“It was a cold November night. A blinding light came from my room’s window, so bright at first I thought it daylight.
Outside, the woods had come alive. Someone screamed in the trees, someone ran aimlessly.
The mountains, fading beneath the light, trembled in the darkening sky. I looked outside my window. It passed above my head, bright as a comet, and crashed in the Harrington field.
The door to my room opened with a bang, making me jump. On the doorstep stood my mother, out of breath, holding two screaming children, pale like never before in that hellish blaze.
“We must go,” she said, reaching out her hand. It had been 47 seven years since the last time she had come to the Earth. We all knew why she had returned; there was always one only reason for her visits. She was hungry.
She who for generations had ruled over our timid world of farmers, since the time of species now forgotten. She who could take any form and use any power. She who, with her army of smooth, violet skin beings and their long heads and skeleton bodies, raided our people, taking us with her. Those who left would never make it back.”
The old man drank a long sip of hot milk before resuming his tale. “Running or hiding would have been pointless; no one could escape her. All we could do was hope not to be chosen. We walked to the field in single file. After all the commotion, the panic, the long march to the abattoir; the air was heavy with such a deep silence that it weighed on the stomach.
She took them all, from first to last. Sixteen thousand souls. Including mom, Robert and Judith.”
“And you, grandpa? How did you manage to escape?” asked one of the boys, his brow furrowed by doubt. There was a long pause. The old man rocked in his chair, with his guant features and drops of milk clinging to his white moustache, and looked outside the room’s window.
“I never said I escaped.”
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