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19/10/2012 Grown ups! Barry Hutchison

The Broken City 

The soldier crept along the ruined street, his assault rifle held tightly in his trembling hands. He glanced up at the buildings on all sides, convinced for a moment that he saw movement there. But the broken windows were dark and still.

He tried the walkie-talkie again, speaking his call sign in a voice that shook worse than his hands. A soft hiss of static was the only reply. They were gone. His entire platoon was vanished, and he had no idea where to.

He pressed on, his boots stepping over wide cracks in the tarmac, his eyes scanning the street ahead. The soldier found himself whispering a prayer. He wasn’t religious, but at this point he was willing to give anything a try.

A sudden sound from behind startled him. He spun sharply, rifle raised, and fired – RATATATAT – in the direction of the sound. A gull let out a loud squawk then bounced off the roof of an abandoned car.

The soldier stared. There was something about the car the bird had landed on that wasn’t right. Something was wrong, but he couldn’t figure out what.

Slowly, cautiously, with his gun raised to his shoulder, he moved closer to the car.

It had been badly damaged. The glass in the windscreen was shattered into a spider’s web pattern and bent outward at the top. The metal room was twisted and buckled and... and...

Torn outward. The metal and glass had been bent from within. Something inside the car had forced its way out. Something big. Something strong.

A shape moved in the street behind him.

 

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Comment by WP Central on October 19, 2012 at 6:47

He knew that something was behind him. Something not human. By now all his senses were on full alert, his ears picking up the rasping breathing and his nose smelling the dank, rancid scent even before he began turning, slowly, warily, to be confronted by the creature.

It stood, just over ten feet tall, a huge head on top of massive shoulders with long arms that reached down to its knees and thick powerful legs that he knew would be able to reach him in two or three bounds. He had no idea how fast it was, whether he would be able to shoot it before it reached him or even if a bullet would penetrate the thick, calloused skin that covered the creature. As he stood, silently, his legs shaking with mortal fear, his gun now limply hanging by his side, forgotten, the creature opened its mouth and hissed …

Images flooded his head, people running down a street, screaming; fires burning; buildings tumbling down all around with great crashing sounds; and in the middle of all the chaos, a myriad of creatures walking slowly, relentlessly, through it all …. Intent on only one thing …

Barbara Band, Emmbrook School

Comment by Adrian Thompson Laisterdyke UK on October 19, 2012 at 7:18

She slowly moved her head, focussing on the little squishy in front of her. Tiny sparks came from a stick it held in its little hand, but they didn’t seem to so anything. They never did anything. The squishies thought they were so powerful, with their spark sticks. They were about to be proved wrong – very wrong. She thought back. The planet had been beautiful once – the light green sky, red soil, flowers blooming whenever one of the suns got close enough to thaw the ice. Then, one day several rotations ago, the squishies had come from the sky in their metal boxes. They built domes, and nest-sites for them and their young. They melted the ice, and gouged holes in the soil. Many eggs were broken as they burst through into their nest-sites. Her own brood – twenty eggs that were the only ones she would ever bear, and of which she was so very proud, were taken by the squishies and broken. Rumours in the hive said that they ate eggs. ATE eggs. She gagged at the thought, and refocused on the squishy with the spark stick. “Go away”, she roared, but the squishy heard only a multi-tonal roar. She walked towards it, and it ran away from her. She stopped, and laughed to herself – you may think you’ve got away little squishy, she thought, but that way lies our army. Me, I’m just a nurse. They can kill you with a single look...

Comment by WP Central on October 19, 2012 at 7:22

But then something strange happened, the soldier  heard his name being called out from behind him and it sent a huge shiver down his spine.  “Mitt, don’t run” it said and then the voice repeated the message but this time as a loud scream.  He turned slowly, shaking in his boots  and realised that it was the creature  that was calling him.  “ Mitt, I am here to help you, please let me help you.”  As he looked more closely, he began to recognise the creature.  No he thought, it can’t be.  He felt he must be going mad because as impossible as it looked, yes the creature was ………….Big Bird from Sesame Street.

James Bell, Renaissance Learning 

Comment by Nikki Heath on October 19, 2012 at 8:32

Disbelieving, Mitt rubbed his eyes and stared. It couldn't be, could it? He'd expected to walk onto set, seeing all the characters - Elmo, Beery and Ernie, Count Dracula, to name but a few. The squishies looked so lifelike; the eggs so realistic; the smell so vile. He was sure they'd been real. Looking again, for the third time, he saw that Big Bird was changing, Slowly, ever so slowly, Big Bird's costume seemed to roll away-as though the man operating him was unzipping the costime, to reveal something unrecognisable, something inhuman. A smell of rotten eggs and waste as evil as anything you could ever imagine in your nightmares invaded his nostrils. He vomited violently, and the words 'I'm glad that I only ate toast this morning' somehow registered in his brain. He once again glanced up at the creature in front of him. Jaws and sharp teeth glinted back. He felt his bowels loosen and his trousers become warm, a strong smell of ammonia assaulting his already stinging sinuses. Then he felt no more... 

Comment by Anne-Lise Robin on October 19, 2012 at 9:27

Squishing the squishy between her feet, the creature walked off. "That's for little Timmy, egg number 13" she thought. She enjoyed making squishies die of fright. They might act all though but they were nothing against the army they had slowly built. She had to be back to base 5 for the evening feed, after all she was not allowed out as this was war. On the way, her thoughts turned to the army. How the leaders genetically modified creatures from the surrounding planets to create the unbeatable, ultimate killing machine. "Oh yes, they will see. An egg for an egg" she softly cackled. 

Comment by Stephen Park on October 19, 2012 at 10:24

Walking back towards base a flickering light caught her eye. As she got closer it was clear these were sparks inside the main building, the front door was ajar. It was never ajar. It was never open. Always locked, just in case.

Something wasnt right. Slowly, she nudged the door open, crackles and sparks flew around inside. Tables, chairs and papers were strewn about the control room. “where is everyone? what happened?” she whispered.

Someone....or....something had attacked the base. She immediately checked the isolation tank, it was empty. "please, no" she thought. "they must have got hold of it, they've taken it". With despair, she slid down the wall and onto her knees holding her head in her hands.

Comment by Eve Westwood on October 19, 2012 at 11:59

She had always felt contemptuous of Squishies.  How unadapted for survival they were.  Not only were their senses inferior - they had almost no sense of smell, and saw in only one register - but they were also physically weak and mentally suggestible.  The Generals had told her not to be complacent; that Squishies were clever.  They had intelligence.  And they had used their intelligence to break in here and steal the Queen.

Comment by Carrie Humphrey on October 19, 2012 at 12:31

That day Queen Elizabeth was just out minding her own business walking the corgi's down the Mall. Prince Phillip had taken one look out the window saw the dark depressing sky and thought to himself "not ruddy likely" and gone back to bed.

"Misery guts" mumbled Elizabeth to her self "he doesn't know what he's missing"  as she breathed in the delightful and clean London air.

"Taxi mam?" shouted a local black cab driver.

"No thank you my good man, just out walking Trixi and Hugo" came the Queen's reply.

"I don't think you have a choice in the matter mam" calmly came the drivers response and with that he jumped out of his cab and grabbed the Queen! "in you get your majesty!"

The Queen put up a valiant effort trying to recall her days in the Chinese Mountains studying the Seven Fists of Shaolin under the watchful eye of Master Yen but the cab driver had the element of surprise on his side and with with that the Queen was bundled into the back of the black cab.

 

She woke up wrists tied and gagged in the back of a messy and dirty london black cab. She managed to loosen the gag from her mouth "amateur job" she thought and looked on as the cab driver had transformed in to his true form, that of a squishie.

"You've just made a big mistake" Elizabeth said

"Never!!!!!" proclaimed the squishie " we have all the power and now our plan is nicely coming together, you're the final piece of the puzzle!"

Elizabeth chuckled, the squishie grinned but was then stunned as Elizabeth ripped through the tough cloth and was free! Free and angry!

"Now squishie you're about to find out why they call me Queen Witch!"

Comment by WP Central on October 19, 2012 at 13:48

The queen’s monstrous mutant bodyguard was back at the palace meanwhile , frantically trying to think (as much as such a creature could think) of what to do next.  The semblance of normality had to be maintained for the humans that were left …..her own breed although unsightly were usually peace loving and stayed hidden but when the squishies had killed her babies the bodyguard had been unable to hide her grief, it was lucky that she had been seen by a member of the queen’s household who immediately saw her potential as a guardian. Now her charge had been kidnapped and taken who knows where …..ok the queen could look after herself , those lethal hairpins could poison and kill within seconds if she had time to use them but regardless she must be found and brought back – otherwise the uneasy alliance between her people, the Scardan and the humans would be shattered.

 

Comment by Caroline Roche on October 19, 2012 at 20:19

However, something happened that the bodyguard didn't expect.  Suddenly she felt a searing pain in her leg.  Looking down she saw that the squishy Queen Elizabeth had stuck one of her lethal hatpins in her leg.  Screaming in agony as she died, she cried out "Why!  You could have had everything!  We offered you the world!'  "I'm tired of travelling" Queen Elizabeth replied.  All I want is to stay at home in front of the fire, with my corgis and a good book, thank you very much.  I tolerated you, and allowed you the privilege of staying alive long enough to see your eggs squished in front of your eyes, but the X Factor is on now and I have a bet on with Philip, so die alien scum!"  With that the Queen walked away quietly, shutting the door to the TV room behind her.  As the world went dark around her, she thought sadly to herself "You can never trust royalty …."

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