Lights Out | The Long Night

The office shuddered with the impacts of  sodden arms and bodies.  Fleshy demons slammed against the glassy doors and windows that led to the balcony.  Men and women franticly piled as much office furniture and cube building material against as they could, attempting to blockade the office against the bloody fiends outside.   Panic and fear cemented into determination and bravery.

“Folks; as long as we keep watch and fortify the windows and doors, those things aren’t getting in!” in the gloom, no one knew for sure who was speaking.  “We keep them out there until morning and then, when we can see, we figure out how to deal with them, alright?”

Mutters of agreement came from the people near the window.  Deeper in the gloom of the office people were milling around each other, unsure what to do next.

All through the night, the thudding continued, slowly becoming more urgent and frightening as the ghouls wore away the flesh from their bones, slamming themselves into goo on the windows, smearing their humanity into nothing.  For hours they fell upon the glassy facade of the office, never ceasing, never taking a break.

The people in the office alternated between hugging each other for comfort and steely resolve against the unknown terrors outside.

In offices around the building, fires had broken out and more of the monsters that were thrashing themselves upon the Fledex building could be seen roaming the offices and streets in the smoky gloom below.  The people who now huddled in the Feldex building looked out into an alien world with a small chunk of Minnesota slammed into it waiting for an alien sky to light the dawn.

At approximately 3 am some of the phones in the building began to light up and ring; as if by magic.

Janice’s phone rang with the familiar tone for her mother; “Janice! Janice!  My God! I can’t believe that you are alright!  Where have you been?  I’ve been calling for hours!”

“Mom?  Oh my God.  Mom,  Don’t hang up!”

The celebrations inside of the office whipped the ghouls on the balcony into a frenzy, they surged as one at the window bone slamming glass and metal as one mass, a crack began to form in the glass of one of the doors.  The hideous tattoo of bone on glass was finally moving the glass.

“Mom, please.  Just tell me what is going on in Saint. Paul?”

“Janice, they are saying that there was some kind of explosion or something, it turned some of Saint Paul into dirt and sand!  Janice, where are you?”

“Mom,  I’m at work.  All of us are.  We’re not in Saint Paul anymore.   We don’t know where we are.  It’s night and we’re scared.  The phones stopped working hours ago and now they are working again.  If I get cut off again, I want to tell you that I love you mom, tell Dad that I love him too, okay?”  Janice sniffed, she could hear the same sort of affirmations going on all around her, people whispering and yelling their love to people at the other end of what was an infinite gulf. “Mom, I love you.”

IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, SAY YES” a voice boomed from every cell phone in the office.  “PLEASE, IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, SAY YES

A scattered few yelled yes into their phones.

“I HEARD YOUR REPLY, THANK YOU.  I AM BROADCASTING USING THIS CELL TOWER THAT  I HAVE HOOKED UP AND POWERED UP.  MY NAME IS NOT IMPORTANT.  PLEASE DON’T TRY TO SPEAK OVER ME, IT MAKES IT DIFFICULT FOR ME TO TELL YOU THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION.  WE ARE NOT ON EARTH, WE ARE ON A PLANET SOMEWHERE REMOVED FROM EARTH.  OUR BEST UNDERSTANDING OF THE STARS THAT ARE VISIBLE PUTS US SOMEWHERE BEYOND THE MILKY WAY AS WE CAN OBSERVE THE MILKY WAY IN ITS ENTIRETY THE SOUTHERN SKY.  WE HAVE OPENED LINES OF COMMUNICATION WITH THE EARTH VIA THE SAME TECHNOLOGY THAT HAS TAKEN A PORTION OF SAINT PAUL TO THIS PLANET.  AS LONG AS WE HAVE THE MEANS TO POWER IT, WE CAN SPEAK WITH PEOPLE ON EARTH.  THE GATE REMAINS OPEN.  WE WILL BE SENDING PEOPLE IN SMALL GROUPS BACK THROUGH THE GATE FOR AS LONG AS WE CAN ALONG WITH AN UPLOAD OF ALL OUR NOTES AND RESEARCH SUCH THAT PERSONS ON EARTH COULD ATTEMPT TO REPRODUCE OUR EXPERIMENT AND RETURN SAINT PAUL.   PLEASE DON’T INTERRUPT!  I AM NOT FINISHED.  NO WE CANNOT RETRIEVE ITEMS FROM EARTH, WE CANNOT DETERMINE WHY ENERGY IS ABLE TO CROSS IN BOTH DIRECTIONS BUT NOT MATTER.  ATTEMPTS TO CROSS THE GATE FROM EARTH HAVE BEEN MET WITH FAILURE AND NO FURTHER ATTEMPTS WILL BE MADE.  PLEASE APPOINT A SPOKESPERSON FROM EACH GROUP AND COMMUNICATE THEIR NAME AND CELL NUMBER VIA TEXT MESSAGE TO THIS NUMBER 444-231-8899.  WE HAVE AN ARMORED VEHICLE AS WELL AS SECURITY PERSONNEL WAITING TO  RETRIEVE YOU.  DO NOT LEAVE ANY SECURED AREA AS THE REVENANTS OUTSIDE WILL ATTEMPT TO DEVOUR OR KILL YOU.  THERE ALSO APPEAR TO BE NATIVES MASSING AT THE EDGE OF THE TRANSPORT ZONE WE DO NOT KNOW THEIR INTENT AND WOULD RECOMMEND THAT ANY CONTACT BE AVOIDED.  WE WILL AWAIT COMMUNICATION FROM YOU.  THAT IS ALL”

“Janice… Janice, are you there?”  Janice’s mother was there again.

“Mom, I think we were caught in some sort of experiment gone wrong, from the sounds of things it was a military thing.”

“Janice, what are you talking about?”

“Mom, there was a voice, it told us to sit tight and that we would be picked up by an armored vehicle”

“Janice, you’re in Hell”

“Mom, what?”

“Hell Janice.  You’re being punished for your wicked ways.  You lost your virginity and now God wants you dead Janice.”

“Mom, what are you saying?” Janice sobbed, “why are you doing this?”

“Wake up and smell the roses Janice.  You’re damned for all eternity!”

The phone went dead again and Janie slumped against a wall and slid down, crying into the crook of her arm.  People all over the office were wailing and screaming at the phones.

All of the phones in the office leapt to life at once, ringing with the same tone.  People tossed them away as if they were on fire.

The pounding and cracking noises from the balcony filled the darkness as the phones died again.

“What just happened?”  someone asked into the dark, “did everyone just have the same phone call?  Did your boyfriends just tell you that you were going to hell?”

“Yeah, my Dad just called me a slut and told me that I was gonna burn forever” a voice near the door replied.

“Fuck me, my Grandma just called me a sinner and told me that the devil was going to eat my eyes, I’ve just realized, she’s been dead for 15 years!”

Janice stood up and turned her phone back on.  It had been off the whole time.

It was 6AM.