Under the Sheets (Part 6)

Posted by [Deleted user] on Friday 31.08.2012 at 19.27

I think Steven’s dead. At least, I hope he’s dead.

Holy shit do I hope he’s dead.

He never showed up this morning. We were supposed to meet at the pub at midday, and I waited there for half an hour, but nothing. Not a phone call, not even a text. I wasn’t surprised, but I was worried. There were police cars all across the village. The terrifying truth is that my family’s experience last night may not have been unique.

I wasn’t at all happy about going to the Johnstones’ by myself, but I knew it had to be done. Their place was only a twenty minute walk from the pub, a comparatively busy area, but I was distressingly confident that I wouldn’t run into anyone else along the way. People seemed to be staying inside today. That, or leaving the village. Walking through the village earlier I’d seen a lot of empty driveways, and a large crowd of suitcased-up travellers at the usually quiet bus station.

No matter, though. I had a job to do.

I started out towards the Johnstones’ house, mindful of every rustle I heard and every flickering shape I saw. Nothing, though, turned out to be cause for alarm.

When I got to the house I found Mr Johnstone (or should that be “Mr Johnstone’s body?) lying face down almost exactly where our last encounter had occurred. Needless to say, I was cautious. I’m not ashamed to admit that I threw stones at the body and poked it with a really long stick before I found the courage to inspect it up close.

It was, I imagine, fairly similar to most other corpses; aside from the hideous lacerations around the neck, and a smaller but more interesting wound to the upper back.

Mr Johnstone’s shirt was ripped, whether due to the rather severe bloating his body had undergone or another factor I can’t say. It revealed, however, a mark that would otherwise have been hidden.

Between his shoulder blades there was a disgusting crater, as if someone (or something) had dug out a handful of his flesh. I was sick twice… I mean, I could see his spine… but there was more.

Reaching from the hole, across his shoulders and down his upper arms, were clear indentations where it looked like some kind of foreign object had been forcibly inserted. Two others ran down towards his waist.

The conclusion was as inevitable as it is sickening.

Had there been one of those creatures inside Mr Johnstone’s corpse, making it move? Is such a thing even possible?

My sister had said that the creature had some kind of control over her motor functions, if only the ability to hinder them. But if that were possible, could the reverse be true? Could one of those things if in contact with a body, even a dead body, stimulate the nerves in such a way as to give it movement?

Which brings me to the most terrible part of my story, and what I can only pray is the end of this nightmare.

I returned to the village, immeasurably grateful for the sights and sounds of the other people around. The police presence had become heavy, there were police cars on every street and police officers taking statements from pretty much everyone they could get their hands on.

It was then that I saw him. He was walking stiffly, dressed in a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms that may well have been what passed for his pyjamas. On his feet he wore only one flip flop, the left, but no one noticed. No one but me, of course.

I yelled his name, twice, but he didn’t respond. He just kept shuffling along, a large blue sports bag in his right hand.

He was heading for the road to the city. It’s a good hour’s drive away, so there’s not even a footpath, but he didn’t seem to be concerned. He passed by me, only an arm’s length away, but his eyes were glazed and he didn’t even acknowledge that I was there.

As I watched him leave, I noted with horror the way the sports bag he was carrying seemed to ripple and writhe, and the dark red stain on the back of his t-shirt, spreading slowly from between his shoulder blades.

***

Life’s greatest miracle: that two bodies can become one… under the sheets.

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