All posts by 21stCenturyCatholic

The Gate – A Short Story

It came for her in the shower.

The quickening in her womb could not keep pace with the quickening of her heart as, her back against the wall, she felt him enter her.

Semen and water. Running down, down, and out. Down her thighs, down the drain, and out of her life.

Life…

This was how it started, she thought, saying nothing. Seeing nothing. One hand on her ever-expanding middle. The other against the back of his neck. Old habits die hard.

Determined to give as good as she got, she opened her eyes.

Lips puckered for kissing, her mouth expanded into a silent scream as, through the steam, she saw it.

He did not.

Screaming for a very different reason, he never felt the alien’s mouth enter the back of his skull and exit through his own.

“I love your big brain!” she said yesterday.

Today, she felt that big brain, and bits of little bone, hit her in the face, along with pieces of broken glass, as her headless husband dropped.

In shock, she ceased feeling the water against her skin. But she was all too aware of her water against her skin. Feeling the baby kick, she knew that more than a shower door had broken…

Wet and black, the alien’s tail slid up her leg, higher and higher, until it took the place of her husband’s penis.

Inexplicably thinking of her last meal, she imagined the alien lifting. Lifting her baby out of her womb like he was soup in a ladle.

But if the alien’s tail is a ladle, and my son is soup, I’m the tureen.

The ship’s tureen was made of metal.

Metal was strong.

And so was she.

Snatching a piece of broken glass off the floor, ignoring the pain as it dug into her palm, she become one with her husband one more time as, their blood mingling, she kicked off from the wall, aiming for the alien’s face.

Her aim was true.

Biting back a scream as the alien’s acid blood ran down her arm, she ran past it, slipping on the floor before she could get clear.

The baby!

The floor rushing to meet her, she threw out her hands, breaking her fall at the last second. Then she was out.

Naked and alone, the blood-red emergency lights were her guardian angels. Heed them, and she would find salvation.

The smack of her wet feet on metal echoed into the silence as she ran and ran and ran.

She ran until, doubling over to suck in breath, she swore that the only thing left inside her was, judging by a second kick, fighting to get out.

But: She now stood before the pearly gates.

Judgement Day.

Her hand leaving a red smear as she opened one and looked longingly at the other, she had enough time to wonder How long? before she did not have to wonder anymore.

Hot on her heels, it had come.

Inexorable. Not invincible.

As she proved as, careening past her in its blind, furious hunger, she pressed a button before its eyeless face saw the error of its ways, sealing it behind one pearly gate and in front of a second.

The second pearly gate opening, naked and alone is how the alien faced the cold vacuum of space as it was sucked out the airlock.

Her cry of joy froze in her throat, turning into a scream of pain as, sitting on the floor, she opened a third gate.

This gate had no pearls.

She was, after all, a modest woman.

Thank you for reading.

This short story was inspired by fellow blogger Soul Healing. Thank you for discussing Defiance with me. 🙂

Thank you, George R.R. Martin. The scene of the woman breaking her fall in order to protect her baby was inspired by a scene in A Game of Thrones where (SPOILER) Daenarys is attacked by Khal Drogo’s bloodriders while trying to save his life.

This short story is a different take on the shower scene in Alien: Covenant (2017).

Thank you, Ridley Scott, for the “Alien” series.

10-Word Story: Defiance

Tip disappearing between her legs, she moans a word: “Deeper…”

Alien

This piece of writing was inspired by the shower scene in Alien: Covenant (2017):

Watching this scene, I thought: What if the woman didn’t just scream and die? What if she fought back and lived? How does she “fight back”? By taking away the alien’s capacity to terrorize her sexually.

I was worried about this piece. For a while, I put off writing it. The reason why is: I didn’t want to come across like I was glorifying rape or other horrible acts against women.

But the idea of a woman’s horror becoming her pleasure was enough to make me think What the heck. I’ll write down what I’m thinking and see what others think about it.

13 Reasons Why: How To Talk About Suicide?

Recently, a study came out showing that 13 Reasons Why was potentially responsible for an increase in suicidal thoughts:

’13 Reasons Why’ may have lead to spike in suicidal thoughts

13 Reasons Why

Which caused me to think about Kate’s suicide in Life Is Strange.

Even though the scene goes against the World Health Organization’s guidelines for portraying suicide — i.e., don’t show the suicide attempt (don’t show Kate going through with it) — the reason I myself am OK with that, is this:

People have the chance to prevent Kate’s death.

There’s nothing stopping a person from replaying the scene with Kate on the roof until they get the outcome they want.

Life is Strange22

Which is why I believe that, when it comes to portraying heavy issues like suicide, episodic games like Life Is Strange are better at it than television series like 13 Reasons Why because, ultimately, the choices a character makes, and how characters respond to those choices, are up to the viewer/player, not up to a writer who could have a different interpretation than you of the story you’re experiencing:

From the very beginning, I agreed that we should depict the suicide with as much detail and accuracy as possible. I even argued for it—relating the story of my own suicide attempt to the other writers.
Nic Sheff

To an extent not possible with a Netflix series, an episodic video game’s story is only as harmful as the person experiencing that story allows it to be.

For example: Want to send the message that, when it comes to suicide, it is not others, but the suicidal person themselves, who is responsible for their actions?* Don’t wait for anyone else to say so; send that message yourself by pressing Square:

Life is Strange48

*Where the show romanticizes the aftermath of suicide, it also blames everyone in Hannah’s life.
How ’13 Reasons Why’ gets suicide wrong