August Microstory

I have mentioned the Science Fiction Readers, Writers, Collectors, and Artists group on LinkedIn for the last couple of months. If you’d like to see what new writers are up to, you should definitely join the group. You don’t have to write anything, and you can enjoy the free stories each month. If you would like to try your hand at writing, please join us and submit your story. It is really fun. Following is the story I just finished for the August contest.

 Unnatural Harmonics

The day they arrived was neither the disaster authors had imagined nor the scientific boon academia had suggested. Massive starships hung like cumulonimbus high in the atmosphere, casting surreal shadows over the Earth. The ships were not metal military masterpieces, but instead were soft, gelatinous blobs that seemed incapable of traversing space. Millions panicked, while most prepared for the inevitable Armageddon when the aliens landed.

Yet the ships just hung in the sky for days, turning into weeks without activity. “What are they waiting for?” became the most common phrase spoken. After the third week, people tried to get back to their lives, since they had to work in order to eat. After five weeks, life resumed its natural course, even while governments tried to find solutions to the situation.

It was early on a Tuesday in the eighth week when something changed. Small moss green vessels left each starship and landed in the center of every large city. It was noon in San Diego when odd figures emerged from ships. They looked human, but very tall and thin with green skin and moss-like hair. The aliens walked away from their ships and stood waiting while crowds formed around them. The same scene played out everywhere. Where it was night, lights were set up. Where it was raining, free umbrellas were handed out.

At 2:00PM San Diego time, the aliens spoke in the native language of each city. “First, we need to apologize to you,” the alien said. “What has happened here is our fault and we freely accept acknowledge our responsibility. It was probably inevitable that you would enlist unnatural harmonics in your desire to learn and grow. But now we have discovered it, and are here to fix the damage.”

“I don’t understand!” shouted a voice from the crowd. The alien walked over to the young man standing just behind the barricade. “What have we done wrong, and who are you to tell us to change?” the man asked.

The alien laughed out loud. The glint in his eyes and the teeth in his mouth seemed completely human. He reached out his green arm and touched the man on his shoulder. “What is your name?”

“My name is Dave Brewster.”

“Hello Dave. My name is Pando Krakus, and I suppose I am your brother,” the alien replied. “We colonized this planet long ago. On my planet, people evolved to look like me. On this planet, humans evolved to look like you. There are many human species in the galaxy. The one thing we have in common is our refusal to allow unnatural harmonics.”

“What does that mean?” Dave asked.

Pando frowned. “Look around you!” he shouted, waving his arm at the skyscrapers around them and the concrete they stood upon. “You have corrupted Nature’s sacred balance. These structures were built with unnatural harmonics and must be eliminated. It is an atrocity to subject this globe to such acts.”

“But these are our homes and places of work!” shouted a woman from across the circle. “Where shall we live? How can we survive?”

Pando walked back to the center of the circle, as a deep guttural rumble began. “The natural harmonic you hear will continue for several rotations, continually gaining volume. After the third rotation, the harmonic will be powerful enough to disassemble the unnatural harmonics. I suggest you use that time to distance yourself from these things. We cannot protect you if you stay here. Once the natural balance is returned, we will return to help you.”

An old woman standing next to Dave Brewster screamed and fell to her knees. Dave knelt next to her as she clamped her hands over her ears. Dave yanked her hands free and pulled out her screeching hearing aids, which dissolved into dust in his hands. “You can’t do this to us!” he shouted at the alien.

“Leave the city now! Your atrocity is at an end,” Pando snarled as he pushed his way through the crowd and boarded his vessel which lifted off noiselessly and headed back into the sky.

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