‘A Moment of Relief,’ a Short Story…With an Alien

I had to write a particular story with an alien for class.  Enjoy!  As always, let me know what you think.

A Moment of Relief

By Clinton Nix

“Some kinda’ green pus dripped down from the tentacles on the…thing. Disgusting. It seemed like there was a discharge every time it moved that arm. Had some kind of bandages wrapped all around it, they were dangling everywhere. With the claws of its right hand, it would grab at the other arm, almost in pain or something. Still, that didn’t stop it from wasting a damned semi sitting in the street! Those tentacles seemed to have claws on them, or something ’cause–well, that could grip–’cause the monstrosity would latch them onto objects and whirl’em around like some kind of damned gladiator. And that semi–you don’t want to know what it did to that thing. Then its eyes would glow, really bright, and you could kind of feel the rage of the thing. The creature would blitz around with a sort of, demonic—uh, Herculean might, and obliterate everything it wanted to. Countless people lost their lives. Was as confusing as it was sad…most of us couldn’t make one bit of sense from it. I mean, everybody knows that aliens don’t exist, you know, just hokey shit dreamed up from some–some loon who thought he saw lights in the sky. But this shit was real. That thing was there, and it was terrifying. Just…terrifying.”

The man’s gaze became hollow as his stare burned a hole through an empty spot on the table.

“…So what did you do after you saw it?”
“What do you think? I jus ran the hell out of there.”

The inquisitor noticed that her subject had begun shaking violently. After a moment’s pause, and a sigh, she stopped the tape recorder and bent over to the side of the table, reaching inside a black leather bag. She dropped the tape recorder inside, and extracted a small cylinder-shaped container from the side pouch.

“Here, this should help. Take these with a full glass of water. Go to the restroom behind you. Wash your face, get yourself together. I’m going to need to ask you some more questions. Those should take effect in 20 minutes.” She zipped the leather bag with laser precision, scooted the chair back with a loud screech, and removed herself from the room.

The man’s face was covered in sweat. His hand clenched a grimy, drenched rag that left more fluid than it soaked up. He picked up the bottle and read its contents aloud:
“Valium. Di…azepam. 10 mg per tablet. Take two tablets with a full glass of water.” He looked toward the bottom of the label and read out the big, bold letters: “Do not take more than two at once.”

He immediately pried opened the bottle and shook it until four tablets tumbled out on his hand. He eyed the full glass of water sitting beside him, and reached out for it. The glass shook in his grip, and water splashed on the table. He tossed the tablets in the back of his throat, and downed the water as if he had been wandering in a hot desert all day. Clean water gushed out the side of his mouth and mixed with the dingy sweat to form dark rings on his shirt.

“Ah…ahem. Aha ha.”

He decided to heed the woman’s advice and go to the restroom. The cold water soothed his face, providing a temporary relief for his salt-soaked lids. He noticed dark lumps under his eyes in the mirror; they had become swollen, like dangling sandbags.

“It’s kicking in,” he spoke to his mirrored self with a grin, pointing at the reflection. “You’re gonna feel good now.”

The shake in his hand was gone. He no longer trembled: instead, his image reflected the sereneness that existed only in sleeping babies. The man’s body resembled gelatin as he turned, and his legs were rubber bands as they bent and stretched under the weight. He bounced toward the table to sit down; he was jello spilling into the chair. At that moment, he could see some shadowy figures rushing around through the small window in the door. Their hasty, sporadic movement made him giggle.

“We’re all gonna die.  Aha ha.”  The words escaped his mouth like a nervous laugh, which turned into sputtering, gurgled coughs.

The shapes moved even more furiously behind the door, but one of them halted suddenly. It, or he, began shouting heavily, with a deep rumble that vibrated the entire wall. The other shape barked loudly in return, and that one had the much higher, sharper pitch of a woman. Everything became a fuzzy haze to the drugged man, and he felt his head falling backward, continuously, off of a cliff but never landing.

Suddenly, there was a loud thunderous clash as the wall caved inward and little bits of brick were shot about the room. When the dust settled, an ominous amber glow pierced through to the other side, and the night air illuminated behind the broken wall. An array of shrieks cut through like razor blades from behind the closed door. Those shadowy bodies weren’t moving anymore. The man sunk his head down on the table in surrender as the sound of slithering tentacles approached nearer and nearer.

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