It was 3 a.m. and the car wasn't getting any less broken.
Today had been fairly successful, We had made it about halfway to our destination when the car broke down. Unfortunately where we broke down was the middle of nowhere, a completely flat field, and the darkness wasn't helping me figure out much. My friend was moving house, I'd suggested somewhere closer to the city, but he wouldn't have it. It'd been about two hours since we called for a tow truck. It wasn't an easy place to get to. I was sitting on the hood of the car, about to give up hope that we’d get any sort of help before dawn when my friend pointed out at a light off in the distance. I was fairly certain that there hadn’t been a light there for the past 2 hours, but nonetheless there was a small speck of light off in the distance, it seemed about a mile away. My friend was certainly happy about it. Got the idea that that light in the distance was the tow truck lost in the field just like usand couldn't find his way because of the darkness. I thought it could be true, being as our car was off and there was no light coming from where we were. In fact, there was no real light anywhere. Not like the moon had anything better to do. Didn’t change that fact that it still wasn’t present. Then he made the executive decision that we should go towards the light to investigate. I had elected that we shouldn’t do that, because we didn't know what the light was. I was kind of worried about it, actually. Before I could voice an alternative he had already started heading that direction. Being the wall of courage that I was, I decided to take the brave course of action and follow him. No sense being alone and I didn't want him to run into any trouble.
For what felt like 2 hours we walked towards the light. It didn’t feel that it had been that long, but in my defense we had no way of telling the time. Now maybe a good hundred or so feet away from the ring of light I could make out a lantern on a post. I was immediately disheartened at the lack of a tow truck. My friend decided to look at the positive, claiming that it could mean that someone was around. He proposed that if we were nearer to the light we would be easier to find. I was skeptical, but far be it for me to squelch his hopefulness.
We approached the post and both noticed a sign, which read Due to increased reports of missing persons, citizens are advised to stay out of this valley after dark. We looked at each other. I voiced my complaint of our shared situation again. He was confident that we would be fine. He suggested that if we stayed in the light we would be found. His statement was punctuated quite well buy his arm being ripped off. I turned to his left to see what had ruined his pool game. Screams filled my ears as my friend held his shoulder. I moved to push him back in the direction of the car. At least there we could have some defence. As we moved out of the light, I turned back toward the lantern, and that's when I saw it. Whatever it was it was difficult to make out, it was as black as the void, like a hole in reality. It had a resemblance to a bat, but with the body of a lion, in shape at least, and as big as a bear. It stalked in the light of the lantern and when it passed in front of it, all light was gone. I turned back and picked up my friend. We couldn't waste time and I didn't know how fast that thing was. Blood from his wound splashed on my face and I moved as fast as I could. In between my running and his sobbing, I could hear it move in the grass just behind us. I could just about make out the car, in the haze of dule darkness. I adjusted my hold on my friend and then all at once, felt his weight gone as the ,whatever it was, stole him away into the grass. I caught a glimpse of his scared pained face as he disappeared into the darkness.
I turned away tears in my eyes screaming fruitlessly into the silent fields as I sprinted to the car, trying to not listen or think. I reached the car and fumbled with the handle. A cold chill hit me as I then realized we had locked the doors when we left for the light. Of course he had had the keys on him, it was his car after all. I froze as i heard a deafening screech in the distance. It must have finished with my friend and was heading toward me. I ran around to the other side of the car, to give me some distance. With seconds to spare, it appeared almost exactly where i was standing before. I tried to get a good look at it through the car. It had stopped and was moving, what i assume was it’s head, looking for me. The center of it’s “head” sort of opened and a vortex of light started to appear. It looked like a deep hole, endless and glowing. Cold white light bathed the area and gave me a sense of overwhelming dread. It took all my strength to look away. I noticed the rear window was down about half way. This was it my way in. I felt around quietly looking for something to throw. I found a stone, test the weight, and threw it as hard as i could past the creature. It made a loud clang as it his something metal hidden in the grass. My “plan” worked and as it turned to look for the source of noise, I dove through the window. Not exactly quiet, but I was now in the car again.
Quickly, I closed the window and I looked back across the car and was staring straight into that cold endless vortex of light. For what felt like an eternity it stared at me, through me even. Fear filled my every cell. As pain racked my eyes i permitted myself to blink, and when my eyes opened it was gone. I blinked a few more time for good measure, making sure it wasn’t a fluke or trick of the eye. Sleep did not come that night, not that the thought even crossed mind. I was too focused on the constant sound of rustling grass all around me and the occasional breathing sound just on the edge of earshot. My the sun finally rose, only then did I even move. The truck did eventually show up. To this day they never found a body or any trace that anything I described was ever out there. But I know what I saw and occasionally on moonless nights I look out at the stars and swear I can see a shape moving.
Every time I gaze upon the lake I think of you. Tonight would be our anniversary and I think back to all the years that we spent on its murky banks. The first time we met was at this lake. I had come with a group of friends to try catch some fish and you had come with a group of your friends on a holiday to swim. Unfortunately, none of you were familiar with the area and didn’t know the lake was awful for swimming but you came anyway. As I look out over the dark waters this evening they remind me of the first time I saw you your raven hair glimmering beautifully in the sunlight, your crisp eyes reminding me of stars. At that moment as I gazed across the lake at you, I knew that we were destined to be together. Sure it took a few attempts, but eventually you did decide to give me a chance. We had a picnic at the lake for our first actual date and it was lovely. We spent hours talking about the things we enjoyed and the things that we loved.
After a few years of dating and going back to the lake every now and then to reminisce, we decided to get married and thought it'd be appropriate to get married on the banks of this very lake where we first met. It was a beautiful ceremony and all our friends and family welcomed us into the beautiful bliss of married life, around the shores of this lake, our lake. We decided to build a cabin near the Lake. We bought the land and the first few years were spectacular. I just wish I could have stayed there, forever with you, but the war called me away. When I returned, I came home to find you frail and weak. You told me you had fallen ill with no discernible cause. So I spent the rest of my money and time helping you figure out what was wrong and keeping you company and safe. But as time went on and you got worse, I knew the end was coming and one day we wouldn't be together. We made our final goodbyes one night and when I woke the next morning you were no longer with me. I curse the day that you caught this plague when I wasn't here and I vowed to find a way to bring you back no matter what.
Feverishly, I searched for ways to bring you back from the dead so we could be together here on our beautiful lake. It took years. Gray was appearing in my hair and beard but I had found what I was looking for: a ritual buried in a deep forbidden book that I found when I was searching the nearby bookstore. I was warned not to try any of those spells, but I needed you back. So one night I tried it. I dug up your body from the lakeside grave we had made for you and brought you to the basement. It took hours, it was grueling and I felt faint, but after so long it eventually paid off. The spell reached its crescendo as you stood up. I was elated, I ran to embrace you, you looked me straight in the eye, shrieked and spoke in tongues similar to those i had read from the book. Your eyes grew dark with a foreign hate, I screamed and threw you aside. No, not you but some demon in your body. I would not let some loathsome creature defile your form. I reached for the very shovel that I used to dig your beautiful body up from its grave and swung hard against its head and removed it. Learning what I did from the book I decided it was better to burn the body and scatter the ashes into the lake. So now on the night of what would have been our anniversary I look out over it and am reminded of you. I deeply hope you can forgive me for what I have done but I needed you back.
0 - Introduction
Creeping through the woods that night I was caught off guard by a sharp pain in my right leg, that almost made my drop my bat. If only I hadn't sustained that grievous wound last night the task at hand would be much easier. Nevertheless I will continue for no one else can do this but me. I braced against a tree and thought back to how this had started. In hindsight I should have been more concerned, but thats in the past now.
1 - Observation
It was a night like any other night, the moon was out full and bright, the stars were shining just around the edges of it and I sitting at home in my hammock staring up at them, daydreaming about life. I must have dozed off at some point, next time I was aware of the time it was day break. It felt like no time had past but I was prone to pass out without notice due to my insomnia and was used to that feeling. I went to stand up but as I swung my legs around under me, something caught my eye. In the corner of my yard closest to the driveway was a jet black dodecahedron. It appeared to be as smooth as glass and as dark as a void. I stared for a moment transfixed at the strange sight. It couldn't have been more than a foot in diameter and height. I decided to investigate so I continued my action to stand and slowly walked across the yard toward the bizarre object. As I approached, the temperature rose at least 20 degrees. Looking at the surface of the poliginal object, it's sides weren't as smooth as they appeared from my hammock. Is surface was rough like waves and behind its void like color was a sort of static. It was mesmerizing and I could swear I could see shapes in it. I stood there staring at it for a good 10 minutes, until my wife came out to see where I had been. I jumped when she touched my arm, breaking me of my trance. When she inquired as to where I had been all night and what this black object was, I told her of my night and how I only just noticed the thing after waking up. She expressed joy at my being able to sleep for the first time in two nights, but concern at the location i chose to do so, and at the unusual guest in our yard. We elected to call are friend who was a professor of archeology, who happened to be in town for a new museum exhibit, to see if he had seen anything like it. So we left alone and went inside to call him.
2 - Investigation
It took two hours for him to arrive. Evidently there had been some fiasco at the exhibit and that was the earliest he could come. When he arrived I escorted him to our back yard, while my wife stayed inside. We had lost the cat last night and she was convinced he was in the house. As we approached the dodecahedron I was stopped in my tracks because, I noticed it was at least four inches larger. My friend inquired why I stopped and I informed him that it was larger than it was previously. Curiosity peaked, he moved to study it. Several minutes passed, as they did, I noticed how fascinated he was with it. He asked occasional questions, sometimes to me, sometimes to no one in particular. He seemed like he was alright, so I excused myself to join my wife in the search for our cat. Some time passed and after ineffectively helping the search, I went back outside to see how my friend was doing in his study. Exiting the house I looked over to where he was when I left him, but not only was he not there but neither was the thing. My heart rate elevated as I scanned the immediate area for either of them. I was starting to panic, and was about to run inside,but then I just barely saw his head on the edge of my property. Relieved I ran over to see what he was doing and where the thing had gone.
3 - Escalation
I called to him but he didn't turn. His head was down, like he was looking at the floor. As I got closer I didn't see anything thing he could be looking at. When I reached him, I held out my arm to touch his shoulder to try and get his attention. However before I touched him he grabbed my hand and turned around to face me. He looked awful, his hair was matted, wet, and unkempt, the veins in face were all visible and pulsing, and his eyes were blood red, like he had popped several blood vessels in both. it was then that I noticed he was holding it, the dodecahedron. He stared me for a moment, then let go of my hand and spoke in a voice so low I could feel it in my bones. “this one you knew is gone I am using his form to move my child to a suitable hatching location.” he fondled the black polygon. “You were lucky to bare witness without succumbing to its effects. Leave now and tell no one or else I will wreak vengeance upon you.” I shuttered as each word vibrated my very soul. I struggled to form a sentence, but asked what this being wanted. Anger creeped over his face, and the voice crashed through me again. “what my goal is is beyond your comprehension, it shall start with complete subjugation of your world.” I wasn't left with many options there. I could be a hero and try to stop this… whatever, or I could leave like it wanted. Well there was the third option of grovel and hope it took pity on me when the time came. Then a thought range out in my head and I asked if it knew what had happened to my cat. I didn't know if this was really worth the planet ,but I had to ask. “Sooner or later all animals shall be sustenance for me and my children.” that was enough for me I wanted to cower but that cat meant alot to my wife and I, and before I could stop myself I had thrown a punch square at the jam of my what had been my friend. As he reeled back in, what I hoped was more pain than shock, the dodecahedron fell the the ground with a thud and I lunged forward to grab it. My hand grazed a side and i heard a wet noise behind me, followed with immediate pain beyond words. Fully distracted from the task at I had previously been so focused on, i looked back. The forearm of my former friend was gone, say for his veins, which were currently digging into my leg and clawing deep. I shrieked in pain and swatted at the bloody tendrils fastened to me. It released me and i rolled over and held my leg trying to stop the bleeding. I peered over in my daze to see the creature pick up, what i’m sure now was it’s egg, with it’s vein tendrils and howl in a pitch so intense it forced the air from my lungs. “Don’t follow me is your last warning, worthless meat!” then it ran off to the woods at the edge of the property and disappeared. It was at this point i noticed it was night, because i lost sight of him in the darkness. Evidently the sun had set at some point during our scuffle. I managed to take my shirt off and tunicate my leg well enough to limp back up to the house. My wife oblivious to anything that had gone on was utterly hysterical at the sight of me. I tried to explain what had happened but I could hardly get a word in. Eventually i lied and told her a mountain lion came out of the woods and clawed me when i tried to shoo it away. She seemed content with that and insisted that we go to the hospital and I kept saying I wasn't going to go, I needed to stay here. Eventually we compromised that she would call the doctor and have him come here.
4 - Deliberation
After she was done, I was forced to eat something. I tried to tell her that i had to go but she wasn’t having it. She insisted whatever I had to do, it should wait till after the doctor arrived tomorrow morning. I gave up trying to convince her after 20 minutes and opted to think through where, the thing that was once my friend, would go in those woods. I hobbled over to my study and dug out a map of the area. Peering over it i couldn't really make out anywhere that would make a suitable hatching place for whatever was about to “subjugate out world”. The words rung through my ears remembering the voice that had spoke them. I shuddered and my wife appeared with a cup of tea. She asked what i was doing and looked over the map as i took a sip. I lied and said i was wondering if there was a hiking spot with a good view of the wildlife out there. She looked up thoughtfully and said that she couldn’t think of anything to spectacular. Than with a start she exclaimed that i had forgotten about taking her to the hot spring in the woods. I waved it off and told her i hadn’t forgot i was just waiting for our anniversary. Then i paused for a moment and thought. Then all at once i exploded with an epiphany! The hot spring would be the perfect place to hatch and egg! Now i knew where he would be going, i just had to get away and deal with this mess. My wife seemed confused but kind and after i calmed down, i explained that i would take her as soon as my wound healed enough to permit it. She seemed satisfied with that and i informed her that it was late and she should get some rest. She objected but i told her i’d be fine i slept last night anyway so i’d be awhile before i could again. Beside all i’d do would sit here and reread some books i hard meant to. After some coaxing i went up with here and saw her to bed and when i was completely sure she was out i made for the door.
I needed a weapon and i searched around and found my old bat leaning against the porch. I swung it a few time the check the weight, and reeled from the pain in my leg. I steadied myself and turned toward the forest. I my looked up at the window to my bedroom where my wife was sleeping. I considered staying but the word “subjugate” again rang through my head. I shook it off and limped my way toward my fate.
5 - Confrontation I steadied myself on my tree and looked up at the sky. It was turning a blue hue, so it must’ve been morning. Progress through the woods was slow to this point, due to my leg, but i was confident that i was close to the hot spring. I moved to stand and heard a horrible crunching sound just ahead, maybe two hundred feet. Well at least I knew I was heading the right way. I finished standing and carefully moved toward the location the sound had come from. I reached a thick bush and slowly moved the branches aside to peer through to what lay beyond. Not to my surprise it was the hot spring just as I remembered it, with its three pools and small overhang on far side. Although last time there wasn't an abundance of blood. I scanned the pools for any sign of the creature and spotted him by the pool partially under the overhang at the far side. I wasn't sure at first because a lot more of it we missing. Only the left leg, right arm, upper third of the torso, and half of the face was left. Everything that was left was connected with veins hanging and slithering, dripping with fresh blood. I made an effort to conceal my breathing and moved into the clearing to see if I could spy the egg. The being was busy messing with the corpse of a deer, which I assumed was the source of the sound. I reached the first pool of the three and strained my vision to the pool it was standing near. There are the bottom I made out the familiar shape of the egg. It's void like color a stark contrast to the blue of the water. At this point i didn't really have a plan beyond smashing the thing and bashing he creature over the head till it stopped moving, so i tried to thing of a good strategy as I moved to get closer, but pain shot of my leg and caused me to stumble. For a split second I wondered if I was heard. That question was answered with a deer carcass being hurled at me. I ducked and It narrowly missed my head. I looked up directly into, what had been, my friends eyes. They were Turning dark due to the blood in them and they didn't look like they were working all to well anymore. The creature gurgled and shrieked in a tone that rattled my teeth. Then in that familiar deep tone it spoke. “You fool I warned you to stay away, now I will ensure a slow painful death at my hands and you will rot here unknown and worthless!” it lunged at me, tendrils wiggling in the air. I took a breath and brought the bat in an upward swing which landed under what was left of its chin. It Squealed in pain, veins writhing and fell backwards into the middle pool. I moved, as fast as my leg would let me, toward the egg. When I reached the pool I heard splashing behind me and knew my time was short I wound back for the attack, but my bat was stopped on the backswing. I turned my head and the monster was holding it in place, with it’s remaining arm. I pulled at the bat to free it but with no luck and it's tendril arm wrapped around my throat. I struggled to breathe as it dug into my skin and the beast laughed in it’s deep horrible tone. “Did you think you could stop me?! I've conquered dozen of worlds and no puny creature such as you will stop me!” I was beginning to black out and had to do something. I let go of the bat, reached up to its face, and gouged my thumbs into its eyes. He stumbled back in agony, releasing my throat. This was my chance I grabbed the bat and with a mighty swing I brought it down on the egg in the pool. It burst with such force I was thrown back into the rock wall nearby. A wave of what looked like the static, came towards me and for a moment my vision was filled with it. I rubbed my eyes and as they cleared I could see a shadow of some sort leave me and go up into the sky. It reminded me of smoke, constantly moving, but jet black like a hole in reality. I blinked baffled at the sight and turned to look at where the creature was, and there too I saw a shadow like presence surround it. It continued to write in pain, then stopped suddenly and with its empty sockets stared into my eyes and dissolved into nothing. All that was left was the shadow, and from it emanated that all to familiar tone that chilled me to my core. “You may have stopped me for now but I have more children and I will come for you mark my words worthless creature!” and in the blink of an eye it vanished. All was quiet and I relished in my triumph of the danger to our planet for for as long as my body would allow. Because at that moment I passed out from blood loss.
6 - Resolution
I was awakened by my wife at what appeared to be midday, given the light. She harshly scolded me and only found me do to my interest in the hot spring last night. She finished by saying I should have a least waited for the doctor. She commented on the fact that I looked worse and I told her i would explain everything when we got home but she should know that I dealt with the creature who killed the cat. She looked at me puzzled for a moment and asked what i meant. I repeated want I had said. Then she informed me that she had found the cat this morning under the wardrobe in the attic, when she checked it for me. I paused for a moment and began to chuckle, although the pain kept me from laughing too hard. Oh well at least I saved the earth I thought. She helped me up and we headed home, under the light a new day, happy, in pain, but mildly confident that, despite the threat, I could probably handle it if that thing decided to come back. Maybe.
I've always been fascinated with the moon I'm not entirely sure why but it might have something to do with the fact that I've never seen it. it's been at least a hundred years since the original moon was wiped from the sky by a meteor so the concept of seeing it would have been really breathtaking. Don't be confused we still have a moon, you need one for the tides and such. it's man-made and clearly shows the lack of imagination that one would have, trying to make a replica of the Moon. No for me the romance of seeing the real moon would have been something spectacular. So that's why when suddenly there was a much smaller replica of the Moon floating about 150 meters above my house unmoving for two weeks I was a little curious. To be honest I didn't notice it for the first few days.
One day children were loitering on my lawn, staring up at the sky and chatting amongst themselves. I thought they were doing some weird new fad. Creep out the weird writer that hardly leaves his home, something like that. After telling them to leave, my neighbor then asked if I had looked at the sky above my house recently. I followed his gaze and low and behold there was the moon. From then on that Moon took up most of my attention. I kept watching it to see if it would move or go anywhere but it never did. It just stayed that constant height above my house. At one point I attempted to throw a rock at it but it didn't do much, just bounced off and flew over the neighbor's fence and hit their dog. Which led to an awkward conversation about throwing rocks at the neighborhood watch meeting.
At about the 3-week mark I'd finally gotten sick of seeing it above my house and decided to do something about it. I asked a friend of mine who worked at the fire department if he could bring a truck over. He was confused at first but after I explained the situation, he agreed on the basis of seeing it for himself and we arranged to for him to come over the following day. When he arrived I went out to help him set up the ladder. It was quite finicky to get in place but when it was leaning against the orb itself, we made sure it was stable and I asked him to keep watch as I climbed. The climbing was perilous but I had confidence that at least getting near it might give me some answer as to why it was there, or at the very least what it was. Maybe I could even persuade it to move or pull it down and use it as a lawn ornament, at least until l the homeowners association demanded I get rid of it. As I got near I could clearly make out all the craters and divots. It was a very detailed copy despite only being slightly taller me. I marveled for a moment as I studied it. It wasn't the real moon but it was accurate enough that I didn't care. After a few minutes my friend shouted up at me asking if I thought it could be moved. That brought me out of my daze and I shouted back that I'd try. I reared back and prepared a good but safe shove. As my hands made contact they went straight into it with no resistance and my momentum carried me through. There was darkness for a brief moment and then an intense light from all around me. A cacophony of noises coming from all sides drowning out all thought. If felt like eons had passed since I had seen or heard anything. Then the noises became more distinct and out of the light a shape appeared. It made a sound towards me, one of which I couldn't understand. I inquired as to what it wanted and as my eyes and ears adjusted, I could just about make out its tones. As the light faded to a normal level I could see that I was on a stage, and the shadow faded into a humanoid creature. With green skin and bulbous eyes and with a voice like the smooth velvet of a radio announcer it spoke, “Hello, human you are the next contestant on ‘How Many Florbz’!” Dumbfounded I stood in silence, mouth agape. Again the creature spoke, “Are you ready to get ‘Florbulated’!?” Finally I snapped back and inquired as to what in the world was happening and why there was a moon above my house. “You're on the galaxy’s hottest game show and as for the moon that’s how we get contestants. Speaking of which you took long enough, now let's get ‘Florbin’!’”
Needless to say I lost on “How Many Florbz”. (I don’t even know what a Florb is) But as a consolation prize they gave me a tiny replica of the Moon. I keep it on my mantle as a talking point. My friend from the fire department comes over every now and then to look at it and we reminisce about the time I lost the galaxy’s most popular game show. Not the that I'm bitter.
As the rain streaked down the broken window, Devin took a look outside. This gave him a perfect view of the ominous glow that has been chasing him. It was then that he decided to review the series of events that led him to this situation, alone in an abandoned building waiting for fate to take its course. It started like any other day. The sun rose, the birds sang, and several hours later Devin decided to roll out of bed. It had been a few months since he had lost his job and in that time Devin found that waking well after noon was more comfortable than getting up at the crack of dawn, as he was previously forced to for work. Wiping the sleep from his eyes Devin decided to check his messages. This proved to be a difficult task as his phone had received a huge crack when Devin was forcefully removed from a bar two weekends ago. After fumbling around with his phone for a few minutes Devin managed to get his messages open. As he was perusing the usual messages, threats from x-girlfriends, his mother telling about a job opportunity, and his friend telling him about their business trip, one caught his attention. It was from a number he didn't recognize and the preview text just said “READ IMMEDIATELY” in all caps.
Intrigued Devin open the message, “READ IMMEDIATELY You don't know me but I know you, Devin, and you are in danger. Someone or something is going to be at your house today I don't know when but if i had to guess probably around 2:00pm. It’s important that…”
Devin glanced at the clock on his cracked phone, it looked like it said 1:52 so he still had a little time.
He continued reading, “..you leave as soon as possible. There is a location in the woods outside of your town that should work as a hiding place, just don’t think about it or it with find you, and under no circumstance should you…”
BANG!! Devin’s reading was stopped abruptly when a loud banging sound was made on the wall across the room. He waited silently as he checked his phone. 2:07. Devin slapped himself in the face audibly. The time must have been 1:57 when he checked, or course this would happen, he always had bad luck like this, it had just never been this detrimental or important. BANG!! This one was louder and more to the right of the room, closer to where Devin was sitting. Whatever or whoever it was it must have heard the facepalm. Devin made a split second decision. He felt around nearby and threw the first thing he felt that was heavy enough at the far wall. As the it hit the wall with a thud and a hiss Devin wondered if his cat would forgive him later. He didn’t have much pondering time as Devin quickly ran out of his bedroom and rushed toward and then out of the front door to his apartment.
While running away from his apartment Devin decided to look back and maybe catch a glance at whatever it was that was outside his room. Aside from the rather large scratch in his car, there wasn’t anything abnormal he could make out around his apartment, just an abnormally bright light coming from around the corner of the building. That’s not out of the realm of possibility, one of his neighbors might have left their brights on over night, but as Devin turned back to focus on where he was going he noticed the light shift around the building towards him. It was what was outside his wall. That was it, so he kept running hoping it wouldn’t keep up. Every Now and then he would stop around a corner or behind some dense foliage to hide and catch his breath, but every time he did that was a faint humming noise, that kept getting closer. Devin would peak out and sure enough he could see the faint light catching up just out of view. By the time he had made it out of town it was overcast and getting darker. Devin knew where his mysterious savior was sending him. Infact a lot of people knew the place, an abandoned school from when the town had been a was only known for it’s logging and giant statue of a beaver. As he approached the building Devin fell flat on his face. Rolling over he noticed he had tripped over old textbook sticking out of the ground. It was actually impressive he hadn’t tripped up to this point, being as clumsy as he was.
Nevertheless the position that Devin was in allowed him a perfect view of the forest from which he'd come through. And peeking through the trees was the faint approaching like. It was starting to rain, so he quickly got up and he in the building and headed upstairs, remembering that he that the high ground was more advantages. As his climbed and looked out the window to the woods, Devin Tried to remember where he had learned that, maybe from a movie. As the rain streaked down the broken window, Devin took a look outside. This gave him a perfect view of the ominous glow that has been chasing him.
It was then that he remembered the words from the message, “... just don’t think about it or it with find you…”.
That why it was just outside, Devin had been thinking about it the whole time, it was tracking him through his thoughts. He tried to stop thinking about it and focus on other things like where he had heard about the high ground thing . The light dimmed outside as he focused on remembering. Then he remembered and felt stupid for forgetting, it was from Sta….. SCREEEEE!! A loud shrieking noise cut of his train of thought. It was the light, Devin guessed, he leaned out the window and saw the light was fading. It receded to a single point and the flashed. The there on the forest floor was a solid black sphere and… his x-girlfriend? He waved him to come down, so Devin went downstairs and out to meet her. Devin questioned why she was there.
“I’m sorry Devin.” she started, “I accidently released this thing from the lab i work at and it latched onto my feelings toward you.” Devin was opened his mouth, but was cut off.
“It’s a Fheltrar, my supervisor told me after i let it out. It feeds on feelings and then acts on them. I’m happy you actually listened to my advice this time or else it might have killed you and evolved.”
Devin got flustered and was about to argue about the implications that he never listed to her and yell about possibly dying to something that his x-girlfriend had inadvertently sent after him, but was again cut off.
“I’d love to argue with you right here but could you pick that that up..” pointing at the orb, “...and follow me back to the lab. My supervisor will probably want to talk to you. Devin Shook with mild anger, but calmed down picked up the orb, which was still warm, and said:
I had always thought my death would’ve been interesting or at the very least impactful. Lying in a bed surrounded by family and friends, teary eyed as I say my final goodbyes. That's what I thought. My wife kissing me as I fade. Maybe I’d save someone. There would be a burning building and there would be a child or something. I’d be the one to go in and try to get him out and he’d make it because i held up a beam and let him escape. I would get my name in an article. “Local Man Saves Child From Burning Building”, That would be pretty cool. I’d leave a legacy or something or help inspire others to try to help people. Maybe my body would be used to further science and a cure to a disease would be found because of me. Then i would be helping lots of people. Even just my organs being used for a needy person, that would live because of me. Yeah there are a lot of ways i would’ve liked my death to happen, so that’s why when i died, fishing a hot pocket out of the toaster with a fork, I felt a little underwhelmed. As my consciousness faded and I drifted off, I thought of how stupid that decision was in the long run. Then my drifting thoughts were interrupted abruptly with a loud buzzing sound and blinding lights. I focused on the light and they formed words. “GAME OVER”. I felt confused and disorientated. I stared at the words, thinking about what they meant. More words appeared. “Score: 142”. Score? Was I being graded on my life? As I was thinking through this conundrum the words seemed to get brighter and I felt a slight tugging sensation at my head. Everything became blinding white light and noise. I rubbed my eyes, trying to get them to focus. As the world faded into view, I started to make out detail. I was sitting in a chair and there was a large T.V. in front of me. It had the words on it, prominently displayed in red and behind them were different parts of my life. My childhood, My first kiss, my first car, my friends and I watching movies, and of course my death. Seeing it from an outside perspective and with the clarity of hindsight it looked really stupid. As I sat there admiring my life and its failure of an ending, from my left I cam my noises. I turned and saw a man. He was wearing a polo shirt and khakis. He was talking to someone and pointing at me. There was a monitor in front of him with lots of controls and the same screen that was displayed in front of me. He reached behind the monitor and produced a pouch and walked toward me. He was trying to talk to me but it was sort of muffled and hazy. We he got next to me, he gave me the pouch.
“Can you repeat that?”, I said, my voice felt raspy and dry.
“How was it? Did you enjoy the simulation?” he repeated, as I drank from the pouch.
“Simulation?!?”, I exclaimed, “none of that was real?!? What happened? how did I get here? What does this mea… is this Capri Sun?”
"Now calm down.”, he said “You’re just disorientated. First, yes it is Capri Sun. People are usually thirsty when they get out. Second, you are at a game showcase.”
My memories start flooding back i came to a game showcase with my girlfriend. I saw they had a huge simulation and i wanted to trying it out.
“I gotta say putting a fork in a toaster wasn’t the smartest thing, neither was putting a hot pocket in it either.”
“Yeah probably not my shining moment. How long was I in there?”
“About ten minutes, goes by quick but feels like a while.”
"Did I do well? Based on the score?”
“Uh, not really you died in your early 20’s, but you get a t-shit and this plush toy of our mascot. Now if you don't mind there are other people waiting”
I got up and left the booth were they had the game setup. “Life: The Ultimate Experience” Fitting title. I met up with my girlfriend after I regained my composure.
“So was It fun? Was it what you expected?”, she asked.
“You know if was definitely an experience,” I handed her the plush mascot “but life is never what you expect.” We spent the rest of the day together and I told her about “Life” we had lots of fun, but I never got over how stupid my death was.
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