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.
‘See Dr Mostyn, these are supposed to be the footprints of the Great Grumpy Hound. It has Haunted these sands for many a year according to legend.’
Mostyn looked at Surlack Haymes in astonishment. ‘You don’t believe that do you Haymes?’ ‘Of course not, I’m no fool,’ replied his companion.
‘These, as you see are fresh marks, no age to them. I deduce a Staffordshire bull terrier has passed this way. The hind prints are slightly smaller than the front ones, indicating a dog with big shoulders and heavier towards its head and chest.’
Mostyn looked in admiration at Haymes.’ And the Grumpy hound? ‘ he asked. ‘Much bigger, said to be more Wolf hound than Bull terrier’.
They strolled along the sands, looking along the coast. Trying to see signs of their quarry. Suddenly a howl rent the air. ‘The game is on’, and ‘follow me’ shouted Haymes, dashing off into the sea mist. Moments later Mostyn found him, dead, his throat slashed open, deep incisor and canine teeth marks making a jagged hole in his neck.
‘I told you we should have waited for Sherlock Holmes’ , Mostyn muttered under his breath.
Up the channel between the islands, rushed the tide, waves pushed along the coast, great groynes had been built to stop the long shore drift washing sand along it. Seagulls swooped overhead, floating on the updrafts, silently drifting over the heads of people walking up the salty sands, scoping out victims who had ice creams or bags of chips.
The storm came out of the West, flying clouds darkening, scudding across the sky. The wind rose and fell, rose again, howling. Churning up the sea into foam, like whipped cream, the tops of the waves were being torn off by the winds, waves curled up and over, crashing onto the beach.
A memory of Mount Fuji, the picture of it with crashing waves. That was what it was like. The lighthouse along the coast was flashing, two short flashes, then a gap as the light rotated. Seaweed was torn from its beds, wood and ripped nets were cast up on the shore. The tide rose and swamped the town. Streets were flooded. Life takes note of the raging waves.
This is all in the future. Now there is rushing water, soon there will be storm force winds.
Walking through the snow she came across some peculiar shaped trees, each one in flower with cherry blossom. In mid winter?! Was that a face? How could this be, what spirit of nature could have created this?
The trees seemed to breathe mist into the cold, crisp air. The frost turning it to tiny ice crystals. Sound reverberated from the mist. A whisper but so loud it shook her body.
“I AM SPRING”….
Life is here, waiting in the ground, waiting for water.. Now you are here this will be your place. You will not leave, you will nurture us with your body.
She realised she could not move, she could feel her feet lengthening, pushing into the soil, her arms were rising in supplication. Twisting and growing longer. Her eyes became knots in the wood, her body a trunk. No she would never leave here….. And she silently screamed as she transformed.
The clouds lifted over the mere as the sun set. For about five minutes it stopped raining and the drumming on the roof eased. The mere was almost invisible in the darkening evening. The only indication of it were reflections of house lights on the waters surface.
One strange ripple broke the surface. The wake of something moved across the glassy water of the mere.
A duck was heading for its nest for the night. Snap! It was gone.
A few feathers were all that were left.
The ripples stopped as the predator sank deeper. Patrolling now up and down the bank, a snap here, a snuck there, finding food…. The Pike picked its prey carefully.