I sat up in my bed, drowsily blinking the blur out of my contact lenses I had idiotically decided to sleep with. I realized there was an odd color haze everywhere in the room, down the hallway, and as I stumbled around, I saw it was all through the house. To this day I can’t decide what color it was. I made it to the dining room to find it completely clean. Abnormal from its usual state of messiness and filth. I turned around to look at the room I just came through. It too, was clean. I muttered to myself that I must have slept in for a week and went to the refrigerator. My dad decided it was a grand time to frighten me and growled while tapping onto my shoulders at the same time. I jumped a bit and we teased each other. The morning was like any other. Simplistic.

At some point towards the afternoon I decided to go outside. I live in the Oregon woods. The landscape is always serene. Except for that day. At about eleven am the sky was a blood red. A fog had decided to settle on our four and a half acres as well as the surrounding area. It seemed I was the only person who noticed any of this as a white Nissan Altima came roaring down the driveway. It lazily parked and out popped my boyfriend, as well as a few of our friends from college. I wasn’t even prepared for company, having lazily sat about in my pajama shorts and tank top playing video games with my father. I shrugged it off, and let them make their way inside.

Just as we were about to settle into my room my dad decided it would be a great idea to go on a hike. I changed into warmer clothing and we set off, crossing the road behind the house and heading up the hill. We followed the creek we found and quietly chatted about various school actives and mutual friends. Within about twenty minutes of following each other in a line I bumped into Samantha, who was standing still, very still. I looked about the woods for a moment, realizing that for nearly one pm, it was absurdly dark.

“Samantha? What’s wrong?” I shook her arm, beginning to try to get to her front. She didn’t move, and I saw she was staring at the ground. I followed her gaze to an electric blue light hidden under some foliage. I looked up to her face, to see a look of horror that slowly and shakily met my gaze. Sam was the smartest person in my group of friends. It was obvious that this blue light, connected to nothing, was impossible. I took her hand and led her forward, fighting off the choking red-lit fog.

“Dad! There’s something wrong! Has anyone seen blue lights around?” The response was silence. I saw nobody. I heard nothing but the wind playing with the plants. Something was very wrong. I trudged onward, half dragging a shocked Sam. I saw a few more lights, and then found the group. They were all surrounding a pitch black hole in the ground that was bordered by the blue lights. No one spoke. I noticed my mother had joined the group at some point in time. The silence was broken as my father jumped in.

“What the hell?! Where did he go!? What do we do!?” The group began to all yell over each other. Panic swept through the group atmosphere like wildfire, escalating higher and higher before I jumped in after him without saying a word. I was still holding onto Sam’s hand. We fell through darkness. It was cold and wet. Like maybe it had been a large hose, and yet it felt frightening. I screamed finally, but no sound was made. We landed on soft earth, in the woods again. No. These weren’t the woods we’d just left. Soon others landed on us and the dog pile sorted themselves out as we looked about. The plants were red. Very wet and very red. Like blood perhaps… I shook off the fear that was building in my chest and silently trudged forward. My boyfriend took my empty hand as the nervous chatter echoed through our odd surroundings. We came across a clearing after about an hour of walking in the same direction. I looked up, and gasped. Two suns to the left and a moon visible off to the right. We weren’t on earth anymore.

A native ran to us, hurriedly speaking in an odd language that was a mess of tongue clicks and unknown words. They seemed genuinely concerned, and began to motion for the group to follow. With no obvious safe choice left to us, we ran after them to a city built into the sides of a mountain. Every person wore a metal hat, and the roofs were all made of metal. The guide led us into a large building, where we found my father talking to an old man who sat on a large chair. They drew pictures to communicate, and my father was glad to see us, but continued to try to get whatever his point was across to the elder. Nightfall slowly came, and the various natives that had surrounded the building listening in suddenly dispersed. Metal hats were thrown onto our heads and we were drawn into the center of the room. The circular room had windows facing the outside of the mountain. I watched in confusion as inhabitants raced to and fro, some screaming, some crying.

I soon found out why.

Beings made of the stars themselves came from the sky and began invading the town. They carried staffs adorned in large electric blue jewels. Their bodies were a mixture of human and reptile. But it was their eyes that frightened me the most. While their bodies appeared to be the night sky, their eyes were black voids. They had no mouths, no ears, and no nose. Just nothingness for eyes and reptilian claws for hands. They silently trapped a few natives and left once every metal hat wearing person was in a metal roofed house. I fainted.

We were stuck on this planet for months. In the day we’d search for how we could get back home. At night we’d hide in a metal roofed house from the creatures that would now destroy anyone not in a hat with the blue jewel. They would point their staff at a victim and a blue light would shred them to pieces. The beings would stand in it for a moment, and a mist would rise into their bodies from the bloody remains. This was apparently how it always had been for this city. We wanted out.

One day we found it. Another black hole in the ground surrounded by the lights. Without even thinking, we jumped in. We were returned to our earth, in the same part of the woods we left it in. It was a race down the hill to my house. Once I got inside I cried. I cried for a very long time before looking for my cell phone to see what day it was.

It was the same day we left, about six hours later.

I screamed this loudly and it echoed through the house. Various pitches of “what?” responded as everyone checked for themselves. I wasn’t wrong. I decided I wanted a nap, so I fell asleep on my bed and other people joined in on the nap idea. When we woke, it was to a black sky. I felt the hair on my neck stand, as I realized I didn’t have a metal hat. I laughed. I didn’t need it. I was home. The house was quiet, save for the main TV in the living room running the BBCA channel. My mom looked at me with her newly sunken eyes. She’d lost a lot of weight in the span of time we’d spent there. I had no idea how to explain any of our changed appearances to people.

I decided to go outside again. The sky was clear and sparkling. Normal. I ran into the middle of the driveway and spun around, feeling free again. But I was stopped dead in my tracks by a large blue light rising from the woods. It was one of the ships the beings rode in. Images of exploding people, blood and body parts splashing on my face, a look of fear on my father’s face, a cry for help all flashed through my mind. Things that hadn’t happened yet. I screamed in terror and ran inside, fashioning a hat out of tin foil and making more, throwing them on everyone’s heads. Wiggling them onto the sleeping people’s heads and waking them in the process. A few friends ran outside to go look. They were spotted. Both of them ran in different directions. I watched from a window as Nate took out his phone to take a picture. Both beings forgot about Alex and just went after Nate.

“Throw your phones into the kitchen and steer clear!” I yelled as I acted upon my own decree. “Hide!” I ran into my room, and began to set up blockades. My boyfriend and mother joined me, followed by my grandfather and Samantha.

“Dad! Come on!” He was messing with something. I had the door blockade ready and was just waiting on him. I watched through a crack in the door as a being burst through the front door and stopped in front of my father. It looked at him, and he looked at it. And then he was gone, pieces of him flying everywhere. I shut the door and quietly cried, pushing my bed in front of it.

“What? Where’s your father?” My mom began crying. I didn’t have to answer. We sat in silence as the beings stomped through the house. I could hear the dying screams of neighbors, and eventually Nate and Alex too. Suddenly, as I leaned against the doorframe to listen, I heard a faint repetitive beeping. It grew louder, and then I heard the footsteps of a being. It spoke.

“I know you’re in there. I can hear you breathing. You can’t fool me. I will wait. You deserve to die you filthy lowlife. You’re a waste of energy. Look at how spoiled you’ve been. And you do nothing. You’re useless.” A pause. I could hear more footsteps. I continued to cry, and looked at the people in my room for help. They were crying too, hiding away from the door. Away from me.

“Yes. I think I shall kill you. Say goodbye. It’s your time.” And then there was a thud against the door. I scrambled off the bed and tried to hide in my small room, but I failed. The door exploded, and it took the bed with it. I stared in horror at the being as it walked right up to me. It pointed its staff at me and I felt heat rising through every atom in my body. And then I was looking down. Watching the rest of my family die. I watched my boyfriend die, and poor shy Sam die too.

The beings left, killing all of my small town and moving out. I’ve watched them work on the small places first. I think they’re going to wait it out to move on and kill the cities. Hide. Please hide. I possessed a body to write this as a warning. Metal is your ally. Cellphones are your enemy. Run. And please, survive.