The skies bled dark. And First Contact was unfurled in monuments of intent, as unfathomable in their science as the cold silence that had preceded their arrival.

And even before the news broke, we knew they were here to kill us.

There was nothing they wanted, the politician said through a firework of light, and all we could do now was to offer our cooperation around the whole extinction process. It wasn’t personal. He said. It was just business.

Refusal wasn’t optional. He said.

And it’s funny, I can see now that life carries on clinging to the sides of the upturned bottle even when there is no hope left.

The sun came up the day after. And even though we knew we were all crawling through the final remnants of our lives, we still needed to breathe.  To pee.  To eat.  So we got up too, and went to work. Everyone did. It wasn’t like we wanted to, we just didn’t know what else to do.

Sam asked Jessica out. Finally. And Mr Doughan gave us all a massive pay rise and bought a Tesla. My parents drove their caravan all the way from Cornwall and parked outside my house. We had a barbecue when they arrived. In the street. They brought all the burgers from their freezer. The neighbours brought food and beer and paddling pools for the kids. I know their names. Now. We all leave our doors open. Now.

In Denmark, the farmers let all the cows go. No one needs to worry about buying milk anymore.

They say that routine can hold you when everything else falls apart. They took the cities first.  And some days I feel older than thought.

 

©2017 Jac Forsyth

 

image: fi.wikipedia.org

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19 thoughts on “Spaceman

  1. Wow. So sad. Reminds me a little bit of Five Years, but different. Despite all the sadness, there are beautiful things happening here. I was hoping it was all a lie, and that people would learn from the incident, but I liked the end very much. Is it based on your dream?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s funny how things can slip under the radar. If I had to save just one Bowie track it would be Five Years. I can totally see the parallels in this now.
    And yes, it was from my dream. Watching from the rabbit hole as the earth burned.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great idea to use the end of the world as a spotlight on the modern loss of community. The lines about knowing the children’s names and leaving doors open “now” were both powerful and tragic. Top stuff as always Jac.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So fluent and calm, and yet so damned! Terrific idea, very thought provoking. And the image of your parents bringing their caravan all the way up from Cornwall and parking outside your house… The rhythm of those sentences after the bleakness of the preceding paragraphs… Shame you stopped when you did! Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

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