• Jayden Johnston

The Unknown


I must be dreaming.

At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. But as I witness the destruction occurring around me, and the only friends that I have falling in front of my eyes, I know that my mind couldn’t conjure up such a horrific vision.

And the creatures. They are the most awful things. They would almost be pretty, or handsome, but such cruelty can ruin even the most attractive of faces. And those eyes. Those soul-sucking eyes, completely devoid of any colour, ready to reach into you and exploit your deepest weaknesses, your most hidden fears. But worst of all, they find your loves, your refuges of happiness. They make sure that you feel every single emotion at once, and use that to grip you, to break you down.

From my hiding place, I view one of them transform, morph hideously, until its eyes shrink in, and the mouth expands, creating an endless pool of darkness. It’s a crevasse, and it is kind of tempting to jump in. But I shake myself free. It can’t be allowed to sense where I am. I watch as my sister is drawn in, because she isn’t seeing what I am seeing, but is somewhere else. It is too late for her now. I can’t do anything, and she turns rigid, falling to the ground and crumbling, into thousands of pieces.

That is enough. These… these things, have been ravaging our world for months. We’ve done so well to escape, moving from place to place, as everyone else around the world slowly evaporates into thin air. We all vowed to ourselves that we would keep fighting, stay alive, outlast the monsters. It isn’t fair. All that hardship, the work that we put in, just to receive the same fate as everyone else.

More of my friends and family are probably falling behind me, one by one. They’ll be looking at my building, begging for me to leave them, to attempt to prevent the inevitable. And I won’t be listening. Because maybe there’s a way to kill these things. There has to be. There always is.

Out the back of the house, I spot one them, just lurking, hiding, waiting for any opportunity to strike out at any stragglers. They’re intelligent, I’ll give them that. But in this scenario, it’s brawn over brains. I grab a plank off the ground and rush at the creature. It starts to transform, but I strike before it can complete its hypnosis.

All my anger and frustration, the pure unbridled rage pours out of me, and I hit it, again and again, until it falls. And even then, I don’t stop. Because you can never be too careful.

But something is off. It’s too quiet. Far too quiet. Quiet is always dangerous. And in this scenario, it means that my friends have stopped screaming. I don’t want to consider the implication of that. I sprint back inside the building and slam the back door shut.

A snarling starts beside me. I raise my plank, as that snarling is joined by another, and another. A light flickers on, and I see nine of them, all staring at me. Their mouths open wide. I know what is about to happen, and I can’t fight all of them. I think of my sister, my father, my best friend. I dream of a life afterwards.

And I let go.


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