I wanted revenge. I didn’t care if I lost my life, I wanted to make a
difference, kill some Virsons, and try to stop what they started.
gradually started to thin out as men learned they didn’t possess the right
stuff, or were successfully enlisted to fight for humanity. The man in front of
me had white hair, and seemed lacking in any obvious physical strength. After he
walked into the office, and a minute later was sent away, I walked up to the
office door, and held the handle for a moment before turning the knob.
I walked into a
room that consisted of a desk and a window, no seat that I could sit down in, so
I stood. The man behind the desk looked up at me as he finished writing on some
your name?” he said with a low voice.
Harrison,” I replied nervously.
typing on a small laptop computer, hit enter, and raised an eyebrow.
“So, used to
work as a landscape architect aye?”
“Yes, I worked
for the army for a while, I designed caches, but I usually just created
doesn’t matter anymore, welcome aboard.”
welcome to the army.”
that? You don’t need to know who I really am?”
“Look, son, in
a situation like this we don’t care if you say you’re the President, we need
an army strong enough to defend the earth.”
“Well why do
you send so many people home?” I asked him.
“Why so many
questions? Why anything?” he said.
doesn’t answer my question, sir.”
“I never said
I would answer any questions, you are dismissed, private.”
I walked out of
the office with a dazed look on my face, since when was it so easy to enlist in
anything, nowadays, even signing up for food is highly recommended.
The next day
arrived quickly and it wasn’t a pleasant one; rain poured down the windows as
I looked outside, my last hour inside that house, possibly ever again. My wife
walked over to me with a look of remorse.
“I must go,
Annette, I can’t just sit here and wait for those things to decimate
everything we hold dear.”
“I know what
you must do, and I know that no matter what I say, I can’t stop you from
going,” she said, crying.
I looked down
into her eyes, and wiped her tears away with my thumb. There were two clear
options that presented themselves; hide in shame from my fate, or take hold of
it and create my own destiny. I chose to take what was unknown to me, what was
unclear. I looked back at my wife as I climbed onto the military bus.
I walked up the
stairs and down the aisle. I found a vacant seat close the rear of the bus and
sat next to a burly man. I smiled weakly at him and took my seat, but his beady
eyes didn’t exactly welcome me warmly. I sighed heavily, placed my bag between
my legs, and then looked past the man at my wife’s face; she looked gaunt, and
I waved at her,
but she didn’t return the gesture, she just put her hand to her eyes, and
walked back inside, her shoulders hunched. The burly man looked down at me, and
I quickly averted my gaze to the seat in front of me and found a little ball of
fuzz, the only thing that I would look at for at least the next two-hour trip.
The cotton fuzz
ball on the chair bounced up at down whenever the bus hit a pothole, or moved
from side to side at every red light. I was only an hour in, and so far, my
thoughts were my only friend, memories from high school continued to flood my
mind, things such as if I hadn’t put that answer down on the math tests, I
would have received above average on my report. I also thought about my son, and
what went through his mind, the last seconds he was alive, and where he was now;
he always believed in life after death.
The bus passed
through many lonely towns, streets named after famous people, perhaps someone
once dreamed of a better future for the town, a brighter time for their
children, one in which people didn’t rely solely on others to survive. My
entire future, the ground that had only a few days ago been paved straight
ahead, toward the sun shining clear, now tilted in the direction of events. A
line had been drawn in the sands, connecting me to the past, and what was yet to
come; an entire void lay in the middle.
Harrison! Remember me?” a man behind me said in a gruff voice.
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