YEAR 4891

by Herbert Jerry Baker

Through the undark night

Dreams are with us no more—but of these mysteries anon—Edgar Allen Poe

     The horizon is ablaze with a strange blue light as we move out into the darkening half-night; and then we see the burnt-out sun hanging like a dead man, swinging back and forth. Up above, the remains of the moon circle lazily, crazily, lackadaisically, shedding their dull light to the ground below. Out in the distance, against the nova’s glare, we see a horde of scavengers hunting for their prey. On towards the blue glow we move, we search out the rubble for the mutants and destroy them once and for all.

     Overhead float the clouds of a dead world, while behind us the horizon turns to orange as the sun begins to burn and glow. On we run, away from the sun, drawing our guns—then the scavengers are upon us! Bright green beams slice through the shadowed ruins as the mutants fall before our guns until there is but one left alive.

     He turns toward us and begins to moan, cursing us with his dying breath to a deathly fate; then he collapses and lies still. Suddenly from overhead comes a great light which bathes the mutants in an eerie glare and we see things which still haunt the night. We turn to flee, our guns at the ready, when we see the scavengers rise up from the earth, their faces split with humorless grins.

     They attack us once again. We go down under their weight, dying as we fall, knowing that once more have the scavengers found their grisly prey!