Author : Charlotte Lenox

She watched with tears in her eyes–they were going to fight again, this time too close to the spaceport. A massive, spidery one with corded, violet-blue legs stepped down into the valley, avalanches of snow following in its wake. The wall of windows she watched from shuddered and the rugged earth rumbled as another beast’s shadow passed overhead. Backing away, she almost fell into a row of seats near her boarding gate.

No one screamed because no one else was there.

Fresh terror suffused her as part of an indigo carapace cleared the spaceport and grazed her field of view. Memories filled her mind in rapid succession: the pale rime of the horizon, the skinned knees while playing on a lonely road, the clouds of mating swirls flickering at one another in the wind, her ear to the ground listening for her homeworld’s molten heartbeat. Then there were the deaths and fouling of the air when they appeared–from where, no one knew, or wouldn’t say. People had swamped spaceports (some had died in the press of bodies), taking with them whatever they could carry.

She had never left, and now never could. But then, she’d never wanted to leave her only friend behind. She had run away crying from her parents, and they had had left her behind. Her gate had been forever sealed weeks ago. By now, essentials were running out–food, clean air, time, sanity–but that didn’t matter, not anymore. The beasts collided with a heavy, spraying crash that painted the mountains burgundy.

A silvery crack bolted across the windows. Her scream finally filled her silenced world.

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