Okay, I’ve been putting this off for months now but here it is. Here is my short story, this is the first ever short story that I have written. This is the first thing that I have written that I have been brave enough to post to the public. I am putting myself out there because I have to, well I have to eventually and someone once said “there’s no time like the present.” And yes I know that isn’t the entire quote but oh well, here is my short story. I hope you enjoy and please be nice, my feeling are very fragile right now.
Fines Terrae (Ends of Earth)
Jewel sat staring out the window. She never expected the apocalypse to look like this; she expected the burning, collapsed buildings and people running around like chickens with their heads cut off and all the screaming but not aliens.
There was a noise behind her making her flinch. “What are you doing? Didn’t you hear me calling you?” Her twin brother Jeff said making her blush from embarrassment. “Sorry, no I didn’t hear you. How could I with all of that going on outside?” She replied gesturing towards the outside world behind the window. “Whatever, we have to get going, there was a bioship spotted coming this way.”
He handed her a specially made gun that was made to paralyze instead of killing because up to this point aliens were not the ones that were hostile. Sadly, the war zone that was once called New York was created by humans. Humans were the first ones to attack by bombing and shooting at the flying saucers, at the time they didn’t realize they were only damaging their own land. So Jeff and his nerdy friends created guns that only stunned the victims. They really only wanted to escape, not to hurt anyone.
“Grab your toothbrush and let’s go save the world,” he said throwing her a smile. Grabbing her backpack off the dirty floor she hurried behind him out the door. “We’re trying to save the world now? I thought we were just trying to survive in it.” She said to the back of his head. “Well we’re saving our own little worlds by getting out of New York.”
None of their small group was really ready to leave the temporary safety of the house yet but they had no choice. They had to run if they wanted to survive.
Their once large group was now just five people. Most of the others either left to run with their families or got caught in the crossfire. Jeff was the only family Jewel had left and she would do whatever it took to hold on to that. Andy, Luke and Cam were mostly stragglers that became friends.
Everyone held their guns in front of them ready to shoot anyone or anything that crossed them. They learned quickly that the people that were left in their world were no longer humane. They no longer looked after each other, now everyone was out for themselves. Killing for food and scavenging from the dead bodies that littered the grounds they walked on.
The only reason Andy, Luke and Cam were with the twins was because they were desperate. Jeff saved Andy from getting shot by a man that was trying to steal his food. Luke and Cam are cousins and they both saved Jewel from a group of rowdy teenagers. They were mostly after her weapons and food but who knows what else they would have taken if they caught her.
“Ready?” Luke called out before flinging open the door, not giving anyone a chance to respond. The rest of the group waited until Luke gave the signal that everything was clear. It felt like an eternity before he waved them out.
Jewel was the last to exit the building. Her eyes grew wide at the very sight of what the world has come to. “Where is everyone?” Andy asked. “I don’t like this silence,” Cam said in her squeaky voice. The street that was just filled with people running and screaming was now completely empty. Everything seemed eerily silent.
“Let’s just keep moving,” Jeff said reaching out and pulling Jewel behind him. “Don’t leave my side,” he commanded making her roll her eyes. They made their way down the street slowly. Cam and Jewel were crushed in the middle with all the guys surrounding them.
There was a loud humming sound from above them making them all jerk. The air around them started to glow and dust started swirling like a mini tornado. “Run!” Jeff yelled, as he grabbed Jewels hand and pulled her out of the light.
There was so much dust in her eyes she couldn’t really see anything. There was a piercing female scream behind her and she tried to turn towards it but Jeff stopped her. She knew it was Cam and knew they had to do something. “We can’t save her now.” Jeff said, pulling Jewel down a deserted alley. Luke and Andy were close behind them each stopping to catch their breaths.
“What happened to her?” Jewel asked, running to peak around the corner from where they came. “It looked like the bioship took her,” Luke said wiping a tear from his eye. Cam was the only family he had left and she was just taken right in front of him. “I didn’t think the aliens were dangerous.” Andy said pressing a button on his gun making it hum to life.
“We don’t know that they are dangerous.” Jewel said watching the bioship scan the surrounding area. “What are you talking about? They just took my cousin, she’s all the family I have left. Of course they’re dangerous.”
“You don’t know that.” Jewel said facing her group for the first time. Jeff stepped around her and gently pushed her further into the alley and away from the corner. “What are you saying, Jewel?” Jeff asked using his gun to look around the corner Jewel was just at. “I’m trying to say, we don’t know if they’re dangerous. Cam could still be alive .”
“Yeah, and how would we find that out?” Luke scoffed, kicking a rock with his shoe. “I don’t know but you can’t just assume she’s dead.”
“What if they’re experimenting on her?” Andy shrieked before he cleared his throat repeatedly and blushed. “Oh come on, don’t tell me you’re one of those people that actually believes they go around probing people.” Jewel rolled her eyes while she adjusted the strap on her backpack before taking it off to relax her shoulders.
“Enough, Jewel none of us know what they do. Why are you always defending them? Do you know something we don’t?” Jeff asked not looking at her or anyone else because he was still watching the bioship around the corner. Then the bioship seemed to disappear before his eyes. It’s a well known fact that the bioships can teleport from place to place at near light speeds. Meaning they could be anywhere at anytime.
“All I know is they have never harmed humans before,” Jewel said holding her arms out wide. “You don’t know that for sure though. All forms of communication have been down for at least two months. They could have started killing by now.” Jeff said glaring at her.
“Jeff, look out!” Luke screamed as all three of the remaining members of the group aimed their guns upward. Jeff turned his head around to see the bioship moving over him.
Andy looked behind them to see the end of the alley looking back at him. “It’s a dead end back there man, we’re trapped here.”
“What do we do?” Jewel cried out. The light beamed down covering Jeff’s body, she could see the fear in his eyes. “Get her out of here,” he screamed as his body started to lift off the ground. “No!” Jewel screamed as she plunged herself forward knocking Jeff aside and out of the light.
The impact of the hit knocked Jewels gun out of her hands and it skidded away. She watched as Andy and Luke grabbed Jeff and dragged him away from her. She felt weightless as if gravity wasn’t working then she realized she was floating. Her long reddish brown hair was floating all around her making her look like she was swimming. She heard the same humming sound she did the last time but this time it was more intense. The swirling all around her was getting rougher making her hair whip all around her. Looking up she could see the ship getting closer to her.
A tear spilled down her face looking down at her brother. She didn’t know what was going to happen to her but she couldn’t just watch him go. She would gladly take his place here no matter what that meant.
There was a loud clanking noise right above her head and then the sliding of a door opening. As soon as she was inside the ship the doors slid closed. Feeling the weight of her own body again was enough to make her collapse to the floor. Fear immediately shot through her making her veins feel like ice water was moving through them.
Everything she saw was a gunmetal gray color. It made her feel cold. The air cut through her loose sweater making her feel almost naked. Wrapping her arms around herself she tried to stand but was too afraid to move. Where would she go anyway?
She was in the sky, so trying to escape meant falling to her death. Which wasn’t something she wanted to do at least not today. Her body finally started to feel normal and less heavy so once again she attempted to lift herself up.
On shaky fawn like legs she stood to her feet and began to move around the room. There didn’t appear to be any doors or windows, just solid gray walls. Then suddenly one of the walls slid open.
A small yelp escaped Jewels mouth before she had a chance to stop it. She jumped back too quickly tripping over the lip of the door she came in. Before she could hit the ground she felt hands on her waist, steadying her. She was face to face with an alien. It had large black eyes that looked to be the size of a human fist, a tiny nose and a mouth that was filled with razor sharp teeth. It was bald and wore a long cloak that spilled out around it’s feet, covering its body completely.
A scream was bubbling up in her throat but before she could open her mouth to release it, the alien let her go. It held its hands out in front of it as if it were surrendering. Confusion clouded every emotion she had at the moment and it made it very difficult to think.
It gestured to her to follow it through the disappearing door. The only other choice she had was to stay in that room and jump to her death, if that door even opened again. So she followed it.
Her arms were still wrapped around herself protectively. Her body was adjusting to the cold climate inside the ship but holding herself like this made her feel better. The long hallway they entered was also gray with no doors or windows, that were visible to her. “What are you going to do with me?” She whispered so softly she barely heard it herself. The creature did not answer her, it just kept walking down the long never ending hallway.
“You got my friend earlier. Is she okay?”
The thing still did not answer making Jewel wonder if they could speak at all. Before all communications ended she never heard anyone say anything about one of them speaking.
“Your friend is okay,” said a voice in her head. A loud squeak came out of her mouth as she looked around trying to figure out where that came from. It sounded like it came from her head but she knew that couldn’t be right.
The alien in front of her stopped abruptly almost making Jewel run into them. A door suddenly opened beside them and the creature turned and went inside, waiting for Jewel to follow. She hesitated a moment before following.
The room inside was very large and very gray. There were a few beds along the walls, almost making it look like an oversized dorm room. There was an actual door on one wall but it was closed so Jewel couldn’t see what was inside. On one of the beds sat a small dark haired girl. “Cam!” Jewel shouted making the girl jerk her head towards her voice. “Jewel?” Cam whispered so quietly Jewel almost didn’t hear her.
They raced forawrd embracing each other tightly. Even though it had only been a few minutes since they last saw each other it felt like it had been decades. “What is going on?” Jewel whispered in her ear. “You know as much as I do,” Cam replied letting her go.
“I just wanted you to see that your friend is okay. Now please follow me.” The voice said in her head once again. “Where is that coming from?” Jewel asked looking at Cam for an answer.
“What are you talking about? Where is what coming from?” Cam asked, looking at her like she had gone crazy. Cam was watching her carefully with one eyebrow raised in confusion.
“You didn’t hear that?”
“Only you can hear me,” it said and then Jewel realized it was coming from the alien standing before them.
Her eyes grew big and her body felt heavy. She was communicating with an alien in her head. “Jewel, what’s wrong with you? Where’s Luke and the others?” Cam asked shaking her shoulders roughly anger filling her voice. The alien stepped forward making Cam jump back against the wall and Jewel fell to the floor. It was now standing in between the two girls as if it was protecting her. Cams eyes wandered from the big-eyed alien to Jewel and back again. Everyone in the room was watching each other with no one knowing what to do.
As quickly as Jewel could she gathered herself up again. The alien turned towards her and guided her towards the door. “Wait where are you taking her?” Cam shouted jumping away from the wall and running towards them.
Faster than either of the girls could register the alien put its hand up in the air in front of Cam. Before Cam could stop herself the alien waved its hand and she flew backwards hitting the metal wall behind her. Jewel tried to run back to her but the alien grabbed her and shoved her out the door.
“What just happened? What did you do to her?” Jewel demanded backing away from the alien. “She was going to attack me, I simply defended myself.”
“You defended yourself from an unarmed girl by throwing her against a metal wall? She could be hurt.”
Tears filled Jewels eyes as she realized her brother was right, she had no idea if they have been killing people. “She is fine.” It said before walking down the hall away from her. Without thinking she turned and and walked behind it.
“Where are you taking me?” She asked with more menace in her voice than she had the first time she spoke around it. “I want to show you something.” It replied quickly. “Why couldn’t Cam come too?”
“You are different.”
“We can hear the things that humans say from up here. You are the only person that has ever defended us.” This made Jewel stop in her tracks. The alien stopped ahead of her and waited to see if she would continue following. “You’re listening to us?”
“Do you kill people?” Jewel asked before she completely formed the question in her brain. “No, not even in self defense.” A smile played at Jewels lips when she realized she was right. She just hoped she saw her brother again one day to rub it in his face. “Now will you follow me?”
They finally made it to the end of the never ending hallway. The door slid open making a whooshing sound before they entered. This room was different from all the other rooms she saw so far. This room was floor to ceiling windows all around except for the door they just entered. All Jewel could see was blue cloudless skies all around her.
Stepping closer to the windows she could start to see the ground. It looked worse from up here, something she didn’t think was possible. There were no more skyscrapers towering over the city now everything was a large pile of rubble. There was black smoke billowing up to the sky in place of what was once buildings. A tear streaked down her face before she could stop it.
“Why do you cry?” The voice said in her head making her jump and quickly wipe away the tear. “It’s sad to see how far the world has gone. There’s nothing left here just death and despair everywhere you look.” She said turning to look at the creature before her. “This” it said gesturing to the disaster “was not our intention for coming to earth.”
“What were your intentions?” She asked looking at the thick smoke rising to greet them. “To help.”
“So you wanted to help us and we showed our gratitude by trying to blow you up?” She said sitting on the floor staring at the ground where her brother was running around somewhere. “Yes.”
“Well on behalf of all of earth, I’m sorry.”
“Why are you apologizing when you are the only one that defends us. You are the single only human that has not tried to attack me when you first saw me.” She couldn’t stop the tear that spilled again. She hated that she was crying because it made her feel weak but she felt so bad for what this creature was telling her. They came to help them and they tried to attack them destroying their own land instead.
“Do you have a name?” She asked feeling stupid for not knowing if she was talking to a guy or a girl or if they even had genders.
“I believe my name would closely translate to Zeek in the english language.”
“Okay Zeek, why are you telling me all of this?” Jewel asked standing up once again. “Because you are the only human I have ever been able to speak with in this way.”
“Why is that?”
“I do not know.”
There was some silence for awhile before Jewel spoke up again. “Why are all of you still here? Earth treats you badly, destroying everything you came to help us with. So why stay?”
“We have been here for nearly a decade. We have begun to look at earth as our home as well.”
“You’ve only been here a couple of months,” Jewel said, smiling. She could see why they would think they’ve been here for so long. It’s amazing that so much destruction could occur in such a short amount of time.
“You are wrong, Jewel.” Hearing Zeek say her name in her head was amazing. His voice sounded so metallic and different, she didn’t know why but it made her blush. “The truth is we have been walking among you for quite some time now. It was just recently that we decided to show you our true forms.”
“Your true forms? What does that mean?” Jewel was watching the mysterious creature as it walked around the room as if he was pacing. “You and I have met before. Don’t you remember the human boy Zeek you met at school last year?”
Jewel sat there racking her brain to think about her junior year of school and this boy Zeek that she met. When suddenly it hit her. Zeek was the exchange student that ended up leaving after only enrolling in her high-school for a couple of months. He was amazingly cute, with dark brown hair and bright blue eyes. He was tall but very shy, most everyone steered clear of him for some reason, except for Jewel.
She quickly befriended him and that friendship turned into a crush way sooner than she would like to admit. Jeff hated the boy from the moment he spotted him and told Jewel to stay away from him, but she didn’t listen.
He nodded his head and reached inside his cloak pocket, pulling out a colorful bracelet made of string. Jewel recognized it immediately. It was a keychain that was on her backpack a year ago. The human Zeek was fascinated by the braided pieces of string held together by a single metal loop, so she gave it to him.
She reached out and took the bracelet in her hands, feeling the coarse strings beneath her fingers. “It really is you” She said unable to believe what she was being told. “Yes.” He responded holding his hand out for the bracelet. She could still remember the smile that spread across his face when she put it on his wrist.
“Why did you look human then?” She asked handing the keychain bracelet back to him. Zeek reached back into his cloak this time at his throat. There was a loud beep and then his body began to shimmer and vibrate. Even stepping back a few feet Jewel could feel the vibrations coming from him.
Before her eyes the alien Zeek’s body began to morph into the Zeek she knew. A gasp escaped her mouth making her cover it with her hand. He looked completely human, he looked exactly the same from the short time she knew him. His bright blue eyes seemed to shine like a diamond in the sunlight. His hair was still dark brown and the perfect length for running her fingers through.
“We all wear a device that permits us to change into our human forms.” He said in the same voice that she remembered speaking to hours on end. “Sadly, we can only maintain this form for around eight hours.”
“So, that’s why you were never able to hang out much after school.” Jewel said finally able to find her voice. Zeek nodded his head slightly. “Why did you decided to show yourselves to everyone, Your true selves I mean.”
“It takes a lot of our energy to keep our human forms for so long and we didn’t like having to hide who we really are.” Jewels head was swimming with questions but she could only think to ask one.
“Why are you telling me all of this, Zeek?”
“Because I think you can help us.”
“Help you, how?”
“You can help the world see we’re not evil. You can make everyone see that we come in peace.”
“How do you propose I do that? No one is going to listen to me, I’m only eighteen years old.”
“I’m afraid you are the only chance we have.” He said holding his hand out to her. She reached out without thinking clasping her hand in his. She was amazed how smooth his skin felt, how human he seemed.
“Zeek, the people that are left in the world aren’t humans anymore.”
He let go of her hand, “I do not understand.” Confusion showing on his face. “They’re all evil and all they will want to do is kill you. They don’t care that you come in peace because they no longer know what peace is.”
His face fell holding the saddest expression she had ever seen. “Then I guess I can no longer stop them.”
“My people have been wanting to fight back, to just take the earth but I wouldn’t let them. Because of you.”
“Because of me?” She asked, fear crossing her face. “I couldn’t in good conscience let everyone be destroyed knowing that you were still there.”
“Zeek, what are you saying?”
“What I’m saying my precious Jewel, is that as of right now, everyone on earth is going to be eradicated except for you.”
“What you can’t, please my brother is still down there.” Jewel said tears springing to her eyes. She thought she was saving him by taking his place on the bioship when in actuality she just doomed him. “Your brother never liked me and threatened me on more than one occasion.”
Zeek stepped over to one of the windows and pressed his palm against it. A screen popped up and he began pressing buttons everywhere. “What are you doing?” She asked in a small voice stepping closer to him.
“I’m giving the orders to begin the extermination of all your kind.”
“You can’t! Please don’t do this.” Jewel said grabbing onto his hand and pulling him away from the screen. He let her pull him away from the screen. “It it too late, it has already been done.” He reached up tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
“Why would you go through so much trouble to get me? Why didn’t you just kill us all?” She shouted letting the tears run down her face.
“Because I love you.” He said tilting his head to the side like a confused dog. There was a loud boom that shook the entire ship making Jewel stumble. Zeek reached out steadying her once again. She ran to the window in time to see a shock wave expanding out into the horizon turning everything in its wake black. “What was that?”
“That was the bomb I dropped hitting the ground.” Zeek said so matter of factly. “What? Why did you do that? My brother was still down there.” Jewel said crumbling to the ground and wrapping her arms around herself securely.
“Your brother is dead now along with everyone else on earth. You are the only human left in existence we even sent your little friend back down to the ground first.”
“What? Cam? You had her sent back down to earth just so you could kill her?” Jewel said anger filling her to her core. “Yes, we even made sure she found her cousin. I’m sure it was a happy reunion.”
“You’re a monster.” Jewel said running forward ready to fight. Zeek swiftly caught her and held her tightly against his chest with her hands crushed in between them. In the past she would have loved for him to hold her like this but not now, not anymore. “Humans were the real monsters, except for you, of course. And now you are all that’s left of earth and you belong to me.”