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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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Late Night on Lover’s Lane

Late Night on Lovers Lane picturefiction

#picturefiction #flashfiction

Danny turned onto the narrow access road and after a few yards turned off the engine.
It was Saturday night, the big game had been won and it was time for him, Benfield High’s star quarterback, to claim his prize.
“Oh, Lover’s Lane,” Becky cooed.
She batted her long lashes at Danny and pretended to be surprised. She knew where the night was heading following their passionate kisses after the game. They had both been waiting for this night, the night they finally went all the way.
“Well you are my girl, aren’t you?”
Danny hitched himself closer on the bench seat and pulled Becky against his broad chest. She gasped and arched her back to present her bosom more fully.
Danny, being a typical male jock, responded as she expected and soon they were locked at the lips while his hands roamed her body.
The windows were steamed and Becky’s letter sweater was a distant memory soon to be followed by her bra and the rest of her clothing when a brilliant light blasted through the windows into the car.
Danny was too worked up to notice and continued yanking at his zipper.
“Danny.” He reached for her undies.
“Danny,” she screamed in his ear.
His passion stuttered at the volume of her  voice and he sat up. Danny looked around, finally noticing the daylight bright light streaming through every window of the car.
“Crap,” he said. “Get dressed.”
He hitched his pants back into place as she struggled with her disarrayed clothing.
As Becky pulled on her sweater Danny rubbed at the fog on the passenger window to see who was outside. If it was guys from the team he was going to kill them. He didn’t think it was the cops, they never hassled people on Lovers Lane after a big school event; they remembered what it was like to be young and horny.
Two shapes were approaching the car. They wore wide brimmed hats and their faces were invisible in the shadows cast by the light. It looked like the light was coming from above.
Danny cracked his knuckles. There were only two of them. He was going to teach these pervs a lesson about sneaking up on a guy who was about to get lucky.
“Wait here,” he said and opened the door.
Danny stood up and faced the two figures. The light from above was joined by a second light and Danny glanced up to see two silver disks hovering above Lover’s Lane. The disks were each as large as a football field and hung overhead without sound. The additional light illuminated the approaching figures revealing their dead white, inhuman faces and strange almond shaped black eyes. They both raised their hands and the last thing Danny remembered was a brilliant green beam of light coming from their hands to strike both him and Becky watching through the open door behind him.

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The Artifact

The Artifact

#picturefiction #flashfiction

Doctor Alan Quatrain’s pick slammed into the rock for what must have been the thousandth time. Sweat poured down his body as he hacked at the wall of the ancient mine.
All his research, translations, clues, everything led to this ancient mine deep in the Chilean jungle.
He pulled back the pick once more and swung with fading strength. The point bit into the rock and then, instead of rebounding as it had a thousand times before the point punched through the surface and the pick sank deep into the stone.
Alan almost impaled himself as the lack of resistance threw him off balance. He wiggled the pick free and shined a light into the hole he had just punched.
It was there, the legends were true, a large space behind this wall that could only be the cavern of the lost temple of Xichulkata.
Alan giggled and attacked the wall with renewed strength. By the time the hole and expanded to a size sufficient for a man to pass he was shaking with exhaustion and could barely lift the pick. It was worth it. It was all worth it. He would be immortalized for this find. His peers, those doubters, would come to him, hat in hand, to beg for his forgiveness and a chance to assist in what would be a historical archeological find.
The pick clattered to the stone, already forgotten and he stepped through the opening. His helmet light sent a dim spear of light, speckled with floating rock dust, into the cavern. The ground in front of him was smooth, almost like concrete. This would be a game changer in the understanding of pre-Columbian construction. Alan reached back through the hole and retrieved his lantern. He adjusted the flow and ignited the quad mantles. Brilliant light, as bright as a search light, erupted from the lantern and chased away the darkness.
The cavern was enormous. His light, for all its brilliance, failed to reach the ceiling or distant walls. The smooth floor continued in every direction. He could just make out a shape at the extreme edge of his light. It must be the temple itself.
Alan walked toward  it. The shape emerged from the darkness and revealed itself to be an enormous cube. He staggered to a halt as the cube was revealed. This was nothing like any other pre-Columbian construct. Where were the frescoes? The builders of Xichulkata’s time built step pyramids for their temples. This plain cube was nothing like one of their buildings.
He looked left and right but the cavern appeared empty of any other artifact save the cube. He continued forward. The cube’s size became more evident as he approached. It was at least one hundred feet across and just as tall. It must have been carved from some titanic boulder. There was no way the Xichulkatan civilization could have built a structure this large and have it remain stable.
Alan reached the side of the cube and set his lantern down. The surface of the stone was perfectly smooth. No seams or joints were evident. It must have been carved, he thought.
He reached out and touched the stone. It was strangely warm and he sensed a vibration running through the rock. The vibration increased as he stood staring at the mute surface.
He yelped and yanked his hand away. The vibrations had become so intense that it felt like one of those joy buzzers his older brother had used to zap him with when he was a kid. Alan backed away from the cube.
As he watched, a thin seam appeared in the stone where none had been before. The line ran from floor to the top of the stone structure. The line deepened and began to spread to the sides. The seam  flowed as if the rock were being dissolved rather than sliding like a door. A brilliant light erupted through the seam which opened wider than his body.
“Welcome my child, we have been awaiting you,” said an ethereal voice from the light.
Alan felt terror and joy flood his body. This was truly the greatest find of his life.

He stepped into the light.

 

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