Let's Just Call Them Monsters

They’re all human to begin with, but when does their humanity run out? Do they stop being human when their hearts stop beating, or when their minds stop thinking? Is it when their eyes turn white, or when their blood turns black, or when their brains rot in their skulls? He’s asked himself this question countless times, and he still doesn’t know the answer.
All he knows is that he sacrificed his own humanity to get here, and he’s not going to let theirs get in his way.

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1. Remember my Name

I wasn’t the only victim, but I was the first.

Just like everyone else who ended up mixed in this godforsaken mess, I have no fucking idea how or why it happened. Why’d they pick England, when they could’ve gone anywhere they wanted on the damn planet and beyond? I haven’t a clue. Why’d they pick me, when they could’ve had anyone? No idea. All I know is that they DID pick England, and they DID pick me, and they wrecked my life beyond all reason.

Oh, and it all started with the lights in the sky.

When it began, my parents and I assumed we were just seeing stars. After that, we clung onto the hope that they were planes. When the night skies became striped in thin flashes of red that streaked past the clouds more swiftly than any shooting star and more silently than any stunt plane, we forced ourselves to blame drones or fireworks.

Then, it got worse.

A week ago, after running downstairs in the middle of the night to tell my parents I’d seen a flying saucer, with a halo of crimson and scarlet spinning like a four-hundred-foot frisbee, they told me I must have just been imagining it. And, when I woke up the next morning, that was the easiest explanation to believe. My life was completely unremarkable; it always had been, and a few weird fireworks weren’t enough to convince me anything was about to change. The farm I lived on was just another patch of muddy grass in the seemingly endless sea of sodden soil that made up northern England, and there was no reason why anything special could or would happen there. The idea of alien spacecraft hovering over our farm was so ridiculous it was almost laughable.

It was real. It was ridiculous. And it was anything but laughable. It’s normal- healthy, even-  for children four or five years old to see things like this, but unfortunately for the scientists and logicians and philosophers of the world, I’m twenty- three. I may be a bit thick in the head, but I know I’m not crazy.

My name is Robert Walker, and my story will rip the science, logic and reason clean out of your goddamn mind.

Lights in the sky aren’t easy to explain, but they’re easy to ignore. After twenty days of light confusion and twenty nights of heavy bewilderment, they started blending further and further into the background of my life. Last night, I was woken up at four in the morning by a pair of flashing scarlet headlights outside my window, and went back to sleep almost instantly, even though they were hovering three thousand feet above the trees at the edge of our field. I guess I was too exhausted to keep panicking. When seven o’clock arrived, I got up and did my chores like it was just another normal day. As far as I knew, it WAS just another normal day, and it passed without a whisper of fear.

The night was different.

It was almost midnight when my dad told me to go outside and check the sheep. He’s the laziest person I’ve ever met; even though the farm’s legally his, he’s hardly stepped outside to pull his weight for nearly five years. If you ask me, he was damn lucky to have a son to do all the work for him, but I never really had much of a choice anyway. I was a complete failure at school and never managed to find a decent job, but there are worse ways to end up than living with your parents until the day you die. What the red lights did to me was a great example.

At the start of all this shit, I was nothing to the world. Once it was all over, the mere mention of my name was enough to make people cry. Now that my stupid life seems dangerously close to its stupid end, I’d just like to say that this isn’t how I wanted to be remembered. There’s nothing else to remember me for, so I suppose I just want to be forgotten.

­­­­The field was steeped in darkness when I arrived at the fence. The gate’s hinges were rusted with age, and the sound of it opening reminded me of the mournful cry of something that was dying. My footsteps struck the air harder than a hammer and the faint noise an owl was making over in the woods rattled clean through me as if I wasn’t there at all. Very soon, I wouldn’t be.

Living in the middle of nowhere, while it lasted, did have its perks. Far away from the filthy skies of town, the blue of the Milky Way stood out like a dribble of glitter, framed in a perfect circle by smears of silver cloud. That night, none of the lights in the sky were red, and that was a rare luxury.

I didn’t notice anything weird about my surroundings at all until I reached the middle of the field. Closer to the huddled mass I assumed was the sleeping sheep, the undergrowth was wilder and harder to walk over, but all of a sudden the plants ran out and I trod down on solid, sticky earth. I was so surprised by the disappearance of the grass that I stumbled, almost falling headlong onto one of the animals. There was nothing strange about that, since I’m the clumsiest person who ever walked this damn planet and beyond, but I started to worry after regaining my balance and realising the sheep still hadn’t moved. I decided, finally, to switch my torch on, and once the pathetic beam of yellow light flooded the field, it became very clear why they weren’t waking up. Something else that became clear, once I’d seen what was lying at my feet, was a desperate urge to run back inside and hide under my bed like a toddler.

The sheep on the ground hadn’t woken up because it wasn’t sleeping. I knew it wasn’t sleeping because all of our sheep are white and this one had turned black. Every visible inch of its wool was dark with rotting blood, and the ground was soaked too; when I lifted my foot, I felt my stomach lurching at the SQUELCH of moisture sucking at my boot. As I stared down at the carcass, alternating between horror and confusion, I felt my bones turning to water and my fingers loosening their grip on the torch. Still illuminated, it landed directly next to the dead sheep’s head, highlighting its skinless skull and empty eye-sockets with sheets of yellow.

At that point, I had no idea what to think, but I remember muttering “Oh, shit,” under my breath. It wasn’t the most dramatic of reactions, but I’m not the most dramatic of people.

Sickness churned in my gullet at the thought of picking up the torch from the gore-drenched ground, so I left it there, leaking its useless light into the soil and away from me. Then, I stared and shook my head at the piles of dead animals around me, desperately trying to convince myself a madman had broken into our field and cut himself a shitload of mutton steaks to feed his starving family. I knew that was bullshit. Madman or not, starving or otherwise, why the hell would anyone bother to steal a sheep’s eyeballs? I was pretty sure they only ate those in Iceland. Looking down made me realise I never should have ignored those lights in the sky.

Looking up made me realise I’d never get the chance to ignore them again.

The tops of the trees and blood-slick grass started to flicker scarlet, the Milky Way turned from blue to crimson, and the red glow that drenched the black-velvet sky made it seem as though the entire damned world was coming to an end. Then, the sky tore itself in half and a blazing inferno of crimson hell poured onto the clouds. Droplets of red light were dancing on the horizon, which was pretty strange, I guess, but at that precise moment I was more worried about the giant ball of scarlet light tumbling straight towards me.

I suppose you’d say I was abducted by aliens. If that’s true, I’m disappointed. The alien movies are always accompanied by a stirring orchestral score, or at least a few screams of terror. Failing that, you would have thought the bloody enormous object coming straight for me out of the sky should have made SOME kind of sound. Nope. The world’s noise had cracked and dissolved, and even in those last few moments I was surrounded by nothing more than the whispering of the wind and the squeaking of a few oblivious birds in the trees. I’ve been led to believe that alien spaceships are meant to look awesomely majestic, but MY ride was too fucking bright to even look at. All I saw was the blood-splattered grass, which burnt itself white with light, and the ruined black sky, which bled itself red and disappeared. Perhaps, if I’d been a well-behaving character in someone’s glossy novel or Hollywood blockbuster, I’d have felt a few emotions other than confusion and resignation.

I sighed as the light got closer, and yawned as it started to sting my eyes, but even resignation had resigned by the time I started feeling the heat. All I was left with, as the red light grew larger and larger and closer and closer in the sky above me before crashing with massive force into the ground, was an ear-splitting whining sound and a blinding sensation of dizziness that turned all my thoughts bright white. And then, nothing.

My name is Robert Walker. At least, it was.

Now I have no name.

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