Pseudopod 184: The Identifier

By Mark Patrick Morehead

Read by Ben Phillips

I clear a space toward the back of my sorting table, by the auto parts bin. It’s as far back as I can reach and enough other crap is piled there that the bottle will probably go unnoticed.

My hands start sweating and claustrophobia about overwhelms me when I pick up the bottle again–it’s like my wheelchair is a big mousetrap and I’m pinned by the refrigerator with the lights on and the man of the house stomping toward me with stick.

Smoothly, and I hope nonchalantly, I move the bottle to the table and push some old rags against it. Still no one looking. Leaning back, I relax a little even though this was the easy part.

“This is the day,” I tell myself. “After all this time, this is my day.”

Two years. That’s how long I’ve been here. They caught me a couple weeks after the war started. Damn it happened fast. They just appeared, everywhere, all across the world. One day the price of oil and some brush war were the big news; the next day, the world broke and they invaded what was left. Maorg, Hoods and a half-dozen other kinds appeared out of nowhere, hitting every continent at once.