22/08/2021 - Hybrid Organism Infestation
Everyone looks forward to the summer holidays. Whether it's going out with your mates or just chilling at home, everyone's got something to do. In the last days before the term ended, everyone was busy making plans for the big holiday. One of the guys in my class wasn't having much luck however.
His name was Kazuki and he wanted to go back to his town in the sticks. He hadn't seen his family in a long time and he was eager to catch up with them. The only problem was he didn't want to go by himself and nobody wanted to come with him. The place he wanted to go to was a far cry from the beaches and swimming pools where everyone wanted to go. With dejection plastered on his face, he came to me and asked me if I wanted to go. Feeling bad for him, I said I would. His face lit up. He said I would have the time of my life over there. He went on about how the countryside isn't so bad and how there was all kinds of stuff over there to do. I was happy for him and happy that I would be able to get away from the city and its huge crowds. We planned the date and got ready to go.
Eventually the day came and off we went. The train ride there was comfortable and smooth. It helped me relax myself. I expected this relaxing atmosphere to continue once we got off the train, but that didn't happen.
When we arrived, a woman was frantically asking people if they saw someone come in on a motorcycle. She even asked me if I saw this person. Nothing was left uncovered; she continued on about how he was her boyfriend and that he was supposed to meet her here. She even showed me the text he sent her, one which proved he was here, but I couldn't help her. I'd never seen this person after all. I shook my head and left her be. When we got out of the station, I noticed that there was an unchained motorcycle left on its side. Maybe that belonged to the woman's boyfriend, I thought. Regardless, me and Kazuki continued on until we got to town.
The first thing to do was to go to his parents place so we could drop our things off. When we opened the door, his parents greeted us in English. It felt a little odd being talked to in English outside of the English club, but I quickly got into the swing of things, much to their surprise. I actually held a pretty good conversation but it didn't last long. Despite Kazuki's parents knowing English as a second language, none of it had rubbed off on him, so we started speaking Japanese instead. When they asked me how I knew English, I told them that I was a member of the school's English club. When I asked them, they told me that they worked overseas. They also told me that they were overjoyed when Kazuki said he was bringing friends over as they were worried that he might have trouble making friends in the big city.
Just as me and Kazuki were getting read to leave, I overheard Kazuki's mother mentioning something strange going on in the town. She mentioned something about a number of missing person posters dotted around town and how some people had just left items lying in the street, things like shopping bags and walking canes. Kazuki's father told her not to worry and that we would be fine. I just wanted to enjoy the day so I dismissed his mother's concerns. I really wish I didn't however.
The first place we went to was a hill which overlooked the town. From there, Kazuki pointed out the various locations that we would visit. He pointed out a fishing lake and the high street which featured a bunch of food stalls. He was also eager to catch up with some of the store owners. It was so relaxing just scanning the skyline from up high.
That was until I noticed a small derelict village that gave off an unnerving vibe. It was separated from the town by a small patch of forest. I pointed it out to Kazuki who told me that the village was the old mining town. It had long since fallen into disrepair after ore deposits dwindled. Some time afterwards however, the townsfolk noticed that some new faces were occupying the town. They had strange customs which the regular townsfolk didn't quite understand and they kept to themselves. After a few odd sightings, they weren't seen from again. After a short while of scanning the town, Kazuki picked his feet up. The first area on the tour was to go to the high street so we could get ourselves some food. I nodded and followed him off the hill.
Walking through the streets was relaxing, for the most part. They were empty compared to the packed city streets. The only sounds you could hear were the sounds of nature. While walking through the town, I noticed a few bags of shopping left on the ground as well as a few half eaten snacks. They all reminded me of the motorcycle left at the station. Could it have been that the people had just vanished into thin air, I asked myself. Then I shook my head. Such things were impossible.
Still we continued on until we got to the high street. We went over to Kazuki's favourite curry stall to pick up some lunch. Along the way however, I couldn't help but notice the large number of missing person posters dotted around town. They were everywhere; every lamp post had at least one or two while every shop window featured multiple. I took a closer look at a few of them and I was taken aback by how long some of those people were missing for. One of them had been missing for over twenty years. As we were chowing down, another person started going on about how he saw someone being taken into the sky. Others around him told him to stop wasting time but he still kept going on, this time about how everyone should watch out for the sound of "helicopters." His manic tone and wide eyed expression unsettled everyone, myself and Kazuki included. Eventually the police came and escorted him off the streets.
Once we finished with that, we went over to the lake to try our hands at fishing. I was taken aback by how nice the area looked. The sky was perfectly reflected in the waters, the weather was good and there was a fisherman at the opposite end of the lake. He waved at us with a warm smile and I waved back. He seemed friendly enough. I'd never gone fishing before, so Kazuki had to show me the ropes. He told he how to make a fishing rod out of a stem of bamboo and, once I managed that, we went to the edge of the lake and we cast our lines. I managed to catch a few fish but Kazuki caught a lot more. Right as we were getting ready to pack up, I heard the low hum of a helicopter come and go. I looked up, hoping to catch a glimpse of it, but I didn't see anything. When I brought my head down, I saw that the man at the other end of the lake had disappeared. For a moment I thought he went out for a bit, probably to stretch his legs or something, but his fishing rod was still set up. Eventually it was dragged down into the waters. Kazuki then called out to me and I got up. I said nothing about the incident with the fisherman. Maybe I should have.
Time flew by so quickly after that. We checked out the book store and the arcade until the sun settled down. By then the town had gotten much quieter but the atmosphere was tense. The passers-by still on the street were in a hurry to go home. Everyone was in a rush. I looked at Kazuki and he looked back at me and shrugged. Things got even more unsettling when the windows slammed shut and the curtains were drawn at light speed. It was as if a great showdown was to occur.
Then I heard the helicopters approaching. At first there was only one but soon the air was filled with so many of them. I looked up. Glints of white zoomed about the sky. Whenever one disappeared, another was quick to take its place. It wasn't long until the helicopter sounds drowned out every other sound. I could feel that something was amiss and I wanted off the streets as soon as possible. Kazuki started knocking on one of the doors, asking to be let in. It was at that moment when I heard someone approaching from behind. I turned around.
The woman I saw had two huge bulbous things attached to the top of her head. Her face split apart to reveal an insect's mouth. Before I could yell for help, she grabbed me. I tried to break free, but it was no use. Thousands of sharp daggers dug deep into my skin, immobilising me in pain as huge wings sprouted from the back of the woman. Then I heard the sound of the helicopter once again, only this time it was coming from right in front of me. I realised that the sound of helicopters was actually the sound of huge insect like wings beating in the air. Before I knew it, I was dragged high into the sky.
Up there I could see the streets all lit up. I had never gotten so high in my life before. I hated it. My heart leapt up into my throat when I looked down. I tried to look away, straight ahead and around, but there was no respite to be had. All around me were similar creatures, their wings reflecting the street lights back into my eyes and beating in my ears like helicopter rotors. I closed my eyes. Then I could feel myself move. I was being dragged somewhere, but I couldn't open my eyes as I was scared out of my wits. The worst part was the sinking feeling as we lost altitude. When we finally landed, I looked around. I was inside the village; I could see the glow of the town from above the forest canopy. It wasn't long before this view was taken from me. Before I knew it, I was pushed through a hole in a wall and plunged into darkness.
Groans and squelching noises made my skin crawl while a foul smell made my stomach churn. Dazed and confused, I reached for my phone and I turned on the flash. Immediately I regretted it. I could see blood, bones and innards littering the floor. All of that was being gnawed upon by small larval looking beings. Then I hoisted the phone higher. I could see people on the brink of death lying down in pools of blood as larval beings about as big as a child slowly chewed away at them. The sight made me puke all over the floor. Worst of all was when the victims all started turning towards my light. They would weakly start stretching out their hands towards me, groaning all the way, only for them to fall down to their sides. I walked over to the closest one I could find, someone who's face was covered with a motorcycle helmet, and I started trying to pull them up. I thought I could help him out of here. Suddenly the visor filled up with blood. I stopped when I looked down to see that his lower half was gone, eaten away by the larval beings. I screamed as I scrambled away from him. Then I felt something brush against my heel. I turned around to see one of the larval things turning around to face me. In a blind panic, I stomped on it with all my might. I kept on going on and on and on until the floorboards gave way, sending me crashing down to the bottom floor.
It was a painful landing, but I was alright. I spun the phone around. The place I was in was nothing like the upstairs room. Instead it was something more akin to a traditional house, only severely dilapidated. I could see a small shrine which featured some kind of doll which had insect accessories crudely attached to it. Next to it was a scroll. It featured a series of pictures, the first of which had a large rock falling from the sky. The second was a giant insect surrounded by humans who appeared to be praying to it. The third and final picture depicted many strange humanoid creatures, some of which had wings and others which crawled along the ground. They were all gathered around another large insect, one which had a human face and an immense abdomen. Just looking at those items made my head ache. It was as if my brain was demanding that I avert my eyes. I could still hear the groaning and the chewing of flesh coming from the room above, so I tried to make my way out of the room, but that plan abruptly came to a halt when I heard the sound of approaching footsteps. Without thinking, I looked for the nearest closet and I thrust myself inside. I tried to close the closet all the way, but it wouldn't go. I could only pray that things would go well for me.
When the sliding doors opened, I held my breath. Peering through the opening in the closet, I could see another of those creatures looking around the room. It was much like the one which grabbed me, only this one lacked wings and it crawled around the ground on all fours. Suddenly it picked up the pace. It rapidly scaled the wall before creeping across the ceiling and disappearing into the hole. I heard an ear piercing shriek moments later. Suddenly another creature burst in, one with wings. The first creature then came out holding the corpse of one of the larval beings. They departed in a flash. My body was telling me to leave as soon as I could, but I fought my impulses and I remained in that closet until I couldn't hear either of them. I crept out the closet and I slowly advanced through the house. With every creek of the floorboards, I stopped dead in my tracks. Any noise was sure to bring them crawling back to me, I thought. This continued until I reached the front door. I fought off letting out a sigh of relief as I slowly pulled open the door before creeping out.
The darkened streets were incredibly unsettling to stand in. Everywhere was shrouded in darkness thanks to the absence of working street lights. Every single building was run down to the point where they were falling apart. On one of the buildings, I could see a few creatures patching up a hole with planks of wood. When I looked in that hole, I could see more of the larvae writhing about. It put me on edge and made me pick up the pace.
Suddenly, from behind me, I heard a shriek similar to the one that I heard in the house. I spun around and looked up. One of the creatures had seen me. When our eyes met, my body took over. I started to sprint. I didn't care where I was running, all I knew is I wanted to stay as far away from that thing as I could. I tried to slink through the alleyways and toss all kinds of things in its way, but that did not work at all. It crawled around the stuff I threw and the chase went on. Eventually I broke line of sight and I tried to hide in a mine cart. My blood ran cold when it started rolling down the tracks. I wasn't sure on what to do when it did; I tried pulling on one of the levers, hoping that it was the brake, but all I did was gain speed until I was thundering down the tracks at top speed, whizzing by upturned carts and more shrines similar to the ones in the house. With a sudden thud, the cart turned on its side and it threw me out into a sea of squishy items. I only realised that they were body bits when I picked up someone's disembodied hand. All I could do was drop it in silence when I noticed a swarm of creatures surrounding me. Their mouths all opened, each of them revealing a long piercing tool. Malice filled their eyes as they slowly approached me. Even though it would have probably been futile, I braced for impact.
A low groan sounded out from within the cave. It was incredibly loud, so loud that it forced me to close my ears. A strange sweet smell came from further within the cave. The swarm started walking further into the cave, ignoring me as if I wasn't there. "Mother is ready," it groaned as it filed in. I was utterly baffled. My mind was screaming at me to run away, but I just couldn't do it. It was as if I was paralysed. Then I heard a switch flick on. The cave was bathed in a dull red light, revealing buckled mine cart tracks, abandoned pickaxes and old mining gear scattered all over the place. Destroyed elevators and equipment littered the ground while the more intact ones dangled dangerously from the roof like chandeliers. What I saw next terrified me to my core.
I was dwarfed by a gigantic creature that towered over me. It's enlarged human face was heavily distorted with luminous bulbous growths that draped over its eyes like hair. It had a large pulsating abdomen that would frequently eject some of the larval things I had seen in the house. When it did, one of the smaller ones would pick up the larvae before departing. At that point, I could no longer resist what my mind was telling me to do. I started running away.
The village, now filled with the pleasant smell from the cave, was bustling with these creatures going to and from the cave. They would carry the larvae back to their homes before re-emerging to go back into the cave, most likely to pick up another one. One of them brushed past me as it carried one of the larvae. It turned to look at me and I could see its human face filled with euphoria. I continued sprinting through the village. When I reached the edge, I could see the faint glow of the town lights just over the top of a forest. I took a moment to catch my breath before I started my trek, using my torch to guide the way.
After a short while, I could hear another great rumbling. The sounds of the flying ones shortly followed. I looked up to see a swarm of them going towards the village. The air stopped smelling sweet however and I could smell something sickening around me. It was like the smell in the room where I had seen the larvae. Maybe I got myself caught in something, I wondered. I pointed the torch at myself to see what was causing the smell and then I saw that my leg had become stained with a foul liquid. Then I heard another shrill scream. They were coming again. Instinct took over. My legs started moving on their own. I broke out into a full sprint. I kept on running and running, hearing their footsteps getting louder and louder all the time, but it wasn't enough. One of them swiped at my back, sending me tumbling forwards until I lost my footing. I fell flat into a cold stream. It wasn't too deep, but it was enough to completely submerge me while I was lying down. I scrambled as quickly as I could to the other side. When I got there, my mind started racing. I was gonna die, was the only thought on my mind.
I could just about make them out on the other side of the stream. I held my breath when they started wading in. My blood froze as I looked at one of them dead in the eye. There was no doubt in my mind that it had seen me, I thought. My heart sank as I started to imagine what they would do to me. I was going to be dragged back there and then, I thought. I would be fed to the larvae and doomed to die a slow and painful death. But they didn't come for me. They didn't even cross the stream. They turned around and went back to the village. I was in shock. At first I thought I was already in the afterlife, or that I was dreaming, but the pain told me that I was alive. I was alive and cold, very cold. I had to get back to town.
When I got there, I found my way back to Kazuki's place. When they opened the door, I took only a few steps inside before I crashed down on the floor and lost consciousness. As soon as I woke up, I saw Kazuki. From what he told me, as soon as I was dragged up to the sky, the door opened and he was dragged inside by another family. I told him that I was dragged over to the village by a bunch of insect-human hybrids. He shook his head violently as if he didn't want to believe what I was saying. As we made our way through the town however, I could see his skin go pale. Another house had its window smashed in. One of the residents was complaining to a police officer that his wife had opened the window moments before someone, or something, came crashing in before whisking her away to parts unknown. Images of the larvae mauling their victims flooded my mind. I shuddered at the thoughts. Kazuki took one look at my face before he decided to call our trip quits. We boarded the first train back to town and we didn't look back.
Even when I got back to Tokyo, my mind still wasn't at ease. Every time I heard a helicopter, my eyes shot up to the sky with alarming speed. I found myself checking out that town's news every day to see if they had done something about that old village. Eventually I found out that they had elected to demolish it. There were some protests, but everything went ahead as scheduled. At first I felt a smile come across my face, but that soon vanished. Maybe one of those creatures got away, I thought. Maybe they would start another colony and return to terrorise another village. Even now I still look up to the sky, watching and waiting to see if they return.