O Fear and Fortuna by L. P. Melling

They rained from the sky shaped like fortune cookies, contrails combining to spell a dark message.

Their ships shuddered, separated, a mirror-like liquid spreading between each hemisphere.

Launch codes entered, within-range weapon systems locked on.

Alien quicksilver flared with color, showing images of destruction. But it wasn’t them destroying our planet, it was us.

Then they left quickly as they’d come. 

Governments and families would pay for the military mobilization: for the missiles that had rebounded to Earth, wiping out millions.

Everyone thought humanity’s fortune was written when they arrived. Instead, they reminded us fear will always shape our future.

This story originally appeared in Dark Moments in May 2019.

L. P. Melling writes from the UK. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in such places as ASMDark Matter MagazineLittle Blue Marble, and Frozen Wavelets. When not writing, he works for a legal charity in Cambridge. You can find out more about him at his site: www.lpmelling.wordpress.com

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