In a few hours I’ll probably wish I’d held this back for some rewrites, but considering I have a ton of work to do on my script this week, it’s probably best if I post it now. Enjoy this challenge, on which I spent most of today. No regrets…I never get sick of finishing a piece of writing.

Edit: What do I have to do to make this fucking blog recognize tabs? I want my damned paragraphs.



Was a time, them bad boys was all we worried about. They came down, took over some host bodies, and though it started out like some sort of crazy epidemic we treated like a sickness, we eventually found out that we were dealing with aliens.
We didn’t know where they were from or anything. We couldn’t get no information from them; they either didn’t speak English or they were playing dumb, like I’ve seen time and time again with aliens.

But came a time, more recent, that we couldn’t trust our government either, or none of them guys in lab coats. I mean, they’re all trying to deal with the invasion in their own way, to learn about them and shit, but I don’t want to learn about them and shit. I want to draw my gun, find them bad boys and Independence Day the shit out of them and send them back to where they came from.
I guess that made it easy to fool me.

The government and the lab coats knew the secrets. Well, they knew some things. For a while the aliens had shown up in host bodies, but they were awkward and easy to spot. Then they got a little better, but we started finding ways to catch them. Well, not “we,” but the smart guys did, the guys in lab coats. Then they talked to guys like me, gave us the devices, and we’d hunt them down. They’d be in the bodies of our neighbors, acting almost but not quite like themselves, and when we’d wrestle them to the ground they’d start that weird triple-clicking thing they do when they’re scared and we’d know we’d bagged another alien.
Then they stopped coming. The aliens were gone. We didn’t think they were coming back.

A couple years later, the Creeping Doubt thing started happening. I didn’t coin that phrase. That was some of them smarter media types. I liked the sound of it, kinda, for some reason. I always envied those smarter guys. Anyway, this sense of dread and paranoia started taking people over. Everyone was turning on everyone, and out of fear of the aliens, they started killing each other. Thing was, only a small percentage of those dead turned out to be the aliens. They were back, but they were undetectable and they were turning us against each other, which hell, can’t have been that hard to figure out since we do it on our own anyhow.
Plus, they’d gotten around our detection methods. We could still catch them through that triple-clicking noise they made when they were threatened, but we couldn’t force it as easily and them fancy detectors we were carrying around didn’t catch them anymore. Now you actually had to kill one and figure out the bones were missing. I suppose you could X-ray them, but the aliens aren’t in the habit of visiting the doctor for a cold.

I’m stuck in an elementary classroom now. We were brought in, all fifteen of us, under the pretense of fighting them bad boys. We were different folks, all of us, and we was supposed to have different strengths to bring to the table. Turns out them lab coat guys were doing government-funded experiments, waiting for aliens to infect us, and trying to find links between who was infected, and when.
They’d prepared to seal us all in, and there are bars on the windows. There’s this guy, Tyrone, who’s real smart with computers and he thinks he can hack the security door. That’s not much help since there are guards outside all the time.
We’ve been here for a couple of weeks, and finally, the Creeping Doubt showed up yesterday. Now that it’s here, we won’t be let out until the lab coats figure out which one of us is hosting the alien.
I’m not particularly worried. I know it’s not me, and I’m the only one in here with a gun.


Listen to these city folk squeal. Maybe they’re fine with this shit they been forced into, but I ain’t. Mama Carnes didn’t raise no whining bitch, and I weren’t gonna sit by no longer.
“I’m in control now, bitches!” I yell, hammering the gun against the white board. I don’t know where them two docs are watchin’ me from, but this is as good a guess as any. “Dr. Rawlings! Dr. Indian Motherfucker! When you bitches come in for these dead, you bitches gonna be the next ones dead, you hear me? Better come with backup!”
Some idiot, the churchy guy, has been comin’ up behind me as I yell at the white board. I swing around, and watch them all duck or cower as the gun passes by. Goddamn, that’s a powerful feeling. I ain’t gonna shoot no one else, but they ain’t got to know that. I ain’t stupid.
Dr. Rawlings and that Indian ain’t answering. They normally won’t shut up, but they weren’t prepared for no Ferd Carnes to take over, nosiree.

Tired. I’m fuckin’ tired. I got the gun in the middle of the night and I been up since, and now it’s gettin’ late again. But them docs ain’t come in, they ain’t sent nobody in, and the other eleven in here ain’t interested in comin’ at me. I’m lonely as shit all of a sudden in this packed classroom, and I’m tired but I ain’t gonna sleep.
The smell of the dead is keepin’ me awake, so I guess that’s a plus. But I fall asleep, and them alien bitches are comin’ after me. I just know it.

Second wind. Third wind, maybe? Shit, it’s whatever it is. Eleven a.m. and I’m up and good to go, even though I never slept. Still nobody talkin’. Our food shows up through the slot, along with the turtle food, since them dumbasses forgot to pull out the class pet before sealin’ us all up in there.
“What, no announcements with lunch today? Damn shame,” I says, laughin’ at ‘em.
“I don’t think we’re going to hear anything until you and that gun are quiet. Now we have to try to eat with the smell of death in the air.” Our doctor guy. Shoulda known if I couldn’t get the docs out of the room to talk, the first one to talk in here would be the doctor guy.
“Awww, look, someone finally breaks the ice. The nervous Doc Reynard who can’t stop checkin’ his watch, like he’s got somewhere to go.”
The nervous Doc Reynard checks his watch like he’s got somewhere to go and puts out his hands, like he’s going to calm me or some shit. “I’m just saying, maybe we can get you out of here or something. Obviously you’re not an alien. They’re not this…overt. Maybe the doctors can let you out.”
The doc checks his watch and listens for the intercom. Nothing. “Come on, damn it. Ferd has made his point and I think we can let him go.”
“Haha, ‘we’ he says. Shit, doc, you’re one of them.”
Doc Reynard laughs, but he don’t think anything is funny right about now. I turn my attention to the fat bitch who feeds the turtle every day. “Come on, Bertha, our boy’s gettin’ hungry.”
“It’s Melissa, asshole.”
“Asshole? Who you think gots the gun, fat bitch?”
“Fuckin’ shoot me. Whatever.”
“Ferd, she’s seventeen and she’s nervous. Just back up a bit.”
Aw, hell no. Hell no, he did not speak to me. “No, you back up a bit, nigger,” I say to that piece of trash, pointing my gun at him and forgetting anyone else is there. “You just give me a reason. Them aliens is probably usin’ you niggers ‘cause you’re all so athletic and shit.”
“I’m a software developer.”
“Sure you is. I bet you run like the dickens or some shit.”
The nigger don’t say nothin’. I got his ass trapped. But he’s dangerous. All these bitches are. Maybe they’re all aliens, but all I gots is three more bullets. They know I can’t kill ‘em all but they know they don’t want to be the ones cut down, neither. As long as I got these bullets, I’m fine.

I’m kind of in this dream thing. Nothin’ seems real. I hardly remember doin’ it, but I went into a corner and started holin’ myself up. I pulled the teacher’s desk in, then some little kid’s desks, and then stacked ‘em up so nobody could get at me if I fell asleep like an idiot.
I ain’t done this since Y2K. That shit was some real shit. I mean, it weren’t no real shit in the end, but until then, it was some real shit.
I’m gettin’ tired up in this bitch. Them alien brain powers wear a dude out.
I yell at the white board from my fort. “I ain’t movin’! You bitches gotta come in here and feed me! And I ain’t sleepin’ neither! Let me out or kill me, bitches!”
No answer. Hell, I haven’t heard them in days. Actually, I ain’t gonna hear them again at all. The next morning, I’ll be gone, the gun will be gone, and Dr. Indian Motherfucker will announce at breakfast that I died of sleep deprivation and all the bodies have been removed. Well, how ‘bout that.


Ugh, gun to my head, I’ve got it narrowed down to two. I mean, I know it’s not me, but I don’t know for sure which one it is yet. I barely care. We’re all lemmings anyway. I guess Ty Harris is pretty cool. I always thought black guys were cute. I mean, not all black guys because I’m not racist like some people. Like, Ty is pretty cute, though. Otherwise we’ve got that nervous Doc Reynard guy and this crazy Bible beater idiot who keeps telling us to repent, like any of us know or care what that’s really supposed to mean. And he sharpens stakes like we’re going to fight vampires. He’s hilarious, honestly.
Nobody else is really very interesting. My turtle’s interesting, haha. Like he isn’t necessarily my turtle but he was here and I can talk to him and he doesn’t treat me like I’m some stupid kid, and he doesn’t call me fat. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally fat. I just don’t want to hear it. It’s not like I forget that shit, because the skinny girls look at me and the cool guys just come out and tell me. Fuck them. I’ll never see any of them again.
I’m not trying to be fatalist or anything, but I think if I’m in here, they’re probably in those places too, and if we’re already down to eleven people with no idea who’s the fucking alien then we can’t be alone. Maybe they got lucky and the alien passed over their rooms. Or maybe the pretty girls don’t get thrown into these things. Whatever.
This morning I was supposed to help put the desks back in order but I really don’t see the point. Like, if we’re going to move them to sleep, why are we acting like we’re in class the rest of the time? Michael the bible guy thinks we need a sense of like, order and structure. He wants to start a church. He says since we don’t know what day it is we should just worship every day like he does. I think if we don’t know what day it is we might as well never worship because the odds are always six out of seven that it isn’t Sunday.
I spent this morning playing with Morpheus. That’s not what the kids named the turtle, but it’s a lot better than Shelly. He pissed on the floor and Michael got pissed and I reminded Michael that the rest of us are taking shits in buckets all day and waiting until the doctors send someone in for them so it’s hardly worth caring about. I fought with him for a while and then he walked away and I sat here in the corner not caring like always.
Then Ty walked over and sat down. Awesome.
“I’m sorry I haven’t been talking much to you.”
“Oh, it’s fine, I haven’t been thinking about it.”
“Nobody’s been talking to you, and that sucks. I know what it’s like to, um…”
“To be the only one like you. Yeah.”
Ty laughs. “That’s a pragmatic way of saying it, sure.”
“So, like, you make computer games?”
“Not games, unfortunately. I wouldn’t know how. I make financial planning software.”
“Like Quicken? That’s the only one I’ve heard of.”
“Well, that’s the one.”
“Holy shit! You’re, like, rich?”
Ty nods, sadly. I guess money isn’t worth much in here.
“What are we talking about?” Michael’s butting in. God, what a tool. “You know, Mr. Harris is married, Melissa.”
“Like that’s even what I was thinking about.”
“It’s not right, the idea of you together.”
“I’m passing time, Michael,” Ty says. “I’m sick of the paranoia. There’s no benefit to not knowing who you’re with. And with what we’ve seen, we could all use friends.”
“Keep your eye on God, that’s all I ask. He has his eye on you.”
From over in the corner, the tall skinny dude talks for the first time since we got here. “Oh, please. Someone’s watching us, Mike, but it isn’t your retarded God.”
“I must warn you, mocking my -”
“Save your breath, jackass. I am totally sick of your dogmatic bullshit. We have aliens all up in our business and the only ones watching us are two doctors who got shot with the serum so they can’t be hosted by the aliens. We’re not going to be saved, Mike, unless we save ourselves.”
“Your words are hollow and you are filled with the devil’s empty promises. What is your name?”
OMFG, I love this guy.
“What is your -”
“That’s the only name you’re getting.”
“We’re never going to survive if we -”
“We’re never going to survive, period.”
Michael shut up with that. Hell, I would have. He got totally owned. He went over to his usual spot and sharpened some more stakes for the vampire apocalypse.

I feel good. I’m going to bed feeling like a new woman, not a girl anymore. Ty is cool even if he’s married, and like, really old. I think he’s 34 or something. Judas is super funny. I can get along with these guys. There’s an alien around but I’m convinced he’s out of the room, like one of the two doctors. Remember I had it narrowed down to two? Well, that’s my two. That’s gonna suck when one catches the other.
I awake at two in the morning or something.
I feel cold…must be the pool of blood around me. Oh, shit. I glance around, groggy. Michael’s put a stake through almost all of them. Judas is fighting him off. Ty comes out of his corner and tries to help fight Michael, who’s full of Jesus power or something.
“Are we the only three?” Ty asks Michael, and I try to answer. I can’t. I try to get up and help. I can’t. All at once, the pain of the stake through my neck becomes real, and my world – a world just beginning – goes black.


I feel like a failure. What was I here for, if not to make peace?

The last body – an older woman who never got into the proceedings much – is removed. It’s just me, Ty, Michael and Judas. Michael and Judas have been tied down.

“You still feel it, don’t you?” Judas asks. “The alien. The, uh, evil presence. You killed them all and you didn’t accomplish anything. Do you know how many people have died throughout history for the sake of your fucking baloney God?”
“I had to,” Michael says, trembling. There are tears in his eyes. I want to step in, but I really shouldn’t. “I was trying to do the Lord’s work. I thought I could change things. I thought I could save everyone. Maybe I did. Maybe I saved them all.”
“Oh, Jesus Christ. Sure. You saved them. They wanted these stakes through their hearts. You did them a favor. I fucking hate you religious morons.”
Ty stands by, also unsure of what to say. He looks over at me. Nervously, I check my watch. Ty looks harder at me and motions to them, like I have the magic words.

“How am I supposed to help them? What am I to do?” I ask him, checking my watch again.
“I don’t know, but you’re a doctor. A scientist. You are whatever you are. I can only help them with their 401K. I’m useless here.”
On one hand, I want to say something. On the other, I don’t trust them. Any of them. We’ve been sitting here as part of this experiment for a month and we have no idea where the alien is. Everyone has been threatened – everyone but me, I suppose, and I know it’s not me – and yet we haven’t heard the click-click-click the alien’s supposed to make when threatened.
I check my watch instead.
“Come on, Doc Reynard, stop stalling and come up with something. You’re a doctor. Talk to the ones out there. Chandrekhesar and Rawlings! You gonna answer us for once, or what? Talk to the doc. We’re all sick of dying in here. I have a wife and family. We haven’t found anything. Can we just stop this nonsense?”
“Maybe you’re saying that because you’re the alien,” Michael says.
“Yeah, well I suppose I would, but I’m not.”
I don’t believe him. I don’t believe any of them anymore. The only one I can trust is myself. The aliens are never going to show themselves…they’re just going to keep turning us on one another. We can’t beat them.
I check my watch.
“Fine, Doc, be that way. We’ve lost you, haven’t we?”
“Well, maybe Doc is the alien,” Judas offers. I want to deny it, but I don’t know how. Maybe I am. How can I know? Why would I know? Maybe the host bodies aren’t aware they’ve been taken over. Maybe the soul, or whatever, is still there to some degree and it’s just infecting everyone with paranoia by being present even though I don’t know I’m doing it. I’m the scientist. I should know this.
I have questions.
I check my watch.
Finally, it’s there on the tiny digital screen. “OKAY, REYNARD, WE’LL GET YOU OUT OF THERE. –RAWLINGS”
The guards come in, and they take me out. I feel like a jerk.
“Doc Reynard? Reynard, what is this? Shit, are you one of them? You son of a bitch.”
I don’t even look back to them. I don’t want to see their disappointed faces. I want to tell them I was there to help – to diffuse violence when necessary, and to euthanize when necessary – but it’s too late for apologies. I go through the doors and I join Doctors Chandrekhesar and Rawlings. They’re happy to see me.
But I don’t trust them, either. Not one bit. Maybe it’s them.


The Lord is my shepherd. Of that I have no doubt in this heart. I believe he will save us with his miraculous power and he will give us the tools to overcome our plight.
But every day, it is a new trial. It is getting harder and harder. There are but three of us here, and we have not been fed or talked to in a full 24 hours.
Judas was already getting sick. I want to help him, but his heart is unclean, and I will not be able to do anything about that until God has cleansed it with his awesome power. Tyrone refuses to untie either of us anyway after all that he has seen here, and since I was responsible for a great deal of it, I cannot find it within myself to blame him. For a few days he fed us himself, until the food stopped coming. The guards were taking care of our clothes, but now Judas and I are messing ourselves and there is nothing we can do about the indignity.
I must admit, in my heart of hearts, that I do not believe Tyrone nor Judas to be inhabited by an alien. I know that one of them must be, but I have decided since the incident that I must be more trusting of people if I am ever to be accepted by God again.

Another day has gone by and we are all hungrier. Nobody says much of anything, even Judas, who has been cutting awful jokes until today. He’s very sick. I do not believe he is long for this world. I want to beg him, to demand, even, that he accepts Jesus Christ as his savior. However, if he is indeed the alien, I do not want to share this secret and have my spot in Heaven taken by one of them. They are not God’s chosen people, and they will never be.
I know this is not very Christian of me. I am losing my soul.

One more day goes by. Judas is dead. Tyrone asked me offhand what we were going to eat. I hope he didn’t mean what I think he meant. He said he’d rather hack the security on the door that keeps us in here, but the Creeping Doubt has put his mind in a constant fog.

Another day. Tyrone has eaten. Tyrone is the alien. No man could make such an awful decision. He offers me the meat, but I am unable to eat what I believe to be tainted meat. I am hungry, though. So, so hungry. Tyrone throws his hands around my neck, frightening me, trying to get me to make the click-click-click sound to find out if I am the alien. I disappoint him. I disappoint myself, honestly. If I’d been the alien he’d release me from this prison.

I don’t know how I held on this long. I suppose it’s because I have fed my soul in lieu of feeding my stomach. I don’t know where the alien is. Maybe this is all a test. Maybe it is all a dream. Maybe there is no alien at all and this is the end times. I hope so. I want to see Jesus, here on this world, and I want to tell him I am so sorry for what I have done.

This morning, I made Tyrone promise not to eat me. He did. I do not believe him. It’s alright. My soul will be fine.

I am hungry. So hungry. And tired.


There is nothing left to eat, and I have been alone here for weeks. Through the windows, I can still see that life goes on for some. Not all, but some. Before he disappeared, Dr. Chandrekhesar said that many of the tests were closed down since the aliens didn’t show up. In other words, we were just lucky.
I spend the time thinking of smartass comments I’ll make to my wife if I ever see her again. “It was still better than writing code,” I’ll say. That’s about the best I can muster right now.
What pisses me off the most is that I survived all of this – everyone’s dead – and I still feel the paranoia. Like, there’s someone in the next room who’s infected and we’ve never seen him. I shouldn’t feel the Creeping Doubt anymore, but it’s still here. Maybe that’s a product of my situation…I’ll never get rid of the feeling again. It’s my shell-shock.
Not that I’ll be surviving this. There’s nobody here and I’m out of food. Morpheus looks mighty tasty, though. Can I eat his food? Stupid turtle will outlive us all because we were left with a big bottle of his food. Smells like dogshit, but honestly? I might actually eat dogshit right now.
On the other hand, I could just eat the turtle.

I’m delirious. Days and nights alike have become a fog. The Creeping Doubt has consumed me almost completely. I write my last will and testament, finally aware that I’m not coming back from this.

I wake up, barely. I have no strength. I crawl over to Morpheus, intending to feed him. I shake the bottle of his food. It’s gone.
You know what? One of us is gonna eat today, and Morpheus is out of food. Poor guy.
I open the aquarium and reach for him. Maybe he knows what’s on my mind, because he’s shy all of a sudden. I catch him and grasp him between my fingers. The little bastard is fighting me. I say a quick word of apology for the class that kept Morpheus as a pet, and without the strength to fight him anymore, I open my mouth and bring Morpheus up to it, headfirst.
I hurl Morpheus against the wall, and he splatters everywhere. He’s full of the same blue jelly shit that the aliens used to replace their human hosts with.
My brain comes back. Hot damn, did I miss that. I’m hungry as hell but the Creeping Doubt is gone and I can think like my old damned self.
I go to the door. Within an hour, I’ve got the thing hacked. I exit and hold my head high.

Time to hunt some motherfuckin’ turtles.