I’ve been thinking that I should probably write some more fiction for this blog, given my unspoken 2013 New Year resolution of posting more fiction on here. Especially as all I’ve posted so far is fan fiction!
I had a bit of spare time today so I had a go. I hope you enjoy!
It Came From Above
It’s only been four weeks since it hit. If hit is the right word. Four whole weeks since the brilliant flash across the sky, since my window was shrouded in darkness if just for a moment as it passed over head.
Some heralded it as an omen; the end of the world. A sign from God. The planet has been suffering with hurricanes and storms and wildfires and floods for over a year now. Surely this asteroid falling to earth, blowing out the windows, deafening and injuring, was a sign of what is yet to come.
The sudden darkness drew me to the window, the eery silence made me turn for the door. I walked out onto the street and looked up, as the others were. That was when the windows blew out. I fell to my knees and shielded my face but too late. A piece of glass wedged itself into my cheek, another piece under my eye. I was one of the lucky ones.
I barely felt the pain, not at first. My heart was pounding painfully, my mind swimming amongst thoughts of bombs. I was going to die. I was sure of it.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been monitoring myself since. The internet was rife with rumours of radiation from the asteroid. Perhaps we would mutate. I decided, lying in hospital as I was checked over, that I wanted to be like Spiderman. Yes, that would be fine. The ability to swing through the city on my own web, to hang upside down, to become nimble and agile and quick. But nothing happened. I stayed me.
I didn’t mutate, but maybe others did. It only started a few days ago. The authorities won’t believe me. They think I’m mad. They see my film and book collection when they visit to take statements and soon leave, trying to conceal their mocking smiles. They don’t believe me but I know I’m right. And if I am right, which I know I am, then we are all in mortal danger.
I was walking home from work. I’d left late so it was dark and there weren’t many people around. I wrapped my coat around me and picked my way through the streets to my front door. The smashed windows had been boarded up and the pavements and roads swept but every now and then my shoe would catch a small shard of glass and crunch.
I passed the local shop and faltered. I wasn’t sure if I’d heard correctly but had that been a moan? I stopped and listened. There it came again, a low groan as if someone was in pain. Looking around I saw that I was alone, although I wondered just who might be in the shadows, waiting for me, knife drawn. The groan sounded again. It was coming from the bins from the side of the shop. I approached cautiously, ready to flee at any moment. The cuts on my face throbbed as my heart raced.
‘Hello?’ I called, breathing heavily. ‘Is anyone there?’ There was another groan, a little louder this time. ‘Are you hurt? Shall I call the police?’
I could just make out a shadow by the bins. It stumbled and straightened. At that moment a car drove past, its headlights shedding some light on the bins. It was a man, dressed in dirty layered clothes. He was unshaven and had a long cut across his cheek, perhaps from the asteroid incident. Looking down at his feet I noticed the newspapers and boxes. He was sleeping rough. I took a step back. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t want to get involved, but my conscience got the better of me.
‘Do you need me to call an ambulance?’ I called to him. That was when his eyes met mine. His pale, near white, lifeless eyes.
Have you ever seen a dead body? I’ve never seen a human corpse, not until now. But I remember when I was little and my rabbit died. I went to pet him one morning to find him lying on his bed of straw, his eyes wide open, his little body utterly still. I looked into my rabbit’s eyes and didn’t recognise him. The life had gone and with it his soul. That was when I knew beyond a doubt that all living creatures have souls. I didn’t need my parents to explain to me, I already knew that he was dead. He was dead and I would never see him or cuddle him again.
This man had similar eyes. Not brown and still like my rabbit’s, but it was plain to see that the man had no soul.
I didn’t know what else to say. I wasn’t sure what to do. The walking corpse opened its mouth and gave a low rumbling noise. His eyes flickered in the last of the headlights and I recognised that too; hunger. He charged at me. Feet haphazardly hitting the ground yet somehow propelling him forward with great speed.
I leapt back and ran all the way home. Slamming the door behind me, I bolted it and ran around my house, watching for any other way in. The windows were already boarded. They won’t be replaced for another week. And there I sat, dialling the police with trembling fingers.
They didn’t believe me. But I know what I saw. And he wasn’t the first. On my way home today I saw three more. I heard screaming. The authorities don’t believe me, not yet. I don’t know if that asteroid is to blame or when news of this will officially break. I’m leaving today. I can’t say where and I only hope that I don’t take whatever disease this is with me. If I’ve learnt anything from science fiction, my books and films, it is that this will spread. It will spread and devour us all.