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The Arrival

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#picturefiction #flashfiction #aliens

When the spaceships entered our atmosphere it was heralded as the greatest moment in human history. Thousands of stately ships floated silently down from space. They were of a uniform type, long cigar shaped vessels hundreds of feet in length. Each had blinking lights that scientists assumed were an attempt at communication but no human could decipher the pattern. The world marveled at the majesty of the fleet as it floated in the sky. We all assumed a new age was coming, contact with aliens would bring new knowledge, prosperity  and take us to the stars.

When the energy beams began lancing down, we knew the only thing the ships heralded was death.

The great cities burned first. London, Paris, Washington, New York all turned to ash beneath the ravening beams of light.  The aliens gave no hint that our pleas for peace were heard. No offers of surrender were accepted, bright death rained down without end.

The great cities died, the smaller suburbs were  razed, the roads and rails were annihilated. It seemed that the world of men was fated to be wiped from the Earth. Then, just as suddenly as it started, the attack ceased. We dared to peek from our caves and ditches to see the great ships sitting above us, silent.

One by one the ships tumbled from the sky. The crashed to earth, colossi hurled from Olympus. The sounds of their crashing was deafening. After a time we crept to examine our attackers.

A door slid open as we approached and a tall grey being, shaped like a man but twice as tall and as thin as a reed, staggered from the opening. We raised our sticks and rocks, the only weapons left to us, and prepared to die fighting.  The creature was covered in boils that erupted with yellow pus as we watched. It clawed at its throat, and toppled to the ground, dead. Others staggered from the wreckage to die similar deaths.

It was like the old story, our bacteria were killing the invaders. We were saved.  A flash of light drew our eye and we saw in the distance a miniature sun erupt and a mushroom cloud clawed at the sky. The rumble of other detonations reached our ears.  All around the horizon, wherever one of the giant ships lay crumpled, explosions tore the earth.  The ship beside us began to emit a beeping sound that rapidly increased in speed.  It seemed even in death the invaders could defeat us.

The white light of the detonation was a swift, merciful end.

 

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