“One Is The Loneliest Number that you’ll ever do.”
– Three Dog Night
“The tribes laid out their towns and villages in the form of constellations in the nighttime sky. The archaeological ruins show a remarkable alignment to the constellation Orion; the three inner circle cities making up the belt of Orion. ‘It’s not possible for them to have had the precision to be able to layout their towns and cities with the constellation Orion. You would need to see this formation from above to even see this, let alone make it. How were they able to see this? Now I’m not saying exactly how these were created, but it appears these formations were intended for aliens, probably to be the base for a gateway. No one else was in the skies then.'”
She leaned back with her head poking out from the refrigerator. “Why do you watch that shit?”
“‘Cuz, It’s just entertaining. It’s hilarious as hell! Look at this guy. His hair gets wilder with each episode.” I said laughing. “But just you wait until the aliens show up. You are gonna have a different look on your face then. Mmmm hmmm. I’m jus’ sayin’.”
She laughed and turned her attention back to putting the groceries into the refrigerator, effectively brushing off my joke. The house was filled with light streaming into it from a window. An odd and unfamiliar feeling settled into the fabric of the blowing curtains, even though the dream matched my memories in most details.
I awoke to the Sun showing through the windows of the abandoned farmhouse, and straight into my eyes, waking me from another night of dreams. I opened my eyes to, yet, another morning, wearing the same clothes I’d walked in, climbed into unconsciousness in, day after day, and ran from the Visitors in. The parallels to my former life were amazing, as well as dismal by comparison. Back then, I’d gone days climbing in and out of bed wearing the same clothes just out of the lack of desire to live life in any meaningful way.
I pulled the heavy drapes across each window and lay back down for a few more minutes before I’d explore the rest of the farmhouse. Save for safety reasons, I had been too tired to look around the night before. I closed my eyes to return to the dream while it was still near with no success.
After what felt like fifteen minutes or so, I got up and got to the business of exploration. I made my way past the empty sofa in the living room of the farmhouse, past the kitchen table chairs, positioned in a ghostly reenactment of some last conversation. I moved on to the pantry and rummaged through the shelves, checking for any food that was left behind. As I passed by a broken window, I heard the wind rustle the leaves. The sounds reminded me of summer days as a child. I would lie on my back and listen to the branches huddle and separate as each caught the current gliding over, around, and through them. I smiled. I’d always thought tree tops looked just a little bit like an underwater scene as I watched the leaves dance in the breeze like ocean currents; especially when a flock of birds would emerge, dart, and bank over the branches like a school of fish. The best part of it, was simply hearing it though – the sound of the wind – moving through summer leaves and pulling at the branches and at nothing moments. I was completely unaware of time, swallowed by the moment, wishing it could go on forever. I had always been restless, always out of the moment. The sound of the wind calmed my spirit and brought me a momentary serenity and peace of soul.
My hand slid on the collected dust caking the shelf above my head as I knocked over a can. I picked it up and read the label – stewed tomatoes. It’s heft weighed against the curve of my palm. The green and red label showed wet and moist, sliced tomatoes. I stepped back to get a better view of the other items on the shelf – all large sized, cans of stewed tomatoes. I groaned, You’re in for a meal fit for a king. Starving and ravenous with hunger, I tore at the can. With it nearly open, I stopped, mid-motion at the sound of a faint scream. Unsure, I waited for confirmation. The next wave of screaming was louder and much closer to the farmhouse.
I dashed to the kitchen window just in time see a woman and a man running toward the farmhouse. A hulking creature burst forward from the tree line and began to pursue them. The woman screamed, “Help! Somebody, please!” I stood there frozen, staring out of the window watching the scene play out.
The creature’s body rocked with each inhale and exhale. I could tell they weren’t going to make it to the farmhouse. The Visitor continued it’s pursuit. After a few seconds, it began to close the distance.
Once they locked on to you they were hard to shake. At this point, the farmhouse wouldn’t provide a shred of safety. The creature let out a high pitch, shrill that caused the relaxed tentacles on its head and back to stiffen and shoot into the air behind it. The man covered his ears as he yelled, “Run!” Another sharp shrill pierced the air as the creature lowered its huge head and muscled neck in a charge. Its horns lined up its prey, while its feet stomped in rapid succession, shaking the earth underfoot. Reaching out its hands, it scooped the fallen man and then the woman. I watched with astonishment as the creature dropped them into a sack tethered to its waist, instead of rending their limbs from their bodies while shoveling them into it’s gaping throat lined with rows of sharp, needle-like teeth.
It snorted and flicked it’s ears, while the two of them screamed as they kicked and punched at the sack. These were the first people I had seen in months – and faster than I had spotted them, they were now gone.
The Visitor headed back toward the trees, then abruptly stopped. It sniffed at the air – its snout turned upward, standing motionless. I fell away from the window, when it looked back at the farmhouse. Shit! Shit! Shit! I knocked over a table, barely registering the plates and glasses crashing to the floor, as I ran back to the pantry. I quickly scooped out some of the tomatoes and smeared them on my face. Holding the can over my head, I emptied its contents, rubbing it everywhere my skin was uncovered.
My chest heaved in and out under the directive of the adrenaline. I crouched down in a corner of the pantry, near a small window and pulled my limbs into my body, like a spider. Each time the earth shook, the creature came that much closer to the farmhouse. I should have known better than to stay in any farmhouse in close proximity to other farmhouses. These would be attractive to any human traveler and thus perfect traps for the Visitors to use.
I peered over at the window, just as a large black eye looked inside before passing. The bulk of the creature’s body slid across the window, smearing it with a clear and sticky fluid. My heart beated excitedly, like an erratic beeline belted out of the burnished tunnel of a trumpet. I laid my head back and focused on calming my breathing. The creature lumbered around the circumference of the house a couple of times before heading back toward the woods.
Slowly, I edged up to the window to see if it was gone. I caught a glimpse of it’s tentacles twisting around themselves as if each had a mind of their own, as it finally disappeared into the wooded area. Letting out a deep exhale, I slid back down into a mold of relief while I slouched in the corner.
by malakhai jones
(c) Copyright 2016