I watch them squabbling like vermin. Vicious, pathetic vermin. 3 months ago they arrived, answering the beacon. In 2 months they exhausted the food.
Like vermin they have numbers, so I watch, I wait.
In the first month, they harvested rocks, heating them with their weapons, to survive the bitter night. They tried, they failed, to repair the catastrophic damage done to their ship by the rock fall. The second month they found the ship that hailed them, the beacon silent, its job done.
Now they fight, bicker about scraps.
So much meat on them when they arrived, my mouth watered at their scent. But alone, against many, I could never claim the spoils.
So I wait, let Mother Trised, show them the despair in her barren embrace.
They didn’t see me, they never do, so eager to salvage and escape. Then too hungry, too desperate to really look.
Yet I watch them every day, silently.
The first explosive anger is sweet, the rock lifted as the words get louder, fiercer, then the wet crunch, red nectar spilling across the scarred jagged ground.
The remorse, the hushed voices, the desperation, and then the inevitable feasting.
Some of the vermin vomit, retching on their knees. They’ll be next to feed their pack, no stomach for survival.
Patience is hard, my insides clench, envious of every morsel that passes their lips, but one by one they fall.
The fights stop as does the pretense. They look hungrily to the weak. When the first death in the night occurs, no anger, no violence, just quiet, desperate hunger, I know my time is soon.
From many, to a handful, of weakened pathetic shadows.
I walk tall into the shelter of their ship, and their eyes seem uncomprehending, confused, one tries to attack me, a rock in its fist, but I step aside, letting it fall, gripping its head, I twist, and the crack echoes. The next, sleeping and wretched are similarly dispatched.
The final, sits in a chair in what remains of their ship, it makes sounds, but I do not understand, I never understand. I drive my fist into its stomach, claws easily tearing the weak flesh and pull from it wet glistening food, cramming it to my mandibles.
It watches me, its entrails slipping through my hand as I force more and more into my hunger.
I am Mother Trised’s only child, cursed on her bountiless rock, scorched by deserting children, the last of my kind.
Knowing that she would cease sustaining them my people built huge ships, thousands upon thousands like me deserted her, and I watched from my cell, not one tear did I shed. Not one moment of sorrow, these cowards who forgot our lore, who forgot the tenets of our faith “Mother Trised will provide”.
I alone spoke out, I alone kept my faith, I alone tried to stop the ships being built, to destroy them, until they imprisoned me.
In final indignity my cell turned stasis chamber as the ships burnt and irradiated all that was left of worth from Mother Trised’s surface, obliterating our existence.
When I woke, broke free of my imprisonment, there was nothing.
I saw the first vermin arrive in their ship, wanting to scavenge from Mother Trised. I smashed their ship with her rocks. I hid, I waited, I feasted.
As this vermins eyes close, I walk to the remnants of the control desk, ripping free the cover and pushing the salvaged power cell to the beacon.
More will come.
I kept my faith, Mother Trised will provide.
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
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