Free Writing No. 10 – Bump in the Night

This is a slightly long piece of Free Writing, mostly because I had a very particular set piece in my head, and I was on a train anyway. It’s got some violence about it, and some strong language. Sorry Mum and Dad, I only heard those words on TV, I’ve never used them.


Big Tim and the others had been having a pretty great night when they spotted the thing in the fog. It was 4am, and the nine of them had managed to get kicked out of two pubs and a club for fighting, which he personally counted as a good effort. Not a personal best for him, but not bad when you considered the options in a next to nothing town like Little Westbrook. When the thing that would kill him first lurched into their vision, Tim had his arm around Kate, who he had been fooling around with all evening, despite knowing full well that she had a boyfriend – little rat faced Jimmy who worked at the corner shop. Tim wasn’t afraid of that little wanker, though. Big Tim wasn’t afraid of anything. He had his boys at his back, and the streets of the town where his playground tonight.

A bright, full and ominous moon hung above the leafy street as they sauntered cockily down the middle of the road, daring cars to give it a go.

“What the fuck is up with that?” Mick shouted from behind, and Tim took a moment to adjust his beer hazed eyes to the thick fog that had come in off the river through the night, somewhere between pub six and pub nine.

It shambled, that was the best way to describe to describe it, listing this way and that as if it was a drunk on deck during bad weather. The moon cut through the fog almost perfectly to highlight some of the vague details. It had two arms, two legs, but it looked like the rest of it was covered in a dirty sheet, hiding its face and body from view.

“How can he even see?” Kate asked him, but Tim just shrugged.

“Some pisshead’s decided to have Halloween two months early!” Mick yelled, and hurled a half filled beer can in an arc that landed a good few feet short of its target, frothing onto the concrete.

“Yeah, dickhead, you Casper the friendly ghost or something?” Mick’s twin brother Andy followed up, flinging his can through the gloom as well. The brothers where always the first to kick off, if not purely for the fact that they knew Big Tim would back them up, and over the years their behaviour had gotten pretty tiring. Tim would have to give them a serious talking to one of these days, with a baseball bat preferably.

Andy’s can was much better aimed – either through dumb luck or the fact that the figure was gradually ambling up the road towards them, and it connected with the part of sheet that Tim figured must have a head underneath it. Now it was a little closer, he was struck by how short it was, standing probably just over four feet tall. The thing stopped as the can bounced off it, stiffening and staring straight at them – only staring without any eyes, just a serious feeling of malevolence.

“Lads, leave it out alright?” Tim commanded, trying to keep his voice steady and nonchalant, but there was a spider web of uncertainty working its way into his heart, “It’s probably some kid out pissing about. Look, he’s like, gnome height, in’t he?”

“Whatever,” Mick answered. He’d heard the hesitance in Tim’s voice, and decided now was great time to push the big man for a display of authority over the group. Behind, the lads bristled nervously – fighting and drinking had filled them all with an energy, and now it was bubbling to come spilling out onto the floor, one way or another.

“Mick, I said leave it,” Tim reiterated.

“You’re not the fucking boss of me, ‘Big Tim’,” Mick spat back, derision in every syllable of his words. The two of them squared off for a second, eyes matched and burning with tension and wild purpose. Eventually, Mick broke first and strode across to the now stationery figure in white.

“I’m going to knock your freaky little teeth in now, mate. Stay nice and still, yeah?” He said to it, in the same voice people might use to patronise a small child. He pulled back his fist, hung it in the air for a second to see if the thing even knew he was there, and swung it forward with all the force his alcohol filled body could manage.

The shrouded creature moved impossibly fast, stuttering in Tim’s vision like a lagging character from a video game, and Mick’s fist met empty air as it sidestepped him. As he pitched forward, his momentum not quite taking him over onto the ground, an arm shot out from under the sheet of the creature and grabbed Mick at the wrist. Tim noticed with overwhelming horror that the thing had seven fingers, four at the top of its hand and three across the bottom, each pointed and needle like, giving it a fearsomely powerful grip. The skin of the hand and arm was a mottled grey, dark and leathery, like something that had been buried underground for centuries and left to fester in arid, dry conditions. As soon as the fingers curled around Mick’s wrist, he let out an agonised cry of terror, standing bolt upright as if electricity was coursing through his body, and gradually blood began to run from his ears and nose, before finally pouring from his eyes like tears.

“What the fuck?!” Andy yelled, running past Tim and towards his brother. The creature made no movement to avoid his full on charge until the very last second, where it again simply wasn’t there anymore. It stood barely a foot away from Andy, still clutching Mick’s arm at the wrist. Unfortunately for Mick, the arm was no longer attached to him.

Blood poured from the open wound at the shoulder where Mick’s arm should have been, spurting alternately as his heart beat forced his life out at high pressure. His skin rapidly turned translucent and pale, before he collapsed to the ground, his eyes staring back at Tim lifelessly. Andy bellowed with rage, and swung at the creature with his fist, just like his twin had done, only this time the creature stayed still, bringing its horrifying arm up in a straight arc, and split Andy into two pieces. Blood and organs spilled out onto the street as the man fell apart as easily as ripping paper, and Tim heard Kate throw up next to him. He’d probably have done the same if he wasn’t so paralysed with terror. The next thing he knew, the creature had rushed towards them within a single blink, ploughing into them with ethereal elegance, like a cloud moving at the speed of light. He felt Kate fall to the ground beside him and saw with horror that her head was gone. Simply missing, with dark blood pooling on the floor beneath her body, and he freaked out. With the power suddenly returned to his limbs, he ran as hard as he possibly could, past the mutilated remains of the twins and into the swirling fog.

“Why isn’t anyone coming out of their house?” He muttered in frenzied panic, noticing lights on in the windows around him. He even noticed people stood, watching the spectacle of violence with mild indifference. His town had turned on him.

He heard the shouts and screams as the rest of his friends where effortlessly dismembered with ruthless efficiency, but he was spared the sight of it, as they were obscured by the pearlescent fog. Eventually everything fell silent again, and the night pressed in on him, taking away the sense of confidence and control he’d flaunted all evening. His lungs burned from running, and he finally had

to slow to a stop as his breath failed to catch, resting his hands on his thighs, the cold sweat of fear mixing with the hot sweat of exhaustion down his back. The very last thing he ever saw was the shrouded monstrosity gliding silently through the fog towards him, letting out a single sigh as it rushed past him at a phenomenal speed, severing his head from his shoulders as it passed with a flick of its razor like hands.


 

Hope you enjoyed it. The thing in question I think is some kind of ancient alien. I dunno. I don’t think it matters right now. It might become a thing, though…

D

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