The Missing Evening

.. o actual lights. Just a little boy sitting in a dark-red puddle in a dull brown room. “He. Hello?” Jim called halfheartedly. The clicks and pings grew louder, and Jim clasped his hands to his head until the sounds faded away.

Then the light faded, and Jim almost instantly fell asleep. He awoke with his eyes closed. His eyelids were bright red with hundreds of fuzzy little veins running through them. Jim heard people talking, but couldn’t understand what they were saying. “Where am I?! Hello! Why can’t I see?” Jim blurted out, half crying. The voices stopped and footsteps on hollow medal doors filled the air. A hiss came from beneath the table or whatever it was Jim was on.

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His eyes felt extremely sore, but he slowly opened them. At first there was only white light everywhere, but that faded away and Jim now could see the whole area. There were tables everywhere, each with a human on it. A thin transparent green ooze covered all the surfaces. There was no ceiling, but just a never-ending dull light.

Faint clicks and pings played in his ears, and he was sure if he heard them or only remembered them. Jim heard people calling out, screaming for help. He grasped the side of the table and closed his eyes. Please, just let this go away. Oh please don’t be real. Minutes passed, and the calls for help turned to wordless screams, then to occasional murmurs.

Jim finally opened his eyes. A beast stood before him. The first thing Jim noticed was the slime that covered its body, oozing from all its apertures, dripping everywhere. It was a dark maroon, and humanoid. Its arms however where long and broke into three tentacles.

Its face was almost identical to that of some persons, but the eyes were slanted downward towards the nose. Its feet were also just two thick tentacles, and they moved like our legs would in a bean-sack. Its breathing was hissy, and terribly unnerving. It lurched towards Jim, and starred at him with dull slimy white eyes. Jim tried to pull away but he couldn’t move.

Thick goo covered all of his body except for his eyes and mouth. “Get away! Stay away from me!” The sound of Jim’s voice drove the creature to walk faster. Other humans looked on helplessly. “Leave him alone, don’t hurt him! He’s only a child!” they cried, but to no avail. It raised its arms onto the table and started to pull the goo straps away.

Jim was frightened, and started to shiver. His arms convulsed wildly, his legs jerking to and fro. The creature was startled by his sudden movements and backed away. Now only Jim’s left hand was trapped and quickly he pulled the goo off and flung himself to the ground. His feet couldn’t hold him and he fell onto the slime covered floor with a deafening thud.

His leg throbbed. The beast moved around the table slowly, always keeping Jim in his sight. More beasts came from out of the dark areas beyond Jim’s sight and slowly crept toward his position. People screamed as the creatures passed their sides. Other cried, and still others just sat there praying, waiting for death to come.

Jim stood and leveled himself. He stepped back slowly, and blundered back into a middle-aged woman. “Safe me kiddo, come on. Just tear this stuff off of me, and we can get out of here together!” She was white and sickly, as if all of her blood had been drained except for her blood-shot eyes. Skin hung from her cheeks and eye sockets. She looked almost like a old shaven poodle.

The sight of her scared Jim more than even the creatures had. He ran done isles of weeping people, carefully moving to keep away from the monsters. People called to him savagely. Some were speaking languages Jim had only heard on television. He ran past dozens of rows of people bellowing out to him, but he didn’t stop.

Now almost twenty of the creatures followed him, and more still came. Jim turned down an corridor then looked back at where he had come from. The screaming had stopped, but the people were there. Why were they so quiet now? Jim grabbed the side of a table and wrenched forward, but slipped on the slime smacking his head onto the floor. Everything spun around him. He crumbled himself into a ball, put his hands in-between his legs and cried. The slime seeped through his thin pants and entered his wounds.

Jim bit his lip and made tight fists. He felt something on his left wrist, and pulled his hand out and opened it. He wiped his eyes with his shoulder and looked down. He saw a small round object. It looked like a black pin, but much thicker.

The creatures were close now. The sound of their breathing was all Jim could hear. The young boy pulled on the object and cried out in pain. He looked at his hand and saw blood spluttering out of his wrist at an alarming rate. The beasts looked at him, starring into his eyes, slowly creeping towards him. Steamy moistened air covered the little boy’s body. The sound was enfeebling.

Jim’s ears filled with clicking and high-pitched pings that got louder and louder. Then everything faded away. No more sound, no more light, no more slime, no pain. Jim leaned just a few feet to far to one side of his rock and tumbled onto the ground. He was shaking with fear. The ground was damp and cool. His head throbbed. Slowly the young boy opened his eyes and looked up.

There were the stars. Millions of his stars, the stars he had always seen every night. He rose and tried to remember when he had fallen asleep. Of course I don’t remember. Jim pushed himself up on the rock and brushed off his pants as was habit and looked down upon town. There is the corner market, and there is the hardware store.

There’s the gas station. Jim wasn’t scared at all. He smiled and stood up, and began to jog further down the old beaten path, which made a round-about back to home. What silly dreams I have. Jim laughed at himself.