She noticed a purple cloud floating toward her. Unable to move, her heart pounding, eyes wide she knew what was next. The hit from the nerve ray had left her unable to move and with the knowledge these were her last few moments. So many times she had seen what was left of someone. So many times she helped eviscerate what was left of the body. As it grew closer she noticed the flecks of blue, pulsations and waves that intertwined in the cloud. There was a strange yet deadly beauty to it.
As it grew near, the noise started. Buzzing, not quite like insects yet not like electricity either, growing louder as the cloud floated innocently towards her. It reminded her of watching clouds across the sky in her home planet. Clouds, beautiful and strange, coming across the sky, unsure of the malicious content they might contain towards the end. Clouds that used to carry water contained acid, growing more erosive, then eventually, taking the skin. These were her reasons for leaving. Finding someplace else, possibly finding a cure for the ills of her planet. But someplace else wasn’t always welcoming to others. And they didn’t leave welcome wagons, in fact, they left bodies behind as warnings. Don’t come back and tell everyone what we’ll do if they come. But the desperate with no place to go can only keep moving.
As the cloud moved near, the noise grew louder and the colors began to change. She noticed the size of the cloud began to grow but there was a strange tingling in her feet. The feeling was coming back into her body! “MOVE!” her thoughts screamed, dragging her limbs until she got to her hands and feet. Five feet to her pod, five feet and she might be safe from the beam, ‘five feet’ she hoped as she got to her feet and took her step towards the pod, seeing the shadow of the cloud in front of her, and then nothing.
@2013 Jennie Olson Six