It was raining when they came. I remember it clearly. It was July the nineteenth, surprisingly cold for that time of year and also the day I proposed to my dearest Sandra.
In hindsight, I can't help but feel I was a fool to offer marriage. Really, what did I have to offer her but my heart and thirty years of wasted time up until that point? I was nothing and yet she loved me anyway, so when I got down on my knee that fateful day she said yes.
That's when it started. It was innocuous at first, the faint spattering of rain in a cloudless sky, a crack of thunder rolling in from over the hills. Then things began to disappear, slowly at first, just the odd thing. A parked car mysterious moved, objects on tables misplaced and forgotten but it didn't stop there. Whole districts of people vanished, entire communities gone. Houses vanished, then skyscrapers. The army was called in.
I didn't care by then, they'd already taken the only thing I cared about. Sandra. She was one of the first people to disappear. At first they blamed me, treated me like a monster but then the horrible truth of it was slowly revealed.
The Army couldn't do a single thing. They disappeared too, just plucked of the Earth like a shiny penny. Somehow, the Army's codename for them leaked out. They called them Seagulls and that they were, their silver ships gliding like birds across the land, swooping down and plucking whatever bauble or morsel they took a liking to.
Swooping down and taking Sandra.
People panicked, armies fought an governments tried to hold back mass hysteria but they never stopped, they just came again and again, taking and taking like gannets.
They didn't have to do anything, I don't even know if they were trying to harm us or trying to save those worth saving. I like to think it was the latter, Sandra was worth so much more than me, I hope she is somewhere happy.
They picked the carcass clean and left the rest of us to rot in the sun. Cults rose and fell, worshipping the Seagulls. Millions threw themselves off cliffs in the hope they would be saved by a swooping gull.
None of them saw a silver bird. I kept to myself mostly, avoided the roving gangs, the cultists, the crazy people. I just rove the coasts, hoping for one last glimpse of a silver bird, hoping in vain that Sandra will be returned to me. I pick and scrape and dig for scraps. A gannet too I suppose, but the only sane man left it seems on this abandoned, empty world.
I keep coming back here, to were we met. For some reason I just can't leave.
And so I stand here, alone midst the carnage, wondering how this tragedy could ever have happened and how I ever became a part of it.
Now as the ashes smolder and the first light of sunrise begins to make itself known, I can hear once more the call of the gulls as they clamor for another day of life.