I thrust my foot farther up into the crux of its neck, ignoring the throbbing in my mouth. It snarls, one eye bulging, the other a dark, empty socket. Its scabby, violet hands reach for me as I grasp for the handle of my knife, which now lay too far away from me, thanks to this dumb alien smacking it out of my hand a second ago.
The top pads of my fingers curl around the handle, and I jerk the knife toward me and into my grip. Finally! As the ugly purple alien leers toward me, I shove the knife through the side of its cheeks—in one and out of the other. It tries to scream, but soon discovers it only makes the wound worse. It falls back from me, pulsing once, then frozen, its one eye glassy.
I stand up, brushing my dirt-encrusted hands through my filthy, stiff hair. I approach the alien’s body and take the knife out slowly. I wipe the alien’s violet blood and saliva off on the side of my bejeweled jeans, smearing the light blue with purple ooze. Huh. It adds something to my awkward, young teenager style. If only the boys and girls from school can see me now!
Oh wait. They can’t, thanks to the invasion.
I will never forget that day: the saucer obscuring the sun in the sky, the roof of my high school peeled open like a can of soup, the light beams pulsing and incinerating every projector, computer, and cell phone in sight. Everyone died while scrolling their phones for the newest TikTok video. Everyone but me, as at that moment I was in the nurse’s office, begging for an ibuprofen because the pain my braces inflicted on my teeth was too much.
The aliens took everything from me. By everything, I’m talking about how they ruined the day I was going to get my goddamn braces off. They destroyed my orthodontist and their whole office, including all the equipment to remove my braces. As I am the only survivor for miles, I haven’t met anyone—any human—who can do the work for me.
Last week, when I discovered a lone alien prowling around for spare human technology at my orthodontist’s office, I jumped and bound them. I managed to extract answers from them through some violent persuasion. I’ll spare you the gruesome details. They eventually told me that on the spaceship, the aliens had an orthodontist from South Africa as prisoner: the only survivor in the whole Johannesburg area.
Now, I look up at the gargantuan hunk of circular metal disk floating in the sky. Time to fight my way through swarths of alien assholes. Time to find that orthodontist. I cannot fail: I’ve had these braces on for three years and three months, three months longer than I am supposed to.
I grip the knife tighter. Infiltrating their spaceship will simple, compared to three extra months of the metal deathtrap in my mouth.