As regular readers know I attended Mumsnet Blogfest. This is my entry into their post conference creative writing challenge. It’s not my usual type of post, so bare with me and normal service will resume tomorrow. I hope you enjoy my short story. I’d appreciate feedback so feel free to leave me a comment at the end.
“We were going out to dinner”… but unfortunately our car had other ideas. Halfway there, too far to walk home but not close enough to abandon car and eat. It spluttered, groaned a little and then finally ground to a halt. “Bugger” I exclaim to my date Kieran.
I grab my mobile from my bag, to find I have no connection. “We need to walk towards civilisation so my mobile finds signal” I tell him, he nods and we start to walk.
The area we’re in is fairly deserted, a road on a patch between our village and the neighbouring one which is mainly made up of farmers fields and outbuildings. A quicker route to the next village takes a shortcut across the fields and we decide to go this way. We stumble across the unlit field hand in hand in comfortable silence. Then suddenly a bright light shines in our direction, a torch, it’s owner a local farmer who we know by sight. “Who’s there?” He asks “It’s Kieran and May ,from Little Burridge, we had some car troubles and we’re taking a shortcut to Greenvale” Kieran replies.
Jim, the farmer, leads us to his Land Rover and as we’re getting rather chilly he takes us back to the farmhouse to warm up and make our call. Once there with cups of tea in our hands Jim takes Kieran to make the call from a phone located in another room. I drink my tea and sleepiness begins to overcome me, I snuggle up on the sofa.
I wake, goodness knows how much later, to find myself in a bedroom, alone. Assuming I’ve been put there to get some sleep I jump up and grab the door handle, only to find it locked. Beginning to feel concerned I call out, refusing to seriously consider the possibility of foul play. “Don’t waste your energy no-one’s coming” Jim replies from behind the door. Then I panic.
I’m also worried about Kieran, where did Jim take him? Scary scenarios run loose in my mind, Kieran seriously hurt, or worse. So initially I’m relieved when the door opens and Kieran walks in. When he grabs my wrists and ties them together behind my back I’m so shocked I don’t resist. Then he pulls me toward him, slings me over his shoulder and carries me through the house and outside to a waiting van. He throws me in the back, jumps in the front and we drive off.
I’m unsure how long I was in that van, fear does funny things with time, but I don’t think it was long. I was not alone, there were other women, all tied up, all scared. When we arrive Jim and Kieran round us up and march us into a large farm outbuilding. In amongst old abandoned farming machinery and feed was a living creature unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Murky grey, and slimy, shaped like a human, it was breathing through slits where ribs would usually be. It was making a low groaning sound, and it was terrifying.
Jim told us that he’d been working his fields when this thing crash landed. It had created some kind of telepathic connection with Jim and communicated that it needed shelter, and somewhere to repair it’s craft. Jim had obliged but begun to fear for his life when the creature told him that it needed life energy to stay alive, and that Jim would be an ideal meal. He couldn’t run because the telepathic connection was strong enough to cause pain if he tried that. He’d made a deal, in exchange for his own life he would supply a steady stream of energy. This is where we come in.
The first person he’d attempted to kidnap had been Kieran taking the same shortcut we were using this night. Kieran had pleaded for his life, and been put in charge of selecting and abducting victims since Jim could see that as a socially awkward farmer he wouldn’t have the charm needed for the task. I’d been date number five of the week, and here we were gathered and ready for slaughter.
As he talked I used the time to look around, for a way out of this nightmare. My hands were tied but my feet where not, and when the time came I was ready. Jim dragged the first woman towards the creature. Kieran looked shocked, grey, and it becomes clear that she is to be the first victim. I also understood that our kidnappers are also being held against their will and doing what they need to survive. I take this opportunity, whilst the men are distracted by the horror of what they have facilitated. I block the woman’s scream and the creatures low, guttural sounds. I run towards the door, and I make it out. I run as fast as I can, lungs screaming with pain, and I keep running.
I don’t stop in the village, if the men find me they will take me back and I know I need to go where they will not think to look. I keep going, until I reach this safe space from which I can write this letter to you. I’ve addressed it ‘Ministry Of Defence” since I do not know who to tell. Please don’t ignore this as the rantings of a disturbed mind, I promise you this is an accurate account of what happened to me on this terrible night. You will find the locations accurate and I only hope you can stop this before more people get hurt.