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Isolation: A Lovecraftian-Horror Short Story

Submitted by on May 31, 2012 – 9:58 pmNo Comment

Nobody knows what they are. Or where they came from.

I’m feeling strangely calm. I guess people who have just arrived in the trenches feel the same. One day its all routine and the usual pint on Fridays and the next death surrounds you so closely. Your sense of time is destroyed, no more five year plans or even just wondering what shopping you need to do for next week. Every second could be your last and the futility of knowing you have no say in that envelops you, numbs you. Some reacted completely opposite, but they made a run for it.

Ten days ago they arrived. Maybe they had been here longer, but that was when they showed themselves. When that train disappeared in the tunnels the old terrorist fear swept, but nothing showed signs of bombs, no explosions, no trembling, no nothing. The train entered on schedule and just didn’t show up again.

I’ve seen videos on the internet of when they swarmed from the tube entrances, like an anthill a child had kicked. That is maybe the most odd about the situation, the internet still works, the lights are still on the and water still flows in the pipes. As though nothing had changed.

 

A city of isolation.


The streets are deserted, completely. It’s like looking at a photograph or a post apocalyptic movie. Ironic way of phrasing that. Maybe this is the apocalypse. No one in the office are especially religious but I’m sure someone who read the books could quote a warning that fits this, like the Mayans and their calendars. When I think back, no one has prayed or cried for God or what you would think people in our situation would do. But then again, the very existence of them seems to spit on the notion that someone created this world on purpose.

I tried calling my friends but when I got hold of them we had little to say to each other. The only thing any of us wants right now is assurance from someone that it will be all right. One of them works just across my building and I could see him while he talked to me on the phone. We could just as well have been on different planets. After a few days we just stopped trying to force ourselves to promise each other we would be fine. I could only get a hold of a handful.

They seem to sense motion. I don’t know if they have eyes, but even a slight breeze alarms them. The flagpoles and trees have been stripped. I saw one mercilessly hunt down a newspaper that flapped in the gutter.

They move so fast, my eyes can’t follow them. A video showing them tearing a car apart reminded me of when you rip the leg of a roast chicken, no effort, just a quick twist and the roof was gone. It took them less than half an hour to cleanse the streets of everything that moved.

After a few days someone waited for a chance to run to another building. Maybe they were hungry, insane from fear, I don’t know their reason. They had tried an alley, after dark, hoping the shadows could hide them. It took them a while to die, mostly because the creatures fought a bit amongst themselves first.

There’s a cafeteria in our building, and they came a night when only a few worked late, maybe fifty of us. The food supply should last a couple of weeks, if rationed correctly.

I’ve seen one of them up close. It was crawling across the building. A single piece of glass was all that kept it out, but they don’t seem to be able to sense through it. To them maybe the city is a canyon, nothing but dead and dusty rocks.

We’re prisoners, each building a cell. As long as we don’t go outside we’re safe. Even though you don’t always see one of them, sometimes you can hear them scurrying on the roof. Maybe they’re waiting. Maybe the idea of waiting doesn’t exist in them.

Time goes very slowly. There is no panic, no one is angry or frightened, we are all just calm. When I touched the glass and lay my hand on its silhouette I had never been more indifferent. No fear, no real curiosity, just calm. Maybe its a natural weapon for them, an aura of internal numbness. If prey feels no fear, it won’t run.

I’ve tried to categorize them in my head, to understand what they are, but I can’t. They are so different that my mind simply averts it. They are so alien, so unlike anything I have ever seen, so different. It would be like describing colours to a blind person, there is no common ground, no examples to give. My eyes see them, my ears hear them, but my mind just won’t cope. Maybe it’s a defence mechanism, a survival instinct, if I ever truly saw them I would go mad.

Only one of us try to stay in contact with the outside world. He films them and puts videos on the internet, emails and calls people outside the city endlessly. He looks desperate, clinging to the phone till his knuckles turn white, working the screens till his eyes burn red. Everyone else, including me, have given up.

The news tells us they haven’t moved outside the city limits. Maybe they are territorial creatures, maybe they like the place, who knows. None of their actions could remotely look like breeding, but there are coming more each day. Maybe they are just biding their time till they are enough.

Every rescue attempt has failed, helicopters or armoured buses made no differences. The moment something crossed their imaginary territorial line it got devoured. I think they would swallow the clouds if they could fly high enough to sense them.

Our contact to the outside is getting more frustrated by the day. Less and less will talk to him any more, only a few official channels answer him, each time with a more pathetic reassurance. He’s starting to think they know they have no choice but to step up their attempts to kill these things, sacrificing all of us here in this damned hunting ground. I’m on the verge of welcoming it.

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