The 5th Wave

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs.
Runs from the beings that only look human,
who have scattered Earth's last survivors.

Four waves later, four billion dead.
And the fifth wave?
No one knows. But it's coming.

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8. 7

AROUND NOON on my mission to keep my promise, I stop for a water break and a Slim Jim. Every time I eat a Slim Jim or a can of sardines or anything prepackaged, I think, Well, there’s one less of that in the world. Whittling away the evidence of our having been here one bite at a time.

One of these days, I’ve decided, I’m going to work up the nerve to catch a chicken and wring its delicious neck. I would kill for a cheeseburger. Honestly. If I stumbled across someone eating a cheeseburger, I would kill them for it.

There are plenty of cows around. I could shoot one and carve it up with my bowie knife. I’m pretty sure I’d have no problem slaughtering a cow. The hard part would be cooking it. Having a fire, even in daylight, was the surest way to invite them to the cookout.

A shadow shoots across the grass a dozen yards in front of me. I jerk my head back, knocking it hard against the side of a Honda Civic I was leaning against while I enjoyed my snack. It wasn’t a drone. It was a bird, a seagull of all things, skimming along with barely a flick of its outstretched wings. A shiver of revulsion goes down my spine. I hate birds. I didn’t before the Arrival. I didn’t after the 1st Wave. I didn’t after the 2nd Wave, which really didn’t affect me that much.

But after the 3rd Wave, I hated them. It wasn’t their fault, I knew that. It was like a man in front of a firing squad hating the bullets, but I couldn’t help it.

Birds suck. 

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