The Outlander (Flash Fiction)

The crowd grew heavier within the next hour. The police put up barred metal barriers to keep them back as far as they could, giving the workers on the inside enough room to move.

The rain picked up and the clouds left no space for the fair morning sun to rise. People stood around the barriers, pushing themselves as close to the estranged intruder as they could, often causing the metal barriers to hobble and the police to resume their positions as a human wall to keep the crowd from getting too close.

The workers were given large metal spoons with a handle on top of it to penetrate and remove the intruder from the concrete. As they thrashed the spoons into the ground, they brought up a gritty brown substance that spilled over the metal as it mixed with the rain. The workers threw this to the side and continued to work despite their pants becoming dyed with this material and feet being completely consumed by the substance that they could barely be seen.

The intruder is just as far below the concrete as it is towards the sky. Its many arms and fingers pointing in every direction, threatening to take all the space that is rightfully ours, all that we’ve worked for, all that we’ve claimed and deserve. This thing has no right to this space; it must be removed.

As the workers dug, their labor continued to show pointless as the intruder managed to sink its arms deeper than expected. Its limbs twisting and coiling like a corkscrew, and the ground is the cork it refuses to release.

The watchers began to scream with frustration and anger towards the intruder and few workers, threatening to break through the barriers and do the work themselves. The workers, clearly perplexed by this large outlander and no clear plan for its removal, continued to thrash at the ground. How do you extract something that no one has ever seen before?

The workers continued to dig, removing their hats and jackets, bearing the cold strikes from the rain that bulleted from the aggressive sky in the darkness or morning. The gritty matter quickly covered most of their bodies and became slick as it refilled the gap the workers have created. Everyone yelled with anger as the matter slithered its way back into the crater, disguising any progress with an unmoved puddle of brown slime.

The crowd continues to grow in size and frustration. The yelling erupts in unison blasts for the poor work of the bare and mysterious coated men, and the unmoved intruder that continues to threaten our land.

I stand, belly smashed against the metal barrier as the crowd rapidly grows and pushes forward. My red knit hat is drenched, along with my black coat and tennis shoes. The pain I feel in my stomach is less than bearable, but with no clear exit I’m forced to stay in my poor position, however, I’m sure even if there was an exit my eyes wouldn’t let me leave.

The workers take turns with the large metal spoons, handing them off to another who slides into the crater while the latter tries to climb his way out. The throwing of the brown slime is endless, and still the intruder’s limbs have made their way deeper into the ground.

I allow my eyes to leave the mystery that lies in a large brown being with many arms, and I glide my eyes along the crowd, at least what I can see from the position I have been slammed into.

A few of the officers rush from my side of the barrier and run to the left where a man has managed to pummel through the metal barrier by throwing himself over the lookers in front of him. My eyes don’t follow the officers, or the man dressed in see through striped button down and tan trousers. My eyes find a slim space between the workers, officers, and brown intruder where a woman’s standing. She’s dressed in white, hair black and branching in every direction, just like the intruder. Her brown eyes are stern and body steady; she is grounded and powerful. Her dress is spotless with no looks of water staining the gentle cloth and no spots of brown slime from the pile that has been throw in front of her.

Her eyes eventually glide across the crowd and meet mine. She stands on the outside of the barrier and remains still despite the chaos running around her. No one seems to touch her even as they push and run past with anger and fury in their eyes. She stands still with no look of hesitation or falter in her gaze.

The crowd erupts again as one officer raises his gun in the air and fires a single shot. BANG!

The crowd and other officers come to a running stop, one officer blocking my view of the young woman across from me. I try my best to move, but the crowd only pushes harder against the barrier and against me. The officer soon shifts his position, offering a small space for me to peek through, but to my dismay the woman is gone.

The crowd didn’t lighten, there was no space for her to leave, but somehow she’s gone. Like the gust of wind the carries last week’s newsprint across the street, or the sudden blow the sways the many limbs of the intruder.

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