Prompt: NASA, along with the government, created thunderstorms to cover up the sound of space battles.
Paul stood on his front porch and stared up at the sky. It was nearly black, twisting and writhing as if enraged. Brilliant arcs of lightening occasionally stabbed through the dark clouds, creating shocking sound waves that ripped through the eardrums of any living creature that heard it.
The cows in the pasture mooed pitifully, ears twitching weakly at every boom. Paul just stuck a pinky in his ear and shifted some earwax around. It seemed to help keep the ringing in his ears to a minimum.
He was a big man, nearly six-foot-five and close to 300 lbs. He cut an intimidating figure, and the frown he currently bore only made his rugged face look rougher.
"What is it, sweetcakes?" A petite woman stepped out of the house and came to stand at his side. The top of her head barely reached his chest, but only if she stood on tip-toe.
"Look," he pointed.
She looked. She sighed. "What's there to look at? It's been the same old storm for the past two weeks. Give it a break, honeypie. Come, make me some of your smothered chicken. I'm hungry."
Paul's frown deepened. "But there's a hole in the clouds. See? Right there." His finger jabbed at the sky.
His wife looked again. This time, she saw what he meant. And it was exactly as he said - right in the middle of the stormclouds, there was a hole. Along its jagged edges, clouds grew wispy and faded away. Right before their eyes, the hole grew larger until -
Paul's eyes grew wide. "Oh my god." He grabbed onto his wife and hugged her tight.
Further south, a rather nasally voice sounded over the speakers in a large room filled with computer screens and technological stuff. "Houston, we have a problem."
One of the men in the room pushed a button. "Mission Control. What is it?"
A face poofed into existence on a huge screen, catching the attention of everyone in the room. This face looked sweaty and frazzled, though part of it could have been the huge helmet shoved onto the poor fellow's head. It looked quite uncomfortable.
"The Transient Atmospherical Fabricator has quit working. One of the stray energy blasts took out one of the relays and now the Shield is fading."
Silence reigned in the control room. Finally, another man stepped up from the back. He wore a black suit and impeccable dark shades. He pushed the button. "Shift the battle to the south. Use the relays over the States."
The helmeted face shook. "We can't sir. We're down to our last two ships. It's all we can do to hold them off until the Russians send in reinforcements."
The Suit's face was completely expressionless. "Can you bounce the signal?"
"If our technical engineer was alive, then yes." Helmet Face quivered. "But he decided to put out the fire in our engine room with his face. So he's dead."
"I see," said the Suit. He turned away from the giant screen, and towards the other people in the control room. "Which region of Earth is under them right now?"
Someone tapped on their computer screen for a second. Then they looked up. "Canada, sir. Northern Saskatchewan, to be exact."
The Suit nodded. "Then it's fine. We'll send the Tinfoil Hat Crew to sweep the area, though it's probably not necessary. Everyone knows that Canadians are crazy."
He turned back to the screen, then pushed the button. "Hold position, please. Try not to die before the Russians get there. The safety of the entire human race lies upon your shoulders."
Helmet Face looked like he wanted to cry. But he managed a shaky salute. "Understood, sir."
The screen went blank.
Paul sat on the ground, trembling like a leaf. His little wife stood behind him, one hand patting his head like he was a child. The other hand was holding onto a cigarette that she had rolled herself. Quietly, she took a relaxed puff.
"Babycakes, there's nothing to be afraid of," she said calmly. "Besides, isn't this better than a two week thunderstorm?"
Paul stared up at the sky. Sweat beaded at his temples. He opened his mouth to try and speak, but could only managed a weak, wordless sound.
The Hole over their house had grown into the size of four square kilometers. At its edges, the thunderstorm raged, sending forks of lightening into the open Hole as if to try and reclaim the space that had been stolen from it.
But that wasn't what frightened Paul so. No, it was what they saw within that patch of clear sky.
It was the two S-Class Dreadnaughts that loomed over Earth. They were so huge that even though they were in Earth's orbit, they filled most of the Hole with their ugly gray shape. They were particularly easy to see at the moment, since one was casually bursting out explosions like confetti. The other one seemed to be slowly crumbling, chunks of it just floating around its bulk in a rather peaceful way. The occasional dull boom reached Paul's ears.
Hundreds of blue, triangular shapes swarmed the Dreadnaughts, spitting white rays of light. It was clear that the blue triangles were winning the battle.
"Yup," his wife nodded. "It's better than that crappy Netflix. It's about time we Canadians got decent TV."
YOU ARE READING
Tragedy's GiftGeneral Fiction
Only he sees her tears. And only he cares. A simple gift had started this whole thing, and a simple gift will end it. How far will one go to save the ones he loves? A collection of my short stories and prompt-driven blurbs. Cover made by @MadelynMe...