Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dead Land Journal May 23rd 2027

May 23rd 2027

Something was in the house last night.

I sleep in what I presume to be a guest room. The Meiers had children, but photographic evidence indicates that they had moved out on their own. As comfortable as their bed looks I cannot bring myself to sleep there. The single bed in the guest room is fine for me.

I woke around midnight to Emily growling beside my bed. The room was dark. I cannot remember if there was a moon last night, but if there was it was I could not tell. Emily was looking towards the open doorway into the hall. Her growls were not the ferocious growls of a predator warning off a rival, these were the whining growls of a cornered animal. Fear rose up from my gut like bile. My hands reached for my gun, but I knew I would not get to it in time. I felt somewhat detached, as if my soul was already making ready to flee my dead body. 'What happened to the lights?' I thought to myself. Miraculously my hand did reach the gun and managed to bring it up before a clawed and scaly hand could close on my wrist. I pointed the gun to the doorway, but I could see nothing there. It was too dark. I started to scold Emily, but then I saw it. It was just a dark formless shadow in the already dark hallway. I make out no details and not even a general shape. In a more rational time I would have just thought it a trick of the light. It was low to the ground, no more than two feet tall, but big. I should have shot at it but for some reason I had completely forgotten about the gun. It was not moving. Two glittering obsidian points stared at me. Though my heart was pounding like a nine pound sledgehammer in my chest, I felt like all my blood had just stopped flowing. I suddenly remembered the gun in my hands and pointed it at the creature, but it was no longer there. In the time that it had taken me to glance down at the polished barrel of the .357 clutched in my trembling hands and back at the doorway it had gone.

Not really wanting to find it, I looked anyway. I keep a flashlight in the nightstand and used it to search the house. Emily stayed right by my side, but to be honest I don't know if she was protecting me or I was protecting her. When I found nothing upstairs I when downstairs. There was nothing. I was just about to give it all up as a bad dream when I came to the back door. The dog door was broken off its hinges and mud was smeared on the door and floor. There were little marks all over the floor that looked like they were made by clusters of large rubber balls.
Before proceeding any further in my search I investigated the house electrical control box and breakers in the laundry room.

I needn't have bothered with the generator and such earlier this month. During the day the solar panels on the roof feed the massive batteries stacks in the basement and charge the hydrogen fuel cells in the garage. I guess I don't use near as much juice as the Meiers did. The only light I leave on all the time is the bedroom light. The others cut off a few minutes after I leave the room. I can handle that. But I cannot bring myself to cut off the bedroom light. I removed the sensor from the fixture so it stays on all night. At night when the AC cuts off and the lights dim, the batteries and fuel cells are producing more current than needed. The control box is designed to shunt excess electricity back into the grid, sometimes this causes problems and the main breaker pops. Whenever this happens I give thanks to the brilliant individual that decided not the put the breakers in the basement. The thought of going into that basement with just a flashlight scared the shit out of me. I opened the control box which is on its own battery backup and reset the system and canceled the command to send power back through the meter. I have not yet been able to permanently disable this. A password is required and apparently the Meier's kept it in their heads. I flipped the main breaker and was relieved when lights came back on.

I stood, listening, at the head of the basement stairs for a bit before proceeding. But there was nothing in the basement that should not be there. I still did not sleep at all the rest of the night.

Now, with the sun up, it is almost easy to convince myself that it was just a big racoon or possibly a dog. But then I remember those marks on the floor. Emily would not even go into the kitchen till after I mopped the floor. I boarded up the hole left by the dog door. I am going to spend the rest of the day securing the house.

© 2009 R. Keith McBride

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