Shelter

Harvey could feel it coming. He took off his hat and wiped his brow. Looking up at the sky, overhead clouds had gathered like hungry locusts hellbent on destruction. Harvey knew there was very little time. Without thinking, he jumped off his tractor and ran for the house.

The dog was in the yard when he made it to the grass that separated field from house. He called to it without slowing and nearly dove inside the backdoor after bounding up the steps. Bravo skirted inside just before Harvey bolted the door tight. In a frenzy, Harvey sped from room to room, lifting blinds and opening windows in preparation for the approaching onslaught.

He called out to his children, “Kids, get in the basement….now!”

Three kids dropped their activities and bolted to the back of the kitchen. That was the door that nobody ever used. Their young faces crumpled in horror when they realized their father’s request.

“Dad! Why? Are you coming?” shrieked Edward, the eldest, as trees outside began to sway violently through open windows.

“Do as I say! I’ll be there in a minute – just GO!!” barked Harvey breathlessly.

“Come on, you guys. We better do it,” urged Edward reluctantly as he slid open the latch that kept the door from opening in everyday life — because in everyday life, they were forbidden to go down there.

The children began their descent on the narrow stairs as Edward followed behind, grabbing the flashlight from the cabinet and clicking it on, Bravo at his heels. Cautiously they made their way into the damp, dark room they generously called a basement.

The winds howled around the house while rain pelted through open windows. Harvey knew it was time.

He headed for the kitchen and could see the massive darkness that had gathered overhead. He sprang for the basement stairs, pulling the door closed behind him. Before he could grip the stair railing, the house heaved on its foundation. Harvey was thrown down the stairs and landed on the floor after hitting his head on the bottom step.

Above, the sounds of shattering glass and clanging wares ripped about violently. The thunderous thumping could only be furniture tossing about to and fro. The family witnessed the destruction together, huddled vulnerably in the dark cellar.

Below, the only audible sounds were Bravo whimpering and the agonized cry of the youngest child.  Harvey wasn’t moving.

As their eyes adjusted to the dark, a new sound became prominent. It was like the roar of a buzz saw as if something was boring its way through the walls of the cellar.

There was nowhere to go and nothing to do but watch in horror as the stone walls on the far side of the cellar crumbled before them. When the buzzing stopped, visibility was near zero and the flashlight shone weakly through the dust and debris. Straining his eyes, Edward could make out the outline of a hellish creature. It was an enormous head atop an insect body.

“Welcome kidzzzzz,” hissed a rumbling low voice.

“Sssssssoo very glad to meet youzzzzzz.”

As the creature lurched forward, the flashlight failed and all that remained was blackness.

Elsewhere in the neighborhood, the only disturbances were the singing of birds and mild breezes, kissing leaves on summer trees.

 
 

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