The Wrathful Earth (short fiction)

Jensen and Martin studied the bubble pushing out in the cracked concrete. They’d had time to evacuate the area and prepare. It was usually like that in urban areas, where a random citizen was likely to stumble across a pod while it was incubating.

The countryside was where the big things grew. You didn’t get a full grown cyclops or dragon in the city. Not often. But in those places where humans didn’t often tread, there was plenty of time for horrible things to sprout. Efforts were made to stay on top of it after that leviathan had gone on a rampage in Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park, but it was impossible to head these things off before they all hatched.

This one was small, but small didn’t necessarily mean easy. Imps and gremlins were small and a pain in the ass. Pixies were small, but Jensen had seen a man torn to shreds by the tiny things.

The burst team moved into position with their jackhammers. With some luck, they’d crack it open and whatever beast was growing inside wouldn’t be finished. If they weren’t, a tactical team stood by.

Martin checked his assault rifle, took a drag on his cigarette. “Read the reports about that harpy nest they found in Boston? Shouldn’t happen. Northern Watch is getting careless.”

Jensen nodded as if she agreed, but there was a truth that went unsaid. These beasts kept coming, and the only thing they all had in common was that they seemed to hate humanity. And if they’d once been rare in the ancient world, they were now so commonplace it didn’t even make the news when a trio of krakens was seen off the coast of Africa. Human had already lost the seas. There was no telling how much more they’d lose.

Some said it was the planet itself striking out at humanity, and Jensen supposes there was some hope in that. If this was humanity’s punishment then maybe humanity could redeem itself. Jensen didn’t think so, but she didn’t think about it too much. She just went were she was told and killed monsters.

The burst team cracked the shell. For a few tense moments, everyone prepared for whatever hell might spill forth until the clear signal was given. The half-formed, scaly, three-headed dog lay aborted in its soup of black and red fluid. A hellhound had ravage a hundred people in Kyoto.

“Tag it for study,” said Martin as Jensen checked in with Command. An pod the size of a log cabin had been found just outside Las Vegas, and it was already cracking. Estimates put it at hatching within the hour.

If they hurried, they could be there in forty-five minutes.

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One Comment

  1. Jason Mcgee
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to say thank you for these.

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