A YEAR UNDERFOOT – entry #164

A Year Underfoot


March 4th, 2034

The dark-haired alien woman appeared to me last night

I was asleep, and had been for hours when I found I was back among them, – the Retratti. I don’t know how else to explain it. Physically, my body was here, but mentally, spiritually, I was millions of miles away.

I was back in the library. The same grand library where I’d been shown the characters and symbols of the Threak language. I sat at a long, wooden table and no sooner had I done so when she approached, as beautiful and ethereal as I’d remembered.

I stood, and without saying a word, she beckoned for me to follow.

I did so without question.

She stopped at the end of a great aisle and I sidled up and stood next to her. Her eyes instructed me to look ahead.

A great three-dimensional aerial map of the western United States appeared before me. It stretched from Denver in the east, to the Pacific Ocean in the west. But, it wasn’t an historical map of how things used to be, it was current, in real time, – it told the tale of now.

I was able to see the big picture.

And, it showed that even now, eight months later, gaping wounds in the Earth still smoldered where great cities once stood.

It showed areas where, at this very moment, the Threak were strip-mining and deforesting at a frantic pace.

It showed where fires burned unabated and where nuclear power plants, neglected since the invasion, had fallen into jeopardy.

And, it showed the location of every Threak installation in the western United States.

I gazed out over the map, and when I turned to ask her a question, she was gone.

I looked back over the map and it was gone too, but I knew it was embedded in my memory, just as the Threak written language had been. I’d be able to recall it at will.


About paul nevins

Fiction writer, reader and baseball fan.
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