No new fiction story this week. I’ve been too decimated by the stomach flu. I’ve gotten nothing done. Not a single thing. I thought I’d reshare the first five days from my Greenland Diaries series as a blog post, because this story has gotten me the most recognition over the years. All ten days are up for free, but I’ll just put five here for you to enjoy. This way it won’t be one massive, unending blog post cluttering down your feed. Enjoy! Back next week with new content.
I stole a yellow memo pad from the supply locker. I hope they don’t care. I need to write something down. I remember hearing somewhere that having a journal is a good way to avoid going crazy. It was on the Today Show, or something like that. They’d have to be experts, right? Doesn’t matter, I won’t get in trouble. The bank won’t be working for a while. I don’t care though, after everything that’s just happened. I don’t want to work here anymore if this is going to happen in the area.
It hit around six tonight. It was right before I could close the drive-up. There was this weird hammering sound everywhere. I thought it was just some construction, but it didn’t stop. A drumming started and came booming through every wall and counter. It was almost like a casual vibration or something. These things came out shortly after it started. I knew because I heard screams. At first they were everywhere around the building, people screaming, running, and being chased. A big guy in a Twins jersey came running by the bank’s windows and something grabbed him from underneath. Something was crawling around out there. There was a scream, crunch, and nothing else. I hid down and behind the counters. Something exploded outside, sending a tree branch into the front doors and throwing glass everywhere. I crawled to the basement. There were more explosions, like they were following me. The lights went out quickly and without warning. I heard some brakes screech and a woman scream. The door to the basement still worked. A battery controlled the whole keypad thing.
Three hours since then, my phone is holding the time at least. I’m going to hide here all night. The mold and dust smell is driving me a little nuts. The basement had a few cookies and stale chips from some old office parties. I ate them all. I don’t care. I tried calling my dad, sister, and my girlfriend. No answer, nothing, not a whisper. It was probably like 9/11 when the phones crashed, or when Michael Jackson died. I’m going to try and sleep soon. The walls keep shaking, and there are distant sounds of smashes and screams. War? The Russians? An earthquake in Saint Paul? Whatever, I’m not going to sit down here all night. I’ll have to pee eventually. The bathroom is upstairs. I’ll try and sleep first. Maybe I can drive home in the morning. My dog is home after all. She hates thunderstorms.
She can’t be doing very well with this.
They came back. I had hoped they wouldn’t, but they’re here. The sound started again just a few moments ago. Most people left their cars. I didn’t. I crawled into the trunk through my seats. I’m not going out there. I’ve got some old Taco Bell back here that smells funky and some empty quarts of oil that made the carpet greasy. Should’ve listened to my girlfriend and thrown them away. I hear all sorts of things around me, screams, explosions, and the grating sound of shattered glass being walked on. I never should have left the bank.
When I woke up this morning, the world was hot and humid. I could feel the heat bubbling down into that dank basement. It’s April? It shouldn’t be this hot. I made it outside and found everything smashed; cars turned over and charred. A bus was torn open and was stained a deep red.
Everything smelled burnt and ugly.
A few light poles had fallen down in the bank parking lot, but both missed my Stratus. A cop had started to wave traffic through the street; a bulldozer was pushing all the shit out of the way. Houses were smashed; their roofs taken off and walls torn out. The plants were budding like crazy. And the heat, the damn heat was everywhere. I asked the police officer what happened and he said, “We got attacked by some sort of thing last night, devils or something. I’d try and make it home. They seemed to have gone away in the daylight. A bunch of people died, though. Prepare yourself. I don’t know much more than that, but everyone is trying to get home.”
He looked at the bank behind me and shook his head. “Well, money isn’t that important now, huh?” he said.
That wasn’t my money, so whatever.
I jumped in my car and turned on the radio. There was nothing. Just that annoying broadcast that they test at the beginning of the month. I-94 was getting cleared of debris and people were piling into their cars. It took me all day to get to Minneapolis. Nothing moved. My phone was dead. I got to Broadway when the sound started. There was nothing else. I have to stop writing. I’ve never written this much in my life. Things are walking by my car.
I can feel their weight.
I heard all the carnage from my trunk. The night happened and that sound drummed. It was an endless collection of screams and explosions. When I got out in the morning, almost all the cars were empty around me. They were all either turned over, smashed, or burning a slow stench of oily fire.
I smelled something cooking; it could have been skin. I wanted to vomit, but I was empty.
People had looted liquor stores, stolen electronics, and broken into fast food restaurants. There were some cops around, but they were covered in blood and dirt. They didn’t look real cognitive as they were being bombarded by a frantic horde of screaming people asking them about their loved ones. An old guy walked up to me and told me that we’d been attacked again. Nobody knew by what or how, but they were dispatching National Guard troops to the worse areas. He said it happened everywhere and that the things attacking were insane, but I already knew that.
It took me six hours to walk home.
My dog is still alive. She’s a Miniature Dachshund. She was out of water, food, and went all over the floor. I had to clean it up right away. A big maple tree had fallen on my house. Luckily, my house is so tiny that the tree branches basically tangled it, instead of smashing right through it. It gives the destroyed appearance pretty well I’d say. No one else has been to my house. Not my girlfriend and not my family. The door was still locked. None of the windows were broken. The power is down, which makes sense. There are literally hundreds of live power-lines dancing around everywhere. There are a few power crews out trying to contain them, and by few, I mean two.
I ate some cheese and meat before it spoiled. At least I’ll lose weight like my family and girlfriend wanted. I’ve got a gun too; a 22 gauge shotgun with a box of shells. I used it for duck hunting once a year.
I’m going to sleep in the basement tonight with my dog. I hope she doesn’t bark. She seems exhausted, so it should be okay. I’ve got a wrist watch, so I can pay attention to when that drumming starts again. I know it’ll start.
I know it.
Last night passed slowly. The drum started at exactly 8:37 p.m. It had started earlier the past two days. We didn’t move the entire night. I slept underneath the stairs, away from the windows. I had as many blankets as possible. My dog Snowy had insomnia when I was gone, so she slept soundly underneath my arm the entire night. The basement was cold and musky. I hid my sneezes the best I could. Between the drumming was an eerie silence. People must’ve been prepared. I wanted to light a candle and look at a few pictures of my family and girlfriend, but it seemed like every time I moved, something scratched against the outside of the house. Occasionally, something walked by and made dust fall from the ceiling. Closer to dawn, there were a few screams.
They made me cry, and that made me sleep.
I took a cold shower this afternoon. There was something strange about my reflection in the mirror besides the overweight white guy I normally would see. There was some sort of shadow behind me, like someone was looking over my shoulder. It made my skin ache. I covered the mirror with a bed sheet.
The house was sticky. The temperature was out of control. While I took my dog out, I was able to look around my neighborhood. Cars were the same as everywhere else, smashed and burnt. Trees were budding wildly, along with flowers and bushes. Ivy was growing along the road.
How were things growing so fast?
Dried spots of blood stained the grass in my front yard. I was done exploring after that. I fiddled around with my phone and eventually got a charge through my laptop, and used it to call everyone. The network was still down. I listened to everyone’s voicemail. They made me feel better. I know I’ll have to eventually look for everyone. I’m too scared though. I hate myself. My neighbor across the alley has boarded up his house. Every window and door was blocked by black pieces of wood. I didn’t even notice him working on it.
Not many people were moving around.
I moved all the food I could into my small basement. After that, I managed to light the burner on my gas stove. Macaroni and cheese never tasted so good.
Better stop; the evening is coming to an end.
Last night, I saw them.
They got him, my neighbor across the alley. He was the one who boarded up his house. They knew someone was in there; they knew it. I watched them from my basement window. He had a gun too; I heard it firing through the drum. I only saw them for a second. They were shadowy, long, and not completely there. They were surrounded by something. Not clothing, but a dark cloud. Some of them walked up to his house, while others crawled. A few were even on the roof. None of them looked the same shape or size. They dragged him outside. He shot a few of them with his handgun. I saw the flashes. They just looked stunned and didn’t go down. They had skeletons underneath their clouds. I could see their golden outline. The big ones had claws that stretched out and stabbed him. Others had blades on their arms that smashed him over and over. He screamed for help. They tore him to pieces. It was over fast.
What are they? Are they here simply to kill us?
They knew he was in there because of the boards.
I didn’t sleep last night or this morning. I couldn’t. I moved more stuff to the basement, but left a few things out. If they can notice the boards on the house, what else can they notice? I thought I saw something in the door handle today. It reminded me of that shadow from yesterday. It vanished when I stared at it. There has to be a connection, you know, like in the movies.
There were more plants outside today. There are bright blue flowers growing on the ivy everywhere. I had no idea ivy even bloomed flowers. I don’t want to leave my house for very long. I just need to see other people around. There is nobody though. They’re all too afraid to leave. At the very end of my block, there is a big oak tree with pictures stapled to it. I assume it’s for missing people.
I put a blanket over the bloody stain just behind my neighbor’s house. It was on the concrete. I didn’t even know his name.
I’m the only one who knows he’s gone.