Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. Until a roar comes at your window, you will rest quietly, in peace. What do you do when there's no hiding and no lies?
My truth came unexpectedly. It fell from the sky, shredding open the field force surrounding our house. Living apart from others for so long, we got used to never having visitors or even hearing other steps and voices.
This time, it was different.
No friends came to see us. If they were enemies, I couldn't tell. They had no faces, but their voices blinded me. Shrill, sweet, conniving, inviting, and irresistible at once.
How could they come here and live? All beings who stepped into the force field were burnt to ashes in seconds. And yet, they walked on and started checking the surroundings. They even took out vials and sampled the soil. Our birthright!
No one walks here without paying the price.
And what they didn't know was about to haunt them. Their voices were alive, but we had ours. All my kin gathered in our safe-voltage cave and initiated the wave. Combining our voice in one power, higher than sound, mightier than will.
Directed at intruders, it blasted through space, surrounding the planet in dust. Each time we use the wave dust lifts. Of its own will, out of the depth.
Dust particles live among us. We may step on them daily, but we're not fooled. They breathe; they speak. They learned how to sing. Adding words of destruction will make dust a weapon for conquerors.
What they don't know, they can't use.
Eons back, my father tried to warn the rulers about dust. He was tortured beyond recognition for invoking the undead.
Dust is feared and worshipped. In silence.
No one dares to voice thoughts on the power that resides in its core.
To awaken and resurrect one day. And take all who live in the ether. Frightened by my father's words, they set him to be tormented for decades. Before his speech, he already had an ally.
Swallowing dust particles right before uttering the words gave him strength. Such that even gravity couldn't take him down. And so, we left. Never to be heard of again. We lived on this unnamed planet and mingled in the dust.
We spoke, told stories, and these particles are now friends. In storms, they walk among us. They lead the way when it gets dark.
Dust is our light and path.
We trust it like we couldn't trust our own race. It builds a war in talking. It adds power and will. And war with dust is war with us. We are its own kind; no one can tell the difference now.
The intruders walk slowly, almost tiptoeing, trying not to touch the dust. Yet, particles fly unseen. My vision shows me they've been surrounded from first breath and landing.
They hold their weapons as if anything could keep them alive. Once dust decides you will expire, there's no rescue. Or redemption.
For many, we are ghosts. We should've passed our last breath hundreds of years ago. We nourished dust, and it fed us to life: another life, a different way to breathe.
Dust-grown breaths are not the same. Dust voices can be heard. From us, the particles, we all speak in one voice. And one war. On all the living who hated the gift.
The world of dust is in the making.
Closer each day, we wait. And we take souls. Screams in the dust go unnoticed, but our domain grows. With each life, with each note. And scorn.
They dared to come inside; peril will be their doom.
The sound wave coils around the intruders. They try to run... only get a few steps further. They scream, but before the sound reaches space, they're gone.
The voices, not the men. They're wraiths now... about to join our servants. The undead army adds more from each planet.
Here we used to live undisturbed. The planets we've raided in dust are different.
Crossing their vacuum shields at night, we took their rest away. A faint knock on their sill is the last thing they heard... before they joined our ranks. They don't know they've betrayed... their soul.... and everything they loved.
Still breathing, they're not gone. Moving corpses make armies in thousands.
Next millennium, next time they fall asleep.
Dust could be slashing throats and voices deep.
I walk outside the cave; the sound wave is still around. I can feel the warmth, the caress, the deadly note that would chill a mortal soul.
I used to be alive one time.
So many decades have passed since then; it feels like I was dreaming. I'm stronger now. I trusted dust, and I received a priceless gift.
Feeding with dust changed me forever. My voice can only be heard by the chosen. But the deaf ones pay for their limits. Killing in one second is a game. Taking out songs and hope happens in seconds.
I used to have a mirror... to measure how time passed and how I changed. After 800 years and nothing altered, I broke it and started to sing. The ether answered back. I'm friends with death... I fear nothing. No retribution can come from space when dust lives inside me.
My hands, once heavy, and muddy, are now glowing with light. I walk and take shadows apart. In the nighttime, I leave dust on every footprint. I found the way to be more... without dying.
I am no saint; I don't dream of saving anyone. I only tried it once. Father couldn't be rescued. The torture went on. I gave him to the dust after his first dose. I didn't lose him... he came back.
He doesn't remember any of us and could never tell day from night since that time. But he has a voice... dust voice it may be... punishment still didn't touch his core.
He stays here, a general, admired... his army ready for invasion. These corpses, the weak... and mortal... Dust changed us... and we'll have them.
Those who walked willingly are gone. But wait, there is a sound.
The wave did our bidding; no one moves in the night. But there, in the dark shadow where they lay, I heard a voice.
Could it be? A whisper starts, a buzzing, a tiny fragment of a song.
I know that... I heard... who was it? It can't be... my lullaby?
I fall back; it's a trap. RoMAIRS are here. They didn't have the sound. They took it from our wave!
I must go back and warn my kin. We fed the dust; we can't lose now! Something starts moving. The air turns to jelly; I can't run, or walk, or even step. I'm tied, gagged... there's no air.
Wait, I never needed air after the change. What's happening to me?
I look down at my hands... they're tuning ash-color.
Dust flies around me... is it leaving me for a better host? Am I betrayed?
© 2022 Amy Christie