The city at one time was the beacon of hope for the many who ventured across the waters and the canyon rock to get there. Situated in the bay, just inland from the main waterway, the old lighthouse still remained. Before the contamination, the abandoned port was a thriving seafaring locale, filling with workers, families attending church services, and tourists. The outbreak had shut the area down, with the city moving farther inland miles away from the lighthouse. What remained, had been ravaged by the weather, and lack of maintenance. No one would venture out to the uninhabited area, as it held the the ghostly secrets of the fallout, and was also suspect to have some sort of non-human activity there. It was believed that if there were any survivors, that they were left behind as mutants, and that beings from another dimension in the galaxy had inhabited the port, taking up residence of the bay area . . .

There were some who had claimed to have seen lights in the sky descending upon the lighthouse, having left behind debris floating in the water to travel along the coastal shore, and ending up at the waters edge of the newly formed city. Those who had made these claims had their suspicions confirmed when upon further inspection of the debris revealed what appeared to be remnants of a flying craft, a flying craft that had come from space . . . A spacecraft.

Reaching out to the authorities for help and documentation proved to be useless, although they were not interested, they were however spotted along the waterway late at night into the early morning hours collecting what they could at the waters edge, all the while staying clear of the lighthouse. The town folk questioned among themselves as to what they were looking for, and why not go into the lighthouse, because surely there must be more inside. This is how everything was left to be for the next eight years, until it would come to be on a warm summer evening when two youths who had grown into young men, decided to visit the lighthouse in search of some answers.

———-*———— ————*————

Making their way through the empty darkened abandoned field that separated the city from the bay area, they showed up one night with firehouse lamps, and some assorted tools. Finding the lighthouse door unlocked, they quietly stepped inside, it was eerily silent as they began up the stairway leading to the overlook platform, shining the light from their lamps along the way. Looking out over the stillness of the blackened waterway was pitch black, offering nothing to be seen until a set of lights appeared from up above. The young men huddled down together as the lights grew larger and more intense, one would exclaim to the other “they’re here” . . . Realizing then that all the claims, the sightings, and the myths would soon reveal to them what had been going on inside the lighthouse. Hearing the door open below them, and some scuffling on the stairway, they thought whoever was down there would be coming up for them, putting their lamp lights out, they crouched down in the darkness. To their surprise, they heard another door open and more shuffling, as the sounds faded off behind a closed door. They hadn’t yet made it downstairs to other doorway, and knew they would have to wait it out until the beings left . . . Sometime into the night, the scuffling sounds resumed again as the beings filed out, and the door was then closed and the main downstairs door opened, moments later the intense lights filled the air above them as the craft ascended silently up into the night air.

Returning back to the pitch black, the young men again lit their lamps and began down the stairway. They wanted to know what was in that room below . . . Using a crowbar to pry off the lock and chain, they stepped inside the lower level. Not seeing anything ahead of them but a descending set of stairs, they headed downward a short distance to where the stairway opened into a room. It looked like a lab of some sort, with steel exam tables, overhead were what appeared to be tools suspended on chains, and large egg shaped pods aligned along the walls, with smaller pods lined up on shelves above them. Some of the pods appeared to be moving in a jerking rocking motion. On another shelf were what looked to be body parts placed in large glass containers with liquid inside. Hands, arms, legs, and even heads were displayed within those containers, one even held a beating heart inside . . . Another shelf displayed robotic limbs, torsos, and mask-like faces that looked remarkably human, next to that were the faceless robotic heads . . . The warmth from the night air had been replaced by the freezing temperature of the room, their exhaling breath filling the cold night air.

Curious to know what the pods held inside, the young men focused on the one pod that was separated from the rest, and had been placed inside a cage. At that moment, the pod began the jerking rocking motion with more intensity then that of the others, causing its hatchway to pop open slightly enough for the young men to notice a large dark eye surrounded by saggy bald flesh. One of the men, although scared beyond any measure of all that he had ever witnessed in the past, reached for his camera. With the creature in the viewfinder, he pressed the shutter and the flash went off again and again as he moved around the pod and its inhabitant. Nearly exhausted from fear, but tempered with sheer curiosity, the two men watched in astonishment as the hatchway opened more, seemingly being pushed from the inside. A small hand with pink pale loose skin and black fingernails reached out from within the pod, knowing that the pod was contained inside the cage the men stood numbly frozen as the creature’s hand continued outward beyond the cage, stopping inches away from the camera and turning it’s palm upward . . . Upon which one of the men remarked “it wants the camera”, as the one visible large eye blinked at them. Pulling the camera strap away from around his neck, the young man held it just above the creature’s hand and placed it there slowly. The pale skinned hand pulled it back between the bars of the cage, and back inside the pod. After seeing a few flashes escaping from around the hatchway, the creature inside reached back outside the pod to return the camera, passing through the bars again as the young man turned his palm upward to receive his camera back. The pale skinned hand slowly placed the camera safely back into the mans hand.

————*———- ————*————

Hearing the outer door of the lighthouse opening again, both men knew it was too late for them to get out, as they scurried to find somewhere to hide. Noticing the two unoccupied pods on the floor behind them, they each crawled into one as their breath escaped them and their lips trembled with a mix of adrenaline and fear. The shuffling sounds grew louder as the inside door opened, chains falling to the floor, the beings were now inside the lab with both men inside the two pods . . .

It was then, with a sudden hoist of strength, that they felt themselves being lifted up off the floor, still inside the pods, and after some bumping around, the sounds of rattling chains being pulled across the metal bars of cages confirmed that their worst nightmares had only just begun . . .

End ~

#contamination #fallout #mutants #survivor #galaxy #spacecraft #claims #sightings #myths #creature #pods #camera #robotic #cage #lab #chains #nightmares #dailywrites #shortstories #fictionshorts #kentxsandersxwriter.com

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