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Fiction Horror Science Fiction

My trial began in the usual way.

“Hear ye, hear ye. All rise.”

“The Honorable Llewelyn Magee presiding. You may sit.”

Magee is one of their elders. Some told me he is the eldest elder. He is still tall and vibrant, but his skin has taken on the cast of the dying; gray, wrinkled, going translucent.

His eyes bely his aged appearance. Fiery, alert, piercing, focused, terrifying to the accused, horrifying to the guilty.

The guilty see their fate in his eyes. They never see mercy.

We’re not much of a town compared to the City across the Kill, but we had an abundance of civic pride. We did much in the last two decades to improve the infrastructure of Elizabeth and the lives of our citizens.

Some held me primarily responsible for those improvements. That may be true. It was my goal as mayor to make our Borough a place where anyone would want to live.

We started with the fire department. Grant money and taxes built new stations rivalling anything the City could build; best available bunker gear, ladder trucks, pumpers; attack trucks bought and correctly stationed allowing a three-minute response anywhere in the borough.

Next, we hardened our police station and armored all the patrol cars. The best body armor for our women and men in blue.   Both lethal and non-lethal weapons―only the best. New raised standards for police behavior, enforced.

Concurrently, we chewed up and re-paved all public roads. Brought in contractors to beautify and modernize yards and sidewalks and private driveways. Our council passed statutes requiring homeowners to repair and modernize the exterior of their homes or forfeit their property. We provided grant money to help our citizens in this effort.

We drove out the riffraff, the entrenched drug dealers, the pornographers, the abusers―all gone now.

We became idyllic.

Our children’s park included a waterpark, swing sets, ball courts and fields. Our central park was a gathering place for everyone for many festive occasions and the rare instances of public mourning.

I’m proud of our Borough and everyone in it. I am the leader of our community. When I requested solidarity against these outsiders, all rose up to provide a solid front to thwart their designs, to stop their progress through our Home.

It was for naught.

Three years ago, they came to our Borough from the west. Afoot, with their eight-foot stride, hands extending below their knees, cyan skin, they made quite a sight.

They started calmly enough. They began to mingle with us. Renting only the better apartments, acquiring vacant houses throughout the Borough, all at undisputed market value. They assimilated well, in their way.

They learned our customs, our language, our habits, and foibles. I can’t say everyone liked them, but most of us felt it important to welcome them. They even acquired citizenship after the president bullied Congress into passing the new immigration laws for extraterrestrials.

A little over two years ago, our Council approved statutes prohibiting any kind of discrimination against them. Price gouging was prohibited. Unnecessary traffic stops were dealt with firmly. Police cams were reviewed regularly to ensure nothing was amiss within the Department.

We accepted them. Oh, it’s true, after that first year or so there were hooligans who would bully the smaller ones. After a few bullies disappeared, that behavior stopped completely. Of course, police investigations proved nothing. Somehow, we all knew.

I knew. One of those punks was my daughter. She would rail about the new ones and how we had to banish them. I admonished, cajoled, threatened, begged; all to no avail. Now she’s gone. Like the others, with no trace.

That’s how it started, this hatred of mine. I had begun to doubt them, their intentions.

They all gather in the central park at noon on Wednesdays to worship whatever god or gods they worship. Not a problem until six weeks ago when a parent of one of the disappeared threw a rock and hit their leader’s assistant. That was her poor choice.

A passing patrolman saw it and arrested the woman for battery, public intoxication and disturbing the peace. The police cam caught some colorful language and her threats to them.

She was booked, fingerprinted, and released to her husband. 

She disappeared from their bed that night. No forced entry, no noise, not a peep from their dogs.

Secretly, I met with Chief Gertrude Stein. We talked about the disappearances and other odd things. Peeping Tom complaints, shop owner complaints about the hazards of accepting their odd gold coins. Their increasing disregard of traffic laws. All petty complaints that were increasing in number from the other citizens. Nary a complaint from them about harassment or re-budding discrimination or anything at all.

The Chief and I talked about all of it. We decided these new ones had to go. Out of Borough’s coffers we’d buy them out and give them a relocation allowance. Simple solution. We’d arrest the holdouts for disturbing the peace or public incitement. Our Borough attorney helped us through the details.

Last week (a mere seven infinite days ago) we made the announcement. A police officer paired with a Borough representative visited each of their households explaining the situation. We sent out 20 of these teams. Forty people in all. It took them three days to formally visit each house and explain the new edict. None of them reported any reaction from any of the residents. We gave them 30 days to vacate our Borough.

On the fourth morning, every team member was reported missing. Disappeared. One hell of an uproar ensued. Police action was demanded. I gave the order to drive them out. Burn them out if necessary.

Poor choice. Poor choices made by all.

Have you ever read stories about illegal immigrants living 20 to a room? That’s nothing compared to what we learned. There must have been 50-100 of these new ones per household. Thirty to fifty in each apartment. No one knows.

All very well-armed and militarily trained.

Our Borough, my Borough was decimated in less than six hours. Every person, every pet, every squirrel, cat, rat was eliminated.

“Prisoner, arise!”

“You have been found guilty of fomenting rebellion against us,” the Honorable Magee pronounced.

“Cleave the prisoner from groin to brain, slowly. Broadcast it to all this world so our brethren know it is time to end the charade. This is our home now; these creatures must go.

“Court dismissed.”

His pronouncement was the last in what became an extinct language the next day.

His eyes horrified me.

August 12, 2023 01:38

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1 comment

Chuck Thompson
01:01 Aug 21, 2023

Thanks to all who read this!


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