a nightmare emerges

Reads: 445  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A small town is suddenly thrown into terror as something unknown approaches and sends the inhabitants into a panic.

Submitted: October 27, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 27, 2014

A A A

A A A


 
 
The city was swarming with black shapes, pulsating shadows dominating the autumn skyline. A red mist spread across the sky, filtering through the last remaining rays of sunlight.  The fleeting light glimmered off the wet surfaces below, the darkness and the light dancing together, forming an eerie mirage that weaved and flowed through the city streets. 
I was mesmerized by the strange beauty I saw, the shimmering light reminded me of days I spent by the lake, watching the water flow over the rocks, the sunlight on its surface, sparkling with purity. But there was nothing pure about this I realized and  the glimmering light below began to make grotesque faces at me, like ghostly figures writhing in pain. I remembered what it was that made the streets gleam, what it was that the sky so perfectly reflected. 
Reflections, everything was reflecting; reflecting at me, reflecting the horror, the terror, the carnage.  Everything that I tried to hide from was reflecting back at me, like a terrible cosmic joke.  Backing away from the window I realized the mistake I made of looking again, the reminder. “Don’t think about it, just keep climbing.”  My hand found the railing that winded with the stairs to the top of the building and pulled me up to the next step, pulling me back to here and now. The higher I climbed, the safer I would be from the creatures outside. The muscles in my legs burned, a new ache flaring up with each movement I made, all I wanted was to sleep, to dream away the nightmare of today. The adrenaline that had been coursing through my body had drained me, but If I let myself stop, I wouldn’t be able to start again. “Once I get to the top I can rest, I can think, and I’ll be safe.”  I convinced myself to keep moving but the memories still flooded in… 
 
 The Previous Night  
I was walking through the parking lot to my apartment, just returning from school, when the ground came alive. When I noticed the bugs swarming over my sneakers with each step I took I yelped and scrambled up onto the car nearest to me, I tried not to panic as I swatted at the bugs that had begun to crawl up my leg, when I got them all off I climbed onto the roof of the car, as far away from the ground as I could get.  Lying on my stomach, I peered over the side of the car; Insects were streaming from the woods onto the pavement, all going in the same general direction. People were emerging onto the balconies to watch the insect’s frenzy, their hands covering their mouths or reaching for a phone to report the events. There was no way I was getting down from the roof of the car, not until I was safe from the mass of creepy crawlies around me. 
 
I felt absolutely helpless, I didn’t want to step off the car, I didn’t want to go near the insects on the ground. But I couldn’t just sit out here on top of some stranger’s car all night, I have to be brave.  On the count of three ill make a run for it. “One, two, three. Go…now. RUN” I jumped down and sprinted for the apartment building door. When I got up to my apartment, the door swung open and my boyfriend emerged looking like he’d just woken up from a nap. He grabbed my bag from me and guided me into the kitchen.
According to numerous reports that we’ve been receiving,” the radioman announced over the speakers, “what seems like a massive migration of insects and animals is spreading across the territory. We don’t yet know the cause of this phenomenon, but we will continue to update you on the situation.” My boyfriend was staring at me, like he had more to add that I hadn’t heard or seen.
“It isn’t just the insects that are moving babe. There’s no animals in the woods for miles around the city. Nobody’s noticed ‘til now ‘cause they weren’t all going in the same direction or moving through the city like the insects.” His hands were gripping the back of one the chairs, his knuckles were turning white. I could tell  he was doing his best not to completely freak out, but it was getting to him. 
“What do you think we should do?” I glanced out the window at the leaves dancing in the wind, wondering if there were any precautions we should be taking or if there was an emergency plan for unorthodox events like this.
“I don’t know,  this is some strange shit” He glanced down at his hands, his voice stiff and nervous, then chuckled, “I hate insects.”  The half-smile he gave me was one of those sad smiles that children give you when they’re trying to be happy so no one knows they’re afraid.  
“Awww do they give you the creepy crawlies?” I wiggled my fingers at him, smiling at his childish fears. “Oh no! They’re gonna get you! Lucian, you better run, they’re coming!” I jumped at him, reaching for his ticklish sides, laughing when he tried to swat my hands away.  His sad smile turning into a sly grin, he grabbed my wrists and wrestled me to the floor, till we were a breathless heap of laughter on the kitchen floor. 
“Hold on a second, let’s just be serious for a moment, what if something really bad is going to happen?” he paused to put his hand over my mouth to stop my giggles, “No, no, c’mon hear me out. What if the insects are running away from something, like a toxic spill from some factory nearby or some freak storm? What if we’re in danger lying here, and we’re about to die?”  He looked down at me, his voice lowering till it was just above a whisper. 
“Is this some apocalyptic style way of getting into my pants? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure my pants don’t fit you.”  I poked him in the nose, smiling at my own pun. 
“Ha. Ha. Very funny, you’re so clever. The only reason I can’t fit into y-“ A door slammed shut in the apartment above us, making us both jump. We looked at each other and smiled nervously, “I guess we’re both a little on edge huh?” 
Another bang from outside startled us again, a shout echoed from the hallway and footsteps thumped up the stairs, the yells muffled through the walls.  Lucian and I started to sit up when a screeching sound came from outside followed by a loud metallic crunch.  
“What the hell was th-“Someone banged on the door, yelling for us to open up. “Hold on. I’m coming.” Lucian yelled back, scrambling up and stumbling towards the door, hastily unlocking the deadbolt.  A middle aged man stood outside our door, his greying hair half hidden under an old sports cap, I couldn’t remember what his name was, but I knew he lived in the apartment below us. 
 
“Sorry for giving you a startle with the yelling but you kids should come see this,” he said, dead serious. “It’s getting crazy out there, and the birds are having a feast on these bugs. You can see the swarms from a kilometer away up on the roof. Thought you all should see what’s going on, keep an eye on things in case it gets worst.” He paused, leaning his shoulder against the door frame, his voice lowering like he was telling us a secret. “Some folks said that some of the houses out near the lake got attacked by something. Some of them think it’s what the bugs are running away from. I don’t know what the hell would make bugs run from it, but it’s freaking some people out.” He backed away and turned to the staircase, he motioned for us to follow. I looked at Lucian; he nodded and grabbed the keys off the counter, shutting and locking the door behind him. 
 
When we got to the roof the sky was filled with birds, swooping and diving at the insects on the ground and in the air.  The air was buzzing with the sounds of wings and bird cry’s. A car had crashed almost a block away, smoke rose from the hood of one of the cars; an ambulance siren was growing louder as it came closer to the accident. People had crowded the collision site, helping the girl who emerged from the car with less damage, some moving to help the unconscious guy from the smoking car. I turned to look over at the woods beside the building, they seemed so quiet now that I knew nothing remained in them.  The ambulance had arrived at the crash site; the paramedics were loading up the man from the smoking car.  
 
“This is insane.”  I whispered, Lucian’s arms wrapping around my shoulders, hugging me from behind. His chin rested on my head, I could feel him sigh. 
 
“Maybe we should leave, tonight, just pack up our stuff and drive. Get away from here for a few days, away from the bugs and the people. We could have a mini vacation, maybe we could even visit the coast, and I know you haven’t been to the ocean yet, you’d love it.” His voice was wary, but I could tell he was serious. He didn’t want to stay, he didn’t want to be caught in something he couldn’t handle, and neither did I.  
 
“Alright, let’s go. On one condition; I don’t have to go in the water okay?”  I turned to smile at him, but his gaze was focused on the trees. “Lucian?” I poked him. “Hey, I’m agreeing to your plan down here, you paying attention to my terms and conditions?”  
 
“No one pays attention to the terms and conditions dearie,” The neighborly man said, chuckling at his own joke. Lucian still hadn’t turned to look at me, or even crack a smile at our attempts at lightening the mood. So I looked where he was staring, towards the hills that bordered our small town. The trees covered the hills, in some places the trees made dark shadows, in those places is where you’d always find the tallest trees, the trees that tried so hard to reach the sun.  It was in one of those shadowy places on a hill, that I saw movement. 
 
“Do you see it?” Lucian spoke, his tone urgent and strained. I didn’t see it, not the form of the thing, but I saw the trees swaying as it moved through them. 
 
“Do you think it’s a bear?” I said, grasping for a solution, trying to quench the terror that was threatening to overtake me.  
 
“No.” The old man shook his head, frowning. “A bear isn’t big enough to make the trees sway that much.” He turned to say something to one of the other tenants of the building that had come up with us.  They turned to leave, saying something about checking the radios and television for any public announcements. 
 
“It’s heading this way,  and there’s more” Lucian pointed to the right of the movement, a little further behind the one we had noticed, there were 3 more coming from that direction. “We need to go. Now.”  He grabbed my hand and pulled me to the door leading back into the building.  The old man had beaten us to it.
 
“It’s bloody locked. Those stupid people closed it behind them.” He swore, kicking at the door. The panic that I’d been suppressing choked me, tightened my throat and brought tears to my eyes. I sat down, my legs too shaky to hold me up.  I swallowed over and over again, trying to gain control ; chastising myself for being so silly, so childish. I regained my composure almost instantly and got back to my feet, taking in a shaky breathe to soothe my throat.  
 
“Anybody got their cells on them? I left mine on the counter downstairs.” I looked at Lucian and our neighbor, when they shook their heads I had to squeeze my hands to keep from shaking. “Alright, maybe we can get the attention of someone from the ground, Could we use your jacket?” I asked the older man, his jacket was red and most likely to get noticed.  He nodded, and shrugged it off his shoulders handing it over to Lucian. 
 
“Here you go, best stand near the ledge, but don’t get too close, you might lose your balance.” He cautioned, leaning against the locked door with a wary sigh. 
 
Lucian had started to wave the jacket in the air, while I tried to shout as loud as I could. People had started to come out of their houses, running to their vehicles, but no one paid any attention to us. My shouts were getting lost in the cacophony of bird cry’s that still tore through the air.  No one could hear me and no one bothered to look up.  
 
Then we heard a scream, distant but the message it brought was clear. Whatever had been moving through the trees had arrived, and it wasn’t Clifford the big red dog.  Lucian dropped the jacket and walked over to me, drawing me away from the ledge id been standing near. I pushed his hands off me, peering forward, trying to make out the shape of the black mass that creeped in between buildings a few blocks away.  The old man slowly lowered himself to the floor of the roof, muttering a prayer under his breath. He’d seen it a moment before I had. But it was obvious to me now, the black shape that had emerged from the trees moved slowly almost rhythmically, each leg moving to compensate for its enormous weight.  Its body hung low to the ground, the shiny black eyes staring in all directions at once. It was a spider the size of a van, straight out of a child’s nightmare. 
 
That’s when I let Lucian drag me away from the edge, to the centre of the roof, where we couldn’t be seen and I collapsed. Lucian cradled me in his lap, hugging me, saying nothing. I stared at the ground, I couldn’t feel anything, the fear I had was gone, disappeared the moment I saw it.  I didn’t want to move, I didn’t think, I could barely breathe. I was still, and nothing could breach my defenses.  I could feel Lucian shaking; I could hear the hitches in his breathing, the racing beat of his heart. And  all I could think of at the moment was how I tired I was, how hard and long school seemed today, and how much homework I had to get done tonight but all I really wanted was to sleep.
 
I remained still when the screams started to fill the air around me, when I could hear sobbing and pleas for help from below. The old man sobbing as he tried to block out the cries with his hands, his jacket. Lucian tried to cover my ears but I could still hear it all, and it didn’t affect me. I was untouchable.  
 
It was nightfall when I finally moved, when I felt the sting of my bloodless limbs. Lucian was squeezing me, his face buried in my shoulder. When I moved so did he, he stopped squeezing me and dropped his hands. When I looked at his face, I could only see fear and panic. And I realized what was happening. Monsters had come to life, and were slaughtering everyone in the city. 
 
“You were so quiet; I didn’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. What are we going to do?!” Lucian’s voice grew louder with each word; I had to cover his mouth before he drew attention to our hiding spot. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I just… It’s getting to me. I can’t block them out; I can’t stop focusing on their screams. It’s killing me.” Tears filled his eyes, and I noticed the puffiness of his cheeks, and the red rim around his eyes. And I realized I’d left him alone. I’d reacted and shut myself out of the world, left him alone to suffer, and it was destroying him. I could see the cracks in his psyche, slowly spreading, so close to shattering.
 
“We have to get off this roof, we have to run, and we have to get as far away from here as possible. We can’t stay here.” He grabbed me and shook me, his face looming close, spittle catching on the edge of his lip. I didn’t say anything, and my silence encouraged him. “There has to be a way down, no one’s going to come save us, the closest balcony is only a few meters down. I could jump down, break in. No one will be there.” His excitement grew, and I just stared at him, he wasn’t even really looking at me anymore, his eyes were distant, focused on something that I couldn’t see. “I could save us, I’ll come back up and let you two out, and then we can make a run for it. The car has a full tank of gas; we could drive till tomorrow night before we’d have to stop. We could be safe.”
 
He was convinced; he couldn’t see the dangers anymore. But I could, I could see him missing the balcony, I could see him getting caught by one of those creatures. I could see us driving down the highway and crashing, or not being able to get out of town before they reach us. I could see us dying. 
 
Lucian got up to his feet, and moved towards the edge of the roof, muttering to himself. A maniacal grin spread across his face. The old man turned toward us, he’d been quiet too, not saying anything, just staring down at his boots in front of him, sitting with his back propped up against the door. But now he moved, his eyes wide. “What are you doing?”  He moved to get up. 
 
“I’m going to save us.”  Lucian didn’t turn away from the edge. 
 
“Save us? How are you going to do that?” His eyes widened when he realized why Lucian was standing near the edge of the roof. “You’re not going to jump down. That would be suicide.” 
 
“It’s just down to the nearest balcony, I won’t miss.”  He looked up at the full moon, drowning out the light of the stars. “Besides, it’s better to die trying then to stay here, helpless and defeated.”  
 
“You can’t jump, you can’t leave me here.” A selfish thing to say, but the only thing I could say that might be able to convince him to say. Never before had I sad that I needed him, I had never been so vocally vulnerable or pleading. Maybe it would stop him, for the moment.
 
“I have to go, for you. Don’t you see? I can save you. I can save us.”  He took another step closer to the edge. I screamed, tears streaming down my face.
 
“No! Don’t, please!” I grabbed for him, and he moved away from me, closer to the edge, away from my hands. And then he fell, a gasp was allthat escaped from his throat when he felt the ground disappear from beneath him.  His eyes bulging in terror as he came to his senses, a moment too late; we heard a thud a half second later, and his scream.  The screamed that pierced my ear drums and shattered my heart,  I closed my eyes and held my breathe I didn’t want to look but I had to. He was still alive.  I dropped to my knees and crawled to the edge, shaking as I peered over the edge. His broken body lay on the grass below, blood seeping from his broken legs, snapped in half. I could see the white gleam of bone from where I knelt. His screams of pain were shrill, his hands grasped at the grass.
 
“My legs! Oh my god my legs! Help! Help! Oh gods please!"Lucian shrieked. I screamed with him, sobbing. My screams senseless, but the pain echoed his.  The old man was at my side, grabbing me and pulling me back away from the edge.  
 
“Hide, we mustn’t be seen.” He whispered in my ear. I looked up; fear gripping my stomach, one of the spiders was scurrying toward us drawn by the noise.  
 
Present Time; Back in the stairway
 
 
Tears filled my eyes as I remembered him dying. We had been so happy, so content. After he had fallen, when dawn came, a group of survivors had passed the building, shooting at the spiders with guns, pushing them back. Me and the old man had heard them and signaled to them. They rescued us, barely glancing at the ravaged body on the grass, faceless now. And I had seen the bodies, hanging out of broken windows, abandoned after they had stopped fighting back when they were dragged out. Only some were eaten, the rest had just been savaged, ripped open for the sake of destruction, of domination by a primal species.
 
Bodies had lined the streets in the denser areas of the city that we had passed, the spiders drawn back from their feeding frenzy by the weapons of my saviours. But Then I had left them, went off on my own after they had tried to take advantage of the chaos in the city, pillaging the shops, nearly getting us caught by the creatures. Before I had left them there had been a radio announcement, it had started to loop, repeating it’s message. “Help is coming. Helicopters… find a high place… We will find you.”  So I climbed back to the top, to the highest rooftop I could see. Back to a rooftop to wait, just like when it had started, when Lucian fell.  


© Copyright 2020 yourallgoingtodiedownhere. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments