I tried to warn them, but they wouldn’t listen. I warned them immediately after I was returned to the marsh, but they decided to detain me and ignore my claims. Twenty years have now passed, and they still don’t listen despite the urgent message I was unfairly tasked with delivering. I warn them to this day, and still…nothing. The ignorance of man never fails. Their stubbornness reigns supreme, and now I understand the message. In the end, they will have done this to themselves, to all of us. They deserve it.
I drove to the banks of that marsh twenty years ago with Emma – beautiful, young and sweet. It was only our second date, but I was head-over-heels in love with her. I felt comfortable with her; I felt complete. She was unlike anyone I’d ever known. We sat in my car, watching the herons and listening to the bullfrogs with the windows down. I packed a dinner fit for two teenagers; peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carrot sticks, and a two liter of cola that we passed back and forth between us. I had every intention of officially asking her to be my girlfriend that night once the sun went down. I had every intention of kissing her and comforting her as she had me. But, the incalculable universe had other plans.
It happened so fast. The heron fled, and the bullfrogs fell silent. The water before us rippled violently, thrashing about from an unseen disturbance above. The dimming light of day exploded into a blinding radiance, and when my sight returned, I found myself elsewhere. The marsh was absent from before me. Emma was nowhere. I was nowhere.
My surroundings were cold and silent. I couldn’t even hear myself as I called out for help. I called for anyone, or anything, that would listen. But, sound didn’t exist where I was.
Everything was of a silver tint and had a foggy texture. Within the blurred textures, I witnessed the malice that the human race had introduced to planet Earth. War, hate, greed and violence were bold beneath Earth’s toxic atmosphere. But love and acceptance were barely identifiable.
The message before me, projecting itself against the foggy pallet, was clear. Humans had taken for granted a world of beauty, and turned it into their own playground of corruption and evil. The blurry texture then transitioned into an alternate life on Earth. The world was at peace, and cooperative with others from unfathomable distances. There was universal unity, and Earth was healthy and pure. It had recovered miraculously from the human race’s destructive nature and sickening instinctual habits. That’s when I realized that it was not a human race that inhabited this refreshed version of Earth. It was another race, far superior and intelligent than humans, who tenderly cared for their new home. They used it to utilize its natural aspects, and thrived in doing so. Peace reigned, but that peace came at a price. The price would be the totality of Earth’s current life. This peace could happen with humans as the permanent inhabitants of Earth, or…it could happen with others.
The message was loud and clear to me. I was then shown Emma. She was in what they described as a state of controlled unconsciousness. She was confined, yet unharmed; there wasn’t a scratch upon her. She would remain that way, not only until the message was delivered, but until permanent action was taken to create a peaceful world with humans as its inhabitants. This new race from elsewhere saw the potential in our planet that we hadn’t, or that we refused to work towards. To them, it would be a lost opportunity not to gain control of it. Earth was too perfect of a planet. And perfect planets, in their experience and travels, were rare.
So, the negotiations happened. I found myself before a sea of faceless entities. They were frail and spindly. Through my mind is how they communicated. I would be returned to the spot in which I was taken from; the muddy banks of the marsh. Emma would remain with them a great distance away, but close enough for them to keep watch. I would be given twenty years to make significant progress in carrying out the message, and making sure it came to fruition. In twenty years time, if significant changes were made, and the other race saw progress towards a peaceful world, Emma would be returned and they would leave us alone.
But, if in those twenty years nothing had changed, or if things had become increasingly worse to the point of being irreversible, it would be their turn with our planet. They would encroach from their idle spot in the abyss of stars, and shut down our satellites. The world would fall into a much deserved chaos, and then, the end of the human race would birth from within me.
The procedure was painless. Something was planted, inserted, under my skin. They barely explained to me what it was, only communicating that it would be beyond my comprehension, as no one on Earth had ever seen anything like it before. It would gestate inside of me for the allotted time, becoming perfectly whole, and be undetectable by any technology Earth could possess. In twenty years time, after the satellites that quietly orbited the Earth were rendered useless, I would birth the end of the human race, and they would settle in.
As dictated in the negotiations, I was returned to the marsh in the same blinding radiance in which I was taken. When the light faded, the warm summer evening was before me yet again. The sun had set, the bullfrogs croaked once more, and Emma was gone from the passenger seat of my car.
I drove frantically into town, grabbing the first police officer I came across. I was hysterical when I confessed what had happened to me, and that they had taken Emma. I begged for help, irrationally pleaded for instant peace, and warned the officer of our fates in which I had witnessed.
It was a lot to take in, even in a state of panic I knew that, so he placed me in the back of his car while he processed my claims. I watched him from the backseat as he meandered over to my car. He looked inside of it, and then back at me. I knew something wasn’t right when he unlatched his radio and began to speak into it. His eyes never once wandered from mine.
Within minutes, two more patrol cars arrived with their lights spinning. Crime scene tape went up around my car and before long, onlookers began to gather and officers kept them at bay. The officer that placed me in his car finally came back and spoke to me through the opened driver’s window.
He asked if it was the marsh at the edge of town that I was referring to. I told him it was, and then he took that information to another group of officers. Soon after, I was read my rights and taken to the county jail. I didn’t understand why I was being arrested; I had told them everything that happened. They said I had better get a lawyer.
In the weeks that followed my arrest, Emma’s parents had confirmed she was with me that night. They had also found blood in the front seat of my car that came back as a match for Emma’s. I was accused of murdering Emma and tossing her into the marsh for the gators to eat. I was convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
My constant and frantic warnings about the end of the human race hindered any chance I had at being considered a model inmate. I suffered incredibly for it.
As the twenty years painfully crawled by, I actually considered the state of my sanity. Had I imagined the entire abduction? Had I momentarily lost touch with reality and actually killed Emma? That seemed like more a stretch of the imagination than the story I went on record with. I believed in myself; I knew what happened. I was able to quickly push any contradicting thoughts I may have had about myself aside, and let the fear and worry take over again. I was imprisoned without an outlet to warn the masses.
Through what minimal television I was allowed, I watched the outside world crumble into unfixable pieces. I watched as sightings and abductions increased over the years. They had become so overwhelming that even the government couldn’t pretend to hide them anymore. Earth was being visited frequently. They were checking on us, checking on the status of the message.
Visiting somewhere isn’t random. You have to have a curiosity or interest in a certain place in order to visit. Think of how many people go on vacations, or visit places far from their homes, create an attachment to those places and say, “Yes, this is where I want to be.”
I warned them, but nobody wanted to listen. And now I stand here in my cell, twenty years to the day after I was taken, watching the lights in the cold metal hallway flicker. A soft hum of electricity vibrates through the steel bars as I grip them. I can feel the rumbling bloom, becoming more detectable with its vigorous complexion. Our time was up. We had failed. I had failed.
A guard down the way shouts in anger as his precious cell phone sputters to its death. Explicit words spew from his mouth and he unlocks the hallway door to call for someone with a charger, foolishly thinking that would help. I can hear his voice echoing through the hollow row that fourteen others reside in aside from me.
The lights flicker again, and then go out for good. The fourteen men who accompany me in the hall begin to erupt in curious dialogue. A sense of unnerving confusion elevates inside of each of them. Their confusion grows into panic, and finally the realization that the power was out; their cells were no longer electronically locked.
As they figure this out and open their cage doors, a slew of guards race in with guns drawn. Shouting erupts, and eventually so does gunfire. As the guards and inmates battle to a bloody end, I begin to feel lightheaded. I feel cold and all wrong. The prison walls begin to shake; crumbling pieces of rock and drywall crash to the floor, and the alarm system explodes. The deafening siren is short-lived and dies almost as quickly as it begins.
My heart flutters and my skin tingles with stomach-churning anticipation. I can feel it behind my eyes, now gnawing on my brain. My nerves snap and my vision instantly turns red. I feel my skin split apart at every joint. My bones crack, and bloody muss pours to the floor. I lose my balance and collapse into the gushing crimson bath.
Screams from inside of me bellow out, and I know they’re not my own. I’m fading, but still aware of the sharp, slimy appendages ripping out from every single one of my joints. Blinding pain overwhelms me, but once my spine snaps, I feel nothing. I have no control over my own body as it’s lifted off the ground by the razor sharp accretions jutting out of me. Two of them, equipped with hooked talons, snap the cell bars like twigs and they carry me out. I’m facing the ceiling, unable to move, and hearing the discord between the world and its new keepers.
I close my eyes as the roars and screams become too much to endure anymore. A single tear drops from my eyes as I drift away. I think of the world as it was, as it could have been, and now as it would be. We failed. I failed.
My last thoughts were of Emma. I wondered what would become of her now. Was she still in a controlled state, unharmed and awaiting the outcome that would never happen? I hoped she was still unharmed; still without a scratch upon her. I wished for her…
…wait…not a scratch upon her. Then how could her blood have been in the car? That blood is what balked my ability to spread the message. I was imprisoned, not given a fair chance to tell the world what would happen. Unless…
…unless the smarter, and more intelligent species that now began to flood the Earth always intended on taking it. The message was never meant to be spread…it took twenty years for whatever was tearing out from inside of me to fully gestate. I was nothing more than a host for this creature to help eliminate the human race.
This was always going to happen…
Credit : Scott Donnelly
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