Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Crack to Pandorica (Short Story)

It was cloudy, just like it always was in Rapture. The cold morning air in Utah always lingered until about lunchtime. Every house on Baker Street had smoke rising from their chimneys.
It was still dark when Ryan woke up, he glanced at the clock to find it was only five-thirty in the morning. It was what woke him that stressed him out the most. The humming. The never ending humming.
Ryan first noticed the humming when getting home late the previous night. He was too drunk to even notice the hum as weird, but when he woke up it faded to a stop. Ryan kept wondering where the mysterious humming was coming from. His house was the newest on the block, the house before it was burnt to the ground by the previous owners. Ryan moved to Rapture when his architecture firm moved here a few years ago. He moved in with no knowledge of what happened. And now for this house to be making noises like this, it was too weird.
After spending too much time trying to find the source, Ryan gave up and left for work. He styled his hair the same bedhead sort of way. When he left the gray in the sky brought out the grey in his eyes. His firm was designing a new building complex in downtown Rapture. He was working alongside his neighbor, Lucy Pasterna. Lucy had big, blonde hair that seemed to radiate it's own sunlight. She always had a smile whenever Ryan walked by. Even though they were neighbors, they liked each other. They worked well together. The blue prints Ryan drew and the models Lucy made all the other architects think they both run on the same mind.
Ryan and Lucy both went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant they always went to on Fridays. Ryan only liked the place for their burritos.
It seemed like an enjoyable lunch, until Lucy broke in with, "Why did you have the lights on all last night?"
"All the lights were off, Lucy," Ryan replied.
"They were. They were so bright they woke me up at one in the morning."
"That's when I got to sleep. Are you sure you weren't hallucinating?"
"I know what I saw, Ryan! They were on until five-thirty. I was trying to call you, but your phone was dead."
"My phone was fine."
"It was so weird, I mean you never leave your lights on, or have your phone turned off."
"The only unusual thing was the humming in my house."
"Humming?"
"Yeah, it started when I got home and ended the moment I woke up."
It took Ryan a moment to realize. The Lights and the humming both started when when he got home, and the both ended at the time he woke up. The connection sent him through a frenzied panic. The lights, the hum, all circling around what?
Ryan gained a heightened paranoia for the rest of the day. He was too scared to go back into his own home. The thought of what is waiting for him was too much for him to handle, especially since he got assigned the Downtown Project. So Lucy invited for him to stay the night at her house so he has a place to stay for the night. Even though he had to sleep on a ten year old couch, he was grateful that Lucy was so nice to him.
"If you need anything, just knock on my door. It's up the stairs, second door on the left," Lucy said.
"Okay, got it. And thank you so much for having me spend the night here, it really means a lot," Ryan replied.
"No problem neighbor." Lucy began to laugh a bit then went back upstairs.
That night was the most uncomfortable sleep Ryan had ever had. The couch was old and dusty. It was the kind of thing that was so old it should be an exhibit in a museum. To get Ryan's mind off the couch he stared at the clock, which, too, should be in a museum.
At one was when he saw it.  Just a flicker out of the corner of his eye, then a blinding blast of light burst through, entering every corner of the room. His disbelief sent him into another panic. Every window was ablaze with a blinding white light. But what happened next threw him into a state of sheer terror.
Ryan didn't notice the moving shadow across the lights at first, but when it came into his bedroom window, he froze still. The shadow just stood there right in the center of the window, right over his bed. The shadow was tall and slender. IT looked human, but the body was too tall and skinny, and the arms were abnormally long. Nothing more seemed to catch Ryan's attention. Ryan and the shadow just stood there until about five-thirty, Ryan could tell because that's when the shadow moved again. It just turned around, left the view of the window, and disappeared along with the lights.
Ryan spent the final few hours before sunrise just sitting on the couch. Was that thing there the other night? What was it doing there? What was it? Is it coming back? The questions remained with Ryan throughout the day.
That day Lucy and Ryan hung out around the town. They went back to the Mexican restaurant for lunch.
That's when Ryan asked," Did you see the shadow in the window last night?"
"No, I had the curtains closed so I could at least sleep," Lucy replied, knowing that Ryan would mention the lights.
Ryan told Lucy everything that happened the last night. Lucy was a little less terrified than Ryan was, but nonetheless in disbelief.
When he got home, he was too tired to to notice that he was walking into what terrified him most. He crashed on the couch in his living room. He kept reminding himself that this was all in his head.
Nothing is gonna happen tonight, he kept thinking.
He seemed to have dozed off because when he woke up it was one o'clock on the dot. That's when it began, the humming. Ryan noticed it was coming from his bedroom. He grabbed a kitchen knife as to defend himself from the shadow thing. The house was engulfed in darkness, which made Ryan trip over several things on his way around the house to his bedroom. As he go closer, the humming grew louder. When he got to his bedroom, the humming was unbearable to his ear. He saw a faint glow coming from the bottom crack of his bathroom door. Curiosity got the better of him as he turned the doorknob and entered the room. That's when he saw it. The glowing crack just above his mirror. The humming was so intense now that Ryan's nose started to bleed. But at this point he didn't care anymore.
In the mirror was his own reflection, but something was off. The reflected Ryan had cuts and bruises, and then the shadow appeared. The thing seemed to be wearing a black suit, but the head contained no hair nor any sign of a face. The arms were abnormally long as he first saw from the last night.
"Tick tock, Goes the clock," the shadow began to sing, "Ryan, soon you will, be taken through and into, when you understand, the silence that's behind you."
The nursery rhyme, what does it mean? But when he looked out of the corner of his eye, it was already too late. The thing was already behind him. Ryan tried to run to the furthest point of the room. He glanced at the mirror to see a dead Ryan Silverstone lying on the floor with a pool surrounding the corpse.
Ryan's terror and panic were showing through his sweat. The sight of him dead in front of him was too much for him to grasp.
"Tick tock," the thing was now walking towards Ryan very slowly.
"No, please, go away!" Ryan was pleading with his hands pressed to his head, trying to protect him from this nightmare.
"Ryan, time to go, it waits for you in time, and you, soon will die, at the end of the rhyme."
At that moment the thing reached out with its long arms to Ryan and touched his head. In the split second it took, Ryan felt like he was being thrown across the room  for minutes.
When he hit the wall, he knew it was over. As he began to come back to his senses, he realized it was five-thirty. Ryan threw his head back to catch the glimpse of the dead Ryan less than three feet away from him. The hairs on his arms were plucked from their socket due to the overflowing fear and terror running through his bloodstream. Pain was flowing through his head, he couldn't feel his right ankle. When Ryan looked back at the direction of the dead Ryan, the body was slowly disappearing along with the crack above the mirror.
The pain was too much for him. He drifted into an uncomfortable sleep. When he woke, he couldn't stand. The pain seemed to have doubled overnight. His head was throbbing. He went to the mirror to find a beaten and bloody Ryan. He had cuts and bruises all up and down his body. There was a knot on his forehead. his clothes were torn and stretched like he just got out of a bad fight.
He went to the garage and found the step ladder in the pile of junk that cluttered his garage. When he got back to the mirror, he stepped on the ladder and found something unusual. A draft of air was blowing through the blank wall. And through the impossible pathway in the wall, he heard a voice.
"Tick tock, goes the clock," the voice sang.
Ryan recognized it immediately, it was Lucy's voice.
"Tick tock," it repeated.
Ryan was wondering what was going on. Why was Lucy singing the rhyme?
"Ryan, you are gone, you left me , now you, will die in, the crack that is Pandorica."
Pandorica? What was that? Ryan began to worry bout what will happen to her or what has already happened to her.Ryan just stared into the mirror, and that's when he noticed the major detail. A detail so noticeable that you would need to be blind not to see it. Out of the corner of his eye, was the clock. Sure, any clock looks the same, but he looked closer to notice that the clock was backwards. The sight was outrageous but there it was clear as day. The thing that could explain where he was was staring at him right in his face.
Then it all came back to him. What happened when that thing touched him. He is now in the mirror, like an alternate universe. Ryan went through the crack to get here. This was Pandorica.
Now he began on another subject, the thing said he would die soon. And as night fell, Ryan stayed close to the bathroom door. He figured that if the thing brought him here then it can bring him back.
When the humming began he felt a tremor in his heart, like he was having a heart attack. The pain was excruciating. He stayed conscious enough to wait for the thing to show. But the voice appeared before the thing did.
"Ryan, you grew up, with every moment I framed for you, now go, to the mirror, and destiny will wait for you to see."
An unknown thought was put into his mind, find a way to warn his past self. He ran to the door the same second his past self did, but within a few seconds he collapsed to the floor. In his final seconds of his life he saw his past self against the wall with the thing. He looked down to see his heart exploded and burst through his chest. There was already a pool of blood all around him.
In a news report a few weeks later, Ryan's body was discovered in the woods outside of Renegal, Utah. His body mangled and bloody, almost unrecognizable. A note was found pinned to a nearby tree, the note contained words from a nursery rhyme.
"Lucy, your turn has come, come and see what's left behind here, Ryan's, dead and gone, and taken by the fear."
Ryan's house remained in a lockdown, until a week later when the city incinerated the house. Now, if you're close enough and just a bit lucky, you'll hear the hum that killed Ryan Silverstone.