Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 43

This weeks photo prompt is of the Kosmaj Monument  in Serbia, photo taken by John DePalatis.

John says on his blog: "The monument itself, designed by Vojin Stojić and unveiled in 1971, consists of five free-standing concrete wings surrounding a central dias. When lit, the monument can be seen from Belgrade on a clear night."

I tried to veer away from conventional sci-fi, and hadn't been sure of the ending until it arrived. No happy ending here. 

The monument celebrates a group of partisan fighters in World War II who battled against the German occupation in the south of Belgrade. During the fighting the battalions lost over 5,000 soldiers but their “guns of freedom kept shooting. The misty day in which he took it certainly makes it look interesting.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.


When they arrived everybody had panicked; it was like the movie Independence Day – well the first part, because there was no matching spacecraft found in the 50s that would overthrow them, there was only annihilation or assimilation. Riley had been one of the few to escape the first wave. She’d been prepared, although for a completely different apocalypse: climate change, not alien invasion.

She’d bought some land and built a sustainable, self-sufficient home out in the middle of a remote forest. It had all come at a bargain price too, because no one had been interested in living off grid in the middle of Europe. Everyone had wanted to stay connected and online, and be where the money was. But that connectivity had come at a high price, especially as it was disputed that it had been the internet that had been attracted the aliens to Earth in the first place – that and the car.

Some guy had thought it would be cool to send a car into outer space, apparently to prove they could send up such a weight, although there was conjecture it had been a marketing stunt. The aliens had liked the car, especially the dummy sitting in it, which represented the life form on our planet. Humans had the right shape and dexterity the aliens needed for cleaning out some kind of cells inside their purpose built planets. At least that’s what Riley understood on the cloaked radio transmissions she listened to in her little cabin. Thank goodness she’d installed a satellite dish. She could also listen in on alien transmissions, but they made no sense to her; their strange, garbled language was hard to listen to, sounding like someone eating with their mouth open.

Riley had hoped to remain hidden and ride out the invasion – that was until one of their craft arrived in the forest. Up until that point they hadn’t come near the forest. There was some kind of energy here that stopped them. They weren’t biologically set up like humans: they were tall, cumbersome giants with metal based skin. They were affected by magnetic forces, which Earth’s government tried to exploit, but the scientists hadn’t been fast enough in understanding or developing anything before the bulk of the population had been defeated. Riley knew they were on the brink of extermination, but had hoped she might be a last bastion – until she had stumbled upon the craft.

She was familiar with their strange spiky appearance, having seen the images on TV before all transmissions had been taken over. They looked like some kind of spiny sea urchin. The evening mist cloaked it, giving it an eerie edge as she skirted the trees around it. The forest had gone silent at its arrival which explained why the animal she had been tracking had gone to ground. She hid behind a tall spruce watching keenly, wondering what they had come for.

She heard a metal on concrete sound and saw a gap open in one of the legs. She waited for the giants to appear but instead there was a rustling and a dog-like creature came out. It made a strange rasping sound, which was hard on the ears. Its head turned in her direction and she froze. Was this a new tracking device? Was she about to be hunted?

Riley didn’t wait to find out. She moved swiftly backwards from the tree, crouching into the underbrush, keeping her eyes fixed on it. It didn’t move. The further back she went the less sure she was that it was looking at her, but as she turned to run it let out that rasping noise again followed by the sound of it running down the spike to the ground.

Riley fled, plunging herself full speed into forest, weaving a zigzag back and forth, her mind flying through the possibilities of escape, climbing might help, but would she reach the only climbable tree she could think of, before she was caught? It was gaining on her; she could hear its paws hitting the ground, just above her gasping breaths.

The sensation of panic was the last thing she felt as it grabbed her ankle and tossed her high overhead, slamming her into a tree. And the last thing she heard was the garble of alien voices as they came to collect their prize, dragging her numb body onto their craft. Her last thought was that the annihilation of the human race would soon be complete.


  1. It's not Midnight here. Not yet anyway. So, this counts as "just in time" :)

    The Bungee

    1. Oh. Look. We really are 6 hours behind you guys.

    2. You definitely are. I liked this story. I could read more of this. Thanks for joining in.