21st February 2022
Prompted by the word ‘Creature’
On reflection, the first strange thing was the discovery of the ballet shoe. My youngest daughter, Maria, one of the twins, found it on her floor. The odd thing about the ballet shoe is that none of the family dance ballet, not Tessa or her twin brother, Simon, their older sister, Maria, Kerry, my wife and certainly not me. We had only been in the house a couple of weeks and were still settling in and unpacking. I put it aside, meaning to ask Tim or Anna, our neighbours whom we bought this house off, and, of course, promptly forgot about it. Tim had built this house, along with their own, on a large tract of land in Ash Tye, a rural village in Suffolk.
A week later, Maria was sitting at the kitchen table reading about local news on the internet. She called me over and pointed out a story about a bright light appearing to fall to earth somewhere in the nearby area. The news article said it was most likely a meteorite and probably landed in a lake or some deep woodland where it was unlikely to be found. The search was news for a few days in the local news and on meteorite hunting websites, but as they found nothing, it soon went quiet. I suggested we all go for a walk at the weekend to search for it. I got the normal teenage reaction to suggesting exercising, particularly with the parents. Maria has been particularly moody this last week.
The following day was when things started to get really weird. The whole family came down for breakfast at the same time, and I went to the food cupboard to get cereal bs boxes out. The cupboard doorknob had fallen off, so I pulled the edge of the door with my finger and immediately gasped as blood dripped down my hand. I had thin cuts in all my fingers, and, on inspection of the door, there were razor blades taped all down the edge of it.
As my wife helped me put plasters on my fingers, our son, Simon, asked who had taken the photos of all of us sleeping. On the kitchen table were five photographs, one where each of us sits. They were all of us sleeping and all in the nightwear we wore the previous night. It will probably not surprise you that the line was dead when I picked up the phone to call the police and none of us could find our mobile phones. In addition, the doors and windows had been locked and would not open with our keys.
Tessa opened her laptop and searched for the local police contact information. The only page that came up was a series of black and white video clips, four of them on a loop one after the other. Each one showed the same scene, with two figures were silhouetted looking over someone sleeping in their bed. The videos showed Simon, Maria, Tessa and then Kerry and myself. I told everyone to get dressed and put shoes on. We had to get out of here.
We gathered in the living room. The only thing I could think of was to smash a window. We picked up the coffee table and rammed the front window only to have it bounce off. The sound we made scared the dog, who ran out of the room and into the kitchen. Under the kitchen table was one of his favourite places. Two minutes later, the microwave alert went off. We all looked at each other. None of us had put anything in the microwave. I ran into the kitchen and immediately saw red mush dripping down the inside of the microwave windows. The dog’s collar was on the floor.
The other thing I noticed was a crack in one of the walls, a door? I carefully pried it open with my good hand. It was a tunnel leading down and towards Tim and Annas house. I turned the microwave round to hide the window, put the collar in my pocket, and called the family. The passage would either lead to escape or confrontation with whoever was doing these things to us. I could smell tomatoes.
We found Tim and Anna still holding our dog. They were almost unrecognisable from the people we met when buying the house. Tim looked between us and the creature on the opposite side of the room. “I couldn’t do that to the dog”, he says pitifully. The creature emanated evil, and the feeling I got when I looked at it was like watching scientists perform animal or human experiments. The thing flicked a switch on a machine he had, and Tim and Anna collapsed on the floor. It then punched at something then resembled a keyboard, and I swear I saw the words “Experimental Subjects #2” flash up, but when I focussed, all the characters were unreadable. The last I remember is Tessa saying, “I guess it wasn’t a meteorite”.
Copyright: Andrew Miles February 2022