Dusk was settling in, a grey sky pulling in over a warm sunset. The day was getting cold. It was then that, walking around the corner, I found myself in the street.
It was swarming with thousands upon thousands of people, all standing resolutely still in the street. It was like they had been waiting for me; knew that I was coming.
Every single man, woman and child standing before me wore an oversized pair of dark goggles over their pale faces. It hid the eyes beneath. Even though I couldn't see their eyes, I felt the hard gaze of every individual penetrating my skin, burning me with an intense rage.
The scene before me was surreal; eerie with its utter silence
I cannot describe the terror I felt as I stood there, rooted to the spot. I was paralysed. I couldn't help but wonder if that was my reaction or their will. My eyes were the only part of my body capable of moving as they searched the expressionless faces before me.
It was something I'd searched for my whole life. The elusive people, the lost community. I had dedicated my life to the pursuit of the people, lost friends and family over my obsession. And I'd never found it, until now. Beginning to go old and grey, I'd stumbled upon it quite accidentally and wished I hadn't. I felt the power of their will invading my mind, was unable to prevent it. I remembered the legends that told of their nocturnal ways, their ability to communicate by telepathy.
My mind briefly flicked back to that morning, filling my backpack, making up a thermos and heading out of the small, rented cottage into the unknown. I was going hiking in an area less travelled but still known to the world. I had hoped to come across some rare animals, maybe some plants, my camera at the ready. I never thought I would find them, the lost community.
I suddenly wished I hadn't spent my whole life searching for something so solemn, so horrific.
Swarming forward, a small group of them captured me, without struggle, and loaded me into a rudimentary cage. I allowed myself to be carried away, unable to prevent anything.
They marched for hours, the whole troop moving as one, passing the cage between them to bear the weight. Every time I dared to look between the rough wooden bars I found myself staring at an individual, those darkened goggles hiding the horrors beneath. I could have reached out and grabbed one of them, but something stopped me. My willpower was lost.
The day had darkened by the time they stopped. Lowering the cage to the ground, they parted in complete order, leaving a path. One of them stepped forward to open the door, ushering me to step outside. I did so without thinking, my mind utterly blank.
I began to walk down the wide alleyway created by the monsters on either side of me. There was still complete silence. I thought they were communicating through their minds. I felt every head move to follow me, tracking my progress. Watching.
At the summit of the path loomed a hut, crudely made and dark. In the background a huge range of mountains stretched as far as I could see.
The door to the hut creaked inwards and a bent figure shuffled out. An old man, the wrinkles of his skin sagging, his limbs thin and sinewy, appeared at the door. He shuffled forward without a word and took my face in his hands. I was unable to look away, my eyes locked on the dark mask covering his eyes. I felt his rough, calloused skin click against mine. The reflection in his hideous eye mask was of me; the black material unveiling my fear to me. I could see the thousands of other creatures that were behind me, staring.
Opening his mouth in a gaping yawn he began to suck the air in around him with all the force he could. I felt myself being pulled forward, the force of the wind sending my hair flying wildly around my face, whipping. Still I could not look away.
He continued sucking the air into his lungs. I felt my eyes drying, lids sticking to them, uncomfortable. Then they were being sucked forward, pulling from the sockets. An immense pain wracked my body as, with one final intake, they popped right out. My vision disappeared, a searing pain replacing it. But still I could do nothing. I was compelled to stay there and await my fate.
Several minutes later the smell of fire wafted in my direction and at that moment, I knew what my fate would be. Several pairs of clammy hands tied me tight to a long wooden stake. I was hoisted up and felt the movement as I bumped along, yet I could not hear their feet on the rough ground.
The stake was pinned over the heat and I felt it instantly burn my body. Even as the flames licked my flesh, blistering my skin and boiling my insides, I was unable to scream.
Thank you for the mention in the Horror/scary newsletter 24th April 2013 LJPC - ghostly tortoise