Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

The worst thing about their weapons was the silence. They flickered like a strobe light but anyone caught in that beam had a layer of meat burned off for every flash. They melted like snowmen in a microwave but snowmen didn’t have bones or blood. And they didn’t scream like my daughter did. I’m all that’s left of my family now and this group of starving, dead-eyed refugees might be all that’s left of the human race for all I know. Communication devices have been black for over a year.

The aliens themselves didn’t scream, grunt, or shout. They didn’t even breathe. They appeared to communicate through sheer intuition or a form of telepathy that our scientists didn’t have time to figure out before the world ended.

The blue creatures moved quickly and silently. The ones that we’d managed to cut open were a dark blue, dense sponge of meat all the way through. No internal organs or circulatory system. It was a mystery why they’d assumed human form. Without bones or organs, they could probably be whatever shape they liked. They even had five fingers and toes. Maybe they were fabricated and we were used as a blueprint.

No face, though. Or Ears. Just a smooth blue skin covering their sexless bodies as they silently found us and exterminated us with those silent, horrifying weapons.

The sixteen of us huddling here in the dark underneath a shattered highway are starving. We haven’t seen a living plant or animal in a week. There’s plenty of rain to drink but I can’t be sure that it isn’t poisoning us. We aren’t military. We’re just a random group of people that ended up together after fleeing attacks. Mice that hid in the same place. Labourers, cooks, store-clerks, a data entry technician and me, a retired teacher. Well, I guess we’re all retired now.

If the aliens are prioritizing their victims by threat, we are low on the list. Sometimes I think that’s the only reason we’re still alive. Simply too pathetic to expend effort on at the moment. But they’ll get around to us soon enough.

There weren’t any demands when they showed up. Just a routing of our planet.

As we sit here under the jut of ruined asphalt listening to the rain, I think back to the battles I’ve seen, the people I’ve lost, and wonder how long we have left. I don’t feel like I’ll ever be full or dry or warm again.

I remember the first battle footage; our soldiers dying and screaming, our weapons making a frightening amount of noise. Our bullets just sank a few inches into their flesh and stopped. The ones we did manage to destroy didn’t panic the others. They kept coming like animated scarecrows. The aliens’ silent weapons and quiet advance worked against us morale wise. At first we seemed fierce but after the tide turned and it was only us crying and moaning, they seemed like the living embodiment of the end of our time here. Like a living eraser come to quietly smother us, to put our race to sleep.

Then I remember them working their way through our apartment and I have to stop thinking.

I don’t know if we’re being terraformed, mined, or just destroyed.

Perhaps they are the equivalent of oven cleaner and their makers will come down to live on a fresh planet.

The aliens could be standing right around the corner and we’d never know because they don’t make a sound.

I listen for silence and wait for the death that silence will bring.

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