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.
Last night started quiet. There was just the drum and nothing else. I wanted to listen to a little music. It would be worth the battery power to drown out that endless thudding. How is there any dust left on the ceiling? The trickle seems endless. I can’t stop thinking about my family and my girlfriend. Did they survive? Where were they when it started? How would they have gotten away if they’d been in the open? I’m not special, they could be living. I’m going to have to go look for them eventually. I’ll give my phone a few more days.
I noticed the roof creaking heavily right before dawn. They must’ve walked across it right before they vanished. The floor groaned too, my dog whined at the sound. I know they were upstairs. I know it.
In the morning, I checked my house. The door wasn’t open and none of the windows were smashed. I don’t know where they would have gotten in? I didn’t move anything more to the basement. If they had been inside, I wouldn’t want them to notice anything different. Just like my neighbor’s boards. They knew about them.
I decided to walk a little bit further today. I brought my gun and dog with me. The 22 was for hunting and you were only able to keep three shots in for ducks. I took out the stopper so I could have five. If the DNR suddenly appeared to fine me for it, well, it’d just be nice to see them. Halfway down the block I ran into an old man named Gerald. He lived two blocks away. He was frail, withered, and covered in a thin layer of dirt. He carried a long rifle with a red scope. He seemed happy to see me. He said the monsters tried to get him a few nights ago. One smashed through his door when the drum started. He shot it eight times in the doorway, before it collapsed outside. He ran and hid. He said they came and got the body. Then they looked for him. He sobbed a little when he talked. He didn’t even know how they found him. He had a radio too, and said the army was making a strategy to fight back.
The monsters could be killed. Everyone was hiding and waiting to come out.
This isn’t the end yet. I have some hope.
Besides the drumming last night, it was quiet all the way through the night. It’s almost more unsettling when it’s just the drum. There were no scraps or bangs against the house. No screams, explosions, or strange hissing. I kept the safety off on my shotgun.
It felt good to wake up to silence.
I stacked some boxes of junk my dad had in my basement. The house used to be my grandmother’s. I made a wall with his stuff. Even if they came down into the basement, the wall would look somewhat natural. My mom would be happy that his pack-ratting came in handy.
I’m impressed that the cold water is still working. The water heater isn’t working; there must be something electrical with that. I’ve been storing water in as many containers as I can find. I figure that’s practical of me. Luckily, I had just bought a whole bag of dog food before everything happened. So, at least I don’t have to worry about that for a while. Food for me is going to be another story. Hopefully, when the army gets a handle on things, they’ll make some sort of supply system.
It’s been a week since the first night of the drum. April 17, 2011.
I should start using the date in this memo book, but that just depresses me.
I went down the street again and talked to Gerald. He gave me a cup of coffee. It tasted fantastic. He even had some cream for it. He talked about his son and daughter in Ohio and how he wanted to leave to see if they were okay. The radio was saying to stay off the roads because of debris. The army didn’t have the time or people to move everything aside. They were supposed to be mounting a counter attack to lure the monsters out and bomb them. Gerald said it wouldn’t work and that when the drums started, planes fell out of the sky. Since then, nobody had been flying. Gerald thought they might have something in the air, something that took all those planes down. Frightening things like people with legs and arms, but surrounded by some sort of fog. He said they had no faces and they made no sounds. Even when he shot that one in his doorway, it was silent. I talked to him all day.
The house seems a little bit lonelier tonight.
Last night, something happened somewhere in the neighborhood. The drum sounded at 8:14 p.m. There is no rhyme or reason to its starting time. You just know that when the sun starts to wane it could start at any moment. Around midnight, between the hollow thumps, there was a horrible crashing sound. It sounded like metal being torn. There was a terrible howling, followed by metallic pop. I don’t know what it could have been. The sound was so loud that it made my teeth hurt.
It couldn’t have been very far away.
In the morning, I started to look for some old maps around the house. I had to find the most efficient way to travel. I couldn’t be caught in the open when the drum started, so I plotted out a path to my parent’s house and my girlfriend’s apartment. My parents live in the suburbs just north of Minneapolis. My girlfriend lives in Little Canada. I left my car in that roadblock on 94. I could go back to look at it. If all the highways were blocked, it wouldn’t matter anyways. My dad had a spare old Jaguar. He’d had it since I was kid sitting in the backyard. It was one of many things he had difficulty parting with.
Once the army launches their counter attack, I’ll start thinking about getting my car back. Until then, I’ll just wait. I wish I knew when that was going to happen. Maybe they need help? I have a gun after all.
I walked down to see Gerald again today. He was waiting for me with a cup of coffee. He said a group of people had come through earlier with about a hundred wounded. They were setting up refugee camps outside the cities. I immediately went to pack, but Gerald stopped me. Gerald said he didn’t trust the government to take care of him. If they didn’t see these monsters coming, then why should he trust them for protection? He calmed me down and told me to stay someplace familiar until things became more stable. It’s hard fighting the urge to move, but I’m doing it.
I’m worried for my dog. There are a lot of strays wandering around. How long until they get hungry? There are so many of them.
Why don’t the monsters have any interest in them?
Last night, while the drum was beating, a shadow was standing outside one of my basement windows. The moon was full, which allowed me to notice the hulking shape. I couldn’t tell whether or not it was a person or one of those things. It stood there all night. I peeked at it through a pair of uneven boxes.
My gun never left my hands. My arms are heavy from holding it all night.
In the morning when I took Snowy out, I looked at the ground next to the window. The green grass looked normal and elevated. There had been nobody there. It had to be one of those things. It felt like it was waiting for me to appear, like it was baiting me or something. When I told Gerald about it, he asked if I noticed anything about my mirrors at home. He said the night he was attacked he’d been standing in the mirror for a while. He said there was a shadow with him. He thought it was just his glaucoma and stress. He said it spread around his back. Since then he’s had his mirror covered with a sheet, just like mine. Could they really be spying on us through the mirrors?
I told Gerald I had to look for my parents and girlfriend. He wished me luck.
I spent the rest of the morning getting things ready for tomorrow. I’m going to bike to my parent’s house first, spend the night and then move onto my girlfriend’s apartment. The air has been hot and the sky cloudless. It’s been like this for nine days. I’ll bring water, food, my gun, and, of course, Snowy. I can’t leave her. Luckily, she is a semi-small dog. Her hotdog body is a little long, so that might be tricky, but I’m going to rig up a basket of sorts on the back of my bike. I found an old white plastic crate in the basement.
What if I’m marooned and she starves to death?
I’ll leave the moment the drum stops tomorrow morning. I’ve decided to stick to the highways that I would normally take there. My bike is narrow enough to pedal through all the debris. Later, I’ll go in the shed behind my house and modify the bike.
The ivy and flowers have started to wrap up the shed as if they don’t want me to open the doors.
The drum sounded from 9:02 pm – 5:07 am. Nothing was near my house. Nothing shook the dust free from my ceiling. Nothing scratched the roof. The moment the drum stopped I was outside. It took me about an hour to get all the vines off the shed to get my bike.
I swear the ivy and the flowers didn’t want me to take it.
It took me three hours to bike to my parent’s house. The freeway was clogged with broken and smashed cars. Most of them were covered with this weird ivy and blue flowers. There were bloody stains too, but grass had eaten up the highway’s surface, so they were barely visible. There were people walking the opposite direction to the west, to Saint Cloud and further. There were families, senior citizens, and groups of children. Most walked, other’s had bikes or motorcycles. None bothered me. They nearly blocked out the cars and the pavement. They saw I was carrying a gun. My dog use to bark at strangers, but she kept quiet the entire time.
I think she enjoyed the ride. She seemed content in her little basket.
My heart sunk when I saw my parent’s house. It was covered in ivy. The windows were smashed in the front and the door was ripped off the hinges. They thought there was something here, they kept trying. I checked each room. No blood, no scraps of skin. My parents weren’t here when they first attacked. They were probably out eating dinner or something. The house is covered in mirrors. They couldn’t have stayed here very long if they survived the first onslaught. My parents had a cat, Sassy. She must have left. The food and water bowl are empty. I hope she is okay.
I was able to grab some canned goods from the pantry even though most of them were gone. My parents said that in the event of an emergency, we could retreat to my grandparent’s farm in Long Prairie. Hopefully, they’re up there since my parent’s little black Corolla is gone.
Snowy and I are sleeping in the crawl space along the side of the house. I brought a candle to light. This is where my dad used to store the Christmas tree and the ladder. Things are scrapping against the house. I’m almost positive it’s those things that hunted me earlier.
I hear screaming. I need to stop writing and blow out the candle.