Altered

I heard the stream again but didn’t feel anything, I just keep on running. I turn a few corners, it’s getting darker and darker…

We are walking up to this large abandoned building. The feeling of excitement is thick throughout our group, we’ve been trying to get into this building for a long time. One guy slips through a broken window, we hear a thump and then a big wide door rolls open. We grab our packs and start exploring. We are all so excited, we can feel it all around. We get through the first floor in no time, not much there of interest. We are about halfway through the second floor when we hear a car outside. Though this wasn’t too unusual; as we weren’t the only ones interested in exploring abandoned places such as this, we did take notice.

I peek out the upper window and see a figure disappear into the doorway we had entered. I get back to the guys and we keep on going deeper into the building. I heard a big thump behind me and turned around, not seeing anything I turned back around. The guys were about 15 feet ahead of me and I was about to call out to them when I hear the thump again. This time I sensed danger, as if it was right behind me. Instinct told me to duck so I did, while simultaneously spinning around. I shout out to the guys to hide, as I stare up into the face of the stranger from earlier.

My gaze rests on an item he is holding; small, about the size of his hand, with a glowing circle on the end, and I can see a trigger. It was aimed over my head and as I kept shouting at the guys one of them turned around to come towards me, he pulled the trigger. A small laser light stream burst out and hit my guy square in the forehead. I screamed and ran over to him, crumpled up on the floor. He wasn’t bleeding and appeared fine, but confused. The laser stream shoots past me again hitting my friend, and he drops to the ground too, writhing around, yet with no blood or anything.

I glance back at the perpetrator as the stream now comes toward me. I turn back around and curled into a tight ball on the ground. I feel it hit me, but I don’t feel any pain. At all. I heard him curse and start towards me. I try to get the attention of my companions, but they both looked at me strangely, as if they had never seen me before… I crawl over to my guy, grab his face, and kiss him, but he quickly shoves me off. He starts speaking, saying something that sounds like complete gibberish. I’m not able to determine a single word, yet he looks as if he knew exactly what he was saying. Something is not right, he’s altered somehow… I looked at my friend who was also hit, and by this time he was standing with a blank look on his face, and mumbling to himself in a completely alien language. Looking back behind me I see that the stranger is closer now, yelling at me to hold still and look at him. I stand up tall, and quickly run the opposite direction of him.

I heard the stream again but didn’t feel anything, I just keep on running. I turn a few corners, it’s getting darker and darker. I don’t have my pack, which conveniently has my light in it, and I’m worried about running into a wall, or falling through a hole. I slow down, as it’s almost completely black. Feeling along the wall with my hands guiding me I move on, while continuously looking behind me, I do not see or hear the stranger pursuing. I know I need to find a way down and out. I pause to try and see if I can hear anything. It is eerily quiet. So I just keep moving forward, with my hands along the wall for what seems like forever.

Finally I feel an opening, it is still so dark, but at the moment, I was actually finding comfort in that. The opening ended up being a stairwell and I again guide myself down. I can see light begin to shine through as I near the bottom. I am back on the first floor, squinting at the light. I think I am on the opposite side of where we entered, it looks vaguely familiar from our pass through earlier. Not hearing or seeing anyone I make myself move as quietly as possible across the first floor, back to the entrance we came into.

As I near it I can see movement out the window. I peek over and through the broken glass, I see the guys! They are with the stranger, out by the car that had arrived. He seems to be directing them to do things, both are unloading items from the trunk, but I can’t quite make out what they are. I cannot figure out why they are doing what he’s directing them to do… why aren’t they putting up a fight…They seem different somehow, oddly they seem more like the stranger… Despite all that, I know I can’t just leave them. I really wish I had my pack, which also has my phone in it… It is what it is, so I back away from the window and walk around to the other side of the entrance, and dart out to hide behind a pillar nearer to the guys.

Now that I’m closer I can see that they’re taking out large tote like plastic containers. They all appear to be filled with the same items; they’re all filled with the same hand held laser things the stranger had! I try whispering to get the attention of the guys, loosing track of the stranger in order to edge closer, I have to help them. I suddenly hear a noise back behind me, towards the entrance. I whirl around, and I find myself staring straight into the laser-stream. Then, everything goes black.


© 2017 Mj Gale

Among The Nothing

I finally had a purpose, I was not a wanderer anymore…

I’m wandering. No rush, no where to go, as far as I know. I’m alone, I know this much. There’s abandoned cars everywhere, with so much overgrowth it’s obvious it’s been an extremely long time since anyone has been here. Windows broken open, vines and blackberries growing all through out of various cars, boats, and even a bus. It is so eerily quiet, no birds, no bugs, nothing but my steps that seemed to be sucking themselves towards a swampy ground. All around me it seems there’s a type of fluorescence, a greenish glow in the air.

I’m still wandering, just aimlessly looking in the various cars, looking for any sign of life, any sign of something or someone there with me. As far as I can see there’s just this endless number of abandoned, overgrown cars. My feet are still hard to pick up from step to step, the only noise is the sucking sound each foot makes. I feel drawn towards this one bus, it’s almost completely overgrown, but all the windows are open or broken out and exposed.

I suddenly feel wary as I get closer and closer to the bus with each sucking, swampy step. But I know that I must absolutely find out what is in there. I finally have a purpose, I’m not a wanderer anymore… Each step is getting more and more difficult to pick up and take the next. I look down as I try to take the next step, I’m only about five feet from the bus. As I loom down I can see that the swampy ground is actually growing over my foot, grabbing my foot as I try to lift it up to take the next. In that instant I knew that I had to do whatever it took to reach that bus.

I’m struggling with my feet but I’m able to take two more steps, the swampy ground is almost entirely over my feet at this point, and starting to go up my ankles and up my legs. It’s still so quiet, there isn’t even a sucking noise now as I struggle to free at least one leg. I reach forward to try to see if I am close enough to grab the bus, and I lose my balance. I fall sideways and my hand touches the ground, it is almost instantly covered in the swamp; it feels like tiny tentacles grabbing and biting my hand holding it in place, and a numbing sensation spreads through my hand and starts going up my arm.

I’m still desperate to reach that bus, I know that is why I am here, I need to reach that bus. I’m stretching with my other arm as the other is almost completely numb, wondering if it would actually hurt at this point to try to find a way to cut it off. It doesn’t even feel like it’s there at all. The swamp has covered my legs well past my knees, I am reaching with all I have with my one free arm….so desperately trying to reach that bus, reaching and reaching.

The numbness has spread up into my neck, it feels cold now, throughout my whole body, but there has to be some way I can reach that bus, some way. As I feel the numbness pass into my other arm it falls to my side, onto the ground, and I fall completely onto the swamp. The tentacles instantly grab everything else exposed and I become completely numb. As they are covering my eyes I’m staring up into the window of the bus, and just as I see a flicker of movement, everything goes black.


© 2017 Mj Gale