Posts Tagged ‘love’

Deep in a subterranean shelter, hidden from the insect-like alien invaders known as Skitters that ruled the surface, we began dissecting a recovered alien corpse.  The shelter was still in construction when the aliens fell from the skies, so a gaping hole to the next level up hung above our heads instead of a ceiling.  I was nervous about the utter darkness of that hole beyond the illumination of our shop lights, but my two companions didn’t seem to mind.  Both were women; one a qualified doctor doing the operation, and the other the love of my life.

The deceased subject lay on a metal table in the center of the large room. The doctor gingerly moved aside some slimy tentacles from its body and the puckered mouth in the center of the carapace reluctantly opened with the aid of her forceps.  She placed a small cloth disk inside to keep it open.  I stood off to the side against the wall with my girlfriend.

The doctor was engrossed in her work.  A few alien tentacles twitched where they draped over the table to the floor.  Again they twitched, this time a little more.  It slowly dawned on me that the alien was not dead, and worse, it was sending out some kind of signal for help.

I grabbed my machine gun and my girlfriend did the same with hers.  We sprinted out the door into the hallway.  The hall turned left and proceeded straight, sloping gently upwards to end in a set of steep stairs leading to the distant surface.  The ceiling here was unfinished as well and alien bugs the size of dogs spilled out of holes into the hall.  I squeezed the trigger and swept the barrel side to side, unleashing a stream of armor piercing bullets.  Bug after bug erupted into a fountain of green and yellow gore that plastered the ceiling and walls. Egg pods began to drop from the ceiling and hatch. We kept firing and they just kept coming.

I threw down my gun and unslung the flamethrower from my back.  Liquid fire spewed out the end of the barrel and I began to make headway against the alien swarm.  Walking slowly up the sloping hallway, I nearly reached the base of the stairs when I heard the chittering of thousands of aliens.

“Get back!” I screamed.  “I’m turning on the afterburner!”  My girlfriend ran back into the room and I flipped a switch on the flamethrower.  The force of the blast nearly knocked me off my feet.  A stream of near invisible white hot death ascended the stairway.  Countless aliens were incinerated instantly.

The blaze was too much for the shelter.  Flames spilled out on the floor and licked up the walls to turn the ceiling into a canopy of fire.  The stairs were the only way out.  I retreated to the back room to find the doctor and my girlfriend cowering in the center of the room.  The flames drew closer.   Unable to stand the heat’s inexorable advance, the doctor ran for the wall where a bank of large ovens sat.  She dove inside one and reached out to turn the knob to max.  A brief explosion of flame signaled her quick and relatively painless death.

I drew my girlfriend to me and held her close as the firestorm closed in around us.  It ignited our clothing and singed our hair.  We embraced with one final kiss as the inferno consumed us.

Bavarian Alps, Germany.  1970

Emily searches the rolling, grassy hills with her binoculars as I recline up against a large, smooth boulder, clutching my sniper rifle to my chest.  The hill we are on is the tallest for kilometers around and offers a breathtaking view of the German countryside.  Our commanding officer stands behind us.

“I’ve found them,” Emily states.  Our commander orders me to confirm.

I slide forward on my stomach through the grass and rest my rifle atop a small rock.  Peering through the powerful scope enables me to quickly locate the targets in question.  Over two klicks away, the faces of three women fill my view.  They just finished a round of target practice with rifles of their own and now sit on a blanket in a grassy meadow, relaxing in the beautiful weather.

One has her back to me, long blond hair blocking her face from my sight.  “Targets 1 and 2 confirmed.  I don’t have a clear line on the third’s face.”  As if in response, she turns slightly and my heart freezes in my chest.  She’s smiling at a joke told by one of the others.  I know that smile.  It’s the same she gives me when I surprise her with a box of chocolates, the same that so often turns into musical laughter and always makes me smile in return to see her happy.

My commander’s voice breaks through my thoughts.  “Can you confirm Target 3?”

“I…”

“Can you confirm or can’t you?”

Closing my eyes I manage to croak out, “Target 3 confirmed.”

“Good,” she says.  “Take the shot.”

Returning my aim to the first target I settle the cross-hairs on her face, in the center of her forehead.  My breathing slows, the steady thumping of my heart the only sound filling my ears.  I take a breath, let out half of it, and hold.  The trigger slowly retreats as my finger applies pressure.

The crack of the rifle retorts off the surrounding hills.  The bullet enters just under her right cheekbone.  I quickly track over to the second target and fire off a quick shot.  A hit.

As I bring my rifle to bear on the third target, I hesitate.  My love is panicked and confused, wildly looking around for the source of the gunfire.

I squeeze the trigger as slowly as I can, hoping that perhaps if it’s done slowly enough it won’t cause the gun to go off at all. “Forgive me, my love.”  The firing mechanism reaches the trigger point with a jarring click.  However, the only sound that follows is a distinct metallic ping.

“Misfire.”

I hand my rifle over to Emily and she removes the top cover.

“This round was loaded wrong,” she says.  Only a few moments pass and she hands the rifle back to me, reloaded and ready to fire.

“Reacquire target,” the commander orders.

I raise the rifle once more and sight the meadow.  The love of my life is nowhere to be seen.  With a sick, sinking feeling in my gut I spot her.  Tears stream down her face as she runs along a road, blond hair flowing gracefully in her wake.  All I want to do is wipe those tears away, hold her in my arms.

As if miles away I hear the commander.  “Take the shot.”  My finger twitches slightly.  “Take the shot!”  My arm tenses as I center the cross-hairs on her chest.  “TAKE THE SHOT!”

“I love you,” I whisper.  “I’m sorry.”

I went to a costume shop in search of a Chewbacca suit.  I chatted up the cute girl working the counter, asked her out.

We fell in love.