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In Mellorsville

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story was originally written for a compilation that Kossettes Novelettes had planned on posting.

Submitted: October 16, 2018

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Submitted: October 16, 2018

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In Mellorsville

We made the right choice when we moved here, just after getting hitched. We had nowhere specific in mind but when we happened to pass through Mellorsville we knew it was the place for us. I guess we were just plain lucky that there happened to be one house for sale there, that just happened to be within our budget.

We have two of the most gorgeous children. There’s Cole, our son. At ten years old he is starting to get really tall, and is athletic rather than studious. His sister, Emily, is half his age and so far is showing every sign of being the opposite. She’d much prefer to have her head in a book than to be running around.

The house is the sort we’d never really dreamed of being able to own. It’s so much larger than any sort of property that we could have afforded anywhere else. There’re four large bedrooms, one of which I use as a study; a huge kitchen; a spacious lounge, and another room that tends to get used more than the others. The best thing about this place though, is the garden. I’m not over-stating it when I say it’s huge. We have a massive lawn, that Ken, one of our neighbours comes and mows with his super-mower; at the bottom of the garden, well away from the house, is a wooded area. What could be better for the kids!

This is a small place, the kind with a real community atmosphere. Everyone knows everyone, and if you have a problem, of any sort really, someone is always willing to help out. In lots of ways it feels like we’re all a part of one big happy family.

I glance out of the window. Claire is busy with something; from where I am I can’t quite see what it is. Cole is shooting hoops, and Emily has found a shady spot to sit with her favourite teddy and her story book of the moment. It’s a sight that makes my heart swell.

I can’t shake off the feeling that there is something different about today. If only I could work out just what it was...

And then it hits me. The wind, or rather the lack of it. Here we don’t get too much heat, too much cold or too much rain. And I’ve only known there to once be a frost. No, we get a warm gentle breeze all year round, the sort that makes even being out in the rain quite pleasant. Today though, it is still and it makes me uneasy.

The ping of the oven timer stops me pondering on it any longer. I open the door and call out. “Come on, you guys. Pizza’s done!”

Cole is in first, of course, having sprinted. Claire is walking along with Emily, holding her book. They all get cleaned up then dig in to the pizza; thick crust with extra vegetables, everybody’s favourite.

I don’t know which of us notices it first, Claire or I. Our eyes meet across the table in alarm at the ever-increasing rumble that is approaching from the north of town. The wind has whipped up to almost hurricane force. I try to think. What are you supposed to do? Leave windows open to let wind blow through or shut them to stop it from getting out? I’ve not had to consider such things so my mind goes blank.

Shut all the windows!” Claire shouts, and we’re all off running from room to room, latching the windows firmly shut, closing vents, anything that might let the wind in.

Emily’s scream makes me freeze. And then I’m off and running, taking the stairs two at a time. She is standing in front of her bedroom window, a look of total horror on her face. “Daddy!” she screams. “Look....!”

What I see out there defies any kind of explanation. Along with the wreckage of buildings that are hurtling past the house, cages have appeared. I can only see two of them from here. The cages themselves are bad enough but it is what is inside them that is so horrific. The Owens, Glenda and Adam, are trapped together inside one of the, while Henry Timms stands alone in the other.

As the wind swirls and screams it’s way around them, they scream too. It looks like...No, it’s not possible, is it? Possible or not, that violent wind is seeming to melt their clothes and their flesh, leaving nothing but stripped bare skeletons. It’s only the thought that I’d scare my daughter even more that stops me from screaming too. I gather her in my arms, turn her away, and grimly stare out on to the street.

And then, as suddenly as it started, it stops. The wind is silenced, the cages have vanished along with the skeletons, and only the wreckage of the buildings remains to prove that it was no more than a dream. Mellorsville has become a place of nightmares. But maybe not. Maybe it was just the wind, and the screams, the melting flesh, those bars were nothing more than a trick of the sound.

Claire comes in, and unusually Cole is holding her hand. They both look white.

Did you....?” I ask, not wanting to finish my question.

Claire nods and Cole just stares, silenced by the shocking scenes he has just witnessed.

I don’t know how long I stand there with them, but noises from outside rouse me into action. “I have to go out, see what the damage is. Help in any way I can.”

Do you think it’s safe, Liam?” Claire is understandably nervous.

Yeah. Look, others are there already. You stay here, put the kettle on and rustle up some snacks or something and I’ll send anyone upset or homeless in to you.”

I don’t wait for her answer but head straight outside, turning northwards along with my neighbours. Our easy companionship has blown off with that wind, leaving nothing but dread at what we might find.

The buildings here are not made to withstand such an assault and all those that took the brunt of that wind have just crumpled to the ground under its devastating impact. Along with the concrete, the timber, the furniture and personal possessions that litter the street are the bodies. Forty-eight dead, tossed to the ground. Then there are another seven missing, including Glenda and Adam, Henry Timms. Were the cages truly there, then? I can only assume that they were.

Where are the emergency services? Surely Mellorsville wasn’t the only place to be hit by the wind. Will our phones even work? That does not take long to figure out. The answer is no. We are completely cut off. We cover the bodies carefully, then in sombre moods head off to our own homes.

The following morning the gentle breeze seems to be back. That will make it easier for us to get on with what must be done. Harley Greaves heads out of town, looking for help, wanting to make a formal report. There’s a fair distance between here and the next big town so he’s not going to be that quick.

I’m going to head off out there, join in with the salvage effort, but I need to make sure that Claire and the kids stay in the garden. I want them to be able to make it back inside, just in case that northerly wind comes back.

We work through the morning, doing as much as we can. The gentle breeze seems to be mocking us, but the stillness, when it descends, fills me with dread. I must get home, make sure that my family stay indoors now, for isn’t that just what happened before the wind came?

I need to run, get back. We are all running now, not thinking of anything other than ourselves, our families. It is only as I take more strides that I realize I am heading in to the wind. It’s not coming from the north this time, but from the south, where our own house is. No, please! I silently beg to whatever, whoever, is making this nightmare happen.

And then I see them, Claire and Emily, trapped and clinging to each other inside one of those cages.

I know what is going to happen. I can’t bear it. Cole, I can see, is indoors, screaming at the window and I am screaming to until something pulls me off of my feet, lifting me upwards.

I’m being tossed and turned, thrown around through some kind of vortex. Blacks and greys swirl around me in some kind of sickening, spiralling tunnel. I can’t stand it....I open my mouth and the scream does not end until I find myself landing with a bone-jolting thud.

Can I open my eyes? Do I want to?

I am inside a building. It looks like the foyer of some sort of opulent mansion. The floor is made of marble and a chandelier hangs above my head. I don’t want to be here; I want to go home. It is at that moment that the realisation hits me – I have no home, no family left. I put my head in my hands and weep.

 

 


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