#198 Martian Skies

by Calum Kerr

The crimson clouds leaked pain and destruction and the cities melted away. They came from above in their ships: tiny, no larger than grains of sand, floating in the air. But one grain plus one grain soon becomes something larger, and larger, and larger still; on and on until towering metal sculptures of invasion littered the landscape.

The houses burned and the trees and animals evaporated. People ran screaming with no hope of reprieve, becoming nothing more than a carpet of ash.

I watched it all happen, unable to do anything, unable to save anyone, unable to save myself. I floated above and watched the world dissolve. I foundered below and watched all that had been explode in flame and smoke, pain and anguish, screams and silence. I felt my skin stripped from my bones and my marrow crumble to ash.

Afterwards it quieted. The noise stopped, the machines moved away and the sky started to clear to blue again. Then, slowly the blue skies resolved themselves into a white ceiling with a single bare bulb dangling from a yellowing flex. I reached down to the bottle of Martian Skies, tipped one into my palm and swallowed it, wanting to ride the whirlwind one more time.

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