Author : Damien Krsteski

Just as I made my way next to an older lady on the pew, the general climbed on the stage. All the commotion died down, everyone’s ears eager to hear him speak. After some quieting down, he began, his tone as morose as the weather outside.

“My fellow citizens, in these dire times, know that your leaders are still among you.” Loud cheering greeted the introduction to what I knew would be a well-prepared speech.

“We have endured thus far and rest assured, victory will be ours.” More cheering ensued, to the point where I felt the urge to cup my ears. But I couldn’t, so I joined in, and clapped loudly myself. I found it rather amusing, if not somewhat pathetic.

“It has been seven years since the war began and although we have suffered great loss our spirits haven’t withered the least bit. We’ll rid ourselves of the abomination from the sky,” He pointed upwards and some people including the lady beside me gasped audibly.

Abomination from the sky? Really?

“Those creatures landed on our soil, on our very Earth, drinking our water, polluting our air.”

At around this time I must have dozed off since I can’t recall anything more. I sat there, breathing the stale air of the church, measuring the pauses between each cacophonous cheering of the edgy crowd. The woman seated beside me must have noticed how distracted I was and leaned towards me.

“I lost my oldest sun in the war,” she whispered, the general’s voice echoing all around us. “At the battle of Midland. His captain said he died as a true hero, bringing down a dozen of those slimy scum with him as he went.” She produced a silver medal from her coat pocket. “Two generals drove up to our house to personally hand me this.”

I took it from her hand, trying to feel up the metal but all that skin rendered the attempt futile. I will never get used to those sacs. I handed it back to her, nodded and offered my condolences.

Around that time the general was finishing up with the speech, calling for more endurance, more faith in their country. The time had come. People all over the church stood up, raising their fists in approval. I gave one last look at the crowd, trying to memorize as many faces as I could and savor the moment. With one click of a button the whole scene vanished.

I woke many miles away, rid of human skin but with a horrible migraine. Wrapping one tentacle around my neck, I massaged the spot up and down.

A small inconvenience for a job well done. Get some rest then get on with the next one. Although before I do so, I think thirty-seven skin-sacs deserves a silver medal too. I must remember to mention it to the suits, I’m positive it’ll look great on me.

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