Let There Be Dark Chapter Three

 CHAPTER THREE

What Did the Little Girl See?

 

    In Ameera’s home, Madam Azizah looks out the window of her living room, at the cordoned road and barricades, the police and soldiers at guard with the bright lights shining out.  

    On a loudhailer Major Tang addresses the residents to, “Please stay calm. We have placed these barricades for your own safety. We advise you to stay in your homes.”

    “What do you think is happening? What are those things that came from the sky?”

    Her husband, contemplating for a bit, answers, “Only God knows. But we’ll have to ask Ameera.”

    Azizah asks her daughter if she’s all right. Ameera says she is perfectly fine, just don’t worry about me.  

    “Were you scared, Sis?” Diyana asks.  

    Ameera, sitting on the couch, arms folded over her raised knees, feet propped on the pillow seat, not looking at any of them, she barely registers what her little sister is saying, her sweet, sweet Diyana. Ameera answers a barely heard, “No. Not really.”

    “What did the hand feel like?”

    “Slime. Just slime and bone. It’s disgusting. Can we please not? Talk about. It. Please.”

    “They’re removing the body,” Madam Azizah observes.

    “Who?” Samad asks.

    “Some men in some suits. Army. Or government or something.”  

    “What are those things?” Samad asks.

    “They came from the sky. That’s all I know.” Ameera says.

    “They’re coming upstairs, the soldiers.” Azizah tells them.

    Ameera, her knees slipping off her folded hands, stands up slowly, in full anticipation, she says, “Good. Soldiers are good for us. Soldiers keep things calm and safe and in control. I like when things are in control. It makes feeding much easier.”

    “Feeding? Meera, what are you talking about?” Her father asks.

    With her eyes closed, she tells her family, “You’ll see, you’ll see.” There’s a knock at the door and a voice says loudly, “Please Sir, this is the Army, please allow us to enter your home. This is just a safety and security check.”

     Hesitant, Samad does not move, but he’s somehow implored into action by his daughter Diyana who says, “Come on Pa, it’s all right, they’re here to help us.”

     Seeing no other way, he lets his hand grip the doorknob, slowly open the door just a slight bit, and peeks his head out. Two soldiers with their rifles look at him seriously and without any empathy, they ask whether they can come in, you know, for security’s sake. It’s procedure. Really. Yes really, you do not need to doubt us Sir.

     Their next-door neighbour also has the same thing going on, with soldiers wanting to enter the home for security reasons. Samad slowly opens the door and lets the two soldiers assigned to the flat to enter, and the soldiers enter quickly. The lead soldier grabs Samad’s shoulder. The other soldier runs and grabs Azizah’s shoulder. Both the girls’ parents suddenly stand emotionless, unmoving.  

    Ameera leans against a wall, arms folded. She nods to the soldiers.

    Diyana, she takes a look at her sister, then snapping back and forth between the soldiers, and she realizes, “You’re not my sister. Give me back my sister!”

    Diyana screams, “You’re not soldiers! You’re not soldiers! You’re all monsters! I can see you all for what you really are!”

    Ameera tells Diyana, “You’re just scared, Didi, baby, these men can keep you safe.”

    “What have you done to Ma and Pa?” Diyana says quietly.

    “We’ve put them…under control,” Ameera tells her little sister. “Just be a good little girl, and we can put everyone under control.”

    “No!” Diyana screams, “get away from me!” She yells, running to the front door but is caught by one of the soldiers, well, almost, as she slides under him and out the front door, running down the stairs, to the first floor.

    “Leave her,” Ameera tells the soldiers. “We’ll take care of her later.”

    Running down the stairs from her fifth storey flat she yells, “They’re monsters! Don’t trust them!” She stops just before she reaches the first floor, and realizes she’s left her mother, her poor mother, who’s always been there for her. For her school plays, for her stage performances, who’s always picked her up from school? Her mother’s always been there for her but at her most important time of need, Diyana isn’t there for her.

    She takes one step up, but she hears something more unsettling than any fight or commotion in her neighbour’s houses, more unsettling than the slamming of body against wall, against door. She hears silence.

    She curses herself, why didn’t I see them, why can’t I see them?

    With tears down her cheeks, falling rapidly from her eyes, feeling guilty that she’s abandoning her family, she runs to the void deck, to a sight of police and army trucks and soldiers at guard, while other soldiers flank out and up the other blocks of flats, and she can now see them for what they truly are- visible to the outside world, to normal men and women, but she, she wasn’t born normal. She was born with something special. A sight beyond sight.  

    When she was a baby all she could do was cry. Day and night she cried wailing and thrashing her arms, flailing them, her mother Azizah had to calm her down with lullabies and prayers.  

    Her father Samad, who grew impatient with her cries, he used to resent her being born, always comparing how Ameera was a well-behaved baby, until one day, both parents, at the suggestion of a relative, visited a medium, a man of holy grace, who then with prayer and holy water, pacified her sight beyond sights, and the night after the visit with the medium she slept without a sound for the first time in her young life.

    It was never mentioned again, at least not to Diyana, who has been leading a peaceful domestic life, although, secrets within secrets, she never mentioned to her parents that she still could see, but she just shut her eyes every time she saw something not of this plane of existence.

     She did have friends in school but she didn’t have many, as she never wanted to meet them outside of the context of the school grounds. There was once, where, at lunchtime, the kids said, hey, there’s a something in the school hall, teasing all their friends, perhaps just cooking up stories.  

    Human nature, being naturally curious, always needs to know and explore the unknown, but they’re afraid of the unknown, afraid of what they can’t see.  

    In the school hall, in the afternoon hours after assembly, it was dark, especially backstage, where besides the weekly Wednesday performances it was barely occupied.  

    Diyana and her friends Lisa and Rachel wanted to go to the school hall after being told about it. They walked into the hall, and backstage, where they were told all the “things” were.

    All three girls stepped onto the stage, trespassing behind the curtains, and into the dressing room. Lisa and Rachel, they were still smiling, laughing, pointing out the make-up and giggling like all school girls do, looking at themselves in the mirror and making jokes about how it would be great for them to be movie stars or stage actors.

    But Diyana, all she could do was stand at the corner, restrain herself with her arms wrapped around her body; she looked at end of the hallway with tears in her eyes.

    “Didi, what’s wrong?” Lisa asked her, goose bumps rose on her skin.

    “Didi, are you alright?” Rachel asked.

    Her two friends, they kept asking her again and again, what’s wrong? But Diyana still with tears in her eyes, arms wrapped around her, she told them, “Let’s go. And don’t look back.”

    Hurriedly, the three girls ran out of the hallway, not looking back. Her eyes still streaming with tears, Diyana walked in front of her friends, back to their classroom, and they asked her what did she see?

     But what Diyana saw, she would never tell.

#

    Now though, things are different. She needs to tell everybody what she’s beginning to see. But she’s too late, as the army has placed everyone under arrest. “This is for your own safety. Please do not resist,” Major Tang calmly informs through the loudhailer.

    Diyana screams, begging for them to let the people go.

    Alex, about to enter his car with Uncle Wong, hears a little girl screaming and shouting. “Stay here,” Alex, tells Uncle Wong. “Don’t tell me you’re going out again?” Uncle Wong asks Alex, worried for his safety.

    “Just stay inside.”

    Alex walks to where the shouting is, to Diyana, who’s about the get caught by a soldier with a blank stare, holding an M-16 rifle with one arm, the strap slung across his shoulder and chest. Alex shouts a hey! You! And he’s not the only one who wants to help her, as ahead of Alex another man runs to the soldier, asking the soldier to stay away from the girl, but his request is silenced by the sound of a bullet exiting a rifle. The bullet travels faster than thought and embeds itself into the man’s chest.

    What surprises Diyana is how the blood isn’t just a patch of red dot that seems to splash on his shirt, but it’s instead a bucket full of blood and meat and skin and bone exiting out the back of the man, who falls dead on his back, his hair like a brush dipped in blood-red paint. Alex runs toward the soldier, now distracted, pushing him down with his body, pinning the soldier to the ground and he tells Diyana to run to the car.

    Uncle Wong, at the driver’s seat now, reverses the car, the rear tyres screeching and coughing up smoke, the car moves back, and then forward to the little girl, swerving to its side, the windows roll down and he shouts to her to get in.  

    Once she does the car drives over to Alex, who punches the soldier in the face, runs inside the car. The car rams through the barricades covering the main road, denting the hood of the car, while soldiers aim their rifles with pitch-perfect precision at the back of the car, fingers on the hot trigger, although the roads are brightly-lit at the distance the car is gaining it takes a hell of a good eye to aim that far and at brightness that dim.  

    But they open fire, their shoulders bracing the recoil of the rifles, supporting arms stable, their rifles riddling the car with bullet holes in the rear trunk.

    “Get down!” Alex yells, pushing Diyana facedown into the lower cushions, as bullets tear through the rear glass. Uncle Wong expertly swerves the car in a zigzag pattern that breaks the soldier’s aim, and then straightens the car’s direction, driving off into the dark road, with the flashlight the only bit of illumination in the entire road. Alex slowly takes Diyana up to sitting position, her breath hard and heavy, and her eyes looking away, tears down her cheeks.

     “You OK, girl?” Alex asks.

    “Don’t think she wants to talk,” Uncle Wong tells Alex.

    “I think we should pull over once we’re clear. Do you know where we’re going?”

    “The industrial area. It’s safer there. Quieter.”

#

    Uncle Wong parks the car beside a warehouse, the car parked on the side of the warehouse to avoid being seen. He keeps the interior light on, and turns to take a close look at Alex and the little girl.

    Diyana keeps silent, and Alex remembers something she said just now, at the car park. “You said they were monsters. What do you mean?”

    “Nothing.”

     “Monsters like that blue thing?”

    “Ghosts.”

    “Ghosts? You saw ghosts?”

    At this instance Diyana loosens up, her breathing calms down, she starts to sit upright. She wipes the tears from her eyes. “They’re something like ghosts but not really. They don’t look blue like that thing that fell from the sky. But somehow, I couldn’t see them. Not when the blue thing came. Maybe they don’t want to be seen.”

    Uncle Wong thinks back, recalling the blue thing’s landing, the crowd of people there, the girl who got grabbed by the blue thing, her family calling out to her. “Your sister. Where is she?”

    “She’s a monster. Just like the soldiers are. I think she became one when the blue thing grabbed her ankle. She didn’t know it. And I didn’t see it. It’s like my eyes were adjusting to them. I only saw them when the soldiers said they wanted to go to our houses. And another thing. When the soldiers grabbed my parents, my parents stopped moving. Like they were under control or some thing. They want to control us.”

    Alex and Uncle Wong look at each other, acknowledging the strangeness of the whole situation, and then focus their attention on the little girl, whose name escapes them. “I’m Alex.”

    “And I’m Uncle Wong.”

    “Diyana She pauses, making sure the introductions are done. She carries on, “Those soldiers, they attacked my family. They’re gonna take over everything now, take over everyone.”

     “The whole city,” Alex adds.

     Uncle Wong contemplates the situation and asks Alex “What do we do now?”  

 

 

 

Let There Be Dark Chapter Two

Hi all, as promised, chapter two of my book let there be dark. This chapter is called Last Remaining Light. I posted chapter one yesterday please see that as well.

Hopes y’alls enjoys it and youse likes whats youse sees🤗🤗!
 

Let There Be Dark

CHAPTER TWO

Last Remaining Light

 

    He grabs the car keys off the dining table in one hand, a cell phone in the other, the phone pinned to his ear he says with utter disdain, “I’m on the way alright! Stop calling me every five minutes.”

    On the other line she tells him, “Stop raising your voice.”

    “I’m not raising my voice, Vivo. I told you I was coming!”

    “There you go again,” she quietly remarks.

    “What do you want me to do?”

    “Your voice.”

    He realizes, from the thumping in his chest, the tension in his throat, that she was right and loosens his shoulders and says to the phone, “I’m sorry dear it’s just- I’m just stressed out with the moving, my parents’ funeral and.”

    “I know baby, I know. But what time can you reach here?”

    “About six.”

    “You said five.”

    “I know that but I was busy unpacking. Lost track of time.”

    “You could have unpacked earlier, you had the whole day.”

    “Why do you have to rub it in every time? I know I’m late, stop repeating yourself.”

    “I’m just saying–”

    Beep. Click.

    He ends the call, tucks the phone into his pocket and walks quick, rushing to the front door when he realizes–

    “Shit.”

    He walks beside the TV and swipes his hand across the top, grabbing the house keys. On the coffee table is a drawing of her rendered in pencil, half-complete, half-shaded, pencil shavings all over the table. He laments the fact he hasn’t had the time to give the drawing its proper time and attention. He shakes his head and sighs.

    He shoves the keys into the knob, opens the door and shuts it back again. He locks the door, twisting the key twice.

    Striding fast across the hallway, he enters the elevator and exits on the first floor, the sun almost burning out to twilight, he looks at his watch and it reads 17:40 pm.

    He knows he’ll be late again, and there’ll be hell to pay. Once he reaches his father’s car he clicks the car remote and within two beeps the doors unlock.  

    He opens the driver-side door, and, just as he’s about to take a seat, he hears a long screech, horns blaring, crash, followed by a rapid boom, punctuated by a solid bang.

    To the left and right of him he hears more and more horns and dozens of other collisions. People start streaming in from their home, the parks, playground, and make their way to the main road, curious, as they’ve never heard nor seen such a tremendous pile-up.

    Alex Chow, late in picking up his dear darling girlfriend, looks at his watch, then back at the road. The last thing he needs is a bloody obstacle.

    His neighbor, Uncle Wong, spots him and says, “Eh, Alex you know what’s going on?”

    “No idea.”

    “My house has a blackout. No electricity. Suddenly. And then, this.”

    Alex closes his car door and without look at Uncle Wong, walks to the scene of the crash. The bystanders, some of them just stand there and watch, while others, who want to help, are too afraid to set foot on the roads, afraid that another collision might–

    Has.

    Taken place.

    Far off in the distance they hear another crash. Babies, held safely in their mother’s, or, in some cases, their maid’s arms, cry uncontrollably.

    The other kids, they stand fascinated, shocked, surprised, but secretly, what they want to see is the blood and severed limbs amid the shrapnel and shattered glass. Something to tell their friends at school.

    An old lady in the backseat of a smashed Toyota slugs her way out of the small opening between herself and the car lodged to the passenger seat. For her, up is down and down is sideways in a folded car crash crumple of metal and leather, like damaged metal origami.

    Just as she’s about to get out, dragging herself across the granite and tar, resisting the pain from her bruised elbow, she’s stuck, when she realizes what used to be her car seat is now pinned onto her knee.

    Alex pushes through the crowd of bystanders, looking at the wreckage, and at the whole stretch of road, the debris and smoke and tells Uncle Wong, “The traffic lights are all dead.”

    Uncle Wong looks up at the flats behind him. “All the lights are dead,” he tells Alex.

    His watch reads 18:01 pm.

    At this hour in the city the sun is just a tad dim enough to see that some residents turn on their living room lights, but every flat is dark and not lit. The residents stick their heads out their windows, wondering, what happened to the lights, the roads.

    Why is there no electricity?

    Overhead, the blue sky turns grey, turns red, then turns dark, a black tarp over the window of the planet.

    The crowd gasps, whispering and murmuring the what’s and the whys, when, up in black sky, they see something burning through. An orange glow, a shooting star descending to Earth, fades in the distance.

    A four-year-old kid screams, “There’s another one!”

    Turning their heads up, the second glow falls steadily, then a third glow, a fourth, tenth, fifteenth, coming down rapidly, all in quick succession.

    The first glow lands in the distance.

    The old woman is still stuck with the seat pinned on her legs, and other accident victims are still struggling to get out. Some stagger and fall. Those who come out scot-free are crying, mourning over the losses of dead family members on the roads.

    The crowd is huddled together elbow to elbow, afraid of the sudden dark, fascinated by the descending lights from the sky. They see one light getting closer and closer to them.

    Run! One of them yells. The crowd disperses as one glowing pod lands right on the main road, landing on the granite and splashing debris in its wake, killing some on the road.

    The old lady in the Toyota, she stands no chance as the pod skids and burns, crashing against the wrecked Toyota, grinding her into nothing but burning ash.

    The pod, now settled, glows with ambient heat, hot from re-entry into the atmosphere, the hatch opens fully and inside a blue thing, a cross between a humanoid and a blue frog, with mottled skin and head, eyes, ears, nose, hands, legs. The blue thing opens its eyes, its emaciated body all shriveled up, its skin held into its bones like an airtight plastic bag.

    It steps out of the pod and places one foot, then the other on the scattered granite, walking slowly to the crowd a few meters away, who take a step back for every step forward the blue thing takes.  

    After five steps of this non-reciprocal dance, too weak, it falls to its side, but its fall is barely stopped by its elbow, which gets scraped because of it. It’s eyes look at the crowd, the soulful, merciful stare pleading for mercy. The eyes seem to be saying please, help, please, but another part of him however, looks off, wanting of something, needing something.

    The crowd doesn’t know whether to help or flee. A teenage girl with a goodie sweater takes a step closer, against the wishes of her parents. This gives the others in the crowd the confidence to follow, inspired by her lack of fear but they mistake that courage for what it actually is; a strange curiosity for the unknown.

    The blue thing’s pale blue lips gap open slightly, and it croaks a sentence, a pathetic version of “I come in peace”, the words squeaking its way out its vocal cords. It pushes itself up using its uninjured hand.

    It’s on its knees and slowly but steadily its back on two feet. He staggers to the one person closest to him, the girl with the goodie sweater. The goodie lady, she backs away, one, two steps back, gaining to make a distance away from it. It jumps to her using it’s last ounce of strength, the crowd gasps but still too weak. It falls back an arm’s length away from her, its fingers land and thud beside her ankle, gripping it deep into the meat, caressing the anklebone.

    It groans, looking at her, its eyes close slowly and never open again.

    The hoodie girl doesn’t kick away the hand around her ankle. Instead she stands the way a statue would stand and closes her eyes in disgust, but second later smiles in elation. She raises her leg, realizing the blue thing’s grip slipping, its breath calming to an inevitable halt.

    Alex and Uncle Wong ask her if she’s all right. After a few coughs, she calms herself enough to say I’m fine, don’t worry about me, please. I’m. All. Right.  

    How many light bulbs does it take to replace the sun? Instead of nightfall, sun fall, people point to the sky and the lack of light in their flats is now made painfully obvious and available light is only a reminder of the accidents around them— the flames of the burning cars on the street, and the ambient glow of their cell phones, a cell-by-light march, back to their flats, some pressing the elevator buttons and hoping it would, might just–

    “Same here. Can’t work,” a man says, his son and wife beside him. Alex stays behind, looking at the crowd dispersing, moving upstairs and he tells Uncle Wong, “I’ve got to find my girlfriend.” He finds her number on speed dial, the phone in his ear and there’s a beep, not a ring tone. He takes a look at the screen but notices that all the reception bars are dead.

    He shouts to everybody and no one, “The phone lines are dead!” Whoever’s left in the crowd tries to call with their phones and it’s the same beep again and again.

    The girl with the hood steps over the blue hand with a growing indifference unbecoming of any human being in light of the present situation.  

    “Camera?” A voice calls her. “Camera?” The voice says again. A voice trailing with cell phone lights, beneath the lights footsteps crushing gravel in quick shuffled steps calling her name again and again, at first calmly and then frantically.

    “I’m here,” Camera picks up her cell phone from her jeans pocket, waving it above her head with arm outstretched high.

    The frantic voice is overcome with joy. The voice walks quickly one ambient glow cell phone in hand, followed by two more behind her.

    The voice raises its phone up to face level, the glow casting a canvas of texture, a once smooth face ravaged by age, each line a mark of experience, marks she’s earned in her lifetime. Framing the face is a tiding, a headdress of cool blue and beside her are her younger daughter Diana and her husband Salad, the other two moving cell phone lights.

    “See? I told you she’ll be alright,” Diana tells her mother.

    “Come on, let’s go,” Salad tells all of them.

    Camera, she raises her knees, slowly lifting one foot, striding forward and landing it, then preceding with t he other foot in the same manner, keeping her cell phone in her pocket. By now the parking lot is almost empty with only Alex, Uncle Wong and a few others still there, looking at the blue thing on the ground, their cell phones glowing against its sad face, their knees almost touching the ground to observe.

    Uncle Wong looks at the blue thing’s diamond-like eyes, its shriveled skin and asks, “What is it?” Bringing the phone closer to its face, Alex, although knowing he is about to state the obvious tells Uncle Wong, “It’s not from here that’s for sure.”

    “But look at it. It’s a him, I’m sure. He looks like a blue frog-man.” Alex stares at the Fogy’s face and thinks long and hard and then he asks, “Hey Uncle Wong. Help me shine your phone light there.”

    “What? Like this?” Uncle Wong, with his cell above Fogy’s face, while Alex fiddles with the controls of his phone, tapping buttons with a lightning-quickness that still baffles Uncle Wong, whose phone, a basic model with just the call and text messaging functions, is already too complicated for him to operate.

    “What you doing, ah?” Asks Uncle Wong while shifting his legs to a more comfortable position.  

    “Turning on night mode.”

    “Camera, eh?”

    “Yeah. Stay still Uncle Wong.”

    “I’m old. You expect me to squat like this for how long?”

    “Just a while. OK. Keep the light there.” Alex points the camera-phone at Fogy’s face, steadying his hand, his finger on the camera button, and the flash on his phone shining on Fogy’s face. Hold it. Hold it. Snap. Click, Saved in memory. He does this again a few more times and Uncle Wong stands up and stretches his legs, bends back and releases from deep down inside him- a loud groan.  

    Alex admonishes him with a, “Hey, what are you doing?” To which Uncle Wong tells him, “When you turn sixty you try to squat and then you tell me what’s it like. You’ll see.”  

    “All right, all right,” Alex grumbles, standing up, reviewing his pictures, while behind him the remaining few others from the crowd also begin snapping pictures.

     He shows Uncle Wong the pictures- close ups of Fogy’s head, its eyes, its torso, the contours of it’s shriveled skin, its gaping wide mouth.

    “What are you going to do with them? The pictures I mean?”

    “Don’t know. Sell, maybe.”

    The keys dangle from Mrs. Azusa’s hand and find their way to the door keyhole; the keys then turn clockwise, with her fingers twisting the keys twice before it opens.  

    Her husband Salad is the first to walk inside. He removes his shoes and leaves them at the doorstep places his hand on the wall, feeling for the switches. His fingers find them and he presses the switches to its on position but there’s no light. He clicks his tongue in frustration and he tells the wife and kids to stay outside the door.

    He enters the house and goes to the kitchen storage cabinet. He opens it and, using the cell phone’s ambient glow to shine into the cabinet he bends down to the toolbox but he’s not really looking for the toolbox but the flashlights and tap lights.  

    He shines the light of his cell at the toolbox but looks past it to grab his flashlight and a plastic bag with the five tap lights in it.

    Going room by room he places the tap lights, slightly larger than his palm into Camera’s room, then Diana’s and him and his wife’s room, the kitchen and then the living room. He tells them to come inside. They remove their shoes and the first thing Camera and Diana do is entering their respective rooms but Camera walks slowly, not sure what to do, or where to go. The only thing that helps her is seeing her sister go to her room and then her mother and father to the parent’s bedroom that she knows where her room is.

    “Mere, are you ok?” Her concerned mother Asia asks.

    “Just a little shaken, that’s all.”

    Afterwards Salad goes the kitchen enters the bathroom and turns on the sink. To his surprise the sink works, at least for now. He turns it off to make sure he saves the running water for later.  

    His wife goes to the gas stove and turns on the flames. In the dark the gases appear more sinister, their flames hissing louder than usual. Asia stares at the flames. How majestic the flames truly are against the dark, how, she thinks, that the light becomes stronger in darkness.

    She remembers her religious classes, about fire and heaven, about hell flames, about the end of the world, about good and evil and the struggle of man, all this while she just stares into the blue-hot flames, when all she can see is not the dark surrounding her but just the hissing blue of the flames, how at first sinister, now appears to be her best and most loyal friend, the thousands of breakfasts, lunches, dinners she has cooked with this stove. Her best friend in this whole house.

    “Don’t waste it,” Samad tells her.

    Reluctantly, she takes one last look at her best friend, her fingers hover over the knob and, with a great hesitancy, she turns the flames off, and it is dark again in the kitchen.

     Outside, sirens are wailing. People stare out their windows and they see firemen and ambulances and police cars, the slash of blue and red and orange lights swirling against the walls. The firemen have large heavy-duty flashlights, and there is another truck that brings with it a power generator. In quick succession the men mount the power lights on the ground, taking electricity from the generator and the lights come on, bright as the sun.

    They remove those easy ones first, the ones that are just fallen or unconscious, not vaporized like the old lady in the Toyota, while Alex and Uncle Wong, who try to help are told to step back.  

    “What took you so long?” Uncle Wong asks a fireman.

    “Maybe you didn’t notice but we were busy! It’s all over the island we’re short of men as it is, so don’t complain about why we took so long.”

    Uncle Wong backs away, suddenly he’s quiet. He lets them go on with their rescue work. Alex, who’s kept quiet tells Uncle Wong yes, in spite of what they said, they were a little bit too long in coming to help.

    Looking at his watch again he sighs, worried that time is running out. “I’ve got to find my girlfriend. I’m supposed to pick her up from work. It’s all gone to shit.”

    Another vans, maneuvering its way across the wreckage on the road, a nondescript white van, and stops at the crashed pod where the blue frogman came out. The back door of the van opens, with five men bursting out in chemical agent suits, a transparent plastic sheet five meters wide on both ends, running to where Froggy lies dead now, covering him in that sheet of plastic while another team go to the pod, examining it, taking pictures.  

    “Where’s the lorry?” The one taking photos asks.  

    The other faceless man tells the photographer the lorries over there, by the parked fire trucks, reversing into the pod. A moment later it stops, and the men in the lorry get down to do the heavy lifting, placing the pod on the lorry. After a little heave and ho the pod, a light thing surprisingly, is loaded on the lorry, and covered with a dark canvas. In a quick instant the lorry drives away and Froggy’s corpse is taken to the other van where it soon drives off too.

    “They must have a team of others doing the same thing all over,” Alex remarks.  

   “Others?” Uncle Wong asks.

    “Has to be, right? There were other lights in the sky, landing all over the city.”

    “What are the police doing?” Uncle Wong asks, his eyes on the road.  

    What the police are doing, in fact, is cordoning off the roads, placing cones and the army, they’re raising wheeled barricades and locking them down, sentries in place armed with M-16 rifles, making sure we’re all safe. Nobody gets out and nobody gets in. Each and every constituency is covered; everybody is safe from these intruders from beyond the stars.  

    Alex runs to the soldiers screaming and asking, “What’s the meaning of all this, I’ve got a girlfriend I got to see, come on, open the gates!” But they don’t care, it’s as if he’s invisible to them, until a Commanding Officer comes to him directly.

    “We have direct orders to seal the areas, Sir.”

    “I’m sorry to disrespect, Sir, but some of us were supposed to meet and fetch people. At the airport, no less. I have to be sure.”

    “What’s your name brother?”

    “Chow. Alex Chow.”

    “I’m Major Tang. Now Mr. Chow, you have my word that you’re… girlfriend was it? Yes well, you have my assurance that she is safe. In fact the airport is one of our highest priorities in terms of security.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Yes. I believe we have an understanding Mr. Chow?”

    Alex is eye to eye with the Major and the Major’s hand is extended in an expecting handshake, waiting for Alex’s hand to make the agreement complete. Reluctantly, Alex shakes the Major’s hand, gripping it firmly, never taking his eyes away from the Major. “Yes we do, major. Yes we do.”

    He lets go of the Major’s hand and walks away, to his car.

Let There Be Dark Chapter One

Like I promised, Chapter one of Let There Be Dark! 

Cue 20th Century Fox music …. Ba-da-da… Ba-Da-da-da-da-duh-da! Wah-wah-way-wah….Wah-wah-way-wah….duh da da dummm…. Tssss…..

CHAPTER ONE

Prelude to Darkness

 

In the infinite blackness of space the giant awakens.  

    He has journeyed for centuries, alone in his spherical ship, crossing galaxies in search of knowledge. Even with the technologies available to him in his ship, the universe itself is too vast, he fears, for him to explore it in his lifetime.

    When the cosmos were young he began building his cosmic ark, his thirst for knowledge so voracious that he built his ark in the span of mere centuries, aware that within that time he would have learned much had his ship been built already.

    His greatest regret was if only had he done it sooner, he would have glimpsed the birth of a star, the beginnings of a black hole. But the universe works in the span of millennia, not minutes and once he began his travels he felt relieved, because he wasn’t missing too much. He had seen planets at war and the destruction of worlds, infants sent across galaxies to become immigrant saviours of their adopted planets. He watches constantly, but tries his best not to interfere.

    But what he sees at the planet below is different.

    As his ship gets in range of the planet he senses something amiss. He knew from his records the planet was civilized, and usually brightly-lit. But the side of the planet away from the sun, nighttime, was too dim. There should have been a plethora of city lights, not the faint flickers of dying lights that he sees now.

    His legs, a few feet off the floors of his ship, glides smoothly to his control deck and his fingers, all twelve of them, are busy flicking switches, hitting buttons and the deck, silent with only the vacuum of space, begins to flood in with the sounds of people screaming in terror. He knows he must act.

   His ship stops beside the planet’s twin moons, dwarfing them in size. The lower hatch of the ship opens, followed by a stream of powerful gases emanating along its sides. He hovers out the hatch, his arms outstretched, his body steadily descending to the planet. His spacesuit protects him from the harsh coldness of space. He has no need for a helmet or an oxygen mask. He can hold his breath for long stretches at a time.

    As he kisses the planet’s atmosphere and breathes its air he thinks, what can one do to help a screaming planet? His eyes squint against the darkness.

    He is above a major city in ruin, vehicles overturned amid smouldering wreckage and the streets littered with shriveled bodies, drier than raisins, skin as harsh as shorn coconut shells.

    The corpses bring out the worst fears in him. The way the bodies are.  

    Could it be? Them?

    He was hoping it wasn’t because if the rumors were true they would always leave a planet dead and empty in their wake.

    A body, its skin blue and mottled, bursts through glass and falls one hundred feet, landing hard and wet against the ground, the shattered shards of glass embedded in the body, through the pores of the skin, some right into the crevices and sockets of its eyes.

    The giant breathes in the smoke and squints hard against the dim flames and the shuffle of panicked footsteps grab his attention. There are two sets of footsteps. The first set of footsteps is hurried, desperate, running away from the second set of footsteps, which are more deliberate, confident.

    For the second set of footsteps victory is only moments away. A part of him wants to save them but the other part of him wants to observe and study them. Every planetary observation for him has become just another ant colony in a glass case, each planetary denizen just a different species of ant.  

    But, as always, the heart wins and he lands, the first six toes touching the ground, followed by the next six.

    The second set of footsteps catch up and pin the first set to the ground, and their overpowering fingers touch their prey’s faces, caressing them gently, grating their dried skin against their victim’s faces.

    The victims are unrelenting in their struggle, punching, forcing their way and trying to get up, but in spite of the attacker’s emaciated bodies which by all consideration would seem weak and frail, the attackers have a mean right hook, left hook, upper cut, and a choke hold that pins their victims, the first set of footsteps, back to the hard ground.

    The attackers close their eyes anticipating the same way someone is ready to jump from a great height. Their bodies slump onto their victims, which makes the giant believe, maybe, the victims are miraculously saved by a stroke of good fortune.

    No such luck.

    The victims, the first set of running footsteps push aside the slumped bodies of their attackers and rise, their bodies filled with renewed vigor, their eyes, however, are blank, devoid of any fear, or even happiness. They notice something large watching them. Turning their heads at the same time in military precision, the large, fifty foot tall being observing them is just in the way.

    Intruder.

    Not. Welcome.

    They form a squad and march toward him. From out the shadows and darkness more join the march, hundreds of them, all with the same blank stare, they now form an army, and even more appear out from their hiding places, soon the army becomes a legion.

    The legion charge after him, the fifty-foot giant, warrior ants against a benevolent goliath. Knowing he’s outnumbered he runs away, hoping to gain enough momentum to jump and fly back to his ship, but their speed is overwhelming, and their huge numbers jump and pin him down.

    Some grab his arms, holding down his wrists like nails, some lock his knees in, but he struggles and thinks, not yet! No! I cannot yield. He balls his five fingers and thumb on one hand then the other into fists, raising his knees like a drawbridge rising out of water, and the legion, like blue sand flow down and off his knees and tumble and pile on one another.

    With a sudden jerk of his arms he breaks free and the blank-faced legion are thrown into the air. He stands up while they latch on to his legs and his back. He kicks as much of them away as he can, scattering them like an explosion of blue.

    You can’t escape, the legion tells him in his mind. The legion, they speak through thought, and in a flash they reveal all of their plans to him, fragments of visions of all there past invasions flood his mind. As if just to taunt him and to frustrate him, to let him know of the futility of his actions, they tell his mind:

    We are done with this planet.

    We always feed on a planet’s life energies until there’s nothing left.

    The giant grabs his temples, wanting, needing them out his mind, he almost feels like ripping off his head, like never existing, a headache the size of the moon. Scanning his mind, they find something most pleasing.

    The giant screams. Not that planet, please.  

    Oh yes, that planet is very suitable. Take us there.  

    Never! I won’t let you!

    He runs one, two, ten paces; his giant strides gain enough momentum, enabling him to leap into the air. The blue legion, or at least the ones fit enough, chase after and latch on to his legs, the cold breeze of the dark air blowing against their faces. They touch his calves and his spine, piercing their fingers into his skin. A transfer.  

    About twenty of them enter his body and mind, this great powerful goliath, and their hosts, once gentle blue creatures, all twenty of their bodies release grip and fall out of the sky, while the other thirty still latch on to him as he enters the upper atmosphere, then space itself, trying to fight it, their parasitic possession.

    He is great and strong. His knowledge will get us there.  

    And his beautiful ship.

    Shut him up.

    The thirty blue people overtake his mind fully, suppressing his thoughts. Accessing his brain, they realize they have hit a veritable cosmic jackpot. A powerful being at their disposal. A ship larger than a moon.

    With the giant now under their complete control, the giant guides them to the ship’s control deck. The thirty blue people drop on the control panel, little people in a big ship, leaping over buttons and levers as the possessed giant starts the ship’s engines.

    Below, on the planet, their host bodies, a bipedal species with mottled blue skin and diamond-like eyes are preparing for their next move.

    A nomadic species of demonic parasites, they have their own limits. They only are able to possess their hosts through touch, going from planet to planet draining its peoples of their life energies.

    Their blue hosts, entering vehicles, travel to various hangars across the continent, and enter the spacecrafts, large crafts enough to hold thousands.  

    Establishing a mind-link with the team in the giant spaceship, they begin launch. Once the passenger crafts enter space, they are lead by the giant ship, with the possessed giant at the controls, while the other twenty are studying the ship, enjoying with devilish glee at the amount of information they have at their disposal. They dim the lights, finding the ship too bright.

    Deep down inside, the giant struggles. A small part of him wants to get out and break away from their mind-grip. He has to tell the other planet they are in danger, but they silence his mind. Shut up, they tell him. He tries to swim his way out of the sea of voices but they pull his mind and his will down, deep, deeper into pure darkness.  

    The giant ship and its accompanying set of spacecrafts set their way to a new solar system, a galaxy away, to its third planet from the sun.

Let There Be Dark intro

Hi guys I’ve been absent for a while. I decided to make a comeback.  

I’m gonna be posting today the first chapter of the first novel I ever completed (notice I used the word completed, because there was one novel that I never finished )called Let There Be Dark, about an alien invasion by ethereal beings who possess by touch, and whose weakness is sunlight. 

You can also find and buy it on the Smashwords website, but I’m gonna be posting all the chapters here daily, well, just because …

Hope you enjoy it.

Novel in progress: A Distant Moon

Hi hi everyone I’m like this so very close to completing my fantasy novel A Distant Moon… Here is a movie poster style mock up of the book, done with my own illustrations…. I’ll probably post more art and novel excerpts in the coming days and weeks. For now, please enjoy the poster 😇😇

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