I watch her walking down the middle of the street. She stands tall and defiant against them.
Two minutes have passed since I saw her running out of the entrance to the recently renovated Government Center station, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s crown jewel of glass and stainless steel. I cannot fathom why she fled the relative safety of the underground, to appear here in the bright summer sunlight. To challenge them. To stand directly in harm’s way.
The alien carriers roll defiantly up Cambridge Street from the river’s edge. They’ve already conquered Washington and New York. The radio reports say they arrived via Boston Harbor, making landfall near the mouth of the Charles River Dam. Their machines blasted the Museum of Science to smithereens. After that, they hummed along Storrow Drive. They made a mess of the Esplanade and the Fiedler Bridge, all the while sideswiping parked vehicles and bringing down stoplights and lampposts. They move like a silent plague of locusts. Their ships hover a few feet above the pavement. Their weaponry and technology are a mystery to us.
I wonder: why there are no jet fighters circling overhead to bomb the aliens into submission? Why there are no National Guard troops on the ground opposing them? God, what I wouldn’t give to have George Washington in command of brave accountants and financial advisors. Or Paul Revere riding on horseback, yelling a rallying cry to a rag-tag group of lawyers.
But not today.
There’s just this young girl out on the street. She appears to be roughly sixteen years old. She wears blue jean shorts and a white tank top. Her complication is dark; her hair is done up in cornrows.
I observe with binoculars from a nearby second-story window on Court Street. Everyone has evacuated. I should be gone, too, but I’m still here. I must know how this plays out.
As she stands defiantly in the middle of street, I find myself thinking, a car’ll hit her. But that’s silly. There are no cars. Just the large, boxy alien weapons of mass destruction floating up the street. Coming her way. The menace is two blocks away now.
This area used to be called Scollay Square. It was a vibrant Boston neighborhood, but it was wiped out in the early 60s to make way for the monstrosity now known as Government Center. Over a thousand buildings were demolished, and tens of thousands of citizens were displaced. How many thousands of buildings will be destroyed this time?
The first of the carriers approaches her. The girl puts up both her arms in the air above her head. She’s signaling them to stop. It’s crazy, but the first carrier begins to slow. It’s still moving though, and just when I think it’s about to flatten her it comes to a complete stop. All of the other carriers behind the leader come to a halt, too.
The seconds go by.
What’s going through this girl’s mind? Is she angry? Is she scared shitless? I know I would be.
The girl walks up to the first carrier. Now I know she’s pissed. Or batshit crazy. She begins to pound on the front of the carrier with her fists. A snake-like appendage pops out of the front of the contraption. It quivers and begins to move to and fro, high above her. No doubt it’s attempting to reach her, to swat her out of the way as would a mare that tries to shoo away a fly with its tail. But alas, the tiny pest is not within its reach.
Another minute goes by. The girl stops pounding on the contraption. She retreats a few steps. The carrier advances. She waves her hands wildly and advances towards it. This plays out several times. Finally, the alien intelligence makes up its mind. It decides to ignore her presence. It moves ahead. The girl retreats quickly, and puts some distance between her and the thing.
Then the girl does something totally unexpected. She gives the machine the finger. Then, she turns her back to it, drops her drawers, and bends over. She moons the goddamned thing!
Yeah!!! Fuckin’ a! You go, girl!
I flash to David Ortiz’s defiant words following the Boston Marathon bombing, where Ortiz exclaimed to Red Sox fans in Fenway Park, to the mayor, to the governor, to a live television audience, and to the world: “This is our fucking city!”
Just then, a slit opens up near the top of the machine and a bright flash of light leaps out. It makes contact with the girl. She’s vaporized.
I hope the aliens got the message.
Banner Image. Government Center right outside the T stop. By Steven Isaacson from Somerville, MA, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons