We thought it was an airplane or two, possibly an early shooting star, but they kept shooting; they'd be slow and then shoot off fast, appearing in random areas. They grew larger and felt closer. Wind gusted around us from their momentum, I felt the burn of warmth on my face where it was once cool. Clouds curled up and billowed as night slowly stole the sun, the wane moon rising against the inky sky. Panicked, we parked the car and slowly got out. Passer-bys were slowing down in their cars as well, distracted, scared, stunned; people came out of their apartments and houses. What stole twilight? What stole our beautiful dusk evening?
And then we saw it.
It appeared slowly, but the ribbons of large stars stopped shooting. It showed up, peeking over the billowing clouds, but then bursting through them, a giant of a shadow that made the sky appear not wide enough to hold it. It was blotting out the moon, a fearsome, floating crater shape. My heart sunk into my stomach, and it suddenly felt hard to breathe. I still felt Ethan's warm presence beside me, standing firm and strong, and I leaned into him for support as he clasped my hand tightly. We weren't dreaming; we weren't seeing things. This was real. It was a moment of pure silence, all around, like all noise had been sucked away; like all around us was a black hole, and this flying being in the sky was the center vortex. More shapes and flying objects like the one shadowing out the moon surrounded it, as if they went on forever. A fleet of flying, crater airships -- call them UFOs or robots or supreme beings, or whatever else -- hovered in the air, awaiting to start demise.
Is this "the end" everyone spoke of? For it has come.
Ethan and I stared at one another for a moment, and clasped each others hands tightly. When our gazes lifted back up, there seemed to be an intake of a sharp, final breath that filled the haunting silence; by us, by those around us, and by the beautiful Earth. My eyes gently closed, my lips murmured a prayer; "Oh, God be with us."
And hell broke loose.
The Beings all started firing beams of lasers at once. Blood curdling screams filled the air, cries of confusion and pain shot through our ears, and once we started seeing the panicked masses around us fleeing in chaos, we were snapped back into reality. Ethan and I started running. He was faster than me, so he clutched my hand and led the way, I followed blindly. We ran in a weaving motion to avoid any of the lasers, for we noticed when people were seen by the Beings, they were given no mercy; they were shot, disintegrating in an instant. When I witnessed a fellow family running beside us, but a little too slowly, disintegrate and cry out in pain with a single laser blast, I muffled my shriek of horror with my hand, and pushed my legs to run faster.
"Wh-Why.. did we not choose to drive?!" I cried after him, wondering if this would've been the faster way. I didn't expect an answer for amongst everything around us burning or exploding, or amongst the people screaming or wailing for loved ones, I knew I wouldn't hear his quiet voice.
However, I was stunned when I heard him actually yell back to me, through his gasping breaths, "We need to be... as small of a moving target as... possible!" Almost simultaneously, a car that was weaving way ahead of us was lasered down. It was like a beam of light that was shot from the sky, fiery red with a white center, engulfing this entire car with everyone inside and leaving nothing. The noise it made was a piercing shriek, as if the laser itself was capturing the cries from people all around. Ethan had skidded to a stop and turned, causing me to slam into him for I couldn't control my momentum. He held onto my arms firmly and buried me away, as if trying to protect me from the laser, the fire, the burning, everything. My ear was pressed into his chest, and I felt his heart beating rapidly, as if trying to escape. "The laser's light is equivalent to a ... giant flashlight right on our position; we need to stay still." I nodded silently.
After it grew dark enough around us again, we started running. My lungs felt as if they were tearing, my legs were numb, but I kept going. I kept my eyes on Ethan's back and kept my hand in his, and we kept running. First it was blocks, then entire miles, and we started to notice the destruction spread rather far. Everything was destroyed or swiped clean somehow; once brand new buildings now appeared crumbled, ancient and decayed, filthy with ash. Entire homes and offices were no longer there, as if they'd been leveled in an instant. Injured bodies of surviving humans were tucked away, hiding and keeping as still and quiet as possible. The entire city was under attack, but as full as the sky was of these Beings, I knew it wasn't just the city; it was everywhere.
The firing stopped, and Ethan and I pressed ourselves against a crumbling building, facing away from the moon to keep hidden. The Beings hovered around their Leader still, all progressing forward as they swept clean of humanity. We noticed a few others like us, survivors and escapees, hiding in the shadows. The only thing that filled the air now was the crackling of fires and weak buildings, the pungent smell of death and burning smoke, and all those surviving gasping breaths of air. The Beings hovered effortlessly and soundlessly above us, but their shadows fell eerily as we scurried to avoid being seen.
Suddenly, a booming voice filled the sky, emitting from from the Leader. "All trying to survive, you must understand, it is futile. Give in; give up." I gazed up at Ethan, but he was looking up and forward, focused. His blue eyes burned with hatred and fury, courage and strength, but his body was trembling, tattered and bruised. He was holding me with both arms, keeping me buried into his side, but his grasp was weakening. He remained strong and silent, but I knew he so wanted to be tired and weak.
"You're feeling tired, aren't you," I whispered, steadying my trembling fingers by clutching onto his shirt. He looked down at me, confused, as if denying it, but his silence told me otherwise. I smiled sadly, "It's okay, quit holding me so tightly, save your strength." He stared shaking more, and his eyes were red and wet as if he were holding back crying. He did let me go though, I wove my arm through his and held onto it gently. "It's okay..."
"I'm not... fast enough.. strong enough.. these things.." He was stuttering, and he hung his head, raking his fingers angrily through his hair. He kept shaking his head, and I reached up to gently comb his hair, rub his back, his shoulder, his arm, trying to calm him down. I had nothing to say, for it wasn't a moment to reassure him that he was all those things in; for he wasn't fast enough, or strong enough. Who could be against these supernatural, otherworldly Beings that were bringing the End?
I pressed my forehead into his shoulder, and we both remained silent for what felt like ages. Those Beings hovered without attacking, possibly looking for survivors. If the stench of death wasn't eerie enough, the silence all around when there weren't lasers firing, was worse; for it was the silence of little life left, it was the silence of those once there no longer alive. I sucked in small cry and squeezed my eyes shut. I had to keep it under control, I couldn't be loud and risk our safety. I clutched tighter to Ethan's arm.
There was a moment where Ethan's eye caught sight of something; an underground tornado shelter, it's door blown open but still hinged and able to be closed. I watched with him as other survivors that were around were creeping slowly towards it and lowering down. My heart stopped a little bit in hope that this would be our safety, our survival. We watched one another, and then he nodded as we silently agreed to go after it. The Beings were still hovering above, just waiting for any obvious sign of movement, and even though it was only maybe a hundred feet away, it felt like miles for how risky it was. However, we had nothing else really to lose.
Except one another.
We slowly got up and readied ourselves to run. "You go first, I'm going to follow behind," he told me. When I stared at him, worried, he reassured me, "Trust me, I'll be fine." I looked up at the sky, a shadow falling over my face and I took that opportunity to run for it.
However, darting halfway there, I noticed Ethan was not following behind me like he said he would. I halted, and looked over my shoulder; he was lying there, a few feet back, face-forward on the ground and motionless as if he had passed out. I choked back a cry, but I darted back over to him, clumsily throwing myself at his side and hoisting him up. I felt frantic and concerned, but his eyes wearily opened to look at me. "Come on, let's go," I whispered desperately, pushing hair from falling into his eyes, trying to encourage him. The Beings above started to emit a strange humming noise, as if they were getting irritated or impatient with the silence and stillness around.
"I know there are survivors out there," the booming voice of the Leader rang around us. I felt my chest start to heave as I silently sobbed, thick tears running down my face. Ethan was not moving, his body felt cold and his trembling worsened. He had maxed out his energy running and keeping me safe. "Come on, come on," I whispered, clutching him tighter and burying my head into hsi shoulder again.
"Go," he muttered, pointing towards the shelter. I shook my head violently, stubbornly. He peeled me off of him and my sobbing increased; I didn't care at this point if I was heard, it was uncontrollable. He looked square and dead into my eyes, grasping my arms with the little strength he had and told me, in a stern, quiet voice, "I love you; and when we find one another again, I will still love you. And I will find you. I promise." I let out a cry and hung my head, shaking it and shaking it. The humming above grew louder, but my sobbing and my pounding heart almost drowned it out. I didn't care at this point about the Beings, about being tattered and tired, about the area surrounding me. I didn't care if we were lasered down together or not. All I wanted was to stay with him, in his arms, know he was okay, feel his heart, his warmth, hold his hand, see his smile, hear his voice. I wanted to go back to our beautiful dusk evening, where we were driving and laughing together, like nothing else was different. I knew if I ran off without him, I would survive, but he would not; but how would that be surviving if he was not with me?
I grabbed his face with both of my hands, and kissed him. And in that moment, the world grew still; the Beings were not there, the fire was not burning at my neck, my heart was not pounding for fear of my own life. We were together in our meadow at midnight, with a beautiful indigo sky and a blanket of stars above us. We were together
"Go," he muttered more sternly and pushed me up and off of him. I knew it wasn't out of annoyance or frustration, for tears stung his eyes and stained his face and he was scared... Terrified. I stumbled back and we just watched one another for a while, as if we were trying to memorize one another's face. He was aching to memorize my warm eyes, my dark hair, my pale skin. I ached to memorize his cool eyes, pale hair, tan skin and chiseled face. Remember his soft voice, his radiating warmth, his quiet courage. He reached up with his hand and I grasped it, long and firmly, trying not to tremble too much. Remember all our moments together; outside the high school talking, the field of dandelions at dusk, our meadow in the moonlight, our first kiss, our dates, car-rides, singing together, just being together...
"I love you."
And then we were separated.
I let out a cry as I was thrown back from a beam of light that had lasered down between us; luckily Ethan had ripped his hand apart and ducked away in time. I staggered back but forced myself to turn around not to look back. I knew the longer I tried to stay to see him, to be near him, the harder it would be to leave. I staggered toward the shelter and the Beings above started to hum louder, as if they'd targeted my location. I ran faster, as fast as I could, feeling Ethan's spirit with me, motivating me. I didn't know where or what he was right now, if he was gone, if he was still lying back there silent, or if he was taken. I just kept going, going as he told me to.
They started sending out bursts of lasers but I shot towards the shelter and flung myself in just in time. The light from the lasers lit up people's faces in the shelter as they stared at me; I didn't recognize any of them, but we all could relate to one another for we were all survivors. Two older people waved their arms toward me to sit down and lay low and I tucked myself between them. I pressed my knees to my chest and buried my head, trying to fight back my sobbing. Ethan's face was burnt into my mind, I couldn't shake it. How badly I wanted him with me now, to be near me, to make me feel safe and comfortable.
We heard what sounded like footsteps; heavy, industrial, futuristic. Not human. Everything that happened next was a blur. I remember a bright white light, blooming over us and engulfing us. We all squinted our eyes and shuddered; it was a cold light, not welcoming at all. We saw dark shapes and shadows standing before us and then I remember blacking out.
Startled, I shot up. I was in an extremely bright white building, very new age and modern feeling. White walls, white floors, everything was clean and sterile, with curved organic lines instead of geometric ones. Windows opened up to a world outside that mimicked the building; a white sky, with black and white everywhere. No grass grew on the ground, no birds roamed in the sky, only people in white or black suits going about their business and walking. I felt blinded by all the pure white that surrounded me. What was going on?
Everyone else around me were people I recognized from the shelter. They were all wearing white suits, or getting dressed into them by these robotic maids that were a cool steel color. Everything in the room was lit up by the fake sunlight piercing through the rounded windows. I squinted, but felt something ice cold tugging on my arm. I looked over, and it was one of the robotic maids. They weren't terrifying looking; almost human, but made more geometrically with parts showing. They had wide black eyes that seemed like camera lenses looking right into your soul. They were a head shorter than I, but weren't threatening at all. Considering my ratty clothes, she was probably directing me to change. I nodded quietly and followed her to a dressing room where she drew a curtain and helped me into the suit.
The suit felt like it was made of the finest fabrics; a mixture of latex for the stretching, but velvet and silk for the feel. It was a beautiful white color though, that lit up when the light touched it. It was a one piece white body suit with black detailing, but the girls wore black shorts or skirts and a white hair piece while the men wore suit jackets and a tie. There were intricacies and details to the body suits though that were fascinating; woven designs of odd languages, in both lettering and symbols. I ran my fingers over some of the designs on the sleeves, and nearly gasped when they started to glow at my touch. I pulled my hand away as if I'd touched something hot, and looked at the maid, but she didn't seem to care. Obviously she wore no emotion; she wasn't human.
I looked at my fingers, covered with the bodysuit. In fact, almost everything was covered with the bodysuit except my face. Were they trying to strip us of our humanity, what made us unique, different? Who is they? Why am I remembering so much all of a sudden?
It was a sudden blast of agony and nostalgia when it hit me; the invasion. There was an invasion!
I doubled over, holding my knotted stomach and clutching my throbbing heart. It was racing, as if it too remembered being chased, and running harder than I ever had in my life. I started to breathe heavily, gasping for air, whispering and murmuring things to myself as memories flooded back; the invasion, running away, hiding for our lives, a warm hand... wait. Our lives... a warm hand. What was this? I squeezed my eyes shut and held my head, shaking it violently as if trying to force myself to spit out a memory that felt like it'd been suppressed. The robot maid was making strange noises as if she were signaling for help to come assist her with my strange behavior. But I wasn't paying attention to that; I was paying attention to this faded face that was fighting to be at the front of my mind.
And then I remembered the name; the face and the name. Ethan.
I lifted my head up, dizzied by the memory, but feeling calmed down at the same time. His face, his entire being was in my mind again; but where had it gone to begin with? I was overcome with relief, but at the same time, numbness and sadness; where was he? Was he alive? Was he here in this strange world? Would I ever find him again?
The robot maid was back, but with her, two rather intimidating looking beings. They were dressed in body suits as well, all black though instead of white. They were tall and elegant, not robotic, but not human. They had high cheekbones and sharp features with pursed mouths and very pointed ears. One was a woman with slicked back, long black hair, the other a male with ice blonde slicked back hair. Their eyes were the most inhuman of all though: piercing red, slanted and large, reading your whole being and soul. They weren't human, but their entire being was entrancing me; they were eerily beautiful, like an elegant, mysterious being I'd never laid eyes upon.
"What is it?" The woman asked sharply. I stared at her dumbly, quiet. "Well?!" she snapped, and I jolted.
The robot maid rolled in front of me and started making those strange noises again. Both creature stared down at her, listening. The woman looked at the man, talking in a quiet voice but I could still hear; "It seems like a memory reboot problem." The man nodded briskly. The woman's piercing red eyes were on me now and I felt worried; would they erase my memories again? Had that been what happened the first time? I just now remembered everything, I didn't want to forget again... I felt the need to protect this, to hold this tightly to me and not let it go again. Which probably meant trying to outsmart the "system" and those two very intimidating beautiful beings, but with how stubborn and determined I was, I could do it.
The lady was now looming over me, bent down and looking straight into my eyes. Seeing her large eyes so close was a bit terrifying; the pupils were moving in such a different way, clicking on and off, darting left and right, up and down. No light from outside reflected in her eyes, but they still seemed lit up by some indecipherable source. I swallowed back my rising fear and stared her straight back, but tried to appear confused, innocent, wiped clean of any memory. I made my mind go as blank as possible so it read in my eyes.
She kept inspecting me, harshly, and it felt like forever, but she finally raised up and shook her head. "I am not sure. I do not think she would remember anything, her eyes retain such innocence and confusion still. Back to your work," she stated to the robot maid who tipped over in a bow and then turned back to me and started to help me up. I watched the two beings leave, murmuring to one another, and I felt a small victory within me. This world was deprived of humanity, and everyone had their memories swiped clean; but if I could keep mine, and keep restoring it, that was one factor I had over all the other survivors that made me unique and humane still, and it seemed like that was a threat to those beings. I could do this; maybe I could find a way out.
And back to my life.
I finished dressing, and the last thing the robot did was take my hair in her aluminum fist, yank me down, and then chop it off. It had reached just past my shoulder blades, now it was to just below my chin. When I stepped out, I noticed all the other women or girls had shortened hair as well; all the men had short spiked hair. Everyone looked the same practically, everyone's eyes lacked any memory or sense of humanity. However, I held a secret fire in me that was keeping me fueled right now; I was still me, I just had to prove it to everyone else that I was just another human robot to them to keep from getting my memories erased again. I was determined to find Ethan, and get us both out of here.
We were told by a large drop down screen that we could go outside and walk about the perimeter. A communicator watch that we were given to wear would relay us any other details of our daily routine we needed to know, for even that was controlled when they felt like controlling it. We had to obey and be in order, or face "erasure". I tried hard to not glare at the screen, but I just nodded with the others and walked out with the others as well. Trying not to look around or be curious too much; any sign of extreme emotion or curiosity might reveal me. Everyone else appeared as if they'd been in this world all their lives and it was just another day; I had to make it seem like that too.
We were outside now, and the white was a little bit more blinding but I was getting adjusted to it. I knew now that those that work the black bodysuits were the Beings that inhabited this world, and those in white were the survivors that had been taken after the invasion. All the Beings had that elegance about them, but they were all different looking, and were even allowed to wear different bodysuits if they chose. They were allowed to have individuality, but we were stripped of it. Anger boiled inside of me, but I couldn't let that show.
All the buildings were jutting up from the ground and touching the sky, like skyscrapers that went on endlessly. Everything was seamless; even doors were holograms, programmed to open when someone keyed in a code. They'd blink and then slide open to reveal a building that was totally accessible. How everyone told the buildings apart, I had no idea. Except for some varying in size, none of them had that distinguishing feature that made them stand out. I sure hope the entire world we were in wasn't like this; the lack of creativity and unique appeal was starting to drain me.
We all ended up in this wide open area, that they called The Park, which was meant for recreation and "socializing". It was a rounded area, with a giant fountain in the middle, that only poured out blue, LED "water" but not real water by all means. I walked apart from my group and sat on the fountain, sighing as I watched the fake water pour. How I missed the feel of real water on my hands, drizzling my face, its cold purity slipping between my fingers. I stared down at my feet, my uniform black ankle boots resting on what looked like white tile posing as pavement. All I saw was my reflection, and what I wished to see was fuzzy, uneven grass, even weeds for that matter. Everything here felt so cold and too futuristic; where was the humanity? Where was the personality, the humble areas, even the messed up areas; where was the hidden beauty within the broken or the unique? I started to miss it all terribly.
I heard a voice, and it instantly sent a pang into my heart. It sounded familiar, which was why it startled me. It was a quiet voice, talking with a small group of two to three people. I looked over in that general direction and saw him; I saw Ethan. I tried not to shoot up and go running there right away, but I could help my feet from running. I felt hot stares at my back from others when I skidded to a stop in front of the group. Ethan's back was to me, but everyone he was talking to instantly stopped what they were doing and stared at me as if I were the strangest thing they've seen. My behavior was a little ecstatic, but I couldn't help it. He was alive! "Ethan, I --!"
He turned around, and even though his hair was shorter, he still was my Ethan. I was overwhelmed with joy and it took every fiber in my being to not just throw my arms around him and not let go. I couldn't even speak for a second, all I did was just smile stupidly and stared at him. I was about to say how I missed him, and how I was so happy he was alive and that I loved him, but I was interrupted with three cold words from him that shot through my soul like ice.
"Who are you?"
Yeah, after I read Mattie's blog about her dream I felt the need to finish writing mine up too and post it, lol. I'd actually started when I had the dream, a week or so ago, but just now finished it and still remembered it vividly. *sigh* It was really depressing, and I cried a little after waking up. Idk where it came from.. :( I have a lot of vivid dreams though that relate to Ethan; most of them are really sad though, where either I hurt him and he's really upset with me, or ones like this where he's hurting me. Only a few have ever been just peaceful and happy. I don't know what that means though; I think it's just subconscious stuff coming to the surface. Upsetting or hurting him... I never want that... but getting hurt by him like I've been before always scares me too... Whether he means it or not, it's happened.
Aaaggh intense stuff, I know guys >.< But the writer in me just had to get it out. I'm actually really inspired by the concept though; I and might turn it into a story, just changing the names around and stuff. We'll see, haha