by Laurie Razor
The tale of an insider who doesn't leave his house anymore.
At first there was no real tangible reason for it, I was let go from my job, depressed, and had subconsciously decided to stay in bed for as long as possible.
It took a few weeks before I saw fleeting glimpses of their presence skittering along outside of my windows.
Large smooth silvery beings gliding past silently.
Even though I hadn't seen the creatures in their entirety yet, I still felt a deep well of overwhelming dread gathering in the pit of my stomach.
Time has moved much slower since the arrival of these invaders; minutes turned to hours, hours to days, days to weeks until finally it stood still all together.
All of the clocks in my house had stopped at different times.
I don't even know what day it's supposed to be at this moment.
The night seemingly rolls on forever.
Whilst originally I had thought it was all in my head, I soon learnt that it couldn't be as all the food in my refrigerator had spoiled since night fell.
A few sleeps ago, I caught sight of one of these stalking hell-beasts.
When I had first eyed it, I was sure that its skin was a reflective, chrome-like hue but that soon turned to a pale looking shade of pink; the beast's short spindly wings hideously protruding out of the side of its torso, spanned out above its head and scratched against the exterior of the glass windowpane.
Then I noticed this monster's face, so close to mine yet there was something off about it.
This vile horror's eyelids closed at odd angles, its nose flat like that of a bat, ears nonexistent and the damned thing was completely hairless; no eyebrows, no eyelashes, nothing.
I couldn't see its mouth as this ugly thing's head was just peeking over the bottom of the windowsill but I now had a basic idea of what they looked like.
Next came that noise, oh god, that terrible noise.
That horrible piercing screech that just droned on and on, drowning out all other sounds by an otherworldly high pitch that almost deafened me, causing me to cover my ears and clench my eyes tight in absolute terror.
When I opened my eyes again, it was gone.
Everything was gone, the sound, the pit in my stomach, the fear of these unsightly abominations, my restlessness, everything.
All at once I was totally at peace and I didn't know why.
What I did know was that somehow it was all due to the strange interaction that I shared with this odd creature through the glass.
I peered out of the window and looked to see if I could spot it again.
There was nothing, nobody.
The streets were empty save for overturned trash-cans and cars parked at odd angles all over the scorched, blackened asphalt.
Completely lifeless save for a few large fires burning brightly in the distance.
It was eerie.
After staring at flickering, monochromatic television static for god knows how long, I saw another one staring in at me through a different window.
I knew that it wasn't the same as the first because this one was smaller.
Well its features were anyway, this fiend's head was higher than the last, meaning that it must have been as tall, if not taller than the last.
Similar features though save for its nose which was triangular and pointy with two weird holes underneath it like a freak.
The creature wobbled, its cheeks sunk in and it hollered that same horrid screeching sound as the last one did.
Its hair disappeared and came back again at will; its features appearing and disappearing in an otherworldly fashion.
What the hell are these things?
I don't know what drove me to open that window but I did and I grabbed this creature's oddly thin armour and reefed it through the window.
You wouldn't believe it but this horrid creature split in half; the top half fell in through the window; the bottom half skittered off down the street.
Both halves somehow looked completely the same which was the strangest part of it.
The second that this little half of a critter was inside, it got louder.
I reached out for it and I looked down again to see that my skin had suddenly taken on an incredibly smooth chromatic-silvery hue.
Thank god I had shed my old skin, it was really starting to itch.
My filthy, razor-sharp claws at the tip of my leathery-slick wings stretched out again towards the creature as it hurriedly backed away.
Its shrieks turning to whimpers that were somehow even more horrific.
This thing wasn't coming for me, it was scared of me.
Not that I could figure why; after shedding we always look more dashing, don't we?
I took a few steps forward and closed my eyes before opening them again to find myself in my bedroom.
Thank god, it must have been a dream.
Wait, where am I?
Oh, that's right, this is my house.
What was this strange reddish-brown stain on my bedding?
I forget sometimes that houses change when we sleep; their windows and doors change place, the fixtures and architecture change and everything that was old is now new again.
Sometimes I worry that I'm in another house when I wake up but I know that's not true.
It can't be true because I never go outside.
I don't leave my house anymore.