Natural Killers

Natural Killers

By: James G. Boswell

Rosa’s medical scrubs swished underneath her white doctor’s coat as she walked out of the hospital’s employee entrance. Exhausted from a 48-hour shift, she looked forward to collapsing into bed when she finished her five-block walk home. It was dark outside, and she looked up at the stars, but then she noticed something odd.

One of the stars seemed to be getting larger and larger. She stopped and watched as its circumference doubled in size every few seconds. She realized that it wasn’t a star but was instead some kind of glowing, spherical object falling towards her. It floated past a nearby apartment building as it drew near, then stopped and hovered in front of her. She saw that the pale, translucent, meter-wide orb had a bumpy surface covered with writhing tendrils. She stared at it in awe, not knowing what to do.

The thing extended one of its tendrils toward her and spewed a noxious orange slime all over her. The substance burned her skin like napalm. She screamed and ran away, trying to wipe it off her face. But it was sticky like glue and sealed one of her eyes shut.

She went several meters, then ducked down a nearby alley and crouched next to a dumpster to hide. The thing floated past her without noticing, making a wheezing noise as it contracted and expanded. Then, it floated up into the sky and disappeared.

Rosa felt nauseated and struggled to stand. Her legs shook as she shuffled toward the street. Reaching the end of the alley, she looked around but didn’t see the hideous orb anywhere. Then, cringing, she limped down the sidewalk back toward the hospital.

She turned a corner and saw that it was only 30 meters away. Its neon sign radiated light like hope in the darkness. But then, a horrific scream pierced the air. Rosa turned and saw a man covered head-to-toe in orange slime, stumbling down the street as three more orbs pursued him. They surrounded him and he said, “Somebody, help me!” Then, they smashed into him all at once.

He wailed as his body dissolved into the orbs. They melted as they consumed him, leaving behind a mass of pinkish goo. Rosa gagged and turned back toward the hospital, only to see that dozens more of the terrible spheres now hovered in the sky above its entrance.

It dawned on her that something seemed familiar about them from her work at the hospital. Then she shook her head in disbelief and said, “They’re gigantic white blood cells, hunting people like we’re bacteria.”

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