Thursday, September 1, 2011

Short Story: Meeting an Extraterrestrial

I've recently joined the writers website, "Helium", and wanted to share my first entry to the creative writing category. Let me know what you think! I'm a little rusty, it's been a long time since I took up creative writing in earnest, so constructive feedback is appreciated!

Katherine pressed the dial on her navCom one last time, it responded with a beep and then auto shut off, its tiny display cold and dark.

“Now…it might be OK to worry a bit, Ryan.” She bit the top of her lips, and wiped the layer of sweat off her forehead. Katherine and Ryan had spent the last hour of the fading jungle light crawling through brush and vegetation taller than they could reach. Having lost their military issue machete in the drop, when Ryan’s line got wrapped around a twisting tree limb. He fought that for about 20 agonizing minutes before meeting Katherine back on the sweet ground.

“Wait, there it is again…Shh...” Ryan squinted…turning his head to the sound that raised the hair on his neck. “They told us we wouldn’t have to deal with them; they said this grid was clean!” His voice was low and Katherine detected the first trace of panic there.

“Well, we have to keep our heads on straight; did you see the tower before you hit the tree? We have to get our bearings here.” She would assume leadership now, she thought to herself, she would get them out of here alive. She’d never lost a squad member, and didn’t intend to start no-…
Just then a loud BANG broke the air like lightning, barely a hundred yards to their north. The noise split the air with a deafening vibration, and then was immediately followed by a whining, buzzing sound. It did not make Ryan feel any better.

Katherine: I don’t believe this; it only took them a few minutes?
Ryan: This Jungle is thick…maybe they didn’t see us.
Katherine: Let’s see what we’re up against, maybe there is only the one…
Ryan: OK, yeah OK, I’m taking the heavy stuff with me. If I don’t survive this, you can keep the-
Katherine: Shut it Ryan! We need to stay on task. Let’s go.

With that they crawled through molded jungle earth, rotting leaves, bugs that bit with a fury of 10 suns. They were in the heart of Grid 7, enemy territory. Their mission failing by the moment, they moved as quickly as they could manage to the direction of the crash.
They gained altitude on the hill marked ‘Overlook Point 2’ on their map. This was where they were to meet on evac, but plans were changing fast. The steady hum began low, vibrating the earth under their feet and slowly drowning out the sound of their voices.

“It’s getting hard to hear you, Kat…its close. I’ll go first.” Ryan said directly into Katherine’s ear. He squeezed her shoulder and with a wink, turned toward the top of the hill.
Technical Sergeant Katherine Jennings held her breath for a moment, then, slow crawled to the top of the hill to monitor his progress. Hopefully it was a still-born…like the first one. A smoking tangle of metallic material stronger than metal, jagged bits of debris floating above the felled vehicle like confused, robot flies. The electric tingle in the air as they approached with utter caution. The enemy was found partially in the seat, partially on the jungle floor. Twitching at both locations. If the chrome-like orbs on the side were indeed eyes, they seemed to recoil ever so slightly before they finished the job.

Ryan was now out of sight over the hill. There was a maddening silence that allowed her to hear the thumping of her heart in her chest, pressed to the ground. Just then, Ryan yelled out, “Katherine! GO!” His voice sounded small and desperate. The shock that then came was twice as loud this time. It came quick, and the violence uprooted the trees, the grass, even the dirt in every direction at once. Katherine felt her lungs crush under the weight of her own body, as she landed on a nearby tree. She lifted her head up, and watched in horror as her former squad member, Gunnery Sergeant Ryan Jennings, was no longer a man – but a scattering of rolling pieces on the jungle floor. Just then Katherine caught the movement out of the corner of her eye, the metallic turrets swiveled with the mechanical precision of a surgeon’s knife, fixing directly on her, as she froze in terror.

A million thoughts raced through her mind. A spinning real of film, every day of her life a vivid photo- her father, her lost sister… her first love...her child- left innocent and far away, cast aside into darkness. Her mind became at peace, as the whine of electro-pneudraulic death spun louder from the enemy before her. The hum drowning out all sound of the birds in the trees, the breeze through the grass.



Slayer said...

Well I´m afraid I´m not good enough in english to rate well your style, but I´m my opinion is a good tale. A bit short, maybe, but it´s good.

mobias said...

Thanks Slayer, i agree it could be longer. It was kind of a test to see if I could still manage to write at all... I might revisit this story to flesh it out more, add more back-story and action perhaps!

Thanks for the feedback!