Every evening we used to walk in the park, but today he was not there. Instead, I found a note written in his calligraphic hand -“Midnight, on the bridge. Come alone.”
I met him a month back when I saw him feeding bees with water. I immediately stuck up a conversation with him since I keep a water bowl for bees myself. He told me he was a student at the university in the department of advanced studies. He looked young, but his knowledge of the world was encyclopedic. He was a true polymath, a man who seemed to have walked right out of the legends of the Renaissance. We quickly became good friends. Every evening we came to the park to wander among its stately trees and talk about everything under the sun.
At midnight, I came to the bridge alone. He was already there. As soon as we met, he began to speak, in his customary rapid resonant manner.
“Dear friend, I am going to tell you something I haven’t told anybody in my life. Tonight is my last day on Earth. It might astonish you to learn that I am not from this planet. I am from the Triangulum galaxy, the most distant object visible to the naked human eye. I could show you my home, but these skies are full of smoke.”
He stopped for a while before continuing.
“I am a member of the GCDP, Galactic Committee for Distressed Planets. For many years now, it is known throughout the universe that your planet is the most distressed in the entire cosmos, since Big Bang. I was sent here to investigate the cause of this trouble so that the problem can be redressed. My appraisal is complete, I return tonight to Triangulum. My evaluation reveals humans as the cause for Earth’s distress. I must warn you that your species is marked for extermination.”
As his curious tale unfolded, I was dumbstruck with awe and was unable to speak a word. I saw a manuscript in his hands with some lines visible – GARBAGE SPECIES CATEGORY IV HIGH-RISK BIOHAZARD RECOMMEND ERADICATION
A strange light hovered in the sky. My friend’s face filled with sadness as he uttered these words, “My spaceship has come. It pains me to leave you, so great has been our friendship. But there are things that need to be done. I must leave.”
He gave me a talisman as a parting gift. He told me on the day of extermination of humans, it will glow and have the power to transform me into any other species I want to be.
The spaceship was above us, and abruptly he was gone. The strange light that carried my friend away disappeared into the night.
Ever since, I live in dread and longing for the terror to come and the emancipation to be, a future of infinite possibilities, a new world of metamorphosis when I can redeem myself from the guilt of being born human.
Rham Dhel is a vegan who dabbles in writing fiction. Her stories usually involve humans trying to find meaning in a world in disconnect with its animal inhabitants. She's an eco-child, a friend to all creatures, and a defender of the meek and mute beings of the wild.