Sci-fi

THE ENERGY…

©Tanya GroutFOR AUDIO VERSION SCROLL TO THE END

 

Night was falling fast in the mountains. Dad had planned it that way. He’d said it would be thrilling when the car swept over the top of that last hill and we’d see the sun setting on the beach down below. It was a perfect getaway to celebrate my eighteenth birthday.

“This place has a real energy to it,” he’d said, “You’ll see.”

It was all ice cream and switching radio stations; it was all hair flying out of the sunroof; it was laughter and silly jokes until something brushed over my face.

I wiped my cheek, as I would having stumbled into an unseen web from an invisible spider. Funny how they crept around like ghosts: the colour of day, landing like special ops, spinning their traps undetected.

But this wasn’t a spider or a web.

A swoosh came this time, like a wind made of soft filaments that flipped my hair up and back. It brushed a harsh invisibility over my nose and mouth, blanketing and blocking off air. It seemed to hush me with a soothing sound – urging me to be quiet, to be still, but I struggled none-the-less.

My eyes peeled open, stabbed with fear at the prospect of not being able to breathe… until I realized that this strange energy was breathing for me. It had gotten inside.

Dad looked into his rear view mirror. “You’ve gone quiet back there, missy,” he said.     

Mom, pat his leg, “Leave her alone. All girls disappear into their own heads…”

The filaments were attracted to her lyrical voice and they grew, reaching their hungry fingers over and into her mouth, probing around gums and a wolf tooth that I admired. I could feel the slender threads; feel what they were doing, like they were a part of me, a part that I hated.

Shocked by this unsuspected dentistry, mom pulled the mirror down from above. She could see nothing but her own startled expression and the involuntary movement of flesh that rippled over her teeth, as the energy explored underneath.

She tried to speak, but this strange, unseen power quickly formed needle points that pierced through each lip – jabbing in through the top, pulling down to the bottom and sewing all the way through. Her mouth was sealed within seconds.

She tried to scream but all that came out was a high-pitched squeal.

Dad looked over. Mom’s face alarmed him. He could see the outward bulge and blue crush of her stitched lips, and her stretched eyes, bitten with shock.

“Chris?” He said.

She flagged him with her hand, urging him to pull over.

The energy expanded, leaning over and rolling onto him. It pressed his hands back from the wheel forcing them up into a surrender position.

“What the Hell?” Dad yelped.

The wheel was turning by itself. He’d lost control. We all had.

The force pushed down on dad’s foot, accelerating the car up the last hill at an impossible speed. All three of us stared straight ahead, pressed back in our seats like astronauts launching into space.

As we hit the top of the hill we flew high into the air like Evel Knievel on his last drag race against comets across the sky.

Here it was: the crusted ocean and sun setting over a stunning beach. And there truly was an energy to this place, as dad had said, but it was bigger and more powerful than we could ever have imagined, and it wasn’t good.

The car took a sudden turn in the air and veered off to the left. It flew across the road below and over to the open edged cliff.

Dad tried to grab the wheel, but the energy wouldn’t let him. This whole landscape was its space. It had fully moved in. No one was welcome here anymore… No one, that was, except me.

As the car zipped over the rock face, the graveyard of obliterated vehicles below came into view. Gravity took hold and the car hit a quick descent.

We barely had time to consider our impending fate – but I wouldn’t have to, as the force threw all of its might around my little body and yanked me out through the sunroof, away from my parents, up into the unlit, dusky space above: suspended in the sky.

The car crashed so far away that it looked like a cartoon puff – of destruction, of death.

The force carried me back over the cliff and placed me on top of the hill. It let me down gently as if I had floated in on a grieving black cloud.

Deep pain took me to my knees. I crumbled and cried like any girl would. I was inconsolable – unable to believe that my parents were gone.

Deep in the middle of night, alone and moonless on top of the hill, I started to shake. I was unsure of what this thing wanted from me. I wondered if it would unclasp its grip on my own life, or if I would be enslaved to do its bidding, whatever that might be

©KYM DARKLY

 

 

SOUL WITCH…

©Tanya Grout

The ramming boulder took the door right off its hinges. Old rotting wood flew back across the room, almost hitting Kari – a startled eight-year-old who darted behind the leather sofa.

 

The police were astounded at what they saw: Old Woman Ireland was secured in her rocker by the window, anchored in. The green tendrils of a plant behind had shot up horizontally from their heavy urn, and plumbed deep into the woman’s ears. From here they had torn painfully through her skull, through parts of her brain and then had ripped out her eyes, pushing the ocular tissue to the side in strange, bloody bulges.

 

The sturdy stalks had then crawled down her face, crisscrossing into her nasal cavities, plummeting down her trachea and into the trunk of her body, exploding out of organs, creating a maze of convoluted control over this powerless body.

 

Shocked EMS personnel cut off the old woman’s shirt, as the photographer documented parts of the plant that could be seen under Mrs. Ireland’s wrinkly skin. Some of the vines had travelled down her arms bedside fragile veins, riveting each limb immovable in a right-angled position. These slender stems had then spilt off and out of her fingers forming an extended hand of woody digits, with little green shoots that trapped many a fly with their undulating stickiness.

 

Other vines had carved a stronger journey through her trunk and pushed through the fragile tissue of her lateral thighs, sliding off the chair and down to the floor. They had then grown through the soft wooden planks; deep into the basement and into the soil underneath, where they had became rooted.

 

There was just one question from the lead inspector: “How on earth could this happen?”

 

Only Kari knew, as she had envisioned it, had planted the little bulb in the urn and had fed it thoughts to help it grow. Although #158 hung from her mother’s toe at the morgue, the magic had been passed on at birth and Kari had used it well to avenge her mothers murder, keeping Granny Ireland alive through the whole torturous ordeal. Yes she was still alive…

 

© kym darkly

SLUGS ‘N SNAILS

©Tanya Grout

The finger broken, snapped open. A gasp. A fear escaping her startled eyes. His heavy hand cracking the digit further back at the knuckle, with rage. This was just the beginning for Marshall Shaw – leader of “the movement.”

He dragged her up by the hair to the open stage, onto the village platform and yelled out, “She just ain’t human!” There was terror in his voice.

The crowd’s eyes moved like marbles on sloped surfaces, searching for answers. They stirred. How could he treat her so violently? She was his wife!

“Come look at her,” Marshall cried. “Bring your vision, and your mind, and your judgment!”

The bravest went first towards the wretched woman, now on her knees, hair twisted in his fist. Marshall held out her hand for all to see: inside the skin was a strange machinery. It wasn’t bones and blood. It looked like cogs and wires and screws… but upon closer inspection they saw that the stuff inside was made up of other creatures, tiny ones they had never seen before – wriggling and writhing, each in tune with the other.

“She ain’t one of us,” Marshall yelled.
“Maybe she’s from the future,” Old Woman Wise snarled.
“’Nother planet is more like it,” came the preacher’s reply.
“A Witch!” Yelled Marshall, “with all them critters inside.”
“Let her be,” cried the woman’s sister.
“Are ya gonna meet yer maker tonight too, little sister” he snapped back.
She had children. She would be quiet.

“Friends,” Marshall addressed the crowd, “help me to break her open!”

Ten or more men rushed to the stage. They wrestled and fought with the screaming woman until they pulled her arms from their sockets, her torso in two and her head right off.

Big greasy sluggish ropes of flesh and detailed scuttle-spiders with cog-like qualities issued from her core. Fish-like entities and jumping eels flopped and flipped. Her face melted as creatures crawled from her head, out her eyes, nose and mouth.

When the last jellyfish of a miniature monster oozed from her bloated abdomen, the human body casing was dry. In the desert heat it sparked alight and flew up into the air like a balloon; then it blew right up, sending the men scuttling towards their wives.

“Whatever they are, they’re spying on us,” Marshall asserted. “And each and every one of you’s has got to prove that your wife ain’t one of ‘em.”
“How do we do that?” One of the youngest men asked.
“By lining ‘em up and breaking their fingers open…”

©kym darkly

THE FLAPPING…

Whoosh! The big black wing hit the phone out of her hand and the candles blew out. Complete darkness…

Alone and afraid, the wings flapped around her, their waxy membranes clumsily slapping her face and arms so strong, she couldn’t breathe. They pummelled her from one wing to another with a harsh bristle that cut Billie’s skin. She felt blood run down her face and arms. She tried to shield herself, but this thing was relentless.

“Hello? This is the police department…” Billy could hear her cell somewhere. She started to scream, “Help, help me…”

But the piercing, through her open mouth stopped all that, the sharp object that impaled her tongue and crept harshly, staggeringly painful up into her brain arrested her in the moment… Then came the sucking… of her insides – out!

And then the dial tone…

© kym darkly

PARASITE…

“There’s something growing inside of you,” the doctor said as calmly as she could.

“Oh God, another baby!” Kay said.

“No,” Dr. Zylich replied, “A baby would have been a blessing. This is more like a curse.”

Kay wriggled in her seat. She’d grown skeletally skinny in the last two months. Her sit bones hurt and her stomach had bloated unnaturally large. “Well, what is it?” She asked.

“They,” the Doctor corrected her, “They are a kind of worm.”

“What?” Kay stood up and walked to the MRI images posted on the wall.

Dr. Zylich pointed to the one that showed Kay’s abdominal area. “The largest ones are here, absorbing all the food you eat. That’s why you’re tired all the time and bloated.”

“So it’s like a Tape Worm? Fucking disgusting, but there’s drugs right?”

“Yes,” replied Dr. Zylich, “But they won’t work on these. These are not Tape Worms. These are something we have never seen before. Their teeth…

Kay gasped.

“They have teeth. Um, they’re unusual in behaviour. They disconnect, move around…”

Kay shivered remembering the “baby” kick in her stomach.

The doctor pointed to another MRI result. “See here in your arm, they have set up legions of smaller worms and infected the entire vascular system. They are hooked into each vessel and sucking the blood out of you into them. That is why your arm is swollen and blue and also why you are weak.”

“How can this be? From that stupid jungle trip?” Kay mumbled.

“They have also penetrated your brain, hence the neurological problems. One worm could easily eat through an average brain in four hours, judging by our results.” Dr. Zylich preferred to keep to facts as she knew the feelings were coming.

“Well don’t just talk. Get them the fuck outta my body.”

Dr. Zylich shook her head, no.

Kay was trembling. Lost. Tears washed over her cheeks, “What does this all mean?”

The doctor took a long pause. She looked kindly into Kay’s eyes.
“At this rate of multiplication and infestation, you could be dead by morning. You must go home and get your things in order… unless…”

“Unless?”

“Unless you want to be a test subject…”

© kym darkly

VIRGIN VISITATION…

Her body twirled slowly through the air like a pig on a spit. She had the haunted look of a girl whose soul had been stolen, but the peace of one bombed on cosmic drugs – paralyzed. Over the farm, a radiant beam cut the resident cow clean in two from head to hoof; one half fell heavy to the grass. The fog was thick, warm, but passing through on this lullaby of trance and mist she hit the other side: harsh light in the sky, blinding.

Wrinkled long fingers, eight to a hand, reached out like endless branches from the hovering craft, grasped her soft skin violently and fed her into a pod that shut down on her like a coffin.

Darkness. Fear. Peace and paralysis gone.

A gel crept up from below, moved into the small of her back, then over her hips. It hovered a thick rim around her face threatening to flow over and in. She kicked and screamed: an animal aware of the tortures of an abattoir. Then the sharp long knives stabbed up right through her, thin enough to barely damage an organ, but thick enough to terrify their victim. The creatures with the fingers were watching, their sight penetrating the capsule. They would observe their screeching specimen drown first and then the fun would begin…

© kym darkly

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KILLER CONTROL…

The creature that slid through his mind was sorting his thoughts – separating the “Hi how are you’s?” from the dagger stabs and blood mayhem that slashed the walls at night – a new apartment, another victim. He didn’t get it. He knew he was a good guy, but this thing had gotten in there and had been controlling him for days, maybe weeks. He felt so alone, now that he was a killer…

© kym darkly

NUCLEAR MUTANT…

Bit by bit she uncovered a body: clay skin, leather brow, naked and curled into a ball. Its silver eyes jumped open and onto her, off again, away, frightened. It had no hair. She thought it might be human. Trembling she tried to speak, but hearing a voice, it panicked and flapped its thin winged arms as a warning.

Super worms, feeding off its flesh, fled towards her and she screeched. Spooked, it leapt up quickly – seven feet tall with claw-like hands and mangled feet. Its face had merged features that fed into a crusted point: its mouth – open, teeth serrated, screaming. The stench alone made her faint, but its tongue was merciless – a knife-like snake, it slashed at her neck ripping through and severing vertebrae. She would never walk again, if she were still alive…

© kym darkly