Be prepared ’cause….
IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!
(Laaaaame. Quick! Start part two before they notice!)
They looked human enough, she thought. But then so had the stranger at her door. She knew that there was only one way to be sure.
She stayed hidden, so as to observe them.
One was a boy, about her age, with shaggy dark hair and a sprinkle of acne across his face. He looked familiar, as if maybe they’d crossed paths before. And that, of course, was a good sign.
With him was another boy, much younger and far louder. They were both skin and bones, but that didn’t matter. She watched them ever closely- waiting to see just a flicker of change.
“How much longer?” The little one whined with shoulders slumped and pouting lips.
“We’re almost there.” The older’s voice was gravely, as if his vocal cords were crumbling inside his throat.
“But I want to stop now!” The younger began to wail, and Millie got the urge to pull the trigger just to make it end.
“Quiet!” The elder snapped. “They might hear you! You don’t want the green boogers getting us, do you?!”
The little boy shook his head, and they stopped, just in front of where she was hiding.
“Okay, okay. We’ll take a break. Here.” He shoved his hand into his black hoodie’s pocket, pulling out a granola bar. He gave it to the kid.
“So,” The boy spoke between bites. “Where do you think they come from?”
“It doesn’t matter where they come from, Bobby. What matters is, why they’re here and not there.”
After awhile, Millie felt satisfied that they weren’t the ‘green boogers’. But she didn’t move either. She didn’t want to waste time moving, or become a part of some group. It was safer to be alone. And not responsible of a teenager and a kid.
But that’s when they appeared.
There were two men, dressed in the same off-colored uniform as the other. Their hair was slicked back with gel too, and their smiles were just as fake.
“My, what are you boys doing out here all alone?” One asked, with bared teeth.
She could here the teenager whisper, “Get behind me, Bobby.”
As the boy obeyed, the aliens’ skin flickered, confirming their identity. Millie pointed her gun.
And then she fired again.
She emerged from her hiding place, quickly making sure that her aim was true. Not that she needed to be sure.
She searched their bodies for weapons and anything else that might be useful, when the teen cleared his throat.
“Are you one of them?”
She smirked at the idea. What would that make her if she was- a rogue alien? Or perhaps she’d just have bad aim?
She stood up, facing them. The both were staring, fear in their eyes.
“I just killed these goons, and you think I’d be one of them? So much for gratitude!” She fought back laughing, feeling the hysteric bubble surging from the pit of her gut.
The teen was gaping at her now- as if she was a ghost. “I know you, I think.” He stepped towards her, pointing a finger. “You’re Sheriff Dobb’s daugther, right? Uh, um. Melissa! No… Mildred!”
“Millie,” She corrected.
“This is Bobby.” He offered up his little brother. “And I’m Lucas.”
She shifted from foot to foot, not much for standing so still, so out in the open.
“We were heading out of town. My dad owns a cabin out in Bakers County.” She realized he was shifting too, rather uncomfortably. It was too obvious.
“Mind if I join you guys?” Both of their faces lit up like the Fourth of July.
Bobby skipped ahead, while Millie regretted her decision to join them. Not to say they weren’t nice- it just ruined her plans of being alone. Indefinitely.
“So how long have you known how to shoot?”
“Just about all my life.” She grunted, as they made their way to the top of a hill. “Did you go to Anthony High?”
He nodded, as they began their descent. “I’m a junior.” It made sense then, that she wouldn’t know him. The upperclassmen never paid much mind to those beneath them.
“I’ve seen you around, I think.” He offered, and she felt another wall slowly beginning to set in place when he did. “You eat during second lunch, right? At the table closest to the door?” The wall began to crumble as she replied with a yes.
“And you’re always reading a book,” The wall vanished completely, each brick disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
They exchanged a glance and all felt safe in the world, just for a moment. She was comforted that she wasn’t being led into some trap. Still, her guard was up.
With good reason.
The earth began to rumble.
At first, it was just a barely noticeable shake. A few bits of dirt and leaves trembling against the movement. But then it grew, until the very ground beneath their feet bit up at them. It cracked and snarled as they hurried for safety.
Bobby was too slow to keep up- his little legs struggling against the unsteady ground.
His brother picked him up, and their pace was slowed just enough to where Millie knew they might not make it.
Then the explosion happened. Blue sparks whirled just ahead of them. A brilliant silvery plasma shot into the air. They could feel the heat from it on their faces, a mile away.
Millie turned her head from it, at just the right moment and at just the right angle. It appeared that a part of the forest to their left was untouched.
“This way guys!” She dashed ahead, gun at her ready for what might lie beyond the trees.
She dodged each crack, darting away from each fallen branch and tree.
She kept going even after she had passed through the safe threshold. When she felt that she was far enough away, she halted, breathing in a sigh of relief.
“We made it!” She cheered, looking back to celebrate with her fellow humans.
But they weren’t there.
When the explosions subsided, night was beginning to fall. But no amount of darkness could hide the smell as she made her way back.
They both laid together on the ground, two crispy silhouettes of ash and flame. She threw up what little rations she had eaten, wiped her chin, cried a little, and then went on her way.
When she finally reached civilization, she discovered that there was nothing left of it. All of the houses had been burned down. More silhouettes, just like Bobby and Lucas, lined the paved roads.
Anger surged through her, as she came up to the edge of town where she could see the big city down below. It was engulfed in smoke.
Was she the last, sole survivor of earth?
They took no time to rebuild, putting up their own kinds of buildings that mimicked the human way of life.
Some still hid their true nature, pretending to be the inhabitants that had occupied the world before them. But most exposed themselves for what they really were.
Green stinking boogers.
She studied them when she could, keeping at a safe distance. She learned their real name and spat at it every evening.
She’d found a safe dwelling place, off the grid but close to home. It was that cabin that her short-lived companions had been heading too. Apparently it was built out in the middle of nowhere, in a place not even the aliens had dared to look.
Millie searched and searched for a plan to have her revenge on the beasts. She poured nearly all of her energy into it. But each plot and scheme fell short. It wasn’t enough just to hurt one single town or a city.
She wanted to hurt them all.
She went out hunting one evening, for anything that might still be alive. She knelt down as she spotted a deer, her weapon aiming right for it’s heart.
A warm glow then encapsulated her prey, a burst of yellow light filling the dark void. She looked up, only to blink and not be in the woods at all.
She was in a dimly lit room, four figures leering towards her. Millie stepped back, crumbling against the wall.
She went to aim her gun, but it was snatched from her all the same.
“Feisty one, isn’t she?” They emerged into the light, and she stared at them blankly.
All of different shapes and sizes. Blue skin, violet, crimson, and burnt orange. One man had horns on the top of his head. Another had a snout like a pig.
Millie’s breath hitched, and she knew. This was it. This was how she was going to die. She closed her eyes as one of them leaned forward, grasping her chin.
“How much do you think we can get, boys,” They all began to chuckle. “For the last human of Earth?”
Writing Prompt (in case you forgot): Your story is a countdown. Start it at ten and end it with zero.
Man, I love a good cliff hanger. Don’t ask me how the story ends. Because even I don’t know. Or do I…..??? Teeheehee.