Estimated reading time — 4 minutes
The last survivors gathered at the town center, all of us desperate for our daily ration. Dark skies loomed above, obscured by bizarre clouds, hiding us from daylight. Ironically, our town had once been nick-named the “Sunshine City,” a faint memory of better times.
On that particular day, it had been one year since our entire town was quarantined without notice. Overnight, a wall stretching endlessly far up into the sky, had been erected all around us.
“How much do we have left?” I asked the distributor. He was a tall, lanky man who’d once been our police chief. Once a well built man, but now little more than a skeleton wearing a suit of thin skin.
“Does it really matter?” he asked as he handed me a paper bag containing little more than bare necessities. “Those things are gonna take us out long before we starve.”
He was right, our once crowded streets had been reduced to barren wastelands. The few of us that hadn’t yet been taken by the creatures, were just patiently awaiting our deaths…
The first night of our quarantine, we received a final transmission from the government. I’d fallen asleep in front of my TV, and was startled awake by a high-pitched beep. After a few seconds of the incessant noise, a monotonous voice took over.
“We interrupt this program. This is a national emergency. Important instructions will follow.”
Another high pitched beep paused the voice.
“The following message is transmitted at the request of the United States government, this is not a test. The town of Greenville has been affected by an artificial organism. Due to its destructive nature, Greenville is to be put under quarantine until further notice. Remain calm, and stay inside until the situation is contained.”
That was all. They’d given us the tiniest sliver of information, and abandoned us without a functioning phone network, nor internet, nor aid.
During the first night, a small portion of the town’s people decided to leave. Each person that tried, had been violently torn to shreds, and their remnants were found strewn across town.
Those of us that stayed inside, patiently awaited for the government to help. But, after a week with no supplies, we were forced to venture outside in search for food.
Our town’s center became a hub for distribution of resources. While we initially had enough food to last months if not years, most of it would spoil in the coming weeks, as we lost a significant chunk of the town’s electricity.
We regrouped the population into hosing complexes; Explained by safety in numbers. Yet, people kept dying. Day by day, another few corpses were found littering the streets. Their faces were always mangled beyond recognition, and their body-cavities seemed hollowed out.
As time passed, our community grew smaller. The two thousand people that had once flourished in our small, but beautiful town, had shrunk to a mere hundred.
During that time, plenty of escape attempts were made. All equally hopeless, and each ended in death. The wall itself was made out of a material none of us could recognize, reaching as far up as it did down into the ground.
“I guess you’re right,” I told the distributor as I sighed.
“How about the people? How many are left?”
“You don’t wanna know,” he said somberly.
It was the bleakest moment so far during the quarantine, and I assumed that I’d just picked up my last ration. I headed home, ready to finally succumb to my death, be it by starvation, suicide, or the monsters.
As I turned the corner to my community, I was met with another horrific scene. Dozens of corpses lay strewn across the ground. Their guts covered the streets, and their flesh painted the walls. If not for the clothes left behind, I wouldn’t have recognized them as my housing group.
Then, I noticed something shift slightly in the dark, far too large to be human. Not even for a moment did I contemplate escape, I was simply too weak.
There it was, a pitch black being covered in razor sharp blades. It danced gently in the shadows, twirling around itself like a massive snake made from twisted metal.
As I awaited my exceptionally brutal death, I noticed something coming down the wall of my apartment complex. It was another one of these things, silently climbing down. Then, another appeared from the alley, and before long, there were dozens of them surrounding me.
It was a magnificent, yet horrifying sight to behold. They just stood there, staring intently at me with their eyeless bodies. Then, without as much as harming a hair on my head, they just left.
Exhausted, and on the brink of starvation, I went inside and collapsed on my bed. I didn’t know how many people remained alive, nor did I care in that moment. As far as I was concerned, we’d all be dead too soon for it to matter.
Once I awoke the next morning, I stumbled out onto the street. Feeling a hint of regret about my carelessness, I spent the entire day searching for survivors, to no avail. In their absence, I only found chunks of flesh left behind, but none of the horrific creatures in sight.
That’s when I saw it. The tiniest ray of sunshine penetrating through the darkness, touching me with the warmth of its glistening fingers. It came through a crack in the wall, a hundred feet above the ground. I realized then why I’d been spared, because the creatures didn’t need me anymore. How much could one scrawly man feed them, compared to the millions that lived in blissful ignorance outside?
With the breach in the wall, I finally had a way of contacting the outside world.
So I’m writing this. Not as a cry for help, nor as an explanation for what happened, but as a warning. These creatures, whatever the hell they are, have escaped…
…and none of you stood a chance.
WRITTEN BY: Richard Saxon
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