Author : Ellen Couch

I guess there are two things I really remember from that time. The noise, and the feeling of the blood running down my hands.

What was it like? Are you for real? Well, if you really want to know…

When we saw the silver people in their little ship the world went crazy. Some folks were straight down to the park, rollin’ out the welcome wagon. Some got theyselves in bunkers. No idea what happened to them- maybe they’re still there. Maybe they didn’t get ‘cured’ like the rest of us.

Yeah, cured. That’s what the silver people said. Told us they had been watching us. There was so much suffering in our world, they wanted to help. To serve mankind…You ever see that show? Prob’ly not. Never mind. It freaked me the hell out, is all as you need to know. I went back to my apartment, packed a few things, headed out of town. Didn’t do no good, no how. When they opened people’s minds so we could read each others’ thoughts, they did it to the whole damn planet.

Things were very, very bad for a while. All those secrets, spillin’ out to anyone around you. A lot of people did a lot of things they regretted later, includin’ me. A lot more people died- because someone else found somethin’ out, or because it was the only way to stop the noise. So much noise. It’s hard to think straight with so many people talkin’ at you, and no way to block it out. You got no idea- trust me, man, you don’t want no idea what it was like.

The silver people said they could teach us how to block out all but what we wanted to hear. For a price, o’course. They wanted the planet- said their own had got all used up, oh, so sad. And the governments- what was left of ‘em- they agreed! I s’pose they didn’t think we had a choice.

Yeah, it was clever, thinkin’ about it. One little ship full of guys, and they get us to do their dirty work for them. Two weeks later, thousands of them silver people turned up.

But they didn’t know about- you know, that plant we brought with us? That. Didn’t have nothin’ like it. I was one of the first realised it cleared your head real good- then a group of us found that the silver people couldn’t hear us if we was high. Weren’t too hard to steal one of those little silver ships, when they couldn’t see what we was plannin’. The silver guy we tied up was a living instruction manual.

We found this place about a month after we left. Told your guys we didn’t want no trouble, just somewhere to stay. You don’t think like us. It’s a relief. No noise.

Naw, man, it’s OK. S’been a while, we’re pretty sure they ain’t followed us. But we’ll keep our little garden growin’, and an eye on the sky. Just in case.

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows