I was ghostwriting a nonfiction book for most of February, so I didn’t have much time to work on my own stuff. Here is something I wrote a while back and just dusted off. It’s a dialogue inspired by Europe After the Rain II by Max Ernst. I hope the formatting holds up here!
“We Remain” – by Lori Laleh Goshert
Are you? I didn’t think…
I haven’t seen anyone in three days! I mean, you know, not alive…
Me neither. I thought I was the only one.
Everyone is gone…
How did you survive?
My brother pushed me into the basement when they came. Then I heard him… I heard him… he didn’t even sound human when they were… when they… killed him. I passed out. When I woke up, the house was torn apart and everyone was dead. I had fallen behind a pile of boxes. They missed me.
I was fixing the crawl space. Somehow they overlooked it. I wish…I wish…
That they killed you too?
I know. I should have gone to help my brother.
You couldn’t have saved him.
I know. But…
Um… can you… ?
I’m sorry. But can you hold me? Just for a second.
Of course, come here.
Seems I needed it too. I can’t believe they’re gone…
So many bodies! Bodies without…
I think they took all the heads with them.
I don’t know.
Do they eat them?
Maybe. Or experiments. On our brains?
Ugh! I don’t want to think about it. Did you see them?
Not up close, only from the window before my brother…
I saw them. One came close to the opening but didn’t see me.
Those devil horns! That’s all I remember.
Yes, they had to be at least two feet long. Their skin looked thick and rough like an elephant’s, only slate blue. And they had red eyes, sharp claws, and teeth like crocodiles, and…
They were intelligent. I don’t understand how monsters that disgusting could plan such a thing. They exterminated us like rats. Like rats!
What do you think they were looking for? What did they want here?
I don’t know. They took the… the heads. The human heads, I mean.
I didn’t see many dead animals, did you? They just wanted us.
You saw what they did to those mountains, right?
They tore them up. As if they were cardboard.
Were they looking for something? Metals?
That could be. Maybe they’re in short supply where they come from.
Where’s that though; Mars? Hell?
Well, not Earth. Their ships… so advanced! So strange-looking! But…are they coming back?
It doesn’t seem like it. They didn’t leave anything behind. Not a trace. I think they got what they wanted, whatever it was.
I hope you’re right. Not that it matters much, really.
Do you think there’s anyone else left?
I don’t know. There’s no phone signal, no Wi-Fi, no radio, nothing is working.
We were watching the news, just an hour before… before they came. There was a broadcast from Japan. They talked about UFO sightings, and said there were reports of some strange creatures on Hokkaido, but then there was a huge crash and the program cut off. The reporters must be dead. Our TV stopped working about ten minutes later.
So it’s not just here then.
No. But can it really have happened everywhere? The whole world, like this?
Maybe. How can we know?
We have to get away from here. We can’t bury all of them and there will be diseases.
Yes, and I bet the dogs will go mad. They will be dangerous.
Did they destroy all the mountains?
Not all of them. I passed a few that were untouched. You were probably right about the metals.
I suppose we have to go there then.
Yes. Hopefully the water will be clean, at least.
We can take a truck, fill it with food… should we look for anyone else?
We’ll look on the way, but I don’t think we can wait any longer to get out of here.
We need guns. Because of the dogs. And the wolves. Whatever the hell else.
We’ll take some. Do you know how to shoot one?
I do. I’ll show you.
And then what?
What do you mean?
Should we try to rebuild?
For what? For us?
Maybe we’ll be able to find more people. In a few months, or years.
It’s possible, but do you think it’s worth the effort after this?
Well… probably not. No, I don’t think so.
Humanity can just end with us.