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The Invasion
April 21, 2014|Short Story

The Invasion

A day like today, a long time ago, the ships came from the sky. A day like today, the invasion began. This is how the story begins each time it is told to children before bed. Life changed drastically since the invasion, and things were never the same.

Yes, it was a day like today when Max was gathering herbs in the forest; a forest that is not like the ones we find now. It was a magnificent forest that began at the foothills and was lost in the horizon. Not knowing what could happen, they lived in harmony within the forest.

The history of what occurred is no more than a fantastical tale that grandmothers tell their grandchildren and a story about a world that our past generations lived in. They say it was a wonderful world that had to disappear for the growth of the species.

It appeared to be a normal morning while Max was collecting his herbs in the depth of the forest; an ordinary day for Max as he made way to the far end of the forest. This part of the forest wasn’t safe, but Max knew his way around; however, his path took him deep into the predators’ territory. Unbeknownst to Max, the forest was filled with many dangers that were part of this natural harmony.

As Max journeyed through the forest without troubles, he expertly navigated his way deeper into the woods becoming a part of his surroundings. Even though he was only thirteen, only a few people knew the area the way Max did. Max acquired these navigational skills from his father who was an herbalist, the best the tribe had ever seen. He knew that gathering plants in the depths of the forest was part of his destiny

Max was in search of a rare herb that only grew in the black jaguar territory. His senses were continuously sharp as he walked elusively through the forest knowing this was the way to get out alive. He had recently spotted a jaguar, but Max’s presence went unnoticed to the animal.

During his excursions, Max would think of ways to enhance elixirs that would improve the tribe’s health. In contrast to our world, tribal life was part of nature and fighting against the will of nature was a mistake made by few. Max was not one of the people who practiced the dark arts and prolonged life over the destined time.

While Max knelt to gather herbs, he felt a disturbance deep within the forest. This was the first time Max had felt a change of this magnitude, and his mind was searching for a reason for this disturbance. Suddenly, a great black jaguar appeared in Max’s range of vision. It was impossible for him to have noticed the animal’s presence before but now there was no time for regrets. The beast was sprinting toward him.

There was no time for Max to react, and he stood frozen while watching the beast approach. The sleek movements of the animal running toward him made him feel hopeless knowing there was no escape from its attack. Max could only manage to think about the bag of herbs that contained no weapon inside of it, and every step the beast took towards him. Max forgot about the disturbance in the forest as he watched the beast’s paws hit the ground preparing to leap at him.

Despite the imminent attack, Max felt exhilarated at the opportunity to see a magnificent beast of its size boosting itself off the ground to attack him. The beast leapt toward Max as if it were flying, and Max could only lower his head and accept his destiny as the beast’s paws brushed his hair. Max felt the warmth of the animal’s body as it overtook him, and his mind jumped to the disturbance in the forest.

With his eyes closed, Max could only think of the disturbance, and the fear it had brought to his bones knowing he had to investigate it. Max felt as though he was letting down his tribe and knew that there was nobody close enough to investigate. His duty was to bring back information from the disturbance, but his lack of awareness of the jaguar being so close to him would let everyone down.

Max couldn’t understand why he was hearing the sounds of the great black jaguar land as if he were just an obstacle. The beast continued running, not looking back at Max. The jaguar was fleeing, and the only reason Max knew the jaguar would do this was because of the disturbance.

There was no one to ask for counsel as Max lifted his head toward the sky watching the birds fly away from the disturbance. He started running toward it knowing there was no time to think about his actions.

His despair grew as he asked himself what could have provoked this radical shift in nature’s balance. He couldn’t imagine a force capable of doing this, and his mind was only able to imagine the end of the world.

As Max dodged trees, branches, and animals, he couldn’t stop imagining the size of the predator stalking the forest. He closed his eyes letting his instincts take over and found himself sprinting toward the immense force which grew larger with every step he took. His anticipation increased as he got closer to it, but he didn’t know what to do. Fear and doubt filled his mind.

Suddenly, he glimpsed a flicker of light which grew stronger. The light was unordinary and unlike anything he had ever seen before. He knew this light couldn’t be created by something of this planet because they didn’t have the technology to create an artificial light of such magnitude.

Max slowed down as soon as he spotted the beast lurking in the forest. His body trembled with fear being only a few steps away from having a clear view of this disturbance. Paralyzed by what he saw, Max continued walking toward the light taking short steps while observing the size of the beast.

Max hugged a tree nearby as soon as he had a view of the beast and slowly took deep breaths afraid of what he saw. He couldn’t believe the image before his eyes and wiped them to insure he was seeing what he did. He confirmed his fears once again when he reopened them as he watched humans walking out of the belly of the beast. Hundreds of humans were walking toward the forest.

The beast was as shiny as the surface of a lake and bigger than anything Max had ever seen. It was not the only beast Max saw as others came out of the belly with no legs moving next to the humans.

The beast had left a huge hole in the forest as thousands of trees lay scattered on the forest floor.

Max turned around and ran as fast as he could knowing he had to tell his tribesmen what he had seen.

one comments

Sebastian Iturralde

Fiction blogger—citizen of this beautiful planet, eternal lover of artistic creation and literature. Certain that the creative energy comes from nature.

one comments

  • July 30, 2021 at 11:35 am

    I think it’s the end of the world🙄a seemingly normal day

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    This short story has been carefully crafted with inspiration I got from the Andes' highlands.
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