Archive for October 11th, 2011

11th October
2011
written by amber

Starjourner

The body was green. It leaked blue-grey blood. And I had murdered it.

Just yesterday I’d watched that green being emerge from its space ship, walk on elongated and strangely-jointed legs toward our President, arm extended, starfish-like appendage ready to grasp our President’s hand.

I was in the crowd, keeping an eye on things. I’d been so deep undercover for so many years, I’d forgotten who my handler was, I’d forgotten what my missions were. Mostly I made up my own missions, following people I suspected might be a threat, eliminating them if my suspicions were correct.

Few suspected that the alien might be a threat. He’d been in orbit for two weeks, and on the ground without opening his space ship for two weeks, allowing all manner of scanning to prove that he was alone and unarmed, an emissary from a wise and peaceful race. ‘Starjourner’ we were to call him.

But just before his appendage touched our President’s hand, Starjourner turned into a point of light and whisked out of sight. And just a moment later, the man standing next to me stumbled slightly, bumping against me. However, I had chosen this far corner of the plaza with a pillar behind me and a garbage bin to my left for reasons of assuring that no one would stand near me, so I knew there had been no man standing next to me.

He apologized and turned to leave. When I was certain he wouldn’t observe me, I turned to follow. His clumsiness told me that he was not yet accustomed to his human body.

I followed him through libraries and colleges, through department stores and playgrounds, computer stores and lobbies of tall buildings. I watched him catch a squirrel in the park, reaching out impossibly quickly and plucking the rodent from a branch with a blurred hand that more resembled his starfish hand than his human hand. I watched him do something to the squirrel, something that looked like folding it inside out then collapsing it into a tiny point of light.

I watched him catch a child in the park, and that’s when I shot him. Of course, I could not apply my usual caution to the hit and so I was seen. A policeman ran toward me, shouting for me to drop my gun and kneel on the ground with my hands behind my head.

The child had run away, but I wasn’t worried about needing his corroboration to my story. The green body would be proof enough. Yet, when I turned to show the policeman my handiwork, the body had reverted to human. And it turned out to have ID and be a real person. A real dead person.

And while I was being arrested, Starjourner continued its collecting ways, children and adults disappearing all over our city and there was nothing anyone could do to stop him.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story written every day and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.