Kim Fox & Juno Wells
“This is going to be off the hook!” I say as the previews start rolling on the big screen. I dig my trembling hand into the hot popcorn with the extra butter that I slathered all over it and grin. I’ve been waiting for this moment for months and I’m so freaking excited. For the movie, not the popcorn, although the popcorn is pretty exciting too.
“Hey Avery, do you think that Jake Silverstone is going to do Chase’s character justice?” Mandy asks, sitting beside me with a mouthful of M&Ms.
My adrenaline is racing at the mention of Chase’s name. He’s my book boyfriend and I’m about to see him in real life. Well, on the screen ‘real life.’ I’m trying not to show it but I’m freaking out right now.
Mandy and I are in a theater packed with eager women who are about to watch the premiere of the movie version of our favorite book, which is the best novel ever written: Love in all Angles.
“I don’t know,” I say with a gasp. “I’m too excited to think.”
“Who needs real boyfriends when we have this?” Mandy asks as she shoves a handful of M&Ms into her mouth. She doesn’t believe in eating them one at a time.
“Not me,” I say as my chest tightens. I’d totally rather be here than cuddled up to a hot boyfriend right now. My eyes drop to the sticky floor as I hold back the depressed sigh that’s trying to get out.
“Ugh,” Mandy grunts, curling her nose up in disgust. “Why can’t they just skip these boring previews?”
I roll my eyes as the movie trailer rolls. It’s a preview for a big budget alien movie starring who-the-fuck-cares and directed by nobody-gives-a-shit. Another boring ass alien movie with cardboard characters and a predictable plot. It’s nothing like Love in all Angles. My pulse is racing just thinking about it.
“Ew!” the audience of women yells as the main character in the trailer blows off the head of an alien, sending his brains flying about like an exploding pumpkin.
“Wrong demographic!” Mandy yells out.
“Hit fast forward,” I holler up to the teenage kid who’s probably already sleeping in the projection booth.
The preview is obnoxiously loud and I have to cover my ears as the horrible sound of thick metal bending and grinding assaults my eardrums. It’s so loud that I can’t even hear the words being said by the actors on the screen. It’s just moving lips under the painful sound of ripping metal.
Wait, I think as I look around. Is that from the movie?
Just as the thought passes through my head the ceiling of the theater rips open, peeling over like we’re in a can of sardines and someone is pulling off the top.
I shut my eyes and squint as the bright sunlight pours into the dark movie theater, blinding me. No freaking way. When my eyes finally adjust after a few seconds I look up and see a round spaceship hovering in the sky right over the opening in the ceiling.
“Wow,” Mandy gasps as she stares up with wide eyes. “Hollywood marketing departments get more elaborate every year.”
I gulp. The machine seems to be hovering in mid-air. There are no cranes or strings in sight. It’s freaking flying.
“I don’t think that’s a promo stunt,” I say while my pulse starts to go apeshit. I glance over my shoulder at the crowds of women stampeding down the aisles like fleeing rats, trying to get out of the one small door.
“Maybe we should get out of here,” I say, turning back to Mandy.
There’s a blue spotlight focused on her. She looks like one of those aliens from Avatar in the blue hue of the light.
“Nice!” Mandy says with a smile. “I must be the winner. I wonder what I’ve won.”
“I don’t think that’s a-”
Mandy shoots up through the air and disappears into the spaceship in the blink of an eye. She’s gone before her bag of M&Ms falls to the ground and scatters down the slanted floor of the movie theater.
All I can do is stare at Mandy’s empty seat as a sudden coldness strikes my core. Adrenaline surges through my body like somebody just hooked me up to an IV of Red Bull. Move! Run you idiot!
But I can’t move. My body is not listening. And the frantic women bottlenecked at the only exit has made it impossible to leave.
I just stare at the empty seat with my mouth dropped open. The seat where my best friend just farted a second ago and then pretended it wasn’t her.
Screams from every woman in the packed theater stab at my ears as I slowly shake my head in disbelief.
I take short gasps of breath as I slowly turn my chin up to the large rotating spaceship. It’s circular, just like in the movies that I hate to watch, with a big round white cylinder at the bottom that’s flowing with what looks like electrical currents, only they’re purple. It would be beautiful to look at if I wasn’t so freaking terrified.
The same blue beam that landed on Mandy begins hitting other women, snatching them up and making them disappear.