I’m currently working on my sci-fi novel Tabitha, a follow-up to my short story of the same name. Here’s a sneak preview at the (experimental) opening scene…
Lindsey watched the bustle of New York rush past outside the cafe, arms crossed, wishing she was somewhere else. Like back in Adam’s apartment, wearing nothing but his bedsheets.
‘I don’t understand you sometimes.’ said Greg, leaning towards her across the table. After four years together, she said to herself, he’s finally hit the nail on the head.
‘You enjoy this.’ he concluded, giving up and sitting back, sipping his coffee. ‘You enjoy getting into these arguments. Why should I even try to make things up with you?’ God, how she hated the smell of his coffee breath. He slurped it too. Every single time, well almost every single time. He was a slurper.
‘I enjoy it?’ Lindsey snapped back, looking away from the neverending crowd of passers-by outside. ’So why am I the one who has to patch things up again?’ she said, lowering her raised voice to a harsh whisper as a man by the bar looked over. Neither of them believed in airing their laundry in public.
‘Look, I’m sick of wondering about this.’ said Greg, pausing, chewing over the words in his head. ‘Is there someone else?’ Lindsey felt a hot rush like her blood had turned to molten lead. Something twisted in her stomach. She couldn’t find the words. Just what was her thing with Adam, anyway? Could she rely on him to move her into his apartment? Or was she just a toy to him? She lost track of time in her silence. How long had it been since he’d asked her the question? Was it a couple of seconds ago, or a couple of minutes? …Why not just tell him?
‘Greg, I –
Something shot through the window like a golf ball. The cups and plates rattled as Lindsey’s head hit the table, steaming and bleeding.
‘Lindsey!’ he shouted, jumping up from his seat. He leaned her back; she was dead. A few feet away, a meterorite had buried itself in the vinyl floor tiles in a tiny smoking crater. Shreds of Lindsey’s scalp were dotted around the floor beside it. No sooner did Greg look around for some kind of help, something to make sense of this, than the yellow taxi parked outside exploded, slamming passers-by against the walls and windows.
‘What the hell’s going on!?’ screeched the waitress behind the counter. Everyone ducked down as the cafe floor shook beneath their feet. Outside was a hailstorm, an assault of mach-speed rocks. The blue sky was filled with shooting stars. One roared out of nowhere and tore through an office block across the street, sending a mountain of stone and brick dust crashing down onto the busy sidewalk below. The streets filled with screams against a chorus of rumbles and bangs. The air filled with dust and flames. All across the city, black smoke twisted into the sky. Across the bridge, a skyscraper fell to its knees as a meteor ploughed through it. The whale-sized rock bounced and tumbled through city streets in a cloud of dust and death, like God had tossed a marble. The skyscraper crumpled into a dust storm, and the blocks beneath its fallout disappeared.
The whole world was wounded. There was more disaster than the news could hope to report, until TV transmissions blinked out one by one. Today was the day the sky fell. Beyond it, black ships waited in the stars.