500 word story first sentence compulsory.
Special challenge accepted. 474 words
It whispered, “I forgive you,” as its hand slipped out of mine.
The collectors dragged it away leaving me feeling confused and vaguely guilty. Why should I feel guilty when I was only obeying the anti-moalf laws like a good citizen should in reporting it? I rationalised the guilt because it had looked and sounded so much like a child. I knew it wasn’t a child but a moalf, not that anyone really had explained what they were.
They had started turning up about eleven years ago, but no one knew where from. The first ones looked hideous and they would survive in groups in the wild places eating the wild life and sometimes taking the pets or animals from neighbouring farms. The first theories were that they were some kind of Bigfoot, even though no proof for the existence of Bigfoot had been scientifically proven. The farmers did everything they could to put them down and government officials took the carcases away and did all kinds of tests on them.
The first moalf law was brought in and it seemed like they had been wiped out. Then the second wave of moalfs appeared, they were smaller, often looking like some native animals. They didn’t seem as dangerous as they were primarily vegetarian and beyond reporting their existence to the authorities, we mostly ignored them. They called that group qualfis, which was short for quasi animal life forms but they were clearly more intelligent than animals. The theory then was that they’d escaped from some government laboratory but of course they refuted it.
Government representatives pointed out that the outbreaks were occurring all around the world. They exterminated the critters, capturing a few alive. But the third wave of moalf had appeared a few years later, these often looked like children although no child could do the things they could. Some people even adopted them, until they found out how strange they were and reported them to the authorities. They seemed relatively harmless but it was against the law to harbour them.
Now the rumours were that they were some kind of alien life form evolving to try and fit in on our planet. The government denied that too but gave no rational explanation to what they actually were.
I spotted this one hiding out in the old tree house I had built for my kids, now long grown up. At first I thought it was a neighbouring kid who was visiting to play in the tree house and ignored it. Then I realised it did not return home at supper time and I knew I had to report it. They had brought it down while I watched and it had latched onto my hand. It looked just like a little boy I wanted to look after it, but the law is the law.