Thursday, December 04, 2014



 DAD (VO):

"KIDS! It's me, Dad!"

"I have to talk fast because I might get cut off any minute. Look, I can tell by your expressions that you don't recognize me anymore. That's's not your fault! Just bear with me!"

I tried to call your mother but she didn't recognize me either, and she hung up. It sounds fantastic, but...I honestly don't think she remembers having had a husband. Maybe you guys don't remember having a dad! By the time you wake up tomorrow you probably won't remember this conversation.

The whole crazy mess started a few weeks ago when I went out of town on business. Remember? You made me promise to bring back souvenirs and your mother drove me to the airport. Well, things in the city went okay for a while but I couldn't shake off the feeling that something was off kilter there, that things just weren't right. 

Maybe it was the people I saw on the street. They seemed different somehow. 

With every passing day they seemed to get more and more...aggressive. 

They'd get annoyed about little things. You had to be careful not to antagonize anyone.

I was at a restaurant and two men started a fight over who should have an empty table. I didn't get it. The place was full of empty tables. Why fight over them? They would have killed each other if someone hadn't pulled them apart.

Violence was becoming common. I'd stumble over corpses in the street. Like everybody else I learned to walk past without seeming to notice.

The media was no help. TV and newspapers were full of stories that ridiculed people who failed to take revenge. There were shows that showed how to load and fire a gun, and tips like the one about running over a person twice to be sure they were really dead.

Even kids TV was like that. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. 

It got so that nobody trusted their neighbors. Misunderstandings resulted in shootings.

I had the feeling that the town was being rapidly depopulated. Not only that, but buildings were falling into disrepair at an alarming rate. It only took a few days to put what looked like years of decay on them.   

Whatever or whoever was causing all this must have come to the conclusion that the homicides weren't happening fast enough. I began to hear rumors that people had been inexplicably whisked away into the sky. At first I didn't believe them.

According to the stories people thought they could cheat death by staying home with the doors locked, but it didn't work. If their time was up they'd still get sucked up, only if the windows were closed they couldn't get out. 

Eventually they'd starve to death and their lifeless corpses would continue banging against the ceiling. I didn't believe any of this til I took my first walk down a suburban street. I can't begin to describe the sickening feeling I got walking along and hearing thumps inside the homes.

I'm no fool. I tried to leave but it was too late. Every avenue was closed. Small roads were overgrown with brush and trees...

....big roads simply vanished. 

There was no way out.

In only a few weeks whole parts of town had become overgrown with vegetation. It was as if the whole place was being obliterated, section by section. I looked at a map and the town wasn't even listed anymore. I mentioned the name of the town to your mother on the phone and she never heard of it, even though it used to be the state capitol.

What was going on? I talked to a guy on the street who had a theory...he said maybe this has happened throughout history. Buildings go, people go, and nobody remembers. Maybe cleaners have to eliminate the past to make way for what's happening now. Maybe that's just the way things work. I don't know. I don't understand any of it.

Under that soil had been schools and streets and people leading their lives. Now there's just...what?...wild growth and a strangely unfriendly forest. That'll probably be my fate too, if one of the angry shooters doesn't find me first.

Wait a minute, someone's at the door. Maybe it's the police. I called them a little while ago. I'll be right back.


****THE END****

c story by Eddie Fitzgerald 12/2014, photo copyrights owned by their respective owners. 


mike fontanelli said...

Whoa. So that's what's bumping the walls in my neighbors' apartment - it's their corpses trying to escape! And all this time I thought they were just having sex.

Anonymous said...

That was awesomely creepy.

nodnarB said...

wow! That was a great read! I love your picture choices too! I would love to own a book of stories like this by you. With cool photographs accompanying the stories. It would be neat to see some that had your own drawings accompanying the stories also.
The more I think about it too, the more I realize the stories would be good in any format. Good job Eddie, your stuff is awesome!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Nodnar, Anon: Many thanks! I wish I could make a book out of these stories but the serious ones use pictures I got off the net, and they're owned.

Mike: Haw!

Joshua Marchant said...

You do have something for mysterious inescapable towns where everyone seems to be out to get you but you can't be certain.

Have you ever heard of It's a site for short user-submitted horror stories.

I haven't checked out much of the site myself, save for a couple I listened to read aloud on youtube but it might be up your alley, if you can sift through all the amateur stuff.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Joshua: Holy Cow, maybe you're right. There is a kind of pattern in some of those stories. A lot of them have to do with things I dreamed when I was a kid.

When I had my own kids I thought about planting provocative ideas in their heads before putting them to sleep. After all, I thought, they might grow up to be artsy and they'll appreciate the archive of interesting stored-up kid dreams. I didn't do it, though. I was afraid I might mess them up.

Joel Brinkerhoff said...

Scarrry! I first thought it was going to be a humorous piece and then it became darker and darker.

That one picture of the girls floating off the ground and stuck on the wall is amazing. What is the history behind that one?

Thanks, I'll turn a few more lights on, now.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Joel: Thanks! I don't know where I got the pictures of girls pressed against the wall. I'm guessing it was from one of the withdrawn magazines the local library is always giving away, but I'm not sure.

Unknown said...

I wish you had posted this story on Halloween! This is delightfully creepy and spooky! Well done, Eddie.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Joshua: Yikes! I forgot to answer what you said about creepypastas. Yes, I am familiar with a few of them, maybe because you turned me on to them in a previous comment. It's an interesting field and...who might morph into something bigger than we imagine.

Lucas Nine said...

The Great American Novel. At last!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Roberto, Lucas: Thanks!