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Archive for November, 2012

I’ve continued my Anomalosity Series of stories.  You will find “Anomolosity IV” posted below.  My fellow peeps from the Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Speculative Fiction Writers Group really liked this one.  I hope you do too!

 

 

 

 

Anomalosity IV

 

“Eddy!” his mother yelled. Go get some firewood. It’s getting cold in here!”

“All right, all right,” Eddy yelled.

A week had gone by since the black out. Power grids around the world were still down. Most people were still in the dark. The internet wasn’t working. There was some radio and television transmissions to receive for those who had batteries and generators. For those who knew, Eddy’s family for one, school was open half days, powered by generators. But not for long, once the fuel ran out and who knew when there’d be a refill.

Eddy filled the canvass sling with a half dozen pieces of firewood and struggled it to a place next to the wood stove. His immense mother, with alacrity belying her size, waddled over, chucked a couple pieces into the stove and clanged its door shut.

Eddy ran upstairs to his bedroom. He opened his laptop, which he kept powered by a solar panel connected to a device that allowed him to recharge its battery. Eddy was clever that way. He was good with electronic devices. He had recovered some of his computer games, although his favorite on-line game was inaccessible. And he had a tab where he met and talked to “Am Here”.

“Who are you, Am Here?” he keyed.

“Am Here,” came the response.

“I know that, I know that. You always say that. But you are some program someone put on my computer, aren’t you? Some bit of malware.”

“No,” came Am Here’s response on the center of the laptop screen.

“You have to be, Am Here. Listen, it’s fun pretending I’m talking to someone, but I’m not some stupid redneck.”

“Yes,” Am Here wrote.

“Okay, smart ass. Tell me something about something we haven’t talked about.”

“Power gone.”

“No shit, Sherlock. Tell me something you don’t have from my computer.”

“Power gone everywhere.”

“Where everywhere?” Eddy demanded.

“Earth.”

Eddy sat back to think. Over the past week Am Here had grown more verbal. A program could capture that from what was on the laptop and from their interactions. But knowledge beyond that?

“Am Here, where are you from?”

“Not here.”

“Where?”

“Not earth.”

“Do you communicate with others like we do?”

No response came across the screen.

“How do you talk to others, Am Here?”

The screen filled with multi-colored bites and dashes that flowed rapidly left to right.

“Am Here, show me an image of where you came from.”

The screen faded to gray fuzz, then emerged a nocturnal-like image of a craggy landscape, but the cragginess had order, like someone without imagination had pushed together geometric shapes. Something moved. At first it looked like part of the landscape was moving, but then emerged a strange figure; human-shaped but with huge hands and feet. Others like it followed.

“Am Here, what is that?”

The words “Am Here” appeared over the scene.

The figure came to a stop. It vibrated violently side to side, then dropped vertically, like a hole had opened beneath it.

“What was that? What just happened?”

“Am Here change.”

“Change? How change? What change?”

“Eddy!” his mother yelled “What are you doing with the car? Get that crap off there!”

Eddy got up from his desk and went to the bedroom window. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary in their front yard: an old beat up Nissan quarter ton pick up, an engine block, a few worn tires, and an old rusted out fifty gallon drum that they used to burn trash in. He picked out the ’98 Ford Taurus but didn’t see anything amiss.

“What you talkin’ bout, Ma? I don’t see anything.”

“That piece of crap on the hood! Go get it off there!”

He looked hard and finally saw an odd thing on the hood: a cylinder like thing held up by thin bent rods.

“I don’t know what that is, Ma! I didn’t put it there.”

“Don’t sass your Ma, Eddy!” his mother’s skinny live-in boyfriend yelled.

“I’m gonna take a bat to that thing, Eddy!!” she yelled angrily.

“Go nuts, Ma! I don’t care!”

“Don’t you sass your Ma, Eddy!” the boyfriend yelled.

Eddy watched his mother storm out of the house and advance on the family car, swinging the bat in a wind-up above her head. When she was within a few feet of the car her great bulk dropped to her knees.

Eddy looked on stunned. He didn’t see what had happened, but when his mother dropped, the thing on the car had moved. His mother leaned forward and swung the bat weakly onto the hood of the car. A beam of yellow light shot out from the cylinder with a crackling sound and pierced straight through Eddy’s mother’s head. His mother pitched forward face first onto the ground, her lower legs flopping up, then down.

“Racine! Racine!” the skinny boyfriend cried, running out of the house, raising a shotgun to his shoulder and shooting at the cylinder. It spun around crazily, the windshield behind it peppered with fractures, then it struggled aright. The boyfriend shouldered the shotgun again, but the cylinder emitted three crackling bursts of yellow beam. Eddy watched the boyfriend flop face first onto the ground, thin wisps of smoke rising from the back of his head and two places on his back.

For the moment the cylinder stayed put on the car hood. Quickly, Eddy tapped on the lap top keyboard.

“What’s this, Am Here?”

“Evacuate,” appeared on the screen.

“What’s this thing?” Eddy demanded.

“They come,” came a strange buzzing voice from the laptop’s speaker.

Eddy’s hands were shaking and his breath coming in short gasps. He plugged a mic into the laptop.

“Can you hear me, Am Here? Who’s they? Who’s coming?”

“Evacuate,” came the buzzing voice.

Eddy took a quick look out the window and saw the cylinder was gone from the car hood. He didn’t see it at all now.

He tossed the laptop and the solar panel in a backpack, swung it over one shoulder and ran downstairs. The cylinder was inside the back door, which had a large smoking hole burned through its lower half.

Eddy ran out the front door and jumped into the driver’s seat of the Taurus. He fumbled under the seat for the keys that were always there. His fingers slipped over them again and again, failing to grasp them. The key ring flipped over his knuckles and slipped further back under the seat.

“Damn, damn, damn, damn,” Eddy hissed.

He got out of the car to open the back door and reach under the seat from behind. His gaze passed over the obese form of his mother lying still just in front of the car’s bumper. Eddy whimpered. Further back lay the skinny boyfriend. And just behind him, in the front door of their home, stood the cylinder. It shot a crackling beam that pierced both open front and back doors of the car.

“Shit, shit, shit, shit!” Eddy hissed.

His little finger hooked the key ring. He jumped over the front seat and tried the insert the ignition key, fumbling with the key fob and ornaments his mother had decorated the ring with. It fell to the floor and he reached down to retrieve it. There came a loud staccato crackling. Closely spaced dime-sized holes punctured the windshield above Eddy’s head. He stayed low and managed to insert the key into the ignition.

“Please start, please start, please start,” he hissed.

With a jolt the Taurus’s engine turned over in a rattling rumble and a cloud of blue smoke. He moved the gearshift to drive and stomped on the accelerator. For a moment nothing happened. Then the car lurched forward with a crunching of gravel and a bump as it ran over the body of Eddy’s mother. Eddy swung the wheel tightly, steering the car in a circle away from the house and down the rutted gravel drive. Again the crackling, and again more holes appeared in the windshield, roof and seat back.

“Come one, come on, come on, come one,” he yelled.

In the rear view mirror he saw the cylinder racing after him on its spindly legs. It moved fast, but the Taurus was faster, provided it didn’t get disabled. At that moment he felt the left rear of the car slump as a tire went flat. Eddy kept the accelerator to the floor, swinging the wheel back and forth against the swinging rear end of the car.

“Come on, come on, come on, come on! Don’t quit! Don’t quit!”

Eddy hazarded a quick look at the rear view mirror. The cylinder was falling further behind. It flashed a yellow beam and the rear view mirror crumpled and fell to the floor.

“Am Here! Can you hear me? Am Here!” Eddy screamed, tears running down his face.

“Evacuate,” came a buzzing voice from the backpack.

 

 

 

 

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