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Information Gathering (standard:science fiction, 2821 words)
Author: Ben LeesAdded: Mar 12 2015Views/Reads: 597/579Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Two teenagers investigating the site of a meteorite strike find a lot more than they expected...
 



Rebekah had never really noticed how quiet Alex Wolfe was before.  But
then again, she found herself thinking, if he had been less quiet she 
would probably have noticed him more before now.  And then there would 
have been no reason to think he was so quiet, because he wouldn't be.  
There was probably a name for things which looped back around like 
that.  She'd have to get online when she got home and look it up; it 
might make a subject for a future article for her blog. 

Thinking about it now, she realised there was actually a lot she didn't
know about Alex in general.  They had known each other for about three 
years, ever since she had started at the primary school after her 
family moved to the village.  Apart from the usual school business, 
however, they had never had very much to do with each other, which was 
probably why he had looked so surprised when she had appeared at his 
front door asking him to help her with an article for her blog.  But 
then, she told herself, he was a little more noticeable now after the 
last few days. 

It had been over a week now since the meteorites had fallen.  For some
reason that no one could really explain they had fallen in large 
groups, almost all of them landing on major cities in Europe and North 
America.  One of the exceptions was the smaller shower that had fallen 
several hours after the others on her small village in the north of 
Scotland. 

The strike itself had been terrifying; the sky cracked with deafening
explosions overhead which were then drowned out by more explosions on 
the ground as the rocks hit and shattered.  It had been what she 
imagined an earthquake would be like.  Rebekah's house hadn't been hit 
but plenty of others hadn't been so lucky; a few buildings were damaged 
so badly they would probably have to be demolished.  The meteorites had 
fallen at an angle that brought them in over the hill that sat on the 
edge of the village and luckily the side of the hill away from the 
village seemed to have taken some of the impacts or the damage would 
have been even worse. 

And Alex had been right on top of the hill when the strike had come. 
There had been massive confusion immediately after the explosions had 
stopped but it eventually became clear that he was among the missing.  
Someone reported that they had seen him heading in the direction of the 
hill but, despite a search, nothing was seen or heard of him for most 
of the day until - to the massive relief of his parents - he turned up 
at his home by himself. 

Alex claimed he didn't remember much about what happened after the
strike, just that he had decided to find somewhere to hide until he was 
absolutely sure it was safe again.  Apart from that he hadn't said much 
about what had happened. And, quiet as he was, he still wasn't saying 
much now as together they climbed to the top of the hill.  Rebekah 
tried him again: "So what was it like up here when the strike 
happened?" 

"Pretty scary.  Like I say, I really don't remember much about it. 
Everything kind of happened all at once." 

"Yeah, I was at home when it happened.  I was petrified.  I thought the
whole house was going to come down." 

Alex didn't reply.  They carried on climbing, looking down frequently to
avoid putting their feet into one of the numerous rabbit holes or 
stepping on any of the piles of droppings that littered the thick, 
clumpy grass. 

The grass still had a slight reddish tinge to it from the rain that had
fallen a couple of days after the meteorites.  The forecast had been 
clear but there had been a sharp and heavy downpour which had surprised 
everyone - not least because the rain was the colour of blood.  
Apparently there had been similar showers in other areas where 
meteorites had fallen and some meteorologists had a theory that it was 
caused by the dust thrown off as they had burned their way through the 
atmosphere.  Water droplets in the air collected around the red dust 
particles and fell to the ground as rain.  When the water dried up the 
dust remained, coating everything.  Still, Rebekah thought, knowing 
what caused it didn't make the memory of watching the red streams 
flowing down the streets seem any less eerie. 


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