Shorts From The Vault: Silent Invasion
Prologue: The Invasion
Gus grunted as he rolled over in bed trying to pull more covers over his bare chest. The old lady was hogging the blankets again he thought to himself as he opened his eyes to tell her so only to find she was not in bed at all. Gus glanced at the alarm clock and then around the room. It seemed Bessy wasn’t even in the bedroom either. He got out of bed and threw on his pair of slacks from yesterday he had left on the floor. Bessy was always bitching about him leaving them on the floor.
He sauntered out of the bedroom and toward the kitchen to see if Bessy was up and about cooking like she normally did when she had a bout of insomnia. Christ that woman could cook up a storm when she couldn’t sleep, and Gus had gained a few good pounds over the years eating that midnight madness as he so fondly referred to her nightly cooking sprees.
Bessy wasn’t in the kitchen either and that disturbed Gus as he eyed the burning pot of water on the stove. The back door to their farmhouse was wide open blowing willy nilly in the rising winds causing the storm door to bang relentlessly. Gus glanced out the back door and hollered his wife’s name as he turned off the burner on the stove then walked to the back door. Something wasn’t right at all, this wasn’t like Bessy to just up and walk out the door like that. Maybe old doc Praider was right, after all, maybe Bessy was going senile in her old age Gus muttered to himself.
He grabbed his coat off the hook next to the door and threw it on becoming more alarmed as he stepped onto the back porch. The barn was smoldering, and big thick clouds of black smoke were billowing out of the roof where there seemed to now be a big gaping hole. Gus hollered again for his wife as he noticed one of her fuzzy pink slippers at the bottom of the porch stairs. His eyes scanned the field toward the barn when he spotted both her other slipper and her matching fuzzy pink bathrobe hanging off of a thicket bush bordering the woodlands.
He rushed toward the thicket and inspected the bathrobe and as he picked it up long strands of foul-smelling green slime fell from it. He found splotches of blood that speckled it along the inside with some more of that slimy green goo. It made it look like a moose had sneezed a huge loogey on his wife’s robe.
Gus was becoming more upset as he walked along the dirt path toward the old barn. The barn had been decommissioned four years earlier due to lack of use and only two years ago did the city council start bleating their fool sheeple heads off about tearing it down because it was both an eyesore and a fire hazard. Gus had told the old farts to go kiss a duck that he’d tear that sucker down when he was good and ready to tear it down and not before that. Bessy had pleaded with Gus to listen to the city council, but he had been hard-headed, now he wished he had listened to her.
As he reached the barn doors, he could smell a foulness worse than that slimy green crap that had been on his old lady’s robe. Gus peered into the barn through the crack between the two doors and nearly fell backward in disbelief. He shook his head thinking his mind may have pulled a mean prank on itself and kicked the doors open with his left boot.
There stood this thing that looked like a cross between a mutated fly and god only knew what else. Gus stared at it as its head turned to the side to stare back with a black tiny eye. Gus nearly screamed his fool head off when the thing turned around with what was left of half of his old lady in one claw and the other half on the ground behind it.
Bessy was still in her death thrall, mouth gaping while the only thing left of her upper body was ahead and part of her spine. The nerve endings and larger blood vessels dangling sickly on the floor like some sick macabre nightmare that not even the best horror films could conjure up. It took a step toward Gus, dragging the nerve endings and vessels on the floor with a stomach-churning scratching noise.
Dust flew up in little swirls as it lurched forward with what remained of his wife Bessy. Her eyes were still darting back and forth like her mind hadn’t yet caught on to the fact its body buddy was gone and dead. Gus had heard that sometimes the mind can overlook the fact that the body is already dead like it’s the last thing to go or something.
There was this sound that Gus couldn’t quite put his finger on, it was metallic-like, almost like when you get bad reception on a phone line during a thunderstorm. It whined in his head like one of his migraines did. Loud and tinny with a sharpness that cut right to the mid-section of your brain. Gus opened his mouth to utter a string of curse words and nothing came out but a dry gagging sound. The smell was horrifyingly putrid, it turned his gut and made it flip flop on itself.
Behind the creature Gus could see some sort of machine, it didn’t look man-made that’s for sure. It was dark black like the thing was and, on its surface, little multi-colored creatures danced around as bugs would around a pile of dog shit. It almost looked like a cross between a big sunflower seed and submarine but much more sinister-looking, much more foreboding. Gus didn’t think he’d eat another fucking sunflower seed ever again. What Gus didn’t know was that would be his last thought as a tendril shot through his chest from behind him and splattered his insides across the creature that continued its gourmet dining experiences on Bessy’s head while her mouth gaped open and closed like a fish out of water.