----- "THE METALORE EXPLORATIONS ! " ---- (Secret Underground 'FROSTY FACTORY' & 'Basement Neighborhood' ! ----- Entrance To "Zone X" !) --- +++ PART 1: The BLACKOUT !

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm

---- '' THE METALORE EXPLORATIONS ! '' ------------- (Secret Underground ICY Factory and Basement Neighborhood ! ------ SECRET AREA known as ''Zone X'' !) ------- PART 1 -- THE BLACKOUT ! --- ++++++-------




INTRO:  When a bizarre blackout occurs in the city of Compton Hills Cove, New Hampshire during the summer of 1951, the neighborhood of Parksdale is plunged into chaos.  Many neighbors are missing!  Terror ensues!  Accusations fly!


And what many citizens fear the most is not what they think it is!  This is only the beginning!  All this leads up to a secret excursion in the 'Underground' that famously becomes known as 'The Metalore Explorations'. -









Chapter 1. The Blackout!
Part I: Unknown Terror!
1951 - Compton Hills Cove, New Hampshire
Maple St. 6:00 p.m.
The household of Weaver were just sitting down to a dinner of mashed potatoes, green beans and smoked turkey breast.  The mother, Martha Weaver, was leaning into the oven to remove a loaf of fragrant baked bread. Afterwards, she slides it onto a cooling rack on the counter. 
 "Lawrence, tell Ellison to come in.  Dinner is almost ready," she says to her husband.  Turning around, she adds some pepper spice to the turkey dish before placing it on the table.
Lawrence walks from the kitchen into the backyard and, after some gazing in separate directions, yells, "Ellison, it's dinner time now.  Mother has mashed potatoes, your favorite!"
"Coming pops!" Ellison yells, climbing off his bike, then running towards the kitchen door. 
Lawrence smiles, messing the young boy's hair in parental affection, before letting him into the house.  Turning around, he skims the outline of the sunset sky and notices a flock of birds flitting from one tree to another in a neighbor's yard.  He smiles to himself and steps inside, locking the back door.
Inside, Lawrence watches the family sit down at the dinner table and notices the radio still on in the living room.  Instinctively, he turns the knob, cutting off the reporter's voice in mid sentence.
Walking into the kitchen, he places a towel next to each family member's plate saying, "We must keep our hands clean."
The two children smile up at him.  Martha gives him a loving smile, saying, "Yes and please place your napkins in your laps, the both of you."
The children do as they're instructed while Martha finishes slicing the turkey breast.
She takes each plate and fills it with a heaping portion of potatoes, green beans and turkey.  "Now, eat everything that's on your plate.  There are starving children in other countries who could use this to stay alive."
The two children smile at each other and only watch in reply as she places the plates in front of them, each with a glass of milk. 
 Martha had just taken her spot at the table and placed the napkin in her lap, when suddenly everything was plunged into darkness.
  "Oh, dear me!  Lawrence, do you think the bulbs went out again?  Do we have any spares in the garage or backroom?" Martha exclaimed. 
"I'll check dear,"  Lawrence said, traipsing his way into the garage.
"Martha, it's out all through the house!"  Lawrence yelled from the garage.  "It's not the bulb.  I'll have to check the breakers in the backroom.  Be right back."
 Martha watched from the living room, then walked into the kitchen and said, "You kids stay right where you are.  Dont move and listen to mother alright?"
She gave them a stern look mixed with loving compassion and walked into the garage, shutting the door.
"Gee, Ellen, what do you suppose caused that?" Ellison asked inquiringly of his sister, as she looked at him surprised. 
 "Well, how would I know that El?  Boy, you sure ask some dumb questions, pokey.  Mom and Dad are out there and we're stuck inside.  I sure hope this means no lessons.  Want some cookies?"  she jerked her head in the direction of the cabinets. 
 Ellison gave her a comical look.  She smiled mischievously.  "Sure and get grounded with no allowance?  What do you think I am?" 
 Ellen rolled her eyes, jumping down from the pink deco-chair.  "Well, I'm getting some and putting them in my dollhouse in my room.  Mom never looks there," she laughed, as she ran to the cabinet, swinging the door open.  "Besides, they're striped chocolate ones.  YOUR favorite, El."
  Reaching inside, she grabbed a large handful of cookies from a full jar and placed them in her pockets.
Ellison smirked as some crumbs fell on the tiled floor.  "Hah!  Now Mom'll know.  Just look at that mess.  Boy, you're no good at this kind of stuff." 
 Ellen ran upstairs to her room and hid the cookies, while Ellison started hearing noises from outside on the street corner. She ran back downstairs and tiptoed to the garage door, opening it slightly, where she saw both parents around the breaker switch in the backroom.  Closing the door, she walked into the living room to see Ellison watching the street corner from the window.
"Hey, Ellison.  What are you doing?" she said, pulling apart a curtain and glancing out.
She witnessed a group of numerous neighbors, all gathered around a darkened street corner, talking to one another.  Some were gazing up into the sky, pointing in various directions, or down the darkened cul-de-sac lane, while others remained huddled together.
Many appeared concerned, as they gazed in separate directions, arms crossed and attentive, before beckoning towards a young couple walking towards them.
"I'm gonna find out what the heck is going on.  Look at that sis'.  Everybody's house is dark.  Suppose everybody in towns out?"  He asked, while he continued watching the throng of neighbors attentively.
Ellen just gazed at him in reply, and said, finally, "Don't know.  Hey, do you think this means no school for awhile?  I mean they won't have power inside the school, right?" 
Ellison laughed at her. "Guess so.  Gee, look'a that!" he said, pointing to a very bizarre, flashing red light in the sky that vanished behind the distant Crescent Mountains, beyond the outskirts of town.
"El, what was that?  It looked like a plane or something, you suppose?"  Ellen asked while Ellison scratched his head.
"Gee, that's odd for sure.  Never seen anything like it,"  he responded quietly, wrinkling his nose.  "But it sure looked like a plane or some kind of aircraft.  I have models of an F-160 in my room that Dad and I made.  Remember?"
Ellen nods and turns her attention back towards the front living room window.
 Both children continue watching outside. A crowd of women, huddled close to their husbands, sauntered towards the corner, as the final gleaming rays of dusk disappear, giving way to darkness.
Finally, minutes later, both parents walked back into the house while both children reared their heads and jumped up from the window. 
 "Ellen and Ellison Weaver!  I told you both to stay put in the kitchen.  No radio or treats for a week!" Martha replied sternly, as Ellen glared at Ellison, with a slight smirk on her face.
  Lawrence went to the window and gazed out.  "It's not the breaker, Martha.  Something's going on out on the street corner.  Look! Even old Haggerty is out there with the neighbors.  I'm going to go out and ask around a little.  Coming Martha?" he asked. 
"No, Lawrence.  I'll stay in here with the kids.  Just let me know if it's something serious.  Maybe someone struck a pole.  Those things do happen," she replies. 
 Lawrence only scratched his chin in reply, as he shrugged.  "Don't know at this point.  Alright Martha, I'll be back in a little while." 
 He kissed her on the cheek and then stepped out the front door, closing it behind him, and walked towards the throng of neighbors all huddled at the street corner.
 Ellison watched the street corner with his head in his hands while Martha searched for a candle, asking Ellen to help her.  "Wonder what they're talking about out there.  Mom, come on lets go out and see," he said.
  "Ellison!  None of the other children from the neighborhood are out there.  Besides, this is something your father needs to know and take care of.  After all, he is head of the household," she said sternly.
However, before she could stop him, Ellison ran towards the front door, flung it open, and ran to his father.  Martha ran towards the porch where the table and porchswing stood next to a potted flower and wicker basket.
"Ellison Weaver!  You come back here this instant!  Oh goodness.  Stay here Ellen," Martha exclaimed, traipsing towards the crowd of neighbors where Ellison stood. 
 Ellen only watched from the front door as a light breeze blew along the porch.  She gazed down the street curiously. All was dark on the corner with each house having its occupants all standing out on the front lawn, all gazing around, talking and walking towards the throng together, all at once. 
'What in the world is going on?  Is this normal?' she thought to herself, then closed the front door and sat down on the porch swing.
Ellison stood holding onto his father's side before sliding off and walking around to each side of the throng.  Martha ran near him, grabbing his hand.
"Ellison Weaver!  Really, how dare you disobey me.  You'll have to be punished.  No radio for a week," she said, but soon trailed off as she leaned in near Lawrence and listened to the frantic and heated conversations.
All the neighbors were talking and yelling at once.
An older fellow with bushy eyebrows and donned in an old pair of orange overalls, walking along with a crooked cane, known as old Frank Haggerty, yelled in consternation, "Listen up!  I tell you I saw and felt a strange feeling like I never felt before.  There was a terrific flash of light in the sky.  I saw it!  There's something terrible happening!" he said, pointing fingers at all the neighbors. 
 "Well, I heard a loud boom and then all the lights went off," a young woman said, before another one of the neighbors suddenly ran screaming from her home.  "My God!  What's that!?"  she gasped.
"Leonard's gone!  Oh Lord have mercy!  He's gone!"  the woman cried in a horrifying tone.  Everyone turned abruptly and stared at her in stark astonishment.
Lawrence spoke first.  "Mrs. Williams!  What do you mean gone?  He left the house?"
"Oh, Mr. Weaver!  It's terrible!  He was outside checking our breakers and when I went out to find him he wasnt there!  Just gone!  Oh my goodness where could he be?  We must look for him.  Oh please someone help me find him.  The police!  We must call the police!"  She was frantic at this point and some neighbors ran around her, comforting her, trying to console her grief.
  Suddenly, another woman from down the cul-de-sac lane ran towards the crowd, screaming and crying in anguish, "My children are gone!  Has anyone seen my two young girls, Isabelle and Betty?" 
She ran towards the crowd, questioning each neighbor, and then towards the other woman whose husband was missing.
All neighbors began shouting at once, pointing in different directions, as a few of the men began shouting, "It's the end of the world!  It's the coming of Christ!"
Some of the men began running towards their houses.  Lawrence, raising a hand in the air, suddenly shouted, "Whoa there!  Now everyone just be calm.  There must be some reasonable explanation for all of this!  Let's all try to come together and figure this out!" 
The neighbors only grew more frantic, as most began running off into their homes, wrenching their children inside and slamming the doors.  Others started saying to their wives, "Pack up!  Get out!  We have to get to the police headquarters downtown and find out what's going on!  I hope the cars work!" Then off they ran towards their homes.
  Lawrence and a few stray neighbors remained on the street corner.
Martha gripped her husband in horror.  "My God, Lawrence.  What do you suppose is going on?" 
 "I don't know Martha but I'm going to find out.  We have to drive into the city and find the court house and police station to report this.  Are you two coming with us?"  Lawrence asked two other neighbors who stood near a shadowy street lamp and fence post, but they only gazed in terror as a reply.
 Part II: "It's the GHOULS!"
Jim Wilson, another neighbor from down the lane, approaches Lawrence and the other neighbors remaining on the corner near the lamp post.  A hammer is slung in the pocket of his overalls and he carries a lantern with a glowing flame within, casting an eerie glow upon the party.  A young boy trails behind him with a book rolled up in one hand.
"Lawrence."  He nods in greeting as Lawrence and Martha smile faintly, exchanging glances with each other before turning their attention back towards Jim. 
 Ellen strides up next to Martha in the darkness and tugs on the hem of her skirt.  "Mother, I found some candles in the storage pantry.  Matches too!  See?"
Martha, startled by Ellen's sudden appearance, clutches her husband's arm tighter in a defensive stance before loosening her firm grip, turning slightly to glare at her daughter. 
 "Ellen!  I told you to stay inside!"  She grabs the candles and matches out of her hands, scolding her disobedience.  "Go inside and stay put, the both of you!  We will be in after speaking with Mr. Wilson."
"Mother, what's happening?  Why did everyone lose power?" Ellen asked while Ellison chimed in next to her.  "Yeah, and what was the bright flash of red light?  I never saw anything like it in my life." 
Martha exchanged frightened glances with Mr. Wilson and Lawrence before turning to respond to them, but was interrupted by Mr. Wilson, who raised a hand in interjection.  "Precisely what I walked down Maple Lane in the dark to speak with you about, Mr. Weaver.  Doubtless you already are aware of our situation, the predictament we're all in."
Martha and Lawrence glance at each other nervously and exchange frightened glances.  -  They nod quietly.
  Mr. Wilson crosses his arms and continues, "Citizens are missing, Mr. Weaver.  Vanished!  Ive never seen anything like it!  I don't know what to make of it all.  On top of that, our cars will not start.  That's precisely why Ive walked over here with little Billy here to see if anyone's car will.  Now, Ive seen some very strange phenomenon in my day, very strange indeed.  But this; this is beyond comprehension, beyond..." 
The young child named Billy interrupts him, holding up a comic book, exclaiming frantically,  "Deros!  The Deros have come!  We have to stay on the street.  The Deros want everyone to stay on their street corner and not leave.  The ghouls as well!  They live underground.  See?"
He points to a section in his comic book illustrated with a flying saucer originating from a dark chasm in an underground industrial cave.
Mr. Wilson pats Billy on the head and chuckles.  "Now Billy, that's quite enough of that.  We don't want to frighten Mr. Lawrence and the neighbors. Nonsense!  Such talk about Deros and ghouls."
"No, Mr. Wilson, it's true," Billy exclaims, gripping his comic book in a firm grasp, holding it aloft.  "I read a story in 'Extraordinary Stories & Happenings'.  It explained what we're all going through right now.  The lights went out, cars wouldnt start and everyone panicked.  First a great big boom!  Then a tremendous flash of light with shooting stars falling from the sky."
Here everyone gazed up into the starlit night sky, squinting as they scanned the heavens. Finally, returning their gaze upon the young boy, they shifted uncomfortably in the slight chill of the dark, everyone exchanging uneasy glances with one another.
Mr. Wilson broke the silence with a nervous chuckle.  "By gosh!  Probably just a circuit or water valve break underneath us.  The electricians or service men will fix it.  No need to be alarmed."
Lawrence stroked his chin in absent-minded thought, staring at the lantern's quivering red glow throwing gloomy shadows upon the sidewalk.  Returning his gaze to Billy, he said, "Tell us more about these ghouls, Billy."
"Ive heard quite enough about ghouls and Deros for this evening, thank you very much!"  Martha's interjects defiantly with a disheartening undertone of fright.
She gives Billy a motherly glance, hands on her hips, as she declares, "Billy, you shouldn't be outside after dark.  Especially right now.  Does your mother know you're one street over on Oak with Mr. Wilson?"
"Oh, shucks Mrs. Weaver!  Course' she does!  I asked if I could come along.  I'm old enough now to go on night time adventures by myself," Billy replies slyly.
  Martha only glares in reply, a look of slight disbelief on her face. 
Ellison walks up next to Billy and they peruse the tattered copy of 'Extraordinary Stories', pointing and snickering at the pages.
"Mr. Weaver.  We thought of getting into the fallout bomb shelter in our basement.  Helen and I didn't know what was happening.  Screams from neighbors brought everyone out into the street as people are missing,"  Mr. Wilson explained.
 Lawrence nodded in acquiescence.  Martha stood aloof next to him, pulling Ellen into her grip as if to shield her from unknown fiends.
"The rest of the neighbors on the street elected me to be the leader and venture down here from Oak Street to find out more information.  And here I am.  Yet, I feel that we're all in the dark right now until someone is able to speak with Sergeant Woodruff at the station to make sense of all this. By the way, does your vehicle start?" he inquired.
Lawrence and Mr. Wilson walked over to a burgundy 1946 Ford Deluxe Sedan in pristine shape standing solitary in the driveway.  After searching in his trouser pockets, Lawrence pulls out a shining pair of keys hanging on a ring.  Unlocking the driver's side, he reaches in and turns the key; nothing happens.
"Try her again, Mr.  Weaver!  It's gotta start!" Mr. Wilson exclaims, as he turns the key once more.  Again silence and not even the slightest sound of potential startup. 
 Lawrence scratches his head in disbelief.  "Wonder why this thing won't start.  It's practically brand new.  Straight out of the dealer.  I bought it earlier this year.  I can't believe it."
"Would you look at that!  What is that?" Mr. Wilson exclaims, shining his light forth into the dark.
Suddenly, Martha screams, dropping the candles onto the pavement.  Lawrence dashes over to Martha and embraces both her and Ellen, squinting his eyes in an effort to catch a glimpse in the darkness.
"Martha!  What did you see?  What was it darling?"  Lawrence whispers.  
Everyone runs onto the Weaver's front porch, near the front door.
 "I don't know, Lawrence," Martha exclaims frantically, gazing into the darkness in stark terror.  "Something or someone is out there at the end of the lane.  I saw a dark figure or shadow.  I couldn't tell in this dull light of the night.  Oh Lawrence!  I'm terribly frightened."
"Everyone inside!"  Lawrence whispers, the neighbors pushing past him into the entryway.  "Mr. Wilson.  Turn off that lantern!  Now!"
Mr. Wilson perks up.  -  His face is writhed in fright.  Leaning in, he blows out the red flame and a plume of smoke rises into the air. 
Everyone begins whispering in hushed tones, some in astonishment and others in stark fright.  Some run to the front window and gaze out through the curtains.  The nocturnal night reigns supreme and nothing is visible on the street's corner.  The rest lay huddled together in the darkness.
  "Be quiet!  All of you!"  Lawrence whispers in a hoarse voice, as he shuts the front door, locking it with a bolt-lock.  "Martha!  Take the neighbors into the backroom and don't make a sound."
Once everyone retreats to the backroom, Lawrence addresses Mr. Wilson in the darkness of the living room.  "Our situation is dire.  May I ask of your assistance?"
"Anything.  At this rate I'm frightened just as much as anyone else," Mr. Wilson replies, staring intently at Lawrence.
"It's safe to assume that there is some unknown situation at hand.  I see little luck in getting to the city hall or police station at this rate.  Without a vehicle it will be extremely difficult.  It's many miles into town.  I certainly don't want any further altercations or incidents.  Especially any more disappearances," he explained, while Mr. Wilson nods in agreement, glancing quickly out the window every so often.
"Jim, we need to go down into your bomb shelter," Lawrence exclaims frantically.  "It's the safest place.  You're the only one in the entire neighborhood of Parksdale that has one.  You're a technological mastermind.  I heard you've built an entire underground neighborhood and some type of factory with backrooms, passageways and tunnels down there, leading far into the earth.  Also, that you've got rooms stocked with canned goods, enough that will last for 30 to 40 years.  Our solace rests in your hands, friend."
Lawrence claps a hand on Mr. Wilson's shoulder as he smiles faintly.
"Of course I will Lawrence.  Bring the neighbors if they want to come.  I've plenty of room down there.  Accomodations may be made.  Ive no worries on that part.  The difficult part is the arduous journey back to my house on Oak.  I think we've all had quite the scare, as it were, and it may all be in our heads.  After all, we don't encounter these circumstances everyday now do we?"
Lawrence chuckled quietly as he gives him a firm handclasp.  "Appreciate it Jim.  Your sincerity and kindness will not go unnoticed in Parksdale or the entire town.  I assure you of that."
From outside, within the darkness, they hear a strange noise.  They witness a red flash briefly in the midnight sky.  Afterwards, it vanishes, leaving the neighborhood in total darkness once more.
"You see that?" Mr. Wilson asks in quiet terror. 
 Lawrence nods as he continues gazing out the curtains. 
 "What do you suppose that was?" Mr. Wilson quietly asks.
 "The ghouls," an unknown voice whispers from behind them.  They both turn around abruptly to find Billy staring at them in the dark, his countenance etched with terror. 






Submitted: April 23, 2021

© Copyright 2021 ZELDA VAXANDORF. All rights reserved.

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