Tag Archives: monsters

Operation Hide and Seek pt. 5

The alarms went off at six thirty, the way they had every day for the past three years – and probably since the day Facility had opened its doors. Ryan groaned and rolled over, already regretting his decision to stay up late the night before. Maybe he could catch just a few seconds more…

“I would like to inform you that you are doing this to yourself Gigabyte,” Jeremy Tyler’s voice made its way to Ryan’s sleep-fogged brain a half-second before the blanket was unceremoniously yanked away. Ryan’s feet hit the floor almost before his brain registered what he was doing.

“I suppose I should thank you,” Ryan said as he shoved his legs into uniform pants.

“You should, but you won’t,” Jeremy answered. The dorm room was full of the muffled sounds of a dozen adolescent males waking up and rushing to the hallways. Ryan pulled his mask over his face – he was one of only half a dozen or so who ranked high enough to wear one – and joined the throng. Jeremy stayed close beside him, the breaker’s biceps and reputation providing protection for the much smaller and scrawnier Ryan. Jeremy was the strength to Ryan’s brains, and one of his few friends in this place.

“Anything of interest on the interwebs?” Jeremy asked quietly.

“Same old same old. Your parents bought a new car – 1968 Honda.” Ryan walked almost blindly, relying on Jeremy to guide him as he mentally flipped through zillions of bits of information coming at him through the wifi.

“I bet Dad was happy about that. Here, food.” Jeremy handed Ryan a tray of breakfast – waffles and fresh fruit – then guided his friend to a corner table in the gargantuan cafeteria.

“Don’t forget the assembly in an hour,” Jeremy said.

Ryan nodded. “Have fun punching things.” He waited till Jeremy had moved away before pulling out his datapad. He had an hour to cause chaos in the outside world. Ryan smiled as he logged into the message board for Operation Hide and Seek.

There once was a boss-man named Byte

who thought he was all goodness and light

but though he pled and cajoled,

I will not be told

that I should ignore my own plight

Byte had to laugh at the limerick that greeted him in his urgent mailbox. Sparrow was a good codename for the impetuous operative – she was constantly moving and could never suffer in silence. But somehow she still made a perfect undercover agent; her natural innocence perhaps.

Byte set up his spider to scan incoming traffic while he opened the rest of Sparrow’s message. She was lengthy, as usual:

“Day 329. My cover is holding, although next time can I please not try to play somebody so brainy? It feels like my grey matter has been stretched and folded and stretched again like taffy in my effort to sound like I know anything at all about latent inferiority complexes, narcissism, or sociopathology. I languish inside these sepulchuric walls like Antigone, buried alive amongst whitewashed corpses. Give but the word and I shall open fire on these bastions of manners and culture so a to make the corpses blush with color before returning to the earth from whence they came and from whence they refuse to acknowledge they have come.

“Seriously, everything is white here, and I’d almost welcome a bit of bloodshed. Can I sneak off for a weekend and run a breaker across the border? I want to feel the dirt again, instead of this concrete tomb. This is where dreams come to die – you can almost see the shattered remains glittering in the stone. And the Dreamers. Shuffling corpses, gazing blankly ahead, lost from the world, trapped inside an imagination not their own. They do mechanical labor, anything that requires mostly muscle memory. How can someone choose to live like that? With a pasted on smile because the dream is so wonderfully shallow.

“The tigress will die in here if you don’t get her out soon. The sparrow will suffocate in here if you don’t get me out soon. Inferno est!

“Sparrow.”

Byte wrote back a three word answer: “He’s coming soon.” That dealt with, he spent the next 45 minutes putting out fires in half a dozen other locations around the country – fudging a transmission here, warning a sleeper there – in other words, a day in the life.

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Diana

Diana had disappeared when Rose was eleven, vanished out of the blue never to be seen by her family again. Rose remembered that day with more clarity than anything else in her life. She remembered waking up and finding Diana’s bed empty. There had been nothing particularly odd about that but the feeling that washed over her, the sense of dread and impossible sorrow was like nothing she had ever known before. Somehow she had known that Diana was gone before there was evidence of anything more than an early morning for her sister.
She had crept downstairs, hoping to find her sister in front of the T.V or searching for something to eat. The sun was just below the horizon, waiting to peek over the far hills. It was the murk before the dawn, the darkness ever so slightly beginning to lose its pitch black nature. Never-the-less she could only see shapes as she tiptoed down the stairs, instinct and habit commanding that she refrain from waking her parents.
Anxiety contracted her heart, making it race as the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach grew at an alarming rate. Every step took her deeper into the well of foreboding that had started in her own bed at the cusp of waking. Her limbs began to tremble and she wanted to cry as she stepped off the last stair and faced the empty dark hallway. Pitch black darkness reached searching fingers through the cracked doors, threatening to grab her and pull her into oblivion.
Rose stayed in the middle of the hall, treading silently on the thick rug that stretched down the floor like the tongue of some hunting monster just waiting for the right moment to swallow its helpless prey. The air was laden, an atmosphere of tragedy pressing in upon the little girl as she crept through the near darkness.
Her eyes were wide in anticipatory fear, bright little orbs straining for any sign of her beloved sister. She remembered in acute clarity years later the utter terror that gripped her heart as she neared the kitchen, the foyer, and the front door. She did not know why but she was drawn to the door, knowing that she would find something wrong, something that had to do with Diana. Diana. Her lip trembled as a fresh wave of that absolute sorrow swept over her.
The doors on either side seemed to lead into a black nothingness, the rooms that she had once known no longer existing there. Complete silence reigned, deafening, pressing in on her ears with the heavy weight of deep water. She felt as though she was both suffocating and drowning simultaneously, her little lungs barely able to draw breath. Her tiny pink lips parted as she forced herself to take the most even breaths possible.
The kitchen was a strange landscape, cold hard floors, gleaming counters scrubbed spotless and the unnervingly silent refrigerator. The entire house was engulfed in a hungry, heavy silence that was not the absence of sound but the death of it. The silence consumed every last noise, neutralizing it, strangling the life from it before the first breath of a scream could be birthed.
Rose crept across the kitchen, her heart racing, feeling that something monstrous was going to emerge from every cupboard. The house was waiting, holding its breath. Rose was the only thing that moved, even the pulse of the house having ceased. She was the only thing that dared to break from the mold of motionlessness despite the fear of whatever waited near the door.
She crept into the living room, feeling as if she were walking into the belly of the monster. The air pressed down heavier than ever and she recognized it with her child’s mind as the presence of indescribable evil. It forced itself down her throat and into her lungs so that she could only take weak, shallow breaths. All she wanted to do was run, to either curl up in a defensive ball and ignore everything or run for her father but she could do neither. She felt pulled towards the front door, compelled to go see what waited for her there.
Not only that but her love for Diana drove her on, one frightened child to face the unknown in the dark. Her bare feet shuffled across the carpeted floor, crying out as they stepped onto the cold tile of the foyer. It sent chills up her spine and her entire body shuddered. If it was possible the silence seemed even more complete as she crept around the corner. She knew that whatever had invaded her home and disturbed her sister was waiting in the doorway for her. It wanted her to see it, it wanted her to remember the horror of it until the day she died.
Tears gathered in the girl’s eyes, threatening to spill down her cheeks as the fear engulfed her mind and body. She barely held herself back from crying but even that was only by virtue of the all consuming fear that wracked her soul. Her limbs were cold and her heart raced with all the speed it could muster. She felt faint but she had to turn that corner, Diana was there she was sure and in trouble. How she knew such a thing she could never have said but it was as obvious to her as the sky was to anyone else.
Facing a fear that most people could never dream of, she stretched out her small foot and inched her body along the wall. It was waiting for her, staring in her direction through the darkness. She could feel the vile stare, the horrid eyes of some unknown evil watching her, waiting. If only it wasn’t expecting and waiting she could have practically sprung around the corner but it was watching and in some ways that was the worst part.
Breathing was nearly impossible as she slipped her hand around the corner of the wall. She felt the thing growing impatient and she knew she had to force herself into the open, stand and face the thing that waited. Choking back a sob she stepped out into the open, revealing herself to the monstrosity standing in the doorway.
Not even in the depths of her worst nightmares had her overactive imagination conceived of something so absolutely horrifying. She felt sick as her eyes met those of the abomination waiting on the threshold of her home. Her stomach heaved but somehow she managed to force the sickness back, unable to take her eyes from the thing.
Her vision spun, the monstrosity grinning the most disgusting mockery of a smile that she was sure had ever been formed. It was an emaciated creature, vaguely humanoid, with over long limbs standing about nine feet tall. It was hunched over at the time but Rose could tell that it was a giant in height. It was gaunt, the skin stretched tight over the bones. There was no hair on its head and it seemed to be missing its nose entirely. There were merely two holes in its head that sat above a freakishly large mouth. As it grinned the mouth literally reached from ear to hear, revealing large sharp teeth. Yet it wasn’t even the horrific smile that was the most terrifying thing about the monster; it was the eyes that shot her veins full of terror. They were enormous and round, luminous in the dark with giant pupils, bloodshot and piercing. They watched her with such a deep, gleeful malice that Rose was sure it must have learned from the devil himself how to hate.
She nearly fainted as she looked into those eyes. The fact that its fingers were nearly claws, the translucent quality of its skin, and the lack of ears only registered in her subconscious to be remembered in painful detail later on. Those eyes and what it held in its arms commandeered all of her attention the moment after her eyes first landed on the creature.
The thing was holding Diana, suspending her in one long thin arm. It held her against its skeletal body that was clothed in the remains of a ragged suit long out of fashion. The girl was completely unconscious from fear just as Rose nearly had been moments ago. It all passed when she saw her elder sister held in the arm of some completely vile abomination.
Anger boiled deep down within her, shunting some of her fear back and letting a minute bit of courage to pass through. It rose up inside her more like a butterfly, the delicate creature that dares to emerge from its cocoon despite how easily it can be crushed, than a lion or even a dog. She felt it flutter up into her heart, her back straightening and her eyes narrowing towards the monster.
Its grin widened and it seemed to find her tiny display of bravery amusing. Rose scowled at the thing although she was still trembling uncontrollably and she wanted to call for her parents. She knew it would do no good even if she could force her voice out; the thing would vanish before her parents could get there. It did not mean to be seen by them, only by her. It wanted her to know it had taken her sister.
Rose glared into its eyes as it hoisted Diana into a better grip and without a sound turned and stepped into the darkness outside. The sun would come up in just a few minutes and Rose sensed that it could not roam in the light of day. It was a creature of the night and it had taken her sister. Her hands clenched into fierce little fists as the utter helplessness and desolation washed over her in a succession of increasingly violent waves.
She collapsed to her knees on the floor, the physical pain nothing in comparison to the agony in her child’s heart. She was too overcome by fear and sorrow to even cry. She collapsed on her side and passed out.

 

Hi! This is the first few pages, the prologue sort of, to a new story I’m working on. I have been reading some brilliant short horror stories online and was inspired to attempt writing short horror fiction of my own only it didn’t work, my characters developed and it couldn’t remain within a few pages. 🙂 Feel free to comment and tell me what you think.

Dymphna