Friday, 21 December 2012

#FridayFlash - They're Here

It's early Friday morning and folk everywhere are running around, panic buying like the world's gonna end. I guess in some parts of the world it's already late in the day so maybe it is gonna end. I can't stand the hustle, so I go to my usual bolt hole - the diner on Forth Street. It's a tacky little dive on the edge of town, all cracked red vinyl seats and streaky chrome fittings, but it's warm and the staff are nice. It's empty aside from a homeless guy warming himself by the heater, so I make for my favourite booth. Macy pours me a black coffee and fixes me a waffle with syrup.

"You ok, hon?" She's about fifty, with a bright red beehive and purple eyeshadow. Looks like some kind of retro cartoon character who never left the 1950s. She's like the kind of mom I wish I'd had, if mine hadn't been crazy.

"I guess."

"All this stuff gettin' to ya, huh?" She vaguely waves at the window and I watch a man run past carrying a small flatscreen TV. I've no idea what good he thinks that'll do him in the apocalypse but maybe he just wants to watch it all on the news.

"I just wanted to get away from these end of the world nuts. I've had this all my life, I don't need everyone coming out with it at the same time."

Macy raises an eyebrow and leans forward across the counter. I scoot across the booth and take up a seat opposite her. I tell her all about my mom's theory, about the aliens. She always said the world wasn't gonna end today, it was just that the world was gonna end as we knew it. She even reckoned that’s what the REM song was about. You learned to never ask what she meant, 'cause that's what got her started on about the aliens. Said she'd been abducted back in '73, and they didn't take her to a spaceship, said it was some kind of ancient ruin. Sounds like the kinda thing you'd see Indiana Jones running about in. Anyways, she'd get on her high horse and start saying the aliens had always been here, and the Mayans knew all about them. Hell, some of them probably WERE aliens.

I finish my story and drain the last of my coffee from the chipped mug. Macy gives me a funny look and leans closer, so close I can smell her lavender perfume. She waits until the homeless guy shuffles out.

"Your mom weren't wrong".

"What?"

"The aliens ain't invading, hon - they never left. They're just coming out of hiding."

For the first time, I notice her eyes - yellow irises, flecked with red. That ain't normal. When she moves her sleeve rides up and I see the tattoos on her arm. Some kind of marking, looks like the kind of Inca art I saw on the Discovery channel once.

"So all this end of the world crap is real?"

"Oh yes. Well, not for me." Macy smiles that strange crooked smile of hers.

"I suppose you're one of 'em, huh?"

"I am. I already saw you clocked the tattoo. Got it when I was eighteen. Jeebus, that was over 1300 years ago. Bet you're wonderin' why I dress like this, huh?"

"I'm wonderin' a lot of things, Macy."

"I just like the style, I guess. Anyway, all this ain't just a new beginning for me, hon. It's the same for you."

"Huh?"

"Your mom did meet us in 1973, only it weren't no abduction. She met your dad in 1972, and he was damned smitten by her. Took her to meet everyone back at the Prime Colony, only she couldn't take the truth and she went a bit crazy. After that, we scattered, and didn't try to start nothin' with the humans."

"So where does that leave me?"

"Don't worry, hon. Your dad'll come get you. It's time for you to go home."

“You’re sayin’ I’m an alien too?”

“Well half alien, hon. Guess that makes you legal.”

Macy winks and straightens up. She flicks the TV on and it's all over the news - total pandemonium. Looting, rioting, fires, everything. I head back to my booth, and eat my waffle. I try to feel something, some kind of panic, or fear, but somehow I can’t. I worry a bit about my mom but all I can think of is my dad. Humanity tears itself apart and I’m sat there wondering if I look like a guy I’ve never met – who isn’t even really a guy.

It’s a funny old world, ain’t it? And now it’s ending. Huh. Never saw that one coming.

13 comments:

Sulci Collective said...

ha, the way this started I immediately made the jump to Christmas shopping & shopping in the sales as people acting as if the end of the world was happening.

After that it made me think of Michel Faber's brilliant novel "Under The Skin" - don't know if you've read it?

marc nash

alisonwells said...

Great twists and turns in this. Like how the character just wants to ignore the whole thing but ends up being smack bang part of it!

Harry said...

Aliens bringing the end of the world gets a lot more interesting when you find out your own blood is alien adjacent. Cool idea and story, Icy!

John Wiswell said...

The "some probably were aliens" got me to smile on a morning when I needed it. Thanks Icy.

Tony Noland said...

Ah, this is pretty cool. The end of one world is the beginning of the next.

Larry Kollar said...

Harry said what I wanted to already. Is that diner local to you? It looks like one pulled out of time (by aliens?) from some little town along Route 66!

Helen said...

Nice twist - you sucked me in believing it was Christmas shopping. LOL

Peter Newman said...

Christmas, apocalypse and finding our you're an alien. That's three world endings right there! Did I miss any?

Cindy Vaskova said...

"Guess that makes you legal." Ha! Guess it does!

I really enjoyed this twist on the whole apocalypse tale, and the Christmas shopping hysteria! The tone worked well, the dialoge was great, the diner was lovely and Macy is cool! What more can one want from a story? ^^

JC Rosen said...

Nothing like discovering you have a large family waiting to take you in, especially on the eve of an apocalypse. Really enjoyed the dialogue in this piece. Each character's voice was clear and strong. Nice work.

Take care,
JC

Steve Green said...

Wow, that's some day of revelations.

Happy Christmas Icy. :-)

jackkholt said...

Soooo good! Loved this, Icy. I'm catching references to Men in Black, Independence Day, Indiana Jones, Poltergeist... any more?

Tim VanSant Writes said...

It is indeed a funny old world and I'm pretty sure this is just how it will end. ;-)

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