Author : Desmond Hussey

Sodium lamps paint the night phlorescent orange, reflecting off the oily, wet pavement. Vermin, human and rodent, litter the streets.

I took a wrong turn somewhere and find myself navigating the wretched slums of humanity’s cast offs looking for familiar territory. I glance over my shoulder and catch sight of a man – a dead ringer for Santa Clause without the jolly red suit – puke into his hands.

In the blink of an eye, he spews his dinner through the cracks of his fingers, barely managing to capture his false dentures expelled by the torrent of, what appears to be, curdled milk and beef-n-barley soup. With a quick flick of his wrist he sheds the heavier chunks from his false teeth, then jabs them back into his filthy maw. He doesn’t even break his stride. I look away, disgusted.

I turn a corner and nearly trip over another piece of street trash. Another native. Another waste of space.

“They’re hee-eer,” he hisses through lips crusty with scabs.

I pick up my pace.

A cab drives by, ignoring my frantic hailing.

When I turn around, a man stares at me from a shadow. Sickly orange light barely highlights the edges of his baseball cap and long coat.

“How many of us are left? That’s what I want to know.” His voice is strained. Tense.

I turn right and keep moving. He follows. “They’ve been raping us,” he spits. “And poisoning us and stealing from us, killing us – for thousands of years!”

Oh great. A talker. I’m about to become a sounding board for another conspiracy theory.

“I been thinking,” he growls. “I been thinking and I been watching. Keeping track of how many of us are left. Everyday there’s fewer.”

He becomes animated, loud and sarcastic. “‘What?’ you ask. ‘What of the burgeoning population? What of the billions of people you see everywhere, everyday?’” His voice lowers to a furtive whisper. “Let me tell you something.”

Here it comes.

“There is no population crisis.”

I knew it.

“At least not for humans. You wanna know something? Little known fact. The actual human population hasn’t changed since the Dark Ages. ‘How?’ you ask. I’ll tell you. People think an alien invasion is coming, right? Ha! Wrong. It’s already here. The whole global conquest thing happened, like forty thousand years ago. All those corporate cube farmers and sheeple are just human shaped shells. Just meat. Beasts to be ridden by their alien masters. History is a fucking fiction, man! Take a good look around. How many people do you really know?”

He stops walking to emphasize his question. “How many people do you REALLY know?” He jogs to catch up, keeping pace with me again. He’s getting manic.

“What for? The what for is – they’re milking every resource this planet has.” He fiercely ticks off fingers. “Oil. Trees. Precious metals. Water. Salt. Yeah, sea salt. Weird, right? This takes time. Even ET’s gotta sleep. You know the sickest part? They’ve convinced us, somewhere along the way, to help them pick our own bones clean for them. They’re just waiting. Waiting for us to get everything harvested, processed, organized, centralized, economized. Then they’re gonna swoop in and beam it all up, Scotty. Poof. Everything. Gone.” He gestures vaguely toward space. “Leaving us here to rot on broken pavement.”

He stops.

“I try telling people. They don’t believe me. Nobody believes me.” He yells as I walk away, “But I think you might.”

I do.

I’m not worried. We’ll be gone soon.


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