Black Petals Issue #95 Spring, 2021

Trophy Kill
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Trophy Kill-Flash Fiction by Eddie D. Moore
Occupational Hazard-Flash Fiction by Doug Hawley
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95_bp_trophykill_mddavis.jpg
Art by Michael D. Davis 2021

Trophy Kill

By Eddie D. Moore

 

            Daniel watched the aliens through his scope and clenched his teeth. The blue tint to their skin just wasn’t natural. He planned to only kill one and send a clear message, but his finger itched, all three would be just as easy. Earth was just fine before they came with their federation membership. Now dozens of alien races infested the planet. It was past time for them to go home.

          In the beginning, a few sensible towns declared themselves to be human only, but the liberal courts decided that preserving human culture was xenophobic and unconstitutional. Anyone with half a brain could see that the aliens used political pressure from the federation to influence the judge’s decisions. Since hanging human-only signs was illegal, there was only one way to show these intruders they weren’t welcome. Daniel flipped off the safety and wondered if there’d be time to claim a trophy from his kill. One of those long, blue fingers, maybe?

          Just as Daniel’s finger firmed on the trigger, a human hiker stepped out of the woods and approached Daniel’s chosen target. He lifted his finger from the trigger and said softly to himself, “Oh, come on, man. You’re ruining my shot. Lucky for you, we don’t shoot collaborators, yet.”

          Daniel heard a soft click, and he slowly turned his head to see what made the noise behind him. Long moments passed in near silence. The breeze rustled the leaves on the trees. Birds fluttered from limb to limb. A squirrel scurried out from under a bush and quickly climbed up a nearby tree. After a long sigh, Daniel turned his attention back to his targets.

          He smiled when he saw that the human was gone. He could hear the female alien’s screams already. Unfortunately, his targets were loading up their vehicle and preparing to leave the area. He hated being rushed. The crosshairs moved from the male to the female and settled on their offspring a moment before returning to the male. The time had come to make up his mind, one or all three? He wondered how fast the little one could run.

          A sharp pain ran up and down Daniel’s back. His arms and legs went numb and fell limp. His rifle slipped to the ground, and he heard a deep voice. “Tarthen, I’ve caught another xenophobe, awaiting pick up.”

          Daniel’s eyesight blurred as the alien family drove away. His head lolled to the side, and his vision darkened just as he caught a glimpse of his attacker. Recognition sent a wave of fear through Daniel’s body. It was Xanis, the Collector.

          “Yes, Tarthen, his skull will fill out my trophy case.” Xanis held a finger against his earpiece a moment. “No, that doesn’t mean I’m done with this planet. I’ll just have to order another one.”

Daniel gasped for breath that just wouldn’t come, and he heard an inhuman voice mixed with laughter as he lost consciousness.

          “Ha, I love this planet; it’s full of intolerant idiots.”





When Eddie D. Moore isn’t playing with his grandchildren, he is driving and visiting strange new worlds via audiobooks, or he is lost in his imagination writing his own tales. Pick up a copy of Poe-ish Tales Forevermore today! You’ll be glad you did if you can sleep tonight.




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