Night Session | By: Dallas Releford | | Category: Short Story - Science Fiction Bookmark and Share

Night Session

NIGHT SESSION Dallas Releford The hot October sun hung in the west against a reddish glow that reminded Joel Tate of a painting he had seen at the library in Salem Falls one time. Above the red glow, stars were beginning to twinkle as if they couldn’t wait until the night had spread its commanding wings across the landscape. Joel couldn’t remember when he had seen such a spectacular sunset. As a red sun dropped behind the West Virginia Mountains sending deepening shadows parading across the meadow around him, he pulled out his flashlight and continued checking the telephone circuits on a telephone pole high above the field where he was working. A severe storm had knocked out all telephone service earlier and he had been working since noon trying to restore it. From his perch on the telephone pole, held securely by a wide belt fastened around the pole, he could see for several miles. In the gathering darkness, he could not see lights anywhere. The storm had taken the electricity too as it pulled up trees and snapped electrical lines like they were shoestrings. He felt as if he were the only person in the world. At nine twenty the first of the fireballs came out of the southeast heading toward the northwest. Spewing fire from their bodies like dragons of old, they sputtered and huge chunks of burning material fell away from the main body as if it had given birth to other dragons. The blazing fireballs were red and orange with a splattering of other colors mixed in. They first appeared as a tiny glowing ball of fire similar to a comet just above the eastern horizon. Hanging high above the ground on a pole not much bigger than his leg, Joel could hardly see the ground below him. The faint glow first caught his attention as he was replacing a wire that had been damaged by lightning. It appeared as a round, bright light and he thought it was a star although he didn’t know which star it was. As he glanced at it occasionally, he thought it was getting larger. A few minutes later, it developed a long tail and he was reasonably sure it was a comet. Hal Bop is returning he thought as he finished the connection and turned his flashlight off. He had to get a better look. Maybe he would the first one to discover a new heavenly visitor. This one looked as if it were coming directly at him. Hanging to the pole as a light breeze brushed across his face, Joel kept his eyes focused on the light that kept getting bigger. Finally, he was convinced that this was something unusual and that it wasn’t a comet that would pass harmlessly by the earth without mishap. Before he had time to scamper down the pole where he could get his old binoculars from his truck that he used to search for trouble on the telephone lines, the object was close enough for him to notice a few peculiar things about it. It wasn’t exactly one object, it was several and the larger object was breaking up as it sped through the earth’s atmosphere. Joel felt a tingle in his spine and his heart beat just a little faster as he realized that the objects were only a few thousand feet high. As it zoomed overhead, he could hear the crackling and see the pieces of burning, flaming debris falling away from the larger body like a rocket plane falling away from a carrier jet above it. As it passed, it reminded him of the times he sat in front of the old coal stove at his grandfather’s house when he was only four years old. As the coal burned, smaller chunks would fall away from the larger chunk and this was exactly what he was seeing. Joel felt as if a humongous block of black, burning coal were racing over his head, toward the earth. This asteroid, if that was what it was, wasn’t going to miss. It was going to crash somewhere nearby. Its trajectory ensured that. Knowing that the object was headed in the direction of Salem Falls, he braced himself for an impact and moved down the pole as fast as he could. More than eight feet from the ground, he undid the clamp that held the restraining belt to the pole and dropped to the ground below him. Landing on his feet, he ran toward a small ditch where water flowed from spring rains and dived into it just as the sky lit up like a thousand lightning bolts had struck at the same time. Joel felt a hot wind blow across the ravine as the sky lit up and the sound of an explosion almost ruptured his ears. The earth trembled for a few seconds as if an earthquake had suddenly occurred. After a few horrifying moments, he stood up and looked toward the northwest. Whatever it was, it had impacted with the earth not more than five miles away from him. He estimated the mass of the object to be about the size of a school bus. The other objects that had splintered from the larger one were much smaller. Still, if they hit anything, such as a house with people in it, they would be instantly evaporated, he knew. With his heart pounding and a cold sweat popping out on his forehead, he stood looking where the object had struck. The sky was glowing as if a forest fire were burning in the woods. He figured that was exactly what was happening. As he watched, he could see black smoke rising from the distant horizon. “Damn, half the county must be on fire,” he said to nobody. Grabbing his equipment bag, he ran toward his utility truck that was parked on the paved road to the north. Already smoke that smelled like it came from a coal stove stung his nostrils and he had to struggle to breathe. Warm wind blew from the direction of the impact. Reaching his truck, he got in, closed the door, rolled up the windows and turned on the air-conditioning. With his eyes turned toward the flaming inferno, he snatched the microphone from the dashboard and pushed the button. “Unit four to base. This is unit four to base, does anyone copy me?” Only static emanated from the speaker on the two-way radio. Desperate, he tried several times before giving up and tossing the microphone in the seat near him. Pulling out his cell phone, he dialed the number for the dispatch office at the telephone company. The phone searched and couldn’t find a tower, a common problem in the mountains, except he had never had any trouble, until now. Knowing the only option he had open was to climb the pole again and use his portable telephone to call dispatch, he grimaced at the thought. The smoke was getting thicker and he could smell it as the air conditioning pulled the choking odor into the truck. When he got out of the truck, he discovered that the smell wasn’t quite as bad as he once thought. The wind had changed direction blowing the smoke away from him. The sky in the west was getting darker as if a terrible storm were approaching. Looking up at a cloudless sky above him, one sprinkled with millions of stars, he wished that were the case. The county could use a good thunderstorm right about now to put out the forest fire and stifle the smoke. As he collected the gear he would need to make the telephone call, he thought about Violet Peters, his girlfriend and wondered if she were okay. Of course she’s fine, he told himself. Didn’t she live on a farm about five miles to the south of Salem Falls and wasn’t that fire slightly to the west of Salem Falls? He wasn’t sure of the exact location, but if his calculations were correct, she would be safe, and worrying about him just as he was worrying about her. She was alone and he had to get to her. Using his safety belt, wrapped securely around the post, he ascended the pole taking his time so that he didn’t fall. Alone in the darkness, he could see the flaming forest in the distance. When he reached the top, he took out the portable phone and using alligator clips that kept slipping from his trembling fingers, he finally had them attached to the two main conductors. Putting the receiver to his ear, he was relieved when he heard a dial tone. Punching the illuminated keys, he waited for the phone at the dispatch office to ring, except nothing happened. If the lines were okay, he should have either gotten the dispatch office or a recording telling him what was wrong. He got nothing, nothing but the dial tone and periodic static that he found irritating. He knew the lines were okay because he had checked them just before he completed his repairs. Lightning had fried only one conductor and he had replaced that. Now there was nothing and his options were getting smaller. He would have to drive all the way to Salem Falls, toward where the impact occurred. Damn, he muttered. Walking back across the field, he wondered if Salem Falls even existed anymore. The meteor or asteroid—he had the faintest feeling that it was an asteroid, or maybe part of one—had either struck the town or close to it. He couldn’t deny that fact any more even though he wanted to keep telling himself that the town had been spared. Another thought came to mind that he kept resisting and one that he didn’t really want to believe. What if that thing was only part of an asteroid? He had read plenty of articles, seen several movies and read lots of books about asteroids. If it had come close to the earth, this object might only be a small part of the bigger one. That was a relishing thought, he admitted to himself. What if? Tossing his gear in the back of the truck, feeling a sudden urgency to get to Violet before anything else happened, as if what had happened wasn’t bad enough, he stuck the key in the ignition and sighed as the engine failed to start. Frustrated, he slapped the steering wheel with both hands and sat looking at the bright light in the east. Turning on the radio, he found that it still worked. The lights worked too and this made him wonder why there wasn’t enough juice in the battery to turn the engine. Then he realized that something had happened to put a drain on the battery. The headlights got dimmer and he shut them off to conserve what little power the battery still had. Something in that meteor had caused the battery to lose power. Maybe electromagnetic radiation, he told himself although he wondered how a meteor could build up that much radiation. His only option was one he had not considered previously. He would have to walk five miles to Salem Falls through darkness, smoke and a warm wind that was getting increasingly warmer. Then he remembered the emergency jumper power pack he carried in the tool compartment of the truck just for these types of situations. Was it still charged? When was the last time he had used it? He couldn’t remember ever having an emergency where he had to use it so he reasoned that it should still be charged, unless the meteor had discharged it too. His yellow utility truck had two large metal toolboxes on each side of the bed where he stored his gear. The center of the bed between the two toolboxes was used for other equipment. Using his flashlight, he found the emergency charger and closed the toolbox. After attaching the clamps to the battery under the hood, he got in and cranked the engine. It started on the first try. Relieved, Joel put the battery pack into the tool storage compartment and got in the truck just as another bright object sped overhead. The roaring sound and the bright light made him aware that another visitor was present. Jumping out of the truck just as it passed over him, he watched it move away over the horizon. He sighed and was a little relieved that it had not struck close to him, and yet, he worried that the object would strike some other town killing all its inhabitants. This object wasn’t quite as big as the last one, except it could do a lot of damage, if it struck a populated area. Joel drove down the paved county road toward town feeling as if he were driving into the worst storm of the century. Watching the dark cloud looming ominously over Salem Falls, he expected to encounter ferocious lightning, booming thunder and maybe even a tornado at any minute. Yet, he knew he would see none of that. The only things that would emerge ahead of him were fire, smoke and death. The smoke and dust got so thick as he approached the town that he finally decided to turn south toward where Violet Peters lived. He would pick her up and drive south away from the fire and destruction. If they were lucky, they would be safe before dawn arrived although he suspected that it would be a long time before Salem Falls ever saw the dawn again. The smoke was plummeting skyward now, building up like tall thunderheads blocking out the stars and the heavens. Finding Pike Road was difficult, except he finally found it and made the turn at the intersection. As he drove south, the smoke thickened. Joel pushed down on the accelerator trying to reach Violet before the situation got any worse. He could see the fire now eating up the tender dry trees on the side of a mountain. Only a few miles of dry meadows and a small stream were between him and the fire. Frantic, he searched for the driveway that led back to Violet’s house. Then he saw it. Pulling up in front of her house, he parked the truck and jumped out. Rushing up on the porch, he banged on the door with his fist. With the electricity off, the only light for miles were the lights on his truck shining on the front porch and his flashlight. In the distance, another kind of light haunted him. Violet finally opened the door with a shocked expression dominating her face. In the light of the flashlight, he could see tears in her eyes and fear on her face. “Joel,” she screamed, “what is going on?” “Meteor crash,” he said, “we got to get out of here. Grab your purse and everything else you need and let’s get out of here. The wind has changed, at least for now, and the smoke is blowing away from us. Do you have a gun?” Such a strange request surprised her. Startled, she stood in the door staring at him for a few seconds before answering. “What do you need a gun for?” “Protection,” he said. “Do you have one?” “My father had an old automatic shotgun and an old Colt revolver. They’re in the den. I’ll show you. Come on in.” While she gathered a few snacks, a first aid kit, bottled water and a few other items, Joel inspected the guns. They hadn’t been fired in years and he wondered if they would explode when and if he fired them. Finding a cleaning kit, he tended to the weapons as best as he could, cleaning the barrels, chambers and oiling them. Taking all the extra ammunition he could find, he loaded the weapons and put them in the cab of the truck. Violet came running out of the house with two backpacks and several bags. Joel helped her put the supplies in the truck. “I feel like I’m moving out,” she said. “Where are we going?” Joel knew she was as worried as he was. Leaving her home on such short notice made her feel as if she were being evicted or a refuge on her way to some place that might not be any better than the one she was leaving. “South,” he said, “just south until we are sure we are safe.” “How many of those things hit us anyway. I was in the bedroom getting ready to take a bath when the whole house shook. I thought someone had dropped a bomb.” “Someone did,” Joel said pulling out of the drive way onto the county road. Gunning the engine, he headed south again. “One asteroid or meteor hit us about nine-thirty. Another one passed over a few minutes later. I don’t know where it hit. Hopefully, it struck in Alaska somewhere like that one back in 1987 did. All I know is that it isn’t safe here and we’re going as far south as we need to.” Silence dominated the cab of the truck as they drove on through the dark night. A few miles later, they encountered a convoy of National Guard vehicles headed north. Joel pulled over and parked on the shoulder of the road so they could pass. “Jeez,” he said staring at the hundreds of vehicles passing by them. “What are they doing, starting a war?” As they watched, dozens of jeeps with armed soldiers in them, tanks, cannon and rocket launchers moved slowly north. In the headlights of the utility truck, they could see solemn faces of men who looked as if death had already claimed them. They sat mystified for thirty-five minutes while the convoy passed. “We need gas,” Joel said ignoring the military vehicles disappearing behind them. “How? The electricity is out and the pumps won’t work,” Violet said. “That might be a problem.” “We have enough to get us to where the electricity is working,” he assured her confidently hoping that it would be soon. “The electric can’t be out all over the county.” “We’re only seven miles from Salem Falls,” Violet reminded him. “Anything that struck there would have blown out the power generation station on the river. We have to get pretty far away to find a place that has electricity.” “Maybe so,” Joel replied. “We have to try. We don’t know what’s going on back there. The military doesn’t move in like that unless they expect serious trouble.” “What do you mean? Riots, or something like that?” “The area might be devastated and they expect looting and things like that. I guess they have to be prepared for anything. We won’t have to worry about that now.” “That’s why you wanted the guns, isn’t it?” “Something like that,” he admitted. “I’ve seen plenty of movies about disasters. Did you ever see that old movie The Day After and how people reacted to a nuclear attack?” “No, I guess I missed that one,” she said as she looked at the road ahead. Everything seemed strange to her. All around them was only darkness. Even the fire from the meteor was no longer visible. The lights from the truck cut through the darkness like a ship embracing an ocean that covered half the planet. “It was a television movie made around 1986,” he said. “After a nuclear attack, all the survivors turned vicious.” Before he could finish what he was saying, the sky lit up like a Christmas tree. “What’s going on now?” Slamming his foot on the brake, he pulled the truck over to the side of the road and jumped out. He heard the creaking door—the one that needed grease—on the passenger side open and looked around as Violet ran around the front of the truck to join him. “What’s happening? Is it another meteor?” Shielding her eyes with her hand, she looked up into the sky above them. A brilliant blue light that put daylight to shame flooded the entire area. “I don’t think so,” Joel said slowly. “Maybe a helicopter with a spotlight.” “I don’t hear any engines,” she said. “Wouldn’t there be a noise, Joel?” As she spoke, the wind became more intense making it difficult to be heard over its roar. “You’re right. There isn’t any engine sound at all and what’s with that wind?” “I don’t know,” Violet shouted. “Maybe we better get out of here.” Joel was about to agree when the light disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared. In its place were seventeen smaller lights of varying colors. They flashed on and off with a pulsating frequency that was mind-boggling. The lights were shaped like a huge triangle. Whatever they were attached to was much larger than two football fields. The lights hovered over them for a few minutes before slowly moving off to the north. Something with a single bright light dropped from the mysterious object and landed in a field not too far from them. Joel took her hand in his as he contemplated about what it all meant. Joel felt as if static electricity were building up all around them. He thought his body might transform into a giant ball of lightning and discharge to the nearest cloud at any moment. His skin felt as if a million tiny ants were crawling all over him, his legs felt weak, his stomach empty and a cold hand was clutching at his throat. Trembling, he pulled Violet closer to him hoping to protect her although he didn’t know what he was protecting her from just as the truck quit running and the lights went out. They were in total darkness. Except for the bluish light from the thing that had landed in the field next to them. As they watched in almost total darkness, except for faint light from the stars overhead, two luminous figures emerged from the craft and walked toward them. Joel wanted to run. Something, a force that tugged at his mind and paralyzed his body prevented it. Glancing at Violet, he could barely see her face in the darkness. Even the darkness couldn’t hide the terror on her pallid face. He could feel her hand trembling in his. Abduction, he thought. “We’re going to be abducted,” Joel whispered knowing the truth he revealed would terrify her even more except it was better for her to hear the truth from him than to experience it without knowing exactly what was going on. “I don’t think so,” she said. “They would have just used one of those tractor beams to pull us up into their ship like on Star Trek.” “You read too many science fiction books,” he accused. “Maybe these aliens haven’t seen Star Trek?” “Everybody has seen that show,” she insisted trying to drum up a little humor. Hearing her own voice quivering, she knew her plan wasn’t working. Her queasy stomach and trembling lips were testimony of that. “Even aliens must have watched it a few dozen times.” Joel felt his heart skip a few beats as the creatures floated above the barbwire fence and landed gently on the road in front of them. Joel could not believe what he was seeing. His father had once been a proud member of NICAP and Joel had seen him throw his hands up in disgust as he disproved one UFO report after another. He had finally convinced himself that if they did exist that he would wait until he personally had seen one and then he would believe in them, maybe. Joel had always assumed that “flying saucers” were just ordinary things that people saw and couldn’t explain. Now he was facing one of those things himself and he still couldn’t explain it. Had the smoke from the meteor have affected them in some way? Could they be having a mass hallucination? Maybe they were seeing swamp gas, he thought and then tried to laugh and couldn’t. In fact, he couldn’t do anything except stare at two creatures from some other place that had huge heads and slender bodies. Their eyes were about the size of a walnut and darker than the night. Their mouths were wide and lipless while their skin was as white as alabaster. So much for the gray skin, he thought. Maybe these guys are the good ones, or so he hoped as he silently prayed. One of the creatures stepped forward and his mouth moved although no sound escaped from his throat. Joel felt Violet’s hand tremble. What were they going to do? Escape seemed impossible. Negotiation might be a possibility. Joel felt a high-pitched ringing in his ears and for a moment he thought it would drive him crazy. In a few seconds, the high-pitched sound gave way to a low hum that slowly penetrated his brain. Then he understood what was happening. The creature was communicating with him. As the creature’s mouth moved, the various sounds produced words in Joel’s head. Glancing at Violet, he thought that she understood the conversation too. “We come to your world to extract certain members of your species for safe keeping. You will be sent to a world in another universe where you will be studied so that we may replenish your species in case of extinction. We destroyed the asteroid that came close to your planet. If it had contacted your world, your entire species would have disappeared. This happened many centuries ago and other species were destroyed. Unfortunately, a small part of the asteroid managed to escape us and crashed into your world near here. Many of your kind was destroyed, in fact, many thousands have been extinguished. Your government detected our ship and is now searching for us. We must make all our selections as soon as possible and leave this world before they find us. One of our mandates prevents us from making contact with anyone that we can’t extract or to take any hostile action against others. Disregard your fears, you will be treated well and you will be doing a great service to your kind. Your future is your own. We will not interfere in your affairs. You will soon forget about us and you will control your own destinies. Do not make the same mistakes as were made on this world.” The alien raised his hand and placed it over a round silver button on his belt. Joel felt his pulse quicken and small cold scorpions with cold feet run up and down his spine stopping occasionally to sting him as darkness enveloped them. For a brief second, they were hanging in space with stars, galaxies and solar systems all around them. Then Joel opened his mouth and tried to scream as he saw a large black hole in front of them. They were moving toward it gaining momentum as they moved past planets, moons and stars that were slowly being pulled into the dark abyss. Joel felt as if he were having the worst nightmare of his life. That was before he awakened from his dream. Violet stood beside him in a green field with tall grass and earthly flowers all around them. In the distance, he could see tall mountains that reminded him of the Rocky Mountains—or maybe even Colorado—even though he had never been to either place. “Where are we?” she asked. “Is this the Garden of Eden or is it Hell?” “Could be either,” he replied with a solemn look on his face. “Did all that happen, or are we really dreaming?” “I don’t think we’re dreaming,” she admitted. “I don’t think we’re in Kansas, either. Wherever we are, we aren’t on Earth. I can sense that this isn’t home, it isn’t home at all.” “There’s no place like home,” he said. “I can sense it too. That black hole sucked us right in and we ended up here. I suppose it is possible. Most physicists believe that there are billions, maybe even countless universes. We must be in one of those. This is a world similar to our own. Look at the blue sky, beautiful foliage and the wonderful mountains. This is a world untouched by human habitation. Unlike earth, this must be a relatively new planet.” “So, what is the point? Why were we brought here? Was that alien telling the truth when he said that we’d be treated well?” Joel thought about everything for a moment. “This seems familiar for some reason,” he said. “Don’t you remember what the alien said? He said that our future was our own and that we were masters of our own affairs, more or less. He also said that we would soon forget about them.” “And, he said not to make the same mistakes our kind made on Earth. I’m supposing he was talking about global warming, wars, environmental self-destruction and all the other things we have done to destroy our planet.” “You got it,” Joel said. “I think they know that we have started something that can’t be stopped. Global warming is a serious problem on Earth. They must know that it will destroy all life on earth and that it is irreversible once it begins. Do you think they saved our race before?” “They seem to have the power to do almost anything so far as I’m concerned,” she admitted. “I’m sure they have been doing this for a long time. My guess is that they’re an advanced race with connections in more than one universe. I don’t understand why they chose us.” “That is a good question,” he agreed. “I suppose we were young and in good health. They probably probed our minds to make sure we were not crazy. After all, you wouldn’t want to certify two crazy people to start a new race. We’ll have enough Hitlers and his kind to contend with.” “How do you know we’re alone?” she asked. Violet turned away and looked around at the lush landscape. It was a perfect world, probably more beautiful than Earth had ever been. Then again, maybe Earth had once been this beautiful. “I mean, are we the only creatures here?” “I just sense that we are,” Joel said even though he didn’t have any way of proving it. “I think we’re the only humans here. Remember the alien said that they had to finish the extractions and leave. Well, that implies that we weren’t the only ones. My guess is that the other people will end up on worlds like this. After all, being intelligent, they wouldn’t want to put all their apples in one basket. Just in case, this world is destroyed, they would want other worlds to be populated with our species. There is another reason for my optimism. They put us right here in this spot for a specific reason. They wanted us to see something. We just have to find out what it is and we’ll be fine.” “Look at this,” Violet said tugging at his arm finally pulling him around so he could look where she was looking. In front of them was a low incline that led up to a grassy knob above them. Joel felt his heart beat faster as he looked at something that he had anticipated but had not fully realized. An animal or numerous animals had worn a path in the tall grass. The trail led up the incline and over the top of the hill. “Come on,” Violet insisted, “let’s follow it.” Together, hand in hand, they followed the path up the hill. Standing on top of the knob with a warm wind blowing in their faces, they looked down on a herd of buffalo. “Aren’t they beautiful?” she asked. “Must be close to a million of them.” “Food and clothes,” he said. “Everything in moderation,” she answered. “For every one we kill, we will grow ten more. We’ll domesticate them, at least those we use for food. That way, they won’t become extinct.” “Look beyond the buffalo herd,” he said pointing across the massive valley that must have been ten miles wide. “A forest.” “That’s not a forest,” she told him. “Those are fruit trees. I can see apples, peaches and plums from here. My stomach craves such succulent food. Let’s make our way to our Garden of Eden and fill ourselves before we make our plans for the future.” “Are you sure it’s safe to eat apples?” he asked smiling at her. “Why not? We already know about all the evil that inhabits our old world. We’ll just have to raise our kids to avoid it. We’ll have to teach them about what happened on Earth. We’ll need to write all the history of our world in a book so they’ll understand and remember. Our own world will need a history book, too.” “Great,” he said. “Sounds as if we’re going to be busy raising kids and all that. Do you think we can find time for us?” “Of course,” she said. “The aliens were wise enough to put us in the Garden of Eden and this time we have enough knowledge not to destroy it. If buffalo are here, then that means that all the other animals that were on earth are probably here too.” As if in answer to her question, a loud shrieking sound emanated from the skies above them. Startled, they turned and looked up into a blue sky speckled with puffy white clouds. High above them, an eagle chased a small bird. “Unbelievable,” he said. “See, I told you,” she said. “There are probably a few of every earthly species here. The aliens made sure that this place is a lot like earth.” “Yeah,” Joel admitted. “I guess they put two of every kind here. If those buffalo are any indication of that then they have been here for a couple of hundred years. If they originally transported two buffalo, one male and one female, then that means that the aliens have been seeding this planet with earthly creatures for a very long time. I wonder if we have bears, tigers and lions?” As she turned around to face Joel, a loud scream came from behind her. Cold hands gripped her shoulders and an icy feeling ran up and down her spine. Joel’s eyes were wide and his lips quivered as he pointed toward something behind them. Before she knew what was happening, he grabbed her and pulled her to the ground. From the cover of the high buffalo grass, she peeped through the tall blades trying to see what had terrified him. In the distance, she saw what Joel had seen. Standing on another low hill, munching on tall grass was a dinosaur, a large Brontosaurus otherwise known as Apatosaurus. As she pushed her head forward, hoping to see the creature better, she heard a loud flapping of wings above her. Looking up, she saw a Pterodactyl sweeping down on a flock of small birds that had landed near the buffalo. On the other side of the buffalo herd was a Tyrannosaurus. “Jesus,” she said. “Didn’t they leave anything on earth.” “They must have brought those creatures here centuries ago,” Joel said. “Some of those lived on earth over 230 million years ago. The aliens probably didn’t remember sending them here.” “Well one thing is for sure,” Violet said with a horrified expression on her face. “What?” “If we reach the Garden of Eden, I’m not leaving it.” “If we reach it,” Joel said not so confident as he once was. “There must be millions of those things here. We’ll be lucky to survive one night.” “We have to survive,” Violet said. “The rest of the human race may already be as extinct as those dinosaurs once were.” Dropping back in the tall grass, she pulled him close to her. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she kissed him fully on his lips for a long time before pulling away from him. Resting her head on her hand, she said, “We’ll wait until dark and then we’ll make our way to that garden. Once there, we’ll be able to survive until we’re strong enough to kill those creatures.” Joel sighed and looked at her. She was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. He was lucky to have her. She was the positive force that would instill bravery in him and ensure their survival. And yet, he knew that a lot of blood would flow before they could be safe on this world. The war, death and fear they had hoped to avoid had been waiting for them all along. They would survive, he knew because they had to. Together, they would build a new world that would someday be free of violence, hate and fear. After all, he was Adam and she was Eve and they had their Garden of Eden even if monsters surrounded it. The End
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