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The Quicken


The Portals had started several months after the terror of the nuclear holocaust. What had started, as a series of lights from the sky became a hellish crisscross of burning lights, somewhat like the aurora borealis The sweat poured from his face, the eyes blurred and the physical anxiety threatened to force him to push the others away. It couldn’t be a nightmare. He had warned that guy not to sit near the window opening.

You might have got a thick envelope or a stiff folder through it.  The bloke would have weighed 16 stone at least and they sucked him through the slit. The look on the guy’s face belied belief - but the pain he felt was real. He couldn’t believe that he was going through a mailbox slit - His backside went and he nearly swallowed his own feet. His last thoughts betrayed him, incomprehension; pain and terror bestrode his face, as his crushed body slithered into the wet maw of the creatures gaping mouth.

He stopped the thoughts - at least he tried. Sweat ladled his face he could feel his skin dancing on the surface as his nerve endings tuned to his racing pulse. He pushed deeper into the recess,  his head on a swivel frantically looking everywhere at once,  making sure that there were no hidden slits, key holes or cracks in the glass.  Not that he had intentionally moved to the window. No one had been pulled through glass since Tuesday.  They wanted the body whole; broken glass penetrated the skin and contaminated the flesh. The thing couldn’t ingest glass.  The other creatures cannibalised their own when it choked on the glass penetrating the horrid creature’s flesh.

I remember that clearly - and I expected blood or some liquid - but nothing it just opened up and the creature strangled - the others ate him alive. I shouldn’t feel pity; he had just sucked that little girl through the steel mesh fence, the horror of the memory made him shiver.

Somehow, I managed to catch this train after running from the warehouse. They hadn’t managed to shut everything down; the portals were random.  

The air stank with fear, the tongue twisting gut wrenching, cold stabs running down a shivering spine.


The point where the sphincter threatens and blood rushes to the face; where the innermost thoughts become fractured. The one where we know that there is no chance whatsoever - no matter what happens, the creatures will win.

And that is where I am now, cold incalculable horror. I got off the train hoping too survive long enough to get home, where I intend to grab everything I need and get out of Dodge. More portals are opening as I speak and I aim to get into the countryside for the space.  I call them portals because they’re like doorways that these things squirm through. Another dimension, another planet, I don’t know nor does anybody still in the know. I had a shortcut to my place, which meant climbing the steel struts of this building, as there are three portals on the main road right where I live. So it’s through the back door, but now they have sentries.


 The bastards have climbed the workers planks of this partially completed skeleton maybe to get a better view. But they are ahead of me but they seem strange. That’s it they don’t like heights or their bulk is hard to keep in one place. They are fat buggers; wobble all over. I wonder, they didn’t like being on narrow edges or thin walkways.   His conscious mind clung to the first law of survival, no his mind screamed no I wouldn’t give in to the flesh sucking horrors, bugger them and their stinking appetite. Most of the neighbourhood left except for the creatures that had appeared through another portal. He crept higher and higher while they sniffed the air.  Their long wavering suckers sprouted gobs of some liquid like saliva; the bastards were salivating at the smell of fresh meat. He noticed the other types, the ones he called the foragers - they were like giant capybara.  

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