How do you think it's coming?
It was twelve minutes past midnight when Toni started looking for her friends. She could already imagine her mother and father’s voice as she walked into the door. As she went door to door knocking to see if anyone had seen the uncanny twins, she noticed a small flicker from the window. It was late, and if it got any later she was going to be grounded until she turned twenty one. Her phone couldn’t get any signal, and everyone she asked either forgot their phones or their phones were dead.
“Todd, can you tell Torie and Lorie I had an emergency? I have to get going before my parents send the cops out looking for me.” Toni said, as she looked out the window once again.
“I think I’m in the same boat as you Toni, I think it’s time for me to head out too. I keep seeing lighting flash across the sky, and the last thing I want is to get rained on. We can walk home together if you want. After all we do live down the same street.” Todd said, as he grabbed another can of soda for the road.
As Toni went to grab for the door, she could hear noises from somewhere. However, she couldn’t understand their meanings. Perhaps it was her imagination she thought as she closed her eyes and counted to ten. She had watched too many episodes of Spooky Zone, and now her mind was playing tricks on her she told herself as she looked over towards Todd.
“It’s really dark out here. I can’t see the moon. Normally the moon is never this hidden. You can at least see a crescent on most dark nights.” Todd said, as continued looking in the sky for any traces of the moon.
Toni didn’t want to admit it, but she was starting to get a little freaked out too. Not only was it pitch dark, but she could still hear strange sounds coming from somewhere. No matter how hard she tried to block them out, they continued to come louder. Then from out of nowhere she heard the word listen. It stopped her in her tracks.
“You must find dark structure now, and hide.” The voice said, in an odd accent.
Toni thought she was going crazy as soon as the shock went away she ran up to Todd. Perhaps, she was going crazy she silently told herself. All of those late nights of video game playing was finally starting to catch up with her she franticly thought. As she continued trying to diagnose her syndrome, they noticed a large cylinder shaped light coming to the ground.
“Wow, that’s cool.” Todd said, as he continued on their path.
They noticed other people walking up towards the light, and then they heard something no soul ever wants to hear. The people were screaming in agony. Toni turned to look in the direction of the light and saw the people literally melting in place.
“What the hell? Did you see that crap? Do you hear them? What the hell is going on?” Todd asked, as he pulled Toni off the road.
Toni looked on in shock. It was horrible the people melted. As she looked back in the direction they of the house she noticed another light right by the entrance of the door. She rubbed her eyes, and looked around in disbelief, there were cylinder lights placed at the entrances of every house that had lights on. Slowly she thought back to the voice. It was warning her to hide.
“We have to get off this street and find shelter. It can’t have any lights.” Toni said, as she started to run down the road.
As they ran they noticed the area was started to gain more light. It was like the more light the neighborhood gained, the more screams they heard. Toni was too afraid to look back, all she could think about was the sound of the voice telling her to run and hide.
Finally they came to a small building. It looked like a small storage house, but it was better than nothing. As soon as they broke the lock off the door they noticed that the light was starting to grow. Quickly they rushed into the small building and locked the door from within.
“What’s going on out there?” Todd asked, as he tried to calm his shaking hands.
“I don’t know.” Toni answered.
“We should try to get home Toni and warn our parents.” Todd said, as he stood up to reach the door handle.
“I’m not going anywhere. If you go out there that light is going to burn you up.” Toni said, as she held her head down.
“I can’t just stay here, how do we know it won’t cover our only way out from this building? Todd countered.
“A voice came to me and told me to come here. It told me to find somewhere dark and hide.” Toni said, as she watched Todd shake his head in disbelief.
“Whatever, I’m leaving. I don’t have time to think about imaginary voices. Whatever is out there is real, and you are having a break down. I will tell your parents where you are.” Todd said, as he slammed to door behind him.
Toni didn’t move she continued rocking herself as if she were a baby. Maybe he was right she thought as she stopped rocking and stood up . She hated being so scary, but how could she tell if it was a good scary or a bad one she asked herself. As she reached for the door she noticed a hand tap on the back of her shoulder. In a new found state of fear she froze once more. She couldn’t bring herself to turn around, so she stood there with her hand still on the door. Suddenly she noticed a long white hand reaching for her fingers.
“You can’t go out. They are waiting for people to go out so they can siphon their life force.” The strange voice said.
Toni turned around and noticed that the face looking back at her was that of something from another world. The creature was about her height with large eyes, and a large nose. Her skin was white with blue rings around her forehead. Her nose wasn’t the same color as the rest of her face, it was a darker shade. As she looked at her head she noticed that the creature had small horns lining the top of her head like a crown. Her hair was pulled back exposing her large ears and something that looked like a small antenna that hung below her earlobes seemed to be sticking out.
“What are you?” Toni asked.
“I’m Norrie. We have been trying to reach out to you people all month. We have sent you so many messages trying to warn you of their arrival. Nobody would listen. Only a handful of you did what we said tonight. More than likely that handful will be the ones to live on.” Norrie stated as she walked back towards the darkened corner of the small building.
“What’s going on, and who are they?” Toni asked as she too retreated to the dark.
“They are called The Lingering. They have done this so many times, and it destroys worlds. This will last until your next full moon. It’s something about the light of the moon that makes them leave. They will cover ever house and kill everyone who tries to exit with their heat rays. The only hope your people have is to stay indoors and let them think they have killed off all life force. They never descend, so nobody knows what they look like. We only know that they come and kill everything and everyone.” Norrie stated, as she held out a small vine to Toni. “You have to eat something; hunger will be the doom for many of these poor souls. When hunger takes over the mind it can kill any protective guards such as fear.”
“What about my parents? I can’t let them die. I have sisters, and a brother.” Toni cried, as she walked back near the door.
“I can help you save your family, however it comes with a price. If I help you; you must help me in fighting The Lingering.” Norrie said, as she looked towards Toni.
Toni looked at the alien, and then she thought about her parents and the other people she saw. She couldn’t let them die. She closed her eyes and thought about her mother and her father once more. She would give anything to see them again, even if it meant helping someone she didn’t know.
“What do you want me to do?” Toni asked.
“For starters you have to swear allegiance to the Viderian Cause. Everything that you say to me will be transmitted back to my planet, and it will be binding. Once we make sure your parents are safe we have to reach out to others on this planet.” Norrie said, as she looked for a reaction.
“I would do anything for these people.” Toni stated, as she walked over towards Norrie.
“It doesn’t just stop there. After everything is all said and done, you will have to return with me to Viderian, and enlist with our guard for a few years.” Norrie said, as she watched Toni freeze for the third time tonight.
“What do you mean go to Viderian, and serve in your Guard? I thought you said help earth.” Toni said, as she looked at the alien in question.
“If you want me to save your parent that is the price. It’s up to you.” Norrie replied. “We need more intelligence from other planets, and the more we understand about the other planets the better off we will be when it comes to protecting them. It breaks my heart that you people could have been ready for this invasion, and if you would have stayed indoors they wouldn’t have known what you smelt like, or looked it. Their carrier is over our head, and you can bet that they know everything we know.
“How is it that you English is getting better by the minute? Toni asked.
“ I ‘m able to pick up on anyone that is in my surroundings. It’s a trait you will learn to master when you come to Viderian. The training is intense, but you will become so much more than what you are now.” Norrie said, as she held out her hands. “I need you to grab hold of my arm, and think of your parents.”
Within seconds Norrie and Toni were standing in the middle of the living room hearing intense crying. Toni’s mother was bent over the oven crying her eyes out until she finally noticed she wasn’t alone.
“Toni, how did you? I thought you were dead. Oh my gosh there have been so many people who have died. Your father told me it had something to do with the light. So, he wouldn’t let me come looking for you. He went out and hasn’t come back yet.” Toni’s mom stated, as she hugged her daughter.
“Norrie, can you zoom in on dad?” Toni asked, as she reached her hands out to the slender alien.
“I’m afraid it isn’t good news. I can’t see his life beat anywhere. It’s because he is most likely dead.” Norrie said, as she walked into the living room.
“What’s happening? Why are they doing this to us? Toni’s mother asked, as she walked into the room behind Norrie.
It was then that she realized Norrie wasn’t from earth. She ran into the kitchen and grabbed a knife from the draw. As soon as she made it back to the living room Norrie waved her hand and retrieved the knife as if the incident never occurred.
“You can’t kill me, I here to help you.” Norrie whispered. “I’m Norrie and I’m here to save you and others if you let me.”
Toni’s mom looked at the alien, and then she looked back at Toni. This couldn’t be happening she told herself as she heard more yells from down the street. It was unimaginable, every few hours she would think the whole thing was over, only to hear more yells. She couldn’t get in touch with her husband and for a while she thought Toni was dead.
“Let’s all sit down because we clearly have a lot to talk about. Norrie this is my mom Helen. Mom this is Norrie.” Toni said, as she sat down between the alien and her mother.
“I will begin. For as long as I can remember The Lingering and their killers have tormented other planets. They have always been hunters, and when they set course and land it’s a nightmare. We started doing something a little different about three planets ago. We set up undetectable guard stations that alert us as to their new locations. However, when we tried to warn earth and your inhabitants we found a lack regard, and a breakdown in communication. We could have prepared you for this attack, but because of your cell phone towers, digital stations, dirty air pollutants it caused a bad delay and jumbled our messages. I tried to contact Toni at least twice before she understood my meaning.” Norrie said.
“I still don’t get it.” Helen said, as she places a small pillow in her arm. “How did they find us?”
“Your space program did a little more than find life on uninhabitable planets. It came across a fleet of undetectable warships. We could see them because of our technology. However, the humans had no idea what they had awakened.” Norrie stated.
“So we are all getting killed because of our space program?” Toni blurted out.
“Well, I wouldn’t have put it in those terms, however you don’t really know enough about the organisms out there, or how danger would look. You humans mainly look for big indicators, I don’t think any of you ever stopped to wonder about another races and them doing the same thing for different reasons.” Norrie stated, in a matter of fact way.
“What about the killings? How do we stop them from killing off everyone?” Helen asked? “What about my husband?”
“The best thing you can do is stay indoors until it’s over. You have another week until the full moon comes. They will leave as the moon fills with light, but you have got to make sure you stay inside.”
“What about food, water, and other things that we might need. They have killed policemen, firemen, electricians, and just normal everyday people. If they have taken our entire community down, how will we survive?” Toni asked.
“ That’s that point they don’t want you to survive. They are a very cunning race, and they know what they’re doing, and if you are smart you will just listen to me. When you return with me to Viderian, you will understand everything. We have a guard full of races displaced by The Lingering.” Norrie said, as she watch Toni’s mother turn her head with a large frown.
“ I know you’re not going anywhere with this thing. Are you crazy? Do you not see how everyone is dying, your father, friends all dead because of them. You know David would never go for this. I can’t allow it.” Helen said, as she stood up.
“I afraid you have no choice, but to allow it. Our deal was made before we ever came here and it included keeping you safe. She has to do it, or you will have our government mad at earth, and trust me right now you need us.” Norrie stated.
“Norrie , don’t talk to my mother that way. I gave you my word and I will keep it. What are we going to do to protect the others right here on earth?” Toni asked.
“Do you have any communication outlets? I can use my antennas to act as a pathway from here to others in the area. If there are any others like you that answered the call we can get the word out.” Norrie said , as she looked around the living room.
“Communication outlet? Let me think..I know I have a cell phone, but there are a lot of things down and not working. I couldn’t use it at the party , so it might be done now. I’m more than sure their towers are crippled beyond repair.” Toni said, as she reached into her pocket.
“ I can repair anything within a forty mile radius as long as I have something that works with the communication device.” Norrie said, as she held the phone up to her antennas.
As soon as the cell phone touched the tip of the antenna it started to glow and a small buzzing sound. Helen and Tori looked at the alien as she continued to hold the phone to her antenna. Finally a odd sound came through. It was the sound Toni first heard back at the party. Words couldn’t describe the language, but she could tell something was wrong. Norrie took the phone and threw it onto the floor, and then she walked over towards the door.
“ Norrie, what’s wrong?” Toni asked.
Still Norrie stood silent and didn’t make a sound. Finally she turned to Helen, and Toni with a puzzling look upon her face. She beckoned for them to come closer to the door, and when she opened it wider they all froze in shock. The horror was nothing any of the expected, the people of earth never stood a chance. The blinding light from before now covered everything within sight. It was over houses, stores, hospitals, trees, lakes, and even small buildings that seemed to offer no light. However, it was the heat that now climbed from the rays that seemed to bake everything that the lights didn’t kill.
“ It’s like we are in a oven.” Tori said, as she backed into her mother.