The Ends of the Earth

by vegetables [Reviews - 1]

Printer Chapter or Story
  • Teen
  • Explicit Violence, Swearing
  • Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, Angst, Drama, General, Introspection, Mixed, Romance, Standalone

The Police couldn’t help with the end of the world; Allie knew this. Not the missiles the Russians were aiming, nor the monsters that chased her like fear. The ones built like policemen, but parodied: the things with the badges for faces and the limbs that were long like brass knives. The police couldn’t save her from monsters because the police would be dead soon, like her. In days, in a week, at the moment the bombs started falling. Some people had hope, but Allie knew this for a fact: it was October, 1962, and it was the month that the planet would burn.

But if she didn’t have hope, she had something else, at least. Enough will was left in her to look for someone, to let them know. The police couldn’t stop the monsters, nor stall the fire. But they could be humans in the brief time that there still were humans, look at her with concern and tell her things would be okay. That wasn’t true, of course – they wouldn’t be – but it was connection she needed, not truth. To know there were other people who felt the same as her. A chance to be together, before they died.

And she’d die before most, she knew that too. It was all she could do not to collapse there and then. In a dark, abandoned street; no one would notice. They wouldn’t have time to find her before the end. Her with her hair half gone, her skin bleach-pale. Eyes red, nails cracked; nerves failing. She could taste the blood that was seeping into her stomach. Her body was falling apart along with the world.

And Allie knew what was happening to her, of course. She’d read the articles when growing up as a girl. Hiroshima, Nagasaki; she’d seen the photos and the symptoms. There were people miles from the blast and they’d died like this. Radiation from an atomic bomb. The bombs hadn’t fallen on London, of course, not yet. But somehow they’d fallen on her a bit too soon.

The police box loomed ahead of her up near the end of the alley. A hazy and wobbling outline through her misted eyes. She was sick enough that her perception of the world was bending, so things looked much bigger or smaller than what was real. As she came up to the police box and flung its doors wide open, she thought the inside might seem to be any size at all—

—but it was the same as they always were, cramped and dull. And yet standing tall inside it was a thing that should never be there—

Skin mushed like paste on paper, like the one from before. A policeman’s helmet, a policeman’s clothes. The badge of the St John’s Ambulance instead of a face. And copper instead of arms, long wire-like things, like hooks or the legs of an insect stretched down past his legs of a man.

“It’s you!” Allie cried. “It’s another one!”

“Ibble ip mim baum,” said the monster. “Toddle dup mon sum.”

It towered over her as her legs gave way, its strange, metallic arms extending out—

—but there was a cry and a flash, something hitting it hard on the side. Broken, it crumpled beside her on the ground, green foam seeping from its paper maché skin.

There was someone peering above them both, someone normal. Not a policeman, though; only a woman. She looked down on them both like a man with a badge for a face was the most everyday thing in the world.

Allie stared up at her, voice now no more than a gasp.

“It’s an alien!” she said. “The alien had a police box!”

The woman above her was a blur of blue and rainbows, who nodded.

“Really?” she said. “That’s unusual. You know what I think about that?”

She looked back at Allie, conspiratorially.

“We’d better not say it too loudly,” she said. “Or all of them’ll want one.”