How nice it was to see another human face after so long being alone; eyes, blue like cornflowers,
soft skin and hair like silk thread, the colour of gold.
Such a pity that they had to do to him what they did.
I remember the day he came; Maximilian; Max; the man in the nice, shiny suit with a patch on the front of it that said NASA.
The sky had lit up and there had been the sound of thunder and great clouds of dust and then, all of a sudden, I’d seen his rocket come down near the shelter; a pillar of shining silver.
They must have brought it down, the way they do.
He’d said that his ship had started malfunctioning; something to do with the engines.
I’d tried to explain to him, “They have a way with machines; of making them not work properly anymore”.
He hadn’t believed me,ofcourse, “Whoever They are. No one can just reach out into space and make a spacecraft malfunction”, he’d argued obstinately.
He’d asked my name and I’d told him it was Adele.
He’d said that was a pretty name and so I’d explained that it was French; that it meant noble, which it does.
Then he’d asked me more about who I was; how a pretty young girl came to be living on a strange, deserted planet all by herself in a shelter made of bits of old shipwreck.
I told him about my Mummy and Daddy. How we’d been travelling on ‘The Galaxy Princess’, a big star liner all covered in bright lights; going somewhere; I don’t remember where now, when They
had made the liner crash onto the planet; how my Mummy and Daddy had died in the crash but how I had survived.
“Weren’t there any other survivors?”, he’d asked, still refusing to believe me about Them and what they could do.
“There were”, I’d told him, “Three people; three men; a doctor, an accountant and a travelling salesperson whose name was Mr Parker. I liked Mr Parker because he had a suitcase full of toys
but then They came for them in the night and then there was only me left. They didn’t want me”.
Outside, the sun was starting to go down behind the black mountain and the sky was turning a kind of coppery colour. I asked Maximillian if he had any kind of; what do you call it now? A Weapon.
A gun or something like that.
“Yes”, he’d said and then he'd shown me some sort of electric light gun he carried.
"Oh,that will be no use", I told him, "They'll just make it not work, like your spaceship".
Then he’d asked more about Them, what they were and why they had left me alone.
I could see he was starting to get slightly tense; starting to sweat.
I showed him this book I have; a picture book that Mummy and Daddy bought me before we left Earth; a chapter about “Wreckers of the Cornish Coast”.
"They're like that. Like wreckers, only they're not interested in cargo,only people. They’re scavengers mostly”, I told him, “They make ships crash and then they take the dead but then, sometimes, they come for the living as well. I don’t know why they never came for me. I wish sometimes they would. It gets so lonely without anyone to talk to”.
Outside the sky was now getting dark blue and I could hear that noise they make when they’re sniffing about and scratching.
He was starting to get afraid. He said he wanted to go back to his spaceship and try and repair it and he offered to take me with him; back to civilization.
I told him, “They’ll only stop it from leaving; make it crash again, the way they always do”.
But he wouldn’t listen and then I could see their eyes glinting in the darkness like little evil stars and hear their strange, hurried breathing as they started to gather outside the shelter, near to his ship.
I tried to talk about something pleasant to take his mind off of them; talk about the lovely Springs and Summers there are on this planet but he didn’t want to hear. Fear had gotten to him, poor man.
He just kept on asking me why they hadn’t come for me. “What’s so special about you?”, he wanted to know.
Then he started pawing me and pulling at me, which I didn’t like, looking under my clothes for something and then he saw the switch on the back of my neck and, for some reason, he got angry then and didn’t like me anymore and then he started calling me names, saying I wasn’t a real girl, saying I was a robot, a machine.
I didn’t much like him then either. In a way, I was glad when they started coming into the shelter, even though it’s horrible what they do and the way he screamed and begged me for help as they dragged him with their claws back to their place underground.
But he had really hurt my feelings. After all, I am a real girl; I am. It wasn’t fair what he said and yet I do miss him. It gets so lonely, you see, without anyone to talk to.