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Populace

By M K Lee All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller

Short Story

On the 23rd of September 2012, a huge number of UFO sightings were reported worldwide. Numbers steadily increased over the next three years, and witnesses were written off as cranks, unstable, or attention seekers. 

When MUFON reported a spike in UFO activity in June 2015, the general populace took no notice. Whether the governments around the world knew and said nothing or were as ignorant as everyone else was at the time is now somewhat irrelevant. 

There aren't so many of us left. Survival seems to have overridden the need to argue and be right. Not that we really know what to do in order to survive.

On Sunday, 9th of August 2015, the first lights appeared in the sky over all major cities across the world.

It is thought that they were drawn to the light pollution like a moth to a flame. 

We marked ourselves out as targets and essentially served ourselves up for dinner. Or whatever it is they do with us. It's been three years now and on the 9th of every month since that first time, lights appear in the sky over the brightest of cities, and people disappear. Tens, hundreds, we're not sure. In some areas, thousands have vanished in a single moment. Estimates put the total missing populace at three to four billion, which some say is not exactly a drop in the ocean given the seven billion there were of us before this all started, but not necessarily a bad thing either. Others just want their loved ones back.

Selection appears to be arbitrary. Race, nationality, this is the truest form of non-discrimination we have ever known. We have no idea of the selection process. Scientists have calculated all sorts of datasets from blood type to illness to age, and there is no obvious pattern to be found anywhere. 

You wonder who is next. You wonder if it's you. You wonder what awaits on the other side.

Today is a beautiful, bright August day. Wednesday the 8th. The sun is shining, the clouds are wispy, there should be a feel of summer everywhere in the northern hemisphere. But there isn't. There is just one of apprehension and dread.

People do a number of things on the 8th of August nowadays. Drink themselves into oblivion. Have 'one last meal' with their families and friends. Try to stay awake as if remaining alert will form a shield against what is about to come. Some even carry on as if it were an ordinary day, with the attitude of, well, it's going to happen anyway. 

Personally, I've taken to climbing the stairs of my apartment building and wrapping myself in blankets on the roof. Sitting in the darkness, a glass of good red wine in my hand, watching the sky. Waiting. 

Tomorrow is coming. 

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