Rolling in on time, albeit only just, is a 1057 word story.
This is fantasy & horror mix that pretty much anyone can read. No gore or overt sex, but the adult theme makes this a teen advisory for sure.
I’ve been emphatically told that I must expand on this one, and I might, but to meet my deadline here is …
“Here.” Chris held out the cardboard tray.
“Thanks.” Dave said, taking his coffee. Chris looked around, Dave smiled and gestured down the sidewalk outside McCarran International Airport, he waved at a tall man who was picking his way through the crowd.
“He’s back here, he had to pee.”
“Ah, OK. Probably a good move. Hey Josh,” Chris held up the tray as he drew near. “Got coffee. Soy latte, right?”
“Yes, good memory.” Josh said. “Hang on,” He started going through his pockets.
“No don’t worry, I got it.” Chris said.
“You sure?” Chris nodded. “Thanks.” Josh took his latte and slipped at it gratefully, murmering a heartbeat later “Lifesaver.”
“Okay,” Dave said, “Before we load up, let’s check the equipment.”
Dave squeezed through the gap, his light vanishing at once. They’d spent four hours slowly picking through the interconnected cave system, the dry air almost as draining as the climbs and descents. He knew they were close now, he could feel it up ahead. Drawing him on.
“Hey!” Josh turned at the yell.
“What?” He shouted back. Dave poked his head out, dust falling from his hair like fine snow. “Think I found it.” They’d chatted on a forum, arranged the trip via IM, all because Chris said he saw something amazing in the caves under Nevada. The three of them spent time arranging everything, then this fast trip, the only time that seemed to fit in with all there schedules.
“Really? Let me see!” Josh climbed, pushing his way past Dave, through the narrow opening and into the space beyond.
“Fuck, man.” Dave muttered as he was elbowed in the cramped passage. Dropping down on the other side Josh stumbled to a stop. In a moment Dave climbed down and stepped up to him and Josh clapped him on the shoulder.
“It’s real?” Josh whispered. What looked like twisted metal flowed into the darkness in slick lines, it fused into the rock.
“Looks like it. Chris was right, it don’t look like earth tech.”
“Chris didn’t mention all this though. The scale …” He turned to look at the small passage behind them. “Where is he anyway?” Josh had to think about this.
“Er, he’ll catch up, he likes securing everything so we can get out easier than we get in.” Dave wasn’t sure how far back Chris was right now, but Josh didn’t seem to be listening anyway. He was staring at the shapes ahead.
“I don’t know …” Josh said to himself. “It looks like Giger crossed with …” He walked forward, running his head light over the shapes. “maybe Vallejo.”
“Here,” Dave said and switched on the light from his pack, a high lumens LED lantern that lit up 20 meters or so around them.
“Shit …” Josh muttered. The cave was large, widening before them. Starting just a couple of meters in front a grey twist intertwined on itself, vanished into the rock only to emerge thicker a meter ahead. Beyond this, larger masses bulged ahead, the thinner tails, or tentacles, all massed under it, spreading out again beyond it.
“This is amazing. I can’t believe it.”
“What do you think it is?” Dave asked.
“I, I don’t know.” Josh turned to look at the other man. “It looks organic but it’s in the rock.” He swiveled slowly back to look at the thing, as though drawn to it. “It could be centuries, or eons old.” Josh started shrugging off his pack.
“Yeah. It’s old, that’s for sure. Hey,” Dave said with a lighter tone, “You like the ass?” Dave pointed, as Josh turned to him, and held the lantern higher. The white light spilled over the bulges ahead.
“Oh yeah,” Josh said, he pulled his own flashlight out of his pack and moved forward. The twin bulges ahead did look like a woman’s rump, wide and sleek. “Ha, that really does look like an ass.”
“Chris mentioned it. It’s like this metal thing’s supposed to be female.” Dave added, his voice softening. They both picked there way forward in a few moments of silence. They ended nearer the bulging mass, the ass that rose from the wall of the cave at an angle, the waist disappearing again in a twisting mass of grey and rock. Josh shuffled back and to, shining his light over the curves again and again. He looked between the grey cheeks, as Dave knew he would, at first fleetingly as though trying not to be caught. Each time the light held longer, like a punter losing his embarrassment, Josh grew braver until he was staring.
“It’s strange, isn’t it,” Dave said, “but somehow appealing.”
“Yeah.” Josh replied, his voice quiet as though far away. He was holding his light up now, grey vulva could be seen pressed against the rock above him. He panted, a brief animal sound of lust escaping his lips.
Josh extended a tentative hand towards the nearest section of metal. He stopped, inches away, his hand shaking. “Did, did you touch this? Is it safe to touch?”
“It’s just metal.” Dave replied. Josh grinned, his face flushing.
“Well, only one way to find out.” Josh stretched forward.
“Wait,” Dave said, Josh didn’t slow, in a heartbeat his hand was resting on grey. Dust flew, and sound assaulted them. The grey tendrils writhed like snakes, some pulling free of the rock entirely, Dave stumbled backwards. The whole mass lurched and Josh screamed. His hand had sunk into the gray surface and he was getting sucked in fast. The shape bucked, the body pulled further from the rock, with a shudder everything became still. Small rocks and dust bounced and Josh’s flashlight rolled away from the wall and went out. Dave stepped back, breathing hard, Josh was gone. He took a moment to compose himself.
“Chris!” Dave yelled back. “Hey Chris!”
“Yeah, yeah, I can hear you.” His voice muffled by the curves in the cave system. “He touched her! How’s you get him to do it?”
“No problem this time,” Dave smiled, “he was pretty desperate to do it.”
“She nearly free?” Chris yelled, closer now, he was coming now Josh was spent.
“Almost.” Dave yelled. “One more I think.”
“You said that last time.” Dave just shrugged and started picking up Josh’s gear.
MJ Cook: Yes Chris and Dave are crazy nutjobs, the latter especially, at least Chris can no longer bring himself to watch. What are they getting free? What will it do when it is finally free? Answers on a postcard to …
I didn’t expect to write something new for this week at the last minute but that’s what happened. I wanted to dip into my ideas pile, or ideally into my partially complete stories. Something about the imagery in this one grabbed me so I had to finish it.
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