What if the love of your life lost their mind, and their inability to show restraint during a time of crisis was putting your own life at risk?
What if a group were chasing after you, and one loud noise would give away your position and get you killed?
Would you risk hurting someone you loved to save yourself?
What if hurting them were your only option, and the future of humanity depended on YOUR survival??
James faces the same predicament in the following excerpt. To give you some context:
– James is locked in a hidden prison room.
– Zephrons are giant red aliens who invaded planet earth and enslaved whatever humans they chose not kill.
– The night of the invasion, a group of locals escaped to an underground military base. They were soon afterward indoctrinated by Colonel Fitz, who considers himself to be the new messiah. This scene takes place in that underground base.
– The zephrons are going to wipe out the rest of humanity in one day…
And James is the only person who can stop them.
* * *
James’ stomach grumbled loudly. He hadn’t eaten a good meal since before his sentence to the picking plant. He looked around aimlessly for something edible to distract him. Nothing. Only the doggie saucer of water. He took handfuls from it, desperately hoping for the water to trick his stomach. He began weeping as he drank.
“I wanna marry you,” said Penny.
James raised his head. Penny moved in, then began licking water out from the bowl. James crawled backwards then clutched himself and began to rock. He smeared dry the tip of his nose, then looked across the room to Spes’ cell.
“Do not worry, human. It will never-”
“Never what!” James screamed. He stood up, grabbed the prison cell bars, then shook them. “What do you want me to do? My best friend is dead, my dad is dead, and tomorrow morning, every human on the surface of the earth will be dead! And here I am.” He grabbed both sides of his hair and breathed chaotically. “Stuck in a prison cell, unable to do anything about it.” He squinted back at them and pointed his index finger. “And you idiots expect me to believe that this is God’s plan? That somehow my being here is going to help me conquer the zephrons?”
“Calm down, human. God knows-”
“God knows, God knows, you know what? God knows shit. That’s what I think. If you want something done you’ve got to do it yourself, period.”
A humming noise came from outside. The door started to creak open to the corridor, and Fitz entered in. He held the ring of keys.
“Well well well, traitor.” He walked over to James with the key ring in one hand, a rifle in the other. “I get your bicep, in case you were wondering.”
“What happened to Roy? What happened to your daughter?”
“I locked Penny up for disobeying me. She was hanging around that drunk loser after I forbid her to.”
“Why don’t you ask her?”
“Well? Did she tell you?”
“She’s a little kooky if you haven’t noticed.”
Fitz smiled. “Roy is dead.”
“From a bullet?”
James lowered his head. “Suicide.”
James looked back up.
Fitz grinned and pointed to himself. “That was all me.”
“You killed Roy?”
Just then, the ambulance sirens in the hallway began going off – the same that were triggered whenever someone stepped out from the elevator and entered the underground base. They were soon accompanied by the sounds of zephron howls. Human shrieks quickly followed.
“You led them back here!” said Fitz.
James tried to shake his head as Fitz raised his rifle.
“You led them-”
Janie ran in and tackled Fitz. The ring of keys dropped to the ground, but the rifle remained in his grasp.
“My king! My king! We have to go!”
Greg, Juan, and the other underground council members rushed in. They grabbed Fitz and carried him off his feet and out from the room, then turned towards the back end of the corridor. The keys remained in the middle of the room, unreachable by any of the now-fully exposed prisoners – the door to the secret prison had been left open. All the zephrons had to do was peak inside and James would be toast.
“Ahh!” screamed Penny.
James hurried over then hugged Penny’s face into his chest. He picked up a ratty, child-sized blanket and did his best to cover them both with it. He whispered into her ear as the loud, nightmarish yells echoed from the main room over to them.
“Penny, I need you to calm down,” he whispered.
She bit her lips into her mouth. “But what’s happening?”
The screams only intensified. So did the wild zephron howls. It was a slaughter – no doubt about it. James was nervous and scared, but knew that as long as everyone inside the secret prison area remained quiet, there was a good chance the zephrons wouldn’t bother leaving the main room. And even if they did, they were more likely to run straight past them and battle Fitz and his small army instead.
“Don’t worry – I just need you to be quiet. Can you do that for me?” James’ eyes flickered up. He noticed the hammer in the corner of the cell. “Everything is going to be okay.”
“James!” said Penny.
“Shh,” he whispered, then covered her mouth. “Be quiet, Penny.”
Soon he heard their loud, thumping footsteps echoing through the corridor.
“Hime-cared!” She blurted out.
James hugged her face into his shoulder. “Please… just, shhh.”
Penny struggled to break free as the monstrous roars grew closer. She began to move her limbs erratically, and screamed more muffled words. James struggled to keep her quiet, but she wouldn’t be still. Penny escaped his grasp.
“James! James! Promise you’ll marry me, James!”
He could hear the zephrons closing in. James crawled on his hands and knees over to the hammer. He picked it up, then gulped and looked at Penny.
“Say you love me! Say it!”
James grabbed Penny by the throat and shoved her down, back against the ground. His hand shook as he held the hammer over her forehead.
“Shut-up,” He pleaded through a whisper.
“JAMES!” Penny screamed.
“Don’t!” said Fides, from across the room.
“JAMES!” She shouted again.
James swung the…
* * *
Well, what would you do? I’d love to hear a variety of perspectives.
* And if you’re dying to know what actually happens, you can start by clicking here.
– Thomas M. Watt
- A New Kingdom
- alien invasion
- cult leader
- domestic abuse
- novel writing
- physical altercation
- short story
- Thomas M. Watt
- what if...