The End

I used to be happy. Back before they came.

At first I wasn't sure of it. I didn't want to believe. But there could be no denying the changes as they started taking over people's minds. It was such a subtle thing, most people didn't even notice it. But I did. And it made me very scared.

I didn't know who to trust. The change was so subtle, and I didn't want them to know that I had figured it out. But I couldn't just keep it to myself. So I told my friend Mike at the bar. Usually we have a few drinks together on Friday nights. I wasn't sure even he would believe me. I was so nervous, I couldn't even drink anything as I told him, I just let him have my drinks too. But that was the last time I ever saw Mike. I don't know if one of them overheard us talking, or if they just happened to come for him and after my warning he fought back ... in the paper it just said that he was in a car accident on the way home that evening, but I know they must have been covering up whatever happened.

I started keeping to myself. Everybody else was going along like nothing was happening, but I guess they are pretty good at this, hiding, fitting in, staying under the radar. I wonder if they have taken over other worlds before ours? I thought there would be other people like me, a resistance of some sort, but I am pretty sure they control the news, so even if somebody else did fight back I never heard about it. I was even scared to do too much searching online in case they were watching me and caught on that I saw through the changes.

The anxiety was building, I couldn't just keep going along, waiting for them to finally come for me. I had to do something. And so that's when I decided: it looks like I am the last sane person on Earth, I might as well go down swinging. And so I started to plan, to carefully stockpile supplies, to set up for the perfect time to strike out at them. I picked up a rifle, and some ammo for it. I picked a time when I know there would be a lot of them in one place, and I paced out the ranges to find the spot where I would be most effective.

---

It is a Friday night, a warm evening in September. The sun has just set, and the sky still has a little bit of golden haze. I walk across the grassy field to the spot I have picked. About fifty meters to the east is the large, blocky brick high school. Fifty meters the other way is the football field, with stands lining the north and south of it. A neighborhood of houses lines the north of the campus, and a parking lot packed with cars is to the south. The crowd is making lots of noise, bouncing under the bright stadium lights.

As I stand in the middle of the dark field, nobody seems to notice me. I shrug off my long coat, dropping it and the rifle hidden underneath to the ground. I kneel on the coat, slide a magazine into the gun, and then bring it against my shoulder.

I take a deep breath, and one last look at what is in front of me. Crowds pack the stadium seats to the left and right. A couple kids are throwing a ball on the edge of the light between me and the field. The teams line the field on either side, and a group of cheerleaders is jumping in front of the crowd. I have a moment of panic, what am I doing? But then I think I can see the signs, the subtle change in all those people being controlled by them. And so I start. BANG! BANG! I BANG! tell myself, BANG! each bullet is releasing BANG! one of these people BANG! from their control. BANG!

The first magazine goes empty almost before I take another breath. I drop it and asses the scene as I slide another magazine in. The crowd is starting to writhe around where I was aiming. I turn and empty the next magazine into the smaller set of stands on the other side of the field. Now everybody is running, yelling, screaming. I reload again.

There are some boys running from the field, jumping over the short fence that separates them from me. Aha, they have finally seen how dangerous I am, and they are coming for me. BANG! I fire into the little group BANG! BANG! and they each fall to the ground. I see a security guard, talking into a radio, looking at me around the back corner of the stadium. I aim at him, BANG! BANG!, I'm not sure if I hit him or not, but he is either down or hiding, so I empty the rest of the magazine into the stands as all of them try to run away.

As I am loading another magazine, there is a flash in the darkness to my left and I feel something punch me in the shoulder. I now seem to be looking up at the sky, and my left arm feels strange. I sit up, rolling back on top of my rifle, and I see him. It is one of them, he must have snuck through the parking lot to get close to me. Something in his hand flashes, and I feel the air crack as a bullet just misses me. He is standing, holding what must be a pistol, walking toward me. I struggle to get the magazine seated in my rifle and get it aimed toward him, but my left arm doesn't want to move. More flashes come from him, and it feels like somebody is punching me through my chest. Pain wracks my body, and I black out. I know this must be the end, but at least I went down fighting, I wouldn't let them just take me.

I can't move. I can't see. I can't breathe. All I feel is pain, and as even hearing leaves me, I can just barely make out a human voice saying "What kind of insanity could possibly drive somebody do something like that?"1

  1. Note: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the events described and real people or events is entirely coincidental. No chinchillas were harmed in the making of this work. This is a work of entirely speculative fiction, I deny any contact with aliens, demons, or any other unworldly creatures. Mental health is a serious issue, if you are struggling please seek professional guidance. Violence is not the answer, and I will always work for a peaceful coexistence with our alien overlords. []

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