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We never saw them coming.

For all our curiosity, all our scientific instruments, our measurements and streams of data, we never saw them coming. We don’t even know how long they’ve been up there. They could have been watching us for years – scrutinising us, “as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water”, just like in War of the Worlds.

We don’t know where they come from. We don’t know why they came. We don’t know what they want.

We don’t know anything about them, except that they mean to destroy us, and so we hide down here, scuttling like rats through underground tunnels and sewers, because the skies are unsafe, and we will never see them coming.

Sometimes I dream. I dream that I’m in an open meadow, lying back amongst the long grass and watching the clouds in a glorious blue sky. One looks like a dog, racing after a stick. One looks like a dragon. One even looks like a pig with wings.

Then they all change. They all turn into demonic, threatening faces, whose eyes burn with fire that rains down upon me, burning the grass, burning my skin, killing everything on the face of the earth.

The panic doesn’t stop when I awake, because I know that it’s real. That’s what’s up there, in the unsafe skies.

© Kari Fay