By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
I am alone. I am all alone. I am utterly alone. And yet, I find myself up on my feet examining the breathing rock, as if I expect it to burst to life and announce its presence.
The alien hasn’t come back to me since dropping me off by this rock and leaving me water. Why would it drag me here? It doesn’t make sense. Or, at least, it doesn’t make sense to me.
I can’t calculate how long I’ve been on this planet for because I don’t know how long I’ve been out for. What I do know is that the tips of my fingers are entirely green and numb, my ability to use them is slowly disintegrating, and it feels a lot like regression to a young child—or worse, an animal. And so I don’t try to hold things anymore, I don’t try to use my hands for much at all. It seems rather silly to me—if ya got ‘em, use ‘em, but the frustration, disappointment, and fear of each time I try and fail is worse than not having the ability at all.
Thoughts like what if this is it? What if I never can use my hands again? What if I’m dying? rattle around inside my brain like a bag of rocks, and with each thought I become a little more unstitched. I’m afraid if I unravel too much I’ll blow away in the wind and sand, and my rescue party will never find me.
I come across a crack in the surface of the rock big enough to squeeze through. It looks as if it just leads to darkness and nothing more, but the oppressive heat beats down, and I’m sure where my skin isn’t green it’s red. I feel like a fucking Christmas present, only when you unwrap me, I am nothing more than a lump of coal. And so, I make the decision to slip into the crack in the breathing rock. Lining my back against one side and my hands travelling across the other, I shimmy in further and further until I am completely surrounded by the cool shade and rock. The relief is intense and comforting. I take a couple of deep breaths along with the mountain here, trying to wrap my mind around everything that has happened to me in the last while—it’s completely unbelievable.
“I guess I’ll wait here for a while. There’s really nothing much that I can do…”
As soon as the words leave my lips, there’s another sound filling the crack besides my breath and the mountain’s breaths, a scrabbling noise, like feet on slick rock. My heartbeat picks up and I make for the exit, but everything around me begins to shake violently, and all I can do is shut my eyes tight and brace myself for what comes next.
Continuation of this exciting adventure next week!