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I backed the car up, got out and popped the trunk, trying not to think about what I was doing. I dumped the contents of my thirty gallon black plastic trash bag of emergency supplies. Flares, first aid kit, jumper cables, flashlights, batteries and other necessities fell into a jumbled heap that I pushed toward the back. I found a pair of work gloves and slid them onto my hands.
The fog made it easier. I was alone in the middle of nowhere. It would be days before anyone noticed that Emily's house burned to the ground.
The corpse smelled like a mixture of windshield wiper fluid and sulfur as I stuffed and slid it into the bag. I tried not to look at the blue skin, the three broken fingers with tiny suction pads scattered across the palms. The stomach area had burst under the weight of the car. A dark gel-like substance coated my gloves and I slid what was left of the organs into my improvised body bag.
A sudden nausea swept over me. I turned to one side and vomited
The taste of bile filled my mouth. The corpse-odor caused me to throw up again.
I placed one palm on the packed dirt road to keep from losing my balance.
When the dizziness passed, I wiped my mouth and chin with my sleeve and turned back to finish the job. The flashlight lay on the ground and was shining directly at the bag. I could see that I had most of the thing in, but it's head and neck and the top half of its torso stuck out. It's dark black eyes seemed to be staring in my direction.
"Quit looking at me," I said.
I took a deep breath and went back to work.
One glove on the top of its head, careful not to look at its eyes. One foot on its exploded stomach- if it was a stomach. I lifted the head and pushed it forward by placing my knee on its back. The force of the car lying on top of it must have snapped its spine- if it had a spine- because it bent right over. Maybe they didn't have rigor mortis wherever it came from either, but only a half an hour had passed since I ran it over. I didn't know how long it took for a human body to stiffen, much less whatever it was.
Road kill. The thought flashed through my mind as I pulled the garbage bag back up and over it and cinched the drawstrings. I was just cleaning up roadkill.
The truth was so much worse I couldn't even think about it.
I closed the lid on the trunk after covering the bag with the emergency blanket. The sound of the latch engaging was like a cell door closing on my life.
My legs were shaking by the time I reached the driver's side door. Then I heard a sound that put an end to all that. A high-pitched keening, like the sound of a dentist's high speed drill. It came from somewhere up and behind me. I stood completely still, willing myself to be invisible in the billowing fog.
It rose in pitch, and then brilliant white flashing strobes suddenly turned the night into a rural disco. I turned to look up into the sky and saw something that filled me with terror. Three gigantic silver discs appeared a quarter of a mile above where Emily's house still burned. They separated with amazing speed then stopped dead in the sky like points of a triangle.
Further away but coming in fast across the sky I saw what could only be three jets racing toward the crafts.
"No," I thought, "go back. Don't do this."
But before I could think another thought, a matrix of green laser-like rays shot from the crafts and vaporized the jets.