Red, yellow, blue, violet, absence, void.
It was there and then gone, I swear.
But they didn’t believe me.
They saw me.
Tied down to the table; raving.
Trying to convince them…
I screamed, “They’re coming and we have to be ready! We’re so fucked!”
Now in a room, pale green walls, soft.
Pale green tiled floor, pale green stars…
Or they looked that way through the bars.
Big pale green door with brown streaks, my knuckles hurt.
Dried blood looks that way when there isn’t any life in the fluorescent lighting.
My hands; black and brown streaks on my green skin and pale green gown.
It has a flower pattern, sad.
My throat was sore as I spoke, “Help… please…”
Thwack! A window in the door revealed a world of color, vivid, in a square frame in my pale green world.
A face appeared.
“Feeling better now? Want some water?” the face said.
I’m being held up by the floor of the pale green room, now in a box of light in my pale green misery.
Two men, one I saw through the door. Pretty sure he’s a doctor, the other one looks like a goon.
“Here, sip,” said the doc.
It was a straw, water, cold, my throat on fire now sucking in the cool, releasing all the tension.
“Sorry about your condition, the injection to calm you takes its toll,” said the other one.
How would he fucking know about an injection?
Sip, breathe, sip, and remember…
I start to speak but the doc raises his hand, “Someone from the government is here to see you.”
Panic and shock as I remember more…
Was that a tear on his face?
“Most of your story… we thought you mad. Disappearing creatures, raving about them coming for us, an invasion or whatever it is, well, your description appears accurate, and you are the only one who has survived. Seattle, Portland, hell Canada, we… we can’t even make contact, and the news… It’s the colors. They fall and erase the sky.
“They need to talk to you; you’re all they have to go on.”
Another room, cold white light above, a table at which I sit.
Can’t see into the darkness beyond the circle the light makes.
My chair, at least, is comfortable.
My knuckles are bandaged.
My throat feels better.
I turn and there’s an I.V. and a machine with meters, dials, and it’s connected to the I.V. and then to me.
Drip, drip, drip, beep, woosh.
I feel dizzy.
“We just don’t want embellishment you see. This will help you to be on point with your responses,” says the darkness.
My face is hot.
It’s a woman.
She sits in a chair. Art deco. Nice.
Art deco, what the fuck?
“Are you quite alright Robert? Need anything?” says the woman.
Drip, drip, drip.
Nice glasses, Armani frames, blue eyes.
They look at me from her face. They look through me.
Blue eyes speaks, “So we just want to be clear. You were driving south from Gig Harbor, the Tacoma area in Washington, on I-5. It was mid-evening, around eight P.M. You were alone in your car. You were, we will say, working as a deliver driver, on your way with your package to the Bay area in California. You saw something in the rear view. What was it?”
Blue eyes, blonde hair, only eyeliner. Nice.
I speak, “Wait, wha…”
A man brings a glass of water.
Nice cup. Feels cold…
It is, my throat, chin, chest, crotch all are cold now.
“Robert, we need your testimony. You are the only survivor of whatever this is that’s happening. What did you see?” she pleaded.
I speak, “I saw colors. In the dark, floor to ceiling; red, yellow, blue, violet, absence, nothing but fear. The thing, I can’t see it. I don’t have the words. I can’t describe it, it was new. Yes, new! No one had ever seen it before, it was like colors melted and flowed into puddles, taking the sky with them. Where they dripped from, there was nothing, it left a void in the horizon. Not just black, literally nothing!”
“What happened next?” said a man’s voice.
Nice shoes, bad toupee.
A pile of papers, he’s flipping through them.
Are his hands shaking?
He pointed and leaned in to whisper to her.
He looks like a cop.
“Robert, what else did you see, when you pulled over at the truck stop in Longview?” the woman asked.
Damn water is cold, couldn’t hold onto the cup for some reason.
My balls, legs and ass are all cold now. Fuck.
I speak, “Longview? When the sky and the mountains melted? When the colors melted to the ground and puddled? The backdrop of reality got pulled down, like gooey pools everywhere, stealing the color from the world. I parked, looked out in disbelief. I didn’t even care about my package or making my drop at that point. I just… what was I seeing? The world melting got closer to me, and I heard a scream but didn’t care. I heard a crash and went to my trunk. I heard crying and opened the back. I heard shouts and reached in and got my guns and holstered up. I heard sires and opened the package. I helped myself to a bump of the one package, a bump of the other package; it helped to make what I was seeing less confusing. Then I turned and saw the first one, up close.”
The cop left, good for him.
“Are we still recording this?” she said to the darkness.
“All the way!” was the reply.
“Robert, the first what?” she asked.
NO! Stay here! Tell the story.
I was still in the room.
Holding onto the moment was growing difficult, but I was learning how.
Too many drugs or not enough…
This felt different though. I felt afraid.
I speak, “It moved so fast. I blinked, or did I? It seemed to move in quick sequences of appearing and disappearing. It came from the puddle. The sort of… melted out of the… well, what was left of the sky as it sat on the ground. They were little, from a distance at least. I was two miles a way or better from the one I was watching, so they appeared little at first. Yeah, little blobs of green and orange rolled out of the puddles and in an instant it seemed like they were on the street, right in front of me. Right outside the truck stop. Blink and they were gone. It wasn’t that they moved that way that frightened me. It was what happened to the people.”
I shivered but the drugs they were giving me compelled me. Or was it the ice water?
I speak, “One woman, a hundred feet in front of me, she just sort of withered and split. Her skin looked like a mummy and that only took half a second at most. The green orange orb glowed and her body disappeared into the air. It disintegrated and blew away on the breeze. For a moment I thought I saw something real, that my mind could recognize, like an arm, or a talon; black or dark green maybe. I saw it as it retracted back into the orb, so fast. I think my mind was really beginning to feel the effects of the dope. I grabbed my for pocket, fumbled for a cigarette, lit one, grabbed my guns, and ducked behind a semi trailer. I think it had ‘Always Low Prices’ or something like that on it. Man it felt nice to get high that night. Those are very nice glasses, and my balls are cold, can I get a blanket and some coleslaw? The tangy kind, and a chocolate… bunny… feet…”
Mr. Lab Coat is tinkering with that machine.
“Adjust the dose up another 20 mikes, he’s fading, and we need his focus… they just lost Chicago…” said the darkness.
Her hands were damp, clammy, and perfumed as they cupped my face, “Robert, please! We need the rest.”
My God, she has nice lips.
Is that a tear? Wait. Is it hers or mine?
Robert, that’s me, and I saw, what was it?
Drip. Drip. Drip.
I speak, “I can finish now. Can I smoke a cigarette? Oh never mind. So I’m crouched on the ground at the tire of this semi, guns out. I hear screams and shouts and they all go silent so suddenly it’s like the sound is cut with a knife. I start to hear a clicking sound. I look and I realize the click comes with every quick appearance.
“I hear the sound pan behind me, like a Doppler effect, from the other side of the truck, left to right. As I notice this I notice the silence. My senses… it must have been the rush and the adrenaline, but I was tuned in, ya know? I heard a man’s voice shout half a word, and a split second after I heard the click. I then heard the sound of what I thought was blowing leaves. It ended up being the body of the man, blowing away in the breeze.
“The air was cloudy, and I realized it wasn’t a fog. It was the dust of the victims floating in the air. I gaged because I could taste them. I looked down and I could see the residue of what were people, clinging to my clothes. It was clinging to my skin filling my lungs.
“I pulled my shirt up over my nose and breathed. I was panicking. Another voice, a woman’s voice, then a click, and just the sounds of blowing leaves filled my ears. Ha, like dust in the wind. That song sucks. Shit! Focus!
“OK, there I was and I heard it again. The click, quickly, right to left this time, behind me. Then it moved, around the edge of the truck. It was coming at me. It was my time. I pointed and began to shoot in the direction of the sound. I sprayed the area and when my vision cleared I realized the click was right at my feet. Then it stopped. The green orange glow faded, and the thing was lying on the ground and I died inside. It had more features than I could describe. I don’t… we don’t have the words. It reached for me with what might have been a leg, a tentacle, a claw? What I did recognize were thorns, hundreds on the end of the outstretched appendage.
“The whole mass quickly began to loose color. It was dark green, then blue, then white. Only the thorns and what might have been eyes, which I’d have to say, were locked on mine, and still had a color of deep red. Bloody. I could see where I had succeeded in shooting it. The spot oozed a clear fluid and sparkled, like the dew over the fields at dawn when I was a kid…
“I was dumbstruck at what I was seeing. It took a sound, a strange sound, to jolt me back to reality. It was a high pitched ticking, almost painful to hear. Quick and fast and then suddenly silence. I looked up to see the green and orange orbs returning to the puddle of reality from which they came. They were gone in a second, and then silence.
“I don’t know why but I hoisted the thing up, it was amazingly light for its size, and brought it back to my car. I realized my cigarette had burned down in my lips while all that had happened. I threw the thing in my back seat and got another cigarette. I remember when I put it in my mouth my lips went numb, instantly. I tried to taste and got nothing. I looked at the filter and some of the ooze coming from the thing had gotten on my hand, on my smoke, and now inside me. I wiped my hands clean, lit my smoke, and got in my car. The next thing I knew I was in that hospital room, then here. I feel a pulling… inside… like nothing I’ve ever felt before, like my cells, my skin, my organs, like they are moving beyond this… reality.
“I blink and things are different, like I’m not remembering huge blocks of time. I had to focus here to stay in the moment. I don’t know how long it’s been since that night, but I need a smoke and a sandwich… and a nap.”
Is she shaking?
Dizzy, so dizzy. Where’s my… what was…
I’m on a street corner, I don’t recognize it.
There’s a haze in the air.
I recognize it, from the taste in my mouth.
It’s the dust of the dead.
I realize there are two people with me; we are all looking in disbelief at the scene.
“They came so fast,” said blue eyes.
She still had on those nice Armani glasses.
“We need to get Robert to the extraction point. They are avoiding us. It has to be because of him. I’m certain of it,” said the man.
I didn’t recognize him.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a government agent before…
There are cars on fire, broken glass, destruction.
My god what happened.
No voices, no birds, and the sky…
It’s just gone.
I realize, I know what this is. Just like when Pizarro landed in South America, the Inca’s couldn’t describe what they saw because they had no frame of reference. They didn’t know how to describe it.
It was an invasion.
And they didn’t move fast.
They weren’t limited by time like we were. They controlled it.
“Come on Robert. You’re the only thing that matters,” she said as she touched my arm.
We started walking, south, because the background of reality was still there, in the southern sky.
Man I need a smoke.