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Grief is hard. As a surviving parent, I know I have a ton of guilt over not being able to protect my boy from harm. I oftentimes dream of being out there with him on that NAVY vessel to save him. That made me think about all of the books, shows and movies describing the end of the world. As parents, we often feel it’s our duty to protect our children. How do parents protect their children when the world has literally ended? I thought it’d be interesting to see a mom in a post apocalyptic world, faced with trying to protect her child. Here’s the Superhero Baby Boy:
Jaan wrapped her baby boy tight around the front of her body trying to keep him warm. He was all she had left and she’d do her best to protect him from harm. A bitter chill was in the air and she needed to make it back to the cabin quickly. She adjusted the straps on the back pack filled with groceries. Since the world ran out of gas, life was harder and she needed to walk 5 miles to get supplies.
She looked up at the gray sky.
“Looks like snow, little man.” She kissed his tiny brown forehead.
Jaan was a mom now and her life was very different. A few months ago, her identity had been a blerd or “black nerd.” She spent her life living in Metro ATL, YouTubing and working as a professional gamer. She’d studied at Clark Atlanta University, a prominent HBCU (Historically Black College) and while there went to an event at Georgia Tech.
That’s where she met Jamal. His gorgeous light brown eyes, muscle chest, and dark chocolate skin were a distraction. She laughed. He’d been her good luck charm, though. That day she took the number one seat in a major competition. All kinds of gaming companies wanted her after that. She was good at what she did.
“We’ll be back at the cabin soon.” She checked to make sure her son was securely fastened to her chest.
Jaan chuckled, remembering. Those geeky white boys couldn’t out do her. She always won, always. And they would sit there looking stupid, wondering how the black chick from Detroit beat the pants off of them.
Jamal was always her biggest cheerleader.
Yup, my life is very different. She thought.
Jaan looked down at her outfit. Out in the middle of nowhere wearing hiking boots, a flannel shirt, long johns and oversized jeans. She adjusted the tiny green hat down on the top of her son’s head. She had to keep him safe for Jamal.
The day the Krava aliens invaded Earth and took control of all the cities changed her life forever. Any humans within the boundaries became slaves and were treated to a brutal life of servitude in the subway mines. Thankfully, Jaan met Jamal a couple of years before. She didn’t know then that he was a super-being, an alien called Dwenn. His family had escaped the Kravas and had come to Earth to start a new life. One night Jamal busted into her apartment and told her that she’d have to leave Atlanta as quickly as possible. She was confused and didn’t understand why.
Jaan refocused her thoughts back to the present and studied the sky again. A snowstorm was brewing. She could feel it in her bones. She needed to get them back to the cabin soon but she still had three miles left.
Jaan’s boots crunched on the ground as she moved quicker. She reached a stretch of land that Bill, Jamal’s friend, had told her to avoid because he saw one hungry wolf the other day. She searched the land. Mostly pines and a few bushes, nope, no wolves, surely she could cut 30-minutes off of her long walk and be home before the snow. She had a weapon and if needed a few bullets tucked away in her fanny pack. She could easily pull it out and shoot a warning shot. That was sure to scare one wolf away. She thought about her gaming days, she was always good at adventures. She didn’t have a lot of “real” weapon experience but she was sure she was a perfect shot.
A big snowflake floated to the ground. Jaan looked up, studying the sky. The snow was almost here. Jaan tugged the hat down on her baby boy’s head, a second time.
He looked so much like Jamal. Her son was half human/half Dwenn. How was she going to keep him safe without his father? Her heart ached. She missed Jamal. They’d been inseparable. Her friends would make jokes about “Jaan and Jamal” all the time. When Jamal told her-her world was changing and she had to go as far as she could into the wilderness to be safe from harm. She didn’t know what to think.
Had he hit his head? Did someone do something to him?
Jaan didn’t believe what he was saying. Jamal stopped, raised his hand and a green ball of light formed. Then he lifted off the ground and flew.
Jamal flew like Superman!
“I am Dwenn.” He said. “I am honor bound to fight against the Kravas and protect the innocent.”
She almost fainted.
In a matter of minutes, Jamal packed up her car, gave her all the gear she needed, and told her he would meet her at a rest stop off the highway, but if he didn’t come that she should keep going to the cabin at the address in her Google Maps. His friend Bill would be there to help her. Jamal looked at her lovingly and told her to live.
Remembering their last kiss, shook her soul.
It all happened so fast.
She didn’t get a chance to tell him she was two months pregnant.
Jamal never knew.
Then, after she’d made it to the cabin, Bill told her Jamal was one of the first freedom fighters and was killed trying to save people during the invasion. At first, she didn’t believe him. Where was his proof? Jamal would’ve done his best to find her-to be with her. Bill showed her the footage. Jaan watched it over and over again until finally the internet stopped working. She thought her grief broke it but the Kravas issued an interplanetary statement saying Earth had been commandeered and all forms of unofficial communication were terminated.
Jaan was devastated.
Apparently, Bill knew Jamal was an alien. He told her to keep her baby’s alien identity a secret. From what she knew about Jamal, the Dwenns hid themselves well on Earth. Now, Jaan was all alone in a wilderness community of human resistance fighters who were hell bent on killing as many aliens as they could in retaliation for what had been done to their world. She couldn’t blame them for not trusting anyone who wasn’t human but she had to be extra careful. Hopefully, her little Omari would always look more human than Dwenn but how would she keep him safe from the Kravas and the human resistance fighters?
A crunching sound in front of her made her stop.
Jaan counted a pack of nine wolves, not one.
She only had six bullets!
Big snow flakes fell, easily now. The storm was here.
“It’s okay baby boy, Momma’s gonna protect you.” Jaan had to think quickly.
“Let’s scream together!” Jaan jumped up and down then held her arms high in the air like she was taller-bigger and then yelled at the top of her lungs. She wanted the wolves to view her as if she was a bear. Well, at least scarier than she looked. A few of the wolves stopped and backed away but the leader stared at her with an unusual awareness, teeth bared, ready to pounce. The other wolves joined in and they looked hungry, starving. They wouldn’t go away easily.
She could shoot a warning shot but that might not work. No. Her gamer instinct told her that she’d have to get rid of as many as she could. Jaan slowly moved one hand from cradling her boy and unzipped her fanny pack then she easily removed her handgun. Jaan didn’t want to kill anything but she would if they attacked. She wondered, again, if that warning shot would help but she didn’t want to waste bullets. Would the wolf pack scatter? That leader looked determined. Her stomach knotted and her hand shook.
Giant snowflakes came down harder, adding a new layer to the hardened snow on the ground.
The wolves maneuvered around her slowly. Jaan scanned the area. Two flanked her from behind. She took a deep breath, loading her weapon. She couldn’t let them see fear. Jaan steadied her shooting hand by supporting it with her other hand then flipped the safety, and aimed.
The wolves advanced. They showed no fear.
Jaan shot the first one. Bang! The shot was loud, reverberating up her arms. The animal collapsed.
She breathed then, turning in a circle taking the second, third, fourth, fifth, then the last round. Her breath hitching each time.
Jaan stopped. Her ears rang. Was it over?
She won just like playing her games. Six shots. Six wolves dead. Their blood staining the ground but immediately covered by the increased snow fall.
Jaan dropped her hands and returned the safety. She slipped the handgun back into her fanny pack. Jaan returned from gaming mode to momma mode.
“It’s okay baby boy.” She soothed her son, wiping the extra snow from his face. She studied the woods around her. Hopefully, the other wolves scattered.
Growls from behind her made the hair on the back of her neck rise. Jaan swung around. The leader’s eyes now blazed Krava blue. The leader was a hybrid! He bared his teeth. Then, the two other wolves formed behind him.
Jaan breathed deep and thought about Jamal. If she couldn’t live then she would damn well make sure their boy survived. Jaan would die protecting their son. She would keep their baby safe at all costs, even if it meant sacrificing herself. Jaan dropped to her knees. She didn’t think she could stop the leader and remaining wolves from attacking but she had to try protect her baby.
Snow fell in buckets now. The snow storm in full form.
Omari continued to cry.
Jaan soothed him as much as she could as she curled in a ball shielding his body with hers. Hopefully, Bill would check and see she wasn’t in the cabin and search for them and would find Omari wrapped in her arms safe from harm.
“Hush little baby, don’t say a word. Momma’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.” Jaan closed her eyes waiting for the white wolves to attack.
Omari stopped crying.
It was eerily quiet.
Jaan opened her eyes. Omari’s skin radiated and his eyes were a deep green instead of brown like hers. He’d formed a protective green bubble around them. Her heart pounded in her ears.
She sat up.
The wolves had attacked but hit his forcefield. They’d scurried away.
Jaan cradled Omari. Then, the forcefield disappeared. There was nothing left except a few snow flurries.
“Son, what did you do?” She kissed the top of his head.
Omari cooed, smiling at her.
Jaan laughed, too. Omari had saved them!
“Son, all this time I was worried about protecting you and you protected me.”
She stood up.
Her heart warmed and she whispered. “I see your father in you.”
Alicia McCalla writes Science Fiction & Fantasy stories for readers who want diverse protagonists and unique storylines. Sign-up on the right for her newsletter to get updates on her latest projects.