Her Chicken Scratch / Short Stories

The Teachers – Part Five ‘I shall burn.’

If you missed part four, click here!

The Teachers

Part Five Out Of Five

‘I shall burn.’

It didn’t take long for Marilyn to throw on a heavy wool jacket that made her claw at her arms. She was wearing short sleeves so the scratchy fibers slashed away her composure. “Lily!” She shouted out, while rushing about the small home. Her right foot caught at the end of the kitchen table and she slammed into the ground – laughing. I can’t believe I just did that. 

“Why would you do that?” Lily said, padding out of the living room. Her hair twisted on the top of her head. Her face was freshly powdered.

“I didn’t do it on purpose, Lil.” Marilyn sneered, ignoring the throbbing pain in her foot. The floor smelt heavy with dust and old breadcrumbs. “Are you ready?”

“I was afraid you were going to say that.”

Marilyn grinned, heaving herself up. Looking to her friends left hand – where a jean backpack covered in alien and UFO’s stickers barley hung on. It was her ‘grab and go’ pack for when things like this happened. Not like they happened a lot, but she always want to be prepared. It was jammed pack with police tape she swiped from the station (don’t ask) glow sticks, flashlight, screwdriver and a switch blade the size of her palm. She used to have a fake ID to, but the schools printer and lamination tools didn’t fit her needs – and she didn’t want to pay the shady guy at the end of the street five thousand dollars for one.   “Ready?” Lily asked.

“Way ready.” She replied.

~

“Hold on!” Quentin shouted to Rosa. Who looked grey and grim with death.  Earl’s spaceship screamed once more before Quentin caught a glimpse of the strange standing posts of light that were in rows across all of the land. If he didn’t know any better they seemed to be humming.

It felt like the inside of his body was rattling. He reached out to grab Rosa’s hand – who squeezed back tightly.

~

“I don’t know about you, Lily. But I feel like I can’t breathe.” Marilyn said, swallowing as if that would help.

“You’re just excited. Now pay attention to the road! People are honking at you.” Lily said, pointing to the road aggressively.

Marilyn laughed, “Don’t worry about that. There’s a bumper sticker on the back window that says ‘I believe in aliens. Think I’m crazy? Honk! It’s glow in the dark…”

Lily just shook her head and Marilyn was sure she asking the same question in her head as she always did when it came to her friend, but she was also asking herself a question. Is this reality? She shifted into gear and felt the tug of gravel against her car tires. “Looks like they are landing in a parking lot. Smart choice. Do you think we will have to kill them?”

Lily froze, and her cheeks flushed. “We will not kill them. Are your kind crazy?”

“My kind?” Marilyn repeated. “If you are referring to alien enthusiasts, you betcha.” She replied sarcastically.

~

The seat buckles undid themselves and Quentin immediately stood. He thought it would be a lot harder landing, then it was. Rosa got up slowly grabbing her stomach. “I think I am going to throw up.”

Quentin made a face. “You’ve never thrown up before…”

“I know.” She replied, scrunching her nose. “Think it’s because I’m not organic?”

“Shall we go exploring?” Quentin asked, ignoring her question. His mind flashing to his parents face, and soundless words when they asked him; ‘why do you have questions for things you do not understand?’

“Oh please!” Rosa replied. Still holding onto her stomach. “I wonder if they have plastic forks here!”

“Lets.” He said. Pulling the door open. The air was thick and heavy here, it started. He couldn’t make his voice sound anymore cheerful then it was. He was nervous and he felt ridiculous here.

Rosa nodded. Following closely behind her brother, trying to straighten out her face as her stomach started to dance and spin. “Is this some sort of grounding pad?” She moved back and forth hearing a slight ‘crunch’ as her weight began to shift. It made her giggle.

“Not a clue.” He replied. Trying to see farther than he could. It felt brisk here, and everything was coated in little sharp-looking crystals. But when he reached for them they quickly dissolved into a clear liquid. “I wish we knew more.” He grumbled, standing up.

Rosa caught his eyes and nodded. “Me too.”

Her body temperature was raising and she felt as if she might melt into nothingness. She wanted to peel of her suit but knew better. This was all new, in the most terrifying, wonderful of ways. So she decided to concentrate on that. Not on their home planet destruction – but here. Not on her missing parents or strange Earl, who strapped them into his spaceship and set them off – but here. On this beautiful, new, place. That spoke of things she never done or saw before. It was a world full of possibilities to her.

“Hello! Greetings!” Marilyn waved. Seeking out two people looking shapes in the distance. She kicked her car door shut.  “That must be them.” She whispered to Lily, who glumly replied with a nod of a head. Her chest still felt tight, and the heavy air wasn’t helping.

“What’s that?” Rosa, whispered to Quentin.

“Lets go.”

“What? It seems friendly.” She paused. “HELLO!” She screamed back. “It speaks our tongue.” Rosa beamed. Stuff like this was so exciting.

“Lets go!” Quentin repeated again in almost a cry, pulling her into a cluster of tall stalks of living wood. Whatever reached off of them had a very strong scent. They were also prickly and smelled similar to home but not as rich. He stood still eyes on the bickering shapes that approached with a ray of light that bounced back and forth from the spaceship to where they were hiding.

“Now look, you scared them.” Lily said with a sigh.

Marilyn glanced up at her. “You are not very nice.” She replied, pressing forward. “Hello, I’m Marilyn, this is Lily.”

Do you think they can see us? Quentin thought, squinting as the beam of light shone in his eyes. If I just stay still long enough… 

Rosa screeched and tumbled backwards out of hiding, a red vine lookingish thing wrapped tightly around her leg. “Quentin! Get it off of me! Get. it. off!” She shouted. But Marilyn was already on it. She whipped out her switch blade and bent down to the interesting looking girl and tried to saw it off – but it only squeezed tighter. She started to cough.

“What are you doing!” Quentin geared, bending down next to Marilyn. He was more human looking she thought.  “Give me that!” and she did.

“I’ve never seen a plant like that before…” Lily whispered. “It looks like it’s pulsing.”

“That’s because it is.” Quentin replied, his heart melting. It’s exactly what he thought.

The plant rapidly grew up the sides of Rosa’s small body. Tugging and ripping into her suit. “Quentin!” She shouted again. “I can’t… I’m cracking…” Quentin stared at her. Her body was creaking and groaning as her wire hair went up in flames and dripped down her forehead.

“Stupid, stupid vine!” He screamed, reaching for her hand. The flames licked at his arm as he swung the blade and tried to saw off the vines leaves. He fell back, watching as the red plant crawled all of his sister’s life.

“It hurts.” Rosa whispered. Her voice dry and sharp as her body crashed to the ground as if it were invited. “Thanks for the adventure Quentin.” She softly smiled.

Quentin nodded. Feeling the stones bite into his knees as he knelt next to her. “Your dead.” He said, more to his self then to her. He reached out for her hand once last time, it was limp and had already started to crumble. “Silly you.” She uttered out. Her voice turning back to the coding that was sewn into her. It was cold and robotic.

Marilyn looked to Lily, who stood with her mouth open. Both of them had no idea what to do. How had something been so okay – go so wrong – within moments of life.

“Here’s your knife.” Quentin said, suddenly standing in front of Marilyn. His face pale and wet with tears. His body turned against the still body on the ground. She reached out for it – and he handed it over gently. With no gust left in his body for any more effort. “We came here to kill that plant.” He paused. “But it killed Rosa. Precious, little Rosa.

“I’m sorry.” Marilyn mumbled, taking a deep breath. Her eyes on the earth.

You did nothing wrong, don’t apologies to me.”

Marilyn nodded, and heard Lily stirring beside her. “Uh – what just happened?” She said.

Quentin stared at her, coldly. “That plant.” He raised his voice. Pointing to the heap. “Was going to suffocate every last breath of this world.”

“I still don’t…”

“Don’t ask questions to things you will not understand.” He said, turning to collect Rosa. His shoulders caved and shaking.

Written by A. Writes.

Comments and feedback are always welcome.

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