Aliens: The Beginning
By Lisa H.
“Hey, Ashley, my dad called. He said to met him outside. You know the drill.”
Lisa grabbed her backpack and lunch pail waiting by the door and turned to face her friend, her blonde hair flying around her. Ashley nodded and opened the front door, leading Lisa after her. The bright sunlight blinded the girls, for they were accustomed to the darkness of Ashley’s room.
“Wow, he actually got here on time,” Ashley pointed out when a white Ford pickup truck screeched to a halt in front of the driveway.
“I know. It’s amazing. See you tomorrow!” Lisa replied, throwing the backpack into the back of the truck. Ashley waved to her and Lisa got inside the truck. “Bye!” she called out the window and her dad drove the truck away down the street.
“Her dad’s driving is going to be the end of her,” she said, laughing to herself as she walked back up the porch steps and into her house.
The phone’s alarm clock jolted Lisa awake as if lightning had struck her. She got up angrily and shut it off.
It said 5:30am. Who set it so early? she wondered. Grabbing the school day’s clothes and a fresh towel, she headed off to the shower.
“Ashley! Wake up right now. It’s time for school and you’re not even out of bed!” The shrill voice rang through the brown-haired girl’s head, but she chose to ignore it. She could sleep a few minutes longer. A strong hand gripped her arm and pulled.
“Get up!” Ashley groaned and sleepily raised one eye. Her Grandma was standing over her, toothbrush in one hand, her other grasping Ashley’s arm tightly.
“No, it’s 8:28! Get up.”
Ashley rose and made sure her Nana was satisfied and out of the room before lying back down.
Lisa walked into the classroom, glancing at the clock before heading to her desk. 8:28. Made it by two minutes! Looks like Ashley isn’t here, yet, she thought. That makes three times late this week.
The door flew open and a ruffled-looking Ashley strolled in, her hair tossed back in a messy ponytail.
“Sign in, Ashley. Late again?” Mrs. Lundgren said, stating more than asking it. Ashley nodded and sulked to her seat across from Lisa’s.
“What’d you do get hit by a bus?” Lisa joked. Ashley smiled but didn’t return the joke.
“Are you done or should we all wait for you two to finish your conversation?’ Ms. Shirazi asked. She sat next to Mrs. L, her clothes neat, hair perfectly tied in a red lace ribbon. It shined black against the harsh light of the classroom.
“We’re finished,” Ashley replied, receiving a harsh look from Mrs. Shiraz, as Ashley liked to call her. Lisa shot her a warning glance, but Ashley wasn’t looking. Instead, she was looking through the sketches she had made the night before. Most were of aliens, Lisa could see from her desk. The rest were either wolves or anime characters. The usual Ashley drawings.
“Please bring whatever that is to me, now, Ms. Ashley. You know better,” Ms. Shirazi demanded, holding out her hand to receive the drawing. Ashley glared at her, but did what she was asked. Lisa grinned but immediately stopped fearing Ashley might take it the wrong way.
“You know what, Mackenzie?” Ashley asked. It was a few hours later and their class was out at recess. The short, brown-haired girl sat next to her.
“The human body is made up of 70% water,” Ashley spouted off useless bits of knowledge, that proved to be very useful later, quite frequently and so Mackenzie ignored her, staring at the algebraic math problem in front of her. Normally they weren’t supposed to take homework out with them but Mackenzie had an exception. She had been out with the flu and was behind in her work.
“You didn’t answer me.”
“Do I ever?” Mackenzie snapped back, annoyed that Ashley wouldn’t let her focus on math.
“Hey Lisa!” Ashley called out to the girl walking to the old drinking fountain, “Did you know the body is made up of 70% water?”
“No, where’d you learn that?”
“Back of the science book where all the answers are. There’s a lot of useful information back there, besides the answers,” Ashley grinned.
“First of all, I wouldn’t necessarily call that useful and second, I would call looking in the back of the book cheating,” Lisa replied, chidingly.
“Ashley, you shouldn’t cheat so much. It’s all going to catch up to you someday,” Mackenzie reprimanded.
“Yeah, but you think about the future to much. I like living in the present,” Ashley responded.
Lisa sat down next to Ashley on the bench and started eating.
“Are you sure this is what he’s planning?” The boardroom was tiny. It made both men uncomfortable as they spoke quietly together.
The tall man on the right nodded sharply, his angry expressions showing clear as day, “Yes, I overheard his plans clearly. They are going to see how long it takes for the infestation to occur among a human city. The professor is likely to follow through with the plan, too.''
The other man leaned over in his chair, his elbows rested on his knees, “This is not good. Is there nothing we can do to stop this, Charlie?”
The other man shook his head, “They are setting the first eggs now. There is nothing we can do except to warn the general public through the media.”
“Who will believe us until the infestation actually begins to occur?”
“That’s the problem. The only thing that would happen is that we get locked up for conspiracy. I guess we just wait and when the time’s right, we act, agreed?”
Carl shook his head but agreed, “I don’t like this Charlie. I don’t like this one bit.”
The principal of the small, private school sauntered into the classroom until she reached Ashley’s desk.
Lisa heard her say, ''Meet me in the office,” and grimaced. Poor Ashley had been getting into trouble a lot lately. I wonder what she did this time, she thought.
Ashley glanced at her fearfully as she followed the principal out of the classroom. Ashley made sure to keep at least five feet away from the woman on their walk to the school office. She was somewhat disgusted by her and didn’t want to get close. Mrs. Cunningham led Ashley up the short steps and into the back room of the office where they sat on a saggy sofa in a back corner.
“Don’t look so frightened, Ashley. You didn’t do anything wrong this time,” the woman started off.
This time? Ashley thought to herself.
“I was just wondering how your outline for your graduation speech was coming along.”
Oh, great, Ashley thought, “Um, I’m sorry. I didn’t bring it to school today. I thought it was due yesterday and when you didn’t call me into the office to talk about it, I brought it home.”
Mrs. Cunningham stared at Ashley, a stare that seemed to pierce your soul, “Oh, Ashley, you’ve been at this school for how long? Five years?”
“Two,” Ashley corrected.
“Two? Wow, seems like longer,” the principle added underneath her breath. “Bring it tomorrow and don’t forget. Head back to class.” She pointed towards the door and ushered Ashley out.
Sighing in relief that nothing happened, Ashley trudged back across the school lawn and into her classroom.
The first thing she saw was the blood. It was everywhere. The next thing she noticed was the grating, ripped from the vent and the slimy trail leading into it. All that blood made Ashley’s knees feel weak and she slumped to the ground. But she landed on something. Screaming, she leapt up with unknown strength and stumbled a few feet away. She had sat down on her teacher’s body. Her dead body. Ashley yelped and looked around the room. A few students sat at their desks, stunned and unable to react at what they must have just witnessed. Ms. Shirazi sat behind the teacher’s desk with about five other students and there was a small group of classmates huddled in the back corner of the room. Everyone was as far away from Mrs. Lundgren’s body as possible, and all of them too frightened, shocked, and appalled to move. Then, all at once it seemed, everyone burst into tears. The room was full of chaos as Ashley’s classmates rushed for the door all at the same time.
Ashley leapt out of the way to avoid being trampled and landed on something crunchy. She shifted her weight and glanced down between her legs at what she had stepped on. A beige, finger shaped organism lay on its back, long tail wrapped in a ball behind it. A wet tube lay part way out of a fleshy hole in its underbelly.
“Ashley!” Ashley turned and saw Lisa running towards her with a frantic look on her face.
“Lisa, what happ-,” she started.
“Come on. We have to get away from here!” Lisa interrupted, dragging her friend behind her.
“Lisa, wait. What happened?!” Ashley yelled over the screams of her fellow peers.
Lisa didn’t respond but kept pulling Ashley through the crowd of people all heading towards the school exit. Ashley gave up on asking and allowed herself to be dragged away.
“So the alien came out of Mrs. Lundgren’s chest?!” Lisa, Ashley, and a few other students were huddled under an oak tree a few blocks away from school. As soon as they had gotten out of the school, the class had split up accidentally and now the group Lisa and Ashley were in were talking about what had happened and were trying to figure out what to do next.
“Yes, that’s right. Then it escaped through the air conditioning vent in the wall. We all saw it happen,” Lisa explained.
Ashley let her head drop as the reality of what had happened hit her.
“Well, we have to do something. Sitting here isn’t going to do anything,” a girl named Sarahli said from the back of their group.
“Well, why don’t you be in charge!” Ashley replied smugly. Sarahli frowned but stayed quiet. It was silent for a few minutes while everyone sat thinking. Lisa was pacing back and forth and Ashley stared at her, eyes moving with Lisa as she paced. Then, Helori raised his hand. His black hair ruffled in the brief breeze.
“Helori. We’re not in school right now. You don’t have to raise your hand,” Lisa snapped, her face taking on a look of anger even though she didn’t mean for it to. Helori lowered it dejectedly.
“What were you going to say?” Sarahli asked. Helori glanced up at Lisa, as if waiting for permission to answer, but then realized that he could say what he wanted. It wasn’t like she was in charge.
“I was just thinking and I realized that no one knows about what happened except for us.”
“And the other groups that ran in other directions,” Ashley pointed out.
Helori nodded, “And them, but what I meant is that everyone else, our parents in particular, don’t know that anything is wrong. They think we are just having a normal school day.”
“Yeah, he’s right. What about Mrs. Cunningham. She has to know about this by now. The whole school couldn’t have ran out right under her nose without her noticing,” Lisa said, raising yet another good point. The others nodded in agreement.
Then Helori stood up. “We have to go back and see what she thinks. There we can also use the office phone,” he said.
“Go back there with that, that… thing running around? Well, you can count me out,” Sarahli said. She inched away from the group before realizing that she felt safer with them and inched back.
“Well, not all of us should go, in case something should happen…” Lisa said. She looked at Ashley, “Wouldn’t you agree?”
Ashley nodded, “I think that’s best. So who will stay and who will go?” No one answered.
“I guess I’ll go, Ash,” Lisa said slowly, silently yelling at herself for saying it. Ashley nodded, “Anyone else?”
Another boy who hadn’t spoken up before stood and nodded. “You can count me in.”
“Good, David. That makes two. Do you think that would be okay?” Ashley asked. Lisa nodded and sighed.
“Ash, I really don’t want to go. You didn’t see what happened. I’m scared.” Ashley got up and tried to comfort her, but Lisa turned away. “I’ll go. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.”
Ashley sighed, “Do you want me to go instead?” Lisa shook her head and started off towards the school. David noticed she was leaving and ran after her.
“How long do we wait until we go after them?” Sarahli asked.
Ashley looked at her. “Two seconds,” she replied and sat down on the soft grass with her arms wrapped around her knees to wait.
David pushed the black, metal gate open slowly, looking around the inner part of the school. Lisa stood right behind him, watching behind them. They crept past the lost and found bin to their left and started up the office stairs. Everything looked intact and nothing was out of place.
“Up there?” David asked, pointing towards the office door. Lisa looked up at him and nodded. He opened the door silently and together, the two students walked into the office. It was empty. No one was there.
“It doesn’t look like she’s here, Lisa. Let’s get out and go back to the others.”
Lisa walked back towards the “Private” room of the office.
“What are you doing?” David asked, angry that she wouldn’t just leave. It was obvious no one was there, he thought.
Lisa grabbed the doorknob and tried to pull it open. The door didn’t budge. “Come here, help me open this,” she said. David regretfully walked over and yanked hard on the door causing it to shudder, but open.
An awful stench reached their noses and then dry heat. Lisa pulled the door open and stumbled backwards. The room was entirely covered in alien slime, the floors, the desks, everything. The office teachers were encased in grotesque positions in the walls of goo. It was as if they were shoved into particular positions regardless of broken bones. David’s eyes grew wide when he stepped past Lisa and into the room.
Mrs. Cunningham was the first one he saw. She was hanging on the wall, neck obviously broken, a huge hole in her chest.
“That’s what happened to Mrs. Lundgren! There are more of those things now!” Lisa cried. David didn’t respond but instead headed farther into the room.
“What are you doing?!” she shrieked. “We have to get out of here!” She grabbed his arm and tugged at him to come with her, but he didn’t budge and shook her off.
“I’m going to see if there are any survivors.”
“Survivors? Survivors? There are obviously no survivors, okay? Look at all the teachers!” Lisa shouted, pointing at various bodies in the slime. All of them had holes in their chests.
“We’re leaving. Who knows how the others are doing anyway. I’m not staying in here another minute,” Lisa said, running out of the room, not daring to look behind her to see if David was following her in fear that she would stop and go back. She ran out the front door of the office and tumbled down the steps. Then she stopped short.
A small crowd of shiny black creatures were making their way towards her. Their heads were long, shaped like half a banana. Their bodies were alien, not following the law of physics, rib cages hanging pecariously out of their chests with no beating hearts or any other visible organs.
She willed her legs to move but they would not. She was stuck in one place, staring at the monster, its jaws dripping steadily with acidic saliva. I hope I make it out of this alive, she thought, but the odds seemed against me...
To be continued.