Fate of the Stars
Why would they come out here?
I stagger back, shaking as I remember my narrow escape from town, and the aliens’ hissing reaction to sound. I hobble to the pilothouse. “Pete!” I shout, twisting the handle. It refuses to turn. “Shut off the engines.” I beat on the door.
“What the hell this yellin’ about?” he shouts, throwing the door open at me. The other passengers scream. Pete turns toward the shore. “Oh my God.” He runs inside. Revving the motor, he swings us back out into the bay. A loud screech jabs my eardrums as metal grinds on metal, and the engines come to an abrupt stop.
“No. No!” Pete shouts, turning the key. There’s no reaction at all.
Over the wind and waves, an odd clicking sound makes my flesh crawl. We all stand motionless trying to identify it. The clicks grow louder, overlapping until they become shrill. Something strikes the hull with a heavy thud, and everyone jumps. Then another pound on the boat, and another. I can’t decide whether to search for the source of the noise or hide below. But I have to know, so I follow the sound to the rear of the ship. Bobbing on the waves is a human, his face streaked with a black oily residue that’s oozing from his nose and mouth. It resembles the oily residue I saw on the back of Bob’s neck. His eyes are opaque and dead. Nausea rises in my gut.
They didn’t die. I’m not sure what they are now, but they’re no longer human.
I’ve put everyone here in danger with my selfish request to go to shore, attracting their attention. I grow limp and drop my head back, staring up at the sky.
So close, a thin voice says, seemingly right in my ear. It’s the voice that warned me to run. Clenching my jaw, I lash out through my mind at the voice. So close to what, dying?
Discordant memories churn in my head. I close my eyes to still the illusions. A glow illuminates the back of my eyelids and warmth spreads through me.
You must see, Allison. The only way left to explain in time.