I imagine your fingers unfolding this letter.
I see you, sitting on your porch, a beer beside you, leaving imprints of soil from your garden in the margins, as you smooth it out to read. I see your mouth, moving over occasional words as you sometimes do.
I found it amongst the rubble of a residential street, lying under torn books and broken beams, somehow intact. Nearby, in a half-buried drawer, a fresh ream of paper. I salvaged it, brought it back to the shelter.
I touch my fingertips to the letters that spell your name, tenderly, as if touching your skin; your lips, your temples, the solidity of your palms. The letters leap and arc through the air on their metallic trapezes, marking the paper as my kisses long to mark the salted nape of your neck, warm from the sun. My fingers find you again through old typeface, find the memory of us in the spaces between letters.
Typing your name cracks open the place inside where I have buried my love for you.
The sturdy letters remind me of stories you introduced me to; tales of H. G. Wells and Bradbury.
The aliens are here, my love.
I type out my longing for your skin against mine, for the soft hunger of your kisses in the night. I type the memory of your hands, anchored inside me, as my back arched up off the bed. I type the memory of deep sleep with your body curved in protection around mine, the slow ebb and flow of your breath.
How I long for that now.
They have destroyed everything everyday. Now the unfamiliar, the broken, fills each day. We, the few who’ve survived, in scattered cities, are caught in a fear-filled limbo. Survivor guilt. Sure that we too, will lie down to snatch a few shreds of something once called sleep and not wake again to see the sun. The sun is not something they’ve yet managed to unmake.
They put a virus into the air, dropped it down from space; lethal stardust. Once it got into the lungs, it broke down the nervous system within three days. Hundreds died, then thousands, then hundreds of thousands. Next they attacked our technologies. No more the cosy global village. They decimated the internet, disabled all communications satellites.
We were working in our underground laboratory. Close to a breakthrough, my research partner and I had been working day and night, sleeping down there in camp beds.
That’s how we avoided the virus.
I lost you.
No way to find you. No email, no social media. Mobiles are useless, staring up blindly with their empty screens, everywhere, from the wreckage.
I’ve no idea if you’re alive or dead. I hear your voice in my sleep, telling me it’s alright, you’re here now.
But it’s not alright. And you aren’t beside me when I wake.
So I write you this letter, a letter you’ll never receive. I tell myself to write it still means something.
© Adrea Kore May 2016
Thanks, F Dot Leonora for another wonderful photo prompt. This is my first attempt at blending two of my favourite genres – science-fiction and erotica. The story woke me up at 2a.m last night, insisting to be written.
To read my recent guest post on the “art” of flash fiction, head here.
For more wicked Friday Flash Fiction, click below on the giant typewriter buttons.