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 colour, 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.


L.P. Melling

L. P. Melling currently writes from the East of England. A Writers of the Future finalist, his short fiction has appeared in such places as Tales to Terrify, Kraxon, and ARTPOST. When not writing, he works for a legal charity in London that advises and supports victims of crime.


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