A YEAR UNDERFOOT – entry #124

A Year Underfoot


January 6th, 2034

I had a vision early this morning and, mark my words, it may be the most important one I’ll ever receive.

I found myself wandering through the aisles of a great library. Thousands upon thousands of leather-bound books adorned the shelves and as I reached up to pull a volume from its perch, I caught sight of the Retratti woman from the previous episodes breeze past down an adjacent aisle.

I lit out after her, but I couldn’t catch up, she was always a few lengths ahead of me, always just out of reach, – leading me through the unmarked aisles, before disappearing around a corner.

A split second later I swept around the very same corner, but she was gone. There wasn’t a sign of her anywhere. Not a scent in the air, nor a flutter in the wind.

She had led me to a section marked, THREAK-EARTH CONFLICT.

I reached up and drew an elegantly bound volume from the shelf.

It was a history book, a history of the war, related from a third party perspective, starting with the invasion. I flipped through the massive tome, and once I saw that it read chronologically, I skipped on through to the end.

The final entry was written yesterday.

Today had yet to be written.

I closed the book and placed it back up on the shelf. Instead of pulling back my hand, I ran it along the row of books before stopping at one and pulling it down. I cracked open the binding and turned to the table of contents.

It too proved to be another volume on the Threak-Earth Conflict, but it wasn’t a history book, nor was it any sort of military dissertation. It was more than important than that. It was an anthropological analysis of the conflicting cultures, – and a breakdown of both combatants respective languages.

A complete breakdown of the Threak language.

I’d struck gold.

I held the key to the Threak alphabet in my hands. The meanings behind the eighteen hieroglyphs and twenty-one star symbols that comprise their written language were no longer foreign to me. I had the primer.

I took it all in, my mind and memory were supercharged and I would have memorized it all had I not been disconnected from the vision by the nerve jarring screech of a warbird coming in low over the trees, – precariously close to where I lay.

I woke and held still. They hadn’t seen me. I rolled my head to the side and looked up at the warbird hovering fifty feet up and a few hundred yards to the east. It was close enough that I could see the outline of the alien pilot through the tinted windscreen. He was looking for something. Was it me? Or, could there be someone, or something else out here I should also be concerned with?

The seconds ticked off slowly. The alien fighter hovered for nearly a full minute, drifting ever closer to my position before peeling off as quickly as it had come.

I spent the rest of the morning jotting down the hieroglyphs and star symbols in my notepad. Tonight, I’m heading back to the air base and taking a closer look. I know I’ve seen these characters before. It s time to place the names with the faces, so to speak.

Yet, another layer of their invincibility has been stripped away.

January 6th, 2034
(second entry)

The visions never steer me wrong.

The hieroglyphs and symbols I learned at the library are indeed the real deal. I cross checked them with the markings on the transports I’d detailed a few months back when I first started monitoring the Interstate. It’s all making sense.

They are what they say they are.



About paul nevins

Fiction writer, reader and baseball fan.
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