Through the door into the dark shadows, light shining through dusty windows, shafts of sunlight with dust motes dancing through the beams. We were exploring, looking at the racks of plaster molds, stacked high on racks, above head height. Hundreds of them, all shapes and sizes. For slip casting pottery.
In the back of the store room something stirred. A figure unfolding, grey with dust. Semi transparent, like a ghost? We saw it as it lurched to its feet and grasped at the racks of saggars. It spoke. ‘you don’t belong here’ it shouted ‘get out’, and we did! We turned tail and ran, through the door, through the yard and away. We won’t be going back there again!
The small bathesphere was lowered over the side of the science vessel ‘Valour’.
Steph sat at the controls, watching the pressure guages and reporting every 100 meters they dropped into the abyss.
At 1 kilometer there was a brief pause to check all the systems again. Carbon Dioxide was at acceptable levels, the filters were working. Air was being pumped down at the right rate from the ship. Up top in the ship the mission room were happy to give her the go ahead to continue.
A few minutes later, and the pressure had increased massively on the hull. But it was built to withstand them. The bulbous glass windows were curved to take the external forces without buckling.
A shadow passed one of the windows, something gold and glittering… It came back, huge, fish shaped. A gaping mouth opening. The images on the bathesphere’s cameras were flickering with the reflections from the metallic looking fins and scales.
Steph shouted out in surprise ‘what the hell is it?’. But the ship didn’t hear her.
The rescue wasn’t successful. As they wound in the cable the scientists on the ship could tell that the weight on it was no longer there. Finally the severed ends of it were hauled over the stern. ‘lost at sea’ was the report that was published…..
As she sat on the ground by the house she felt the warmth of the sun calming her and relaxing her. It had been a long morning gardening. Now she had sat down with a cup of tea and a biscuit.
The ground she was sitting on was laid to lawn. Behind her the bare brick was partly covered with a few strands of ivy.
As she dozed in the sun next doors ginger cat came and sat on her lap. She dreamt of a perfect cottage garden, she would lift up the lawn and plant a bank of crocosmia and ox eye daisies. On the wall behind her she would remove the ivy and plant clematis and wisteria. Maybe a peach with branches strung out along the wall.
She gradually fell into a deeper sleep. The scents of the roses wafted across the garden. Time crept by. If you had watched a time lapse film of the day you would have seen the ivy seem to pulse, and grow….. Tendrils of green stretching. Ariel roots burrowing, not just into mortar but flesh. No way was the ivy going to be removed. Around the body of the woman the branches grew.
Finally all the moisture in it was sucked out, there was just a dried husk left. Tearing through eye sockets. From the mouth. The ivy created tiny berries. Dust fell to the ground, what was left? A mug and a plate. The wall was covered.
I thought I saw him through the window. A man glowing all different colours, but I looked again and it was a pretty scarf hanging on my neighbours washing line.
Later, I went out to feed the stray cat, and saw something from the corner of my eye, but it was a reflection of the sky in the pond.
I went back inside wondering what was happening, was I hallucinating? The sun was setting and glimmers of light from the crystal in the window seemed to be coalescing… A figure shaped like a man, grew from the glimmers. He spoke no words but reached out towards me. I ran into the kitchen, slamming the door behind me, but soon his head and a hand protruded through the door.
I ran out into the garden. Dark was falling, the figure followed. Glowing brightly now, it quickly moved out across the ground. I felt dreadful fear. It reached out and touched my hand, and instantly I froze. Now it drifted around, and… into me! I felt its presence inside my mind. Then I knew it was too late… Tomorrow, I tell you, they are coming for you……
Something bloomed into the sky after the meteorite fell. A green mist rose from the sea and started spreading across the land. For a while it lay in the hollows and valleys, but steadily crept higher.
People noticed it and shied away from it. They travelled inland and up hills and mountains. Soon they were isolated, no one would cross the green air.
The small islands of high land topping the green murk gradually were overcome. People breathed their last air as it rose, scrabbling for height, but succumbing to the green gas. They were suffocating and dying.
Asian mountains stayed above the haze for a while longer. But like everywhere else the human population passed away. Eventually the only survivors were left alone, high above Earth, in the space station. There was nothing left for them to do but wait for the end.
But then a miracle (if after all the death that could be said) happened. The gas started to clear. After three weeks it had gone completely. It was then that the astronauts realised that all Earth’s animals had survived. They realised that it was the humans haemoglobin in their blood that had been affected. Other animals had different DNA.
But the problem was how would they descend from the space station? What would become of them?
Over the front door, the lamp caught the blood red light of the sunset. Strings of ivy trailing around it. Outside a gate heavily covered in it. Swathes of creeping vines hiding the steps.
Only one man came through the gate. The count, the noble man, Dracula.
It was time for his nightly wandering, the lust for blood strengthened his old bones.
New years eve, 2019. Time for sustenance, time for the deep red drink, and the thrill of the chase. Soon he would have his fill.
The leaves of the ivy rustled as he passed through the gate. The churchyard beyond was quiet except for a late dogwalker. The dog would arrive home later. Alone.
It’s getting dark again, and all around the house figures are appearing from the trees. Looking in through the windows, clamouring to enter.
Semi transparent, glimmering in the setting sunlight. They have been there since winter began. I think they are spirits. They hold me in. I’m trapped at night until the sun rises again. Fifteen hours, unless the day is overcast and then they arrive earlier and leave later.
If I run out of milk I drink water, if I run out of fresh food I have saved rice and beans. I will not risk going out. The car is parked far away and I’m too nervous to run to it.
Lately as the dark has deepened the creatures have been more determined. I’m hoping as the sun comes back, as it sets later and rises earlier, I will be freed. But now, drat it, the change creeps across the sky. The creatures must know it. Only seconds difference.
Last night they rattled the back door. This morning I found the cat flap open and the key on the floor. It was too far away to be reached where it had fallen. Today I’m hiding the key and putting things behind the door to reinforce it. But that means walking through the kitchen, and sometimes, sometimes, I see them watching me.