We're All Going...

Entry by: Alobear

15th April 2021
The ships just appeared one night.

We all woke up to giant shadows, one for each continent.

Nobody had seen them coming, not on long-distance radar, or via any of the many satellites up in orbit.

And nobody knew who was in them, looking down upon us from so high above. They sent no message, they revealed no intentions.

Of course, we sent the might of the world’s military up against them but their hulls were impenetrable. No weapon we possessed in our arsenal could render even a scratch.

And then people started disappearing. Nobody realised what was going on for days, even weeks. What were a few vanishing every now and then. With the world as it was prior to the arrival, that was happening all over the place anyway.

But the disappearances continued, with more and more of them happening in plain sight of other people. A shimmer would start to appear over someone’s head. And then it would move swiftly down their body to their feet and they would be gone. Even if they tried to run, it would follow them. There was no escape.

Our doom came upon us oh so slowly. The rate increased only until it was a few hundred people from across the world, every day. So few, and yet so devastating, once we realised it was going to keep happening. We had no idea where those people were going. But we knew, deep in our hearts, that we would all be going there. Eventually.

All those remaining of us could do was watch and count and track and wait. Waiting for it to be our turn to disappear. That was the hardest part. Never knowing when that awful shimmer might appear above the head of someone we loved. Or above our own head. It was worse than if whoever they were had obliterated everyone in one go, even if it had involved fire and pain. So much worse just to wait for the agonising slowness of the emptying of our planet to catch up to us.

My husband is gone now. My parents, vanished. My children, one after the other in a single morning, shimmering and fading right before my eyes. I tried to hold onto them, or at least be taken with them. But the shimmer knew its purpose and its targets. They slipped between my fingers, and I was left behind. There aren’t that many of us now. We have gathered in what groups we can bring together, pockets of survivors scattered over the globe. But there is no hope to be found and our supplies are dwindling.

Now, it’s just a question of whether we will be taken, or we will starve or freeze to death first. There are not enough of us left to maintain the systems of civilisation that have kept us in comfort for so long. We stare at each other, hollow-eyed, wondering when each of us will vanish from sight. And if, when we disappear, we will reappear somewhere with all our friends and family, relocated for some reason to a better place. That is the only thought worth hanging onto at this point. As unlikely as it may be. Even oblivion would be better than this endless waiting.

A man at my side gasps and points above my head. I look up to see the shimmer starting. I raise my arms towards it, reaching for my destiny. And, for the first time in a very long time, I smile.