It was 1 AM. Everyone else was asleep except for me. What was I doing? Laying on my couch watching late night television. Its this time when all the interesting stuff is on TV. I was in the middle of watching a documentary on Russian spies, when it was intercepted by the EAS system. Close and lock all doors and windows, stay away from others in your home. Do not make a sound." The TV spoke its robotic words.
The hell is this supposed to mean???' I thought.
"If someone asks where you are, do not answer." The TV continued. "Do not be afraid. Fear makes it worse. If the darkness around you seems to intensify, close your eyes and prepare for the worst. More updates will come shortly."
The TV then started right where it left off, although now, I wasn't concerned about the documentary.
I took a look out the window to see if any sort of danger was outside, but nothing. Just the beautiful stars and bright full moon in the nighttime sky. Looking around, it seemed as if nobody else was awake. Odd. I know for sure I've seen some people in my neighborhood up even later then I am, however tonight, my street seemed utterly silent. No... unnaturally silent.
The only thing I could hear was the TV, cars in the distance, and the sound of my own thoughts. Making sure the door and windows were locked, I returned to the couch and started channel surfing.
"Maybe some sort of cartoon will get my mind off of this." I said, scanning the TV for some sort of relaxing TV show to watch. A few seconds later, I settled with a channel that was playing very old Disney cartoons.
Half an hour went by, and I decided to have another look out the window. This time, however, the sky was blank. No moon, no stars, just darkness. All of the streetlights have gone out as well. This time, the sound of cars had faded away too. Now, the only thing keeping me from plummeting into my head, was the television.
"I wish I could turn on the light in here, but that would wake everyone up in a heartbeat." I thought. Going back to the couch, I took a look at my phone. No new texts, and nothing about this whole EAS report was on social media. It was like nobody else was going through it...
Looking through my messages, nobody was online either. Even my best friend Liam, who usually stays up until 3 AM playing video games with his other friends, or at the bar getting absolutely wasted. I shot him a quick "Hi text," only to receive no response. It didnt even show that he read the message. This was odd... I thought. He usually replies within seconds...
A full 10 minutes go by, and still, no response. This wasn't like him. I was starting to get worried.
Eventually, I tried to call him. It went directly to voicemail without even ringing.
I was about to call him again, when another alert showed up on the TV.
"If you hear a knock on the door, do not answer it. Do not respond to anyone, no matter how familiar or human they may sound."
"Do not look at the sky." The TV signal was beginning to go to shit. The pre-recorded message had one last thing to say, although I couldn't understand it over the immense static. The only thing I could make out was something about howling and covering my ears. As soon as the message concluded, the TV signal went right back up again. It was as if the message itself was to blame. This time, I flipped through the channels to find one with news. Mysteriously, all the news channels were not getting signal. A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door, just like the EAS mentioned. I recognized the knock, it was Liam.
"Matt? It's me, Liam... Open up will ya?"
It sounded like Liam too. But there was one thing I knew. Liam wouldn't just come to my house at 1 in the morning without any explanation. I knew I wasn't supposed to answer to anyone or anything, but my curiosity got the best of me.
"Why?" I asked.
"Don't you want to find out what the hell's going on out here?" The voice cried through the door. "Look outside, the sky."
It was at that moment when I knew...
That voice was not Liam.
The tv then started glitching again. The knocking continued.
"Come on man, I came all the way here..."
How is he not waking anyone up? I thought to myself. The TV signal was getting worse.
"I know you're in there..." The voice said, now viciously banging on the door. It sounded almost as if it was going to break it down.
As much as I wanted to scream and get the other people in the house to wake up, I remembered what the warning said. "Stay away from others in your home. Do not be afraid." As long as I kept myself together, I should be fine. The banging didn't stop.
"Open the door." It raised its voice. "I can help you."
I stayed silent. The banging got even louder. I was amazed the door hadn't gave way yet. Whatever was outside, it was screaming now. "LET ME IN!!! ITS GETTING CLOSER!" My curiosity was being tested again. The TV had lost signal by this point. I think I was starting to lose it. How could I possibly be calm when a maniac is outside about to break into my house and do god knows what to me...
It was probably the dumbest thing I could've done, but I got off the couch and quietly approached the door. Looking through the peephole... I saw nothing. Nobody. Not even the front yard or the street up ahead. All I saw through the peephole was utter darkness.
The banging calmed back down and returned to calm, soft knocking. "Look, I know you're confused. I am too."
"W... Who are you..." I asked.
"It's Liam." He answered. "Please let me in. It will be here soon."
The TV's signal then came back to present another EAS message. "Cover your ears now. Hide." The prerecorded message stated. "Ignore the cries for help outside your door, no matter how human or desperate they may sound."
"Oh shit..." I could hear from the other side of my door. "Keep your ears covered and stay in hiding until the lights come back on." The power to the tv and clock cut. I made my way to the bathroom, locked the door, and hid inside the tub.
Just as I put my hands against my ears, I could make out loud, obnoxious howling in the far distance, and whatever was at my door, screaming in great fear, fiercely banging on the door, begging me to let him in. Whatever was outside... was so damn convincing... it sounded so real... almost exactly like Liam.
I stayed in the tub for what seemed like hours... the TV in the living room had still not turned back on, leading me to believe the power was most likely still out. The only thing that was lighting up the room was the blinking light on one of the electric toothbrushes on the sink. I couldn't hear anything anymore. I was beginning to think this whole nightmare was over, or if it was another bad dream. The power had still not come back on, but the banging and screaming at the door had stopped.
Uncovering my ears further confirmed that the only thing that was making noise was myself. I slowly got out of the tub and made my way into the living room. The clock on the TV table read "93:27" What the hell? I thought. 93:27?
Since the clock was on, I assumed the power to the rest of the house came back as well. Grabbing the remote to the TV off the table, I pressed the power button, only to get no response. The screen didn't even flicker or pop like it usually would when it was turned on. It showed no signs of life. I took a look out the window, but all I could see was darkness. It was as if someone had hung a thick black blanket over it.
Looking out the peephole of the door gave the same sight. Nothing but darkness. It was getting to the point where I could barely see what was in front of me, and I was starting to get extremely dizzy. Fascinatingly enough, I was able to find the couch to sit down. My head started to hurt. A lot. In fact, my whole body started to ache and burn. It felt like I was on fire, and I was starting to hyperventilate and panic. The clock still showed the same time. 93:27. There was the knock on the door again. This time, it was another voice.
"Hey Matt, its your brother..." I could hear. "You still up?" I was in so much pain that I couldn't even comprehend what kind of answer I should give. I ended up just letting out a loud groan.
I got up off the couch and made my way towards the door. "You ignoring me again?" I heard. Looking through the peephole, again, I couldn't see anything. The headache was getting worse and worse. It was getting to the point where I was beginning to lose my balance. I was starting to feel drowsy too. "Hello?" He knocked once more. I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer. I dozed off.
When I awoke, I was in a hospital bed.
"You suffered from CO2 poisoning. One of the valves leading to your fireplace failed." A doctor said.
"H-how about... everyone else... " I asked.
"I'm afraid you're the only one that survived." The doctor said. "Consider yourself lucky." The doctor left. Liam entered my room.
"How you doin bud... feeling better?" He asked.
"I guess..." I replied. "I had the most bizarre dream of my life..."
"Oh... that?" He started, then looked me in the eye. "That wasn't a dream."
The concept is pretty alright, the execution is weird and all over the place. Since the story is in the very recent past, it should be presented as such. Not "I remember this and that" with a tone of "it happen years ago" but rather "I did this and that, this and that happened" like it was a day ago.
I like the idea of nothing trying to devour everything that is something and pretending to have a form while remaining formeless and fathomless.
Proof-read this, and I think removing the sort of corny almost childlish notes, "my good friend who stays up until 3am usually". You could rephrase them too, "Liam usually stays up later than I do." Instead of "he responds in seconds" go for something along the lines of, "he responds fairly quickly and had never left me hanging before." etc etc etc.
The ending is really off, if anything, you could keep the sort of keep the ominous tone by going for something along the lines of, "this wasn't a dream... you were dying..." or something. Keep the Liam of the end the actual Liam, but give him an ominous feel for a moment, if unintentional.
Props on the use of stylizations instead of CAPS TO MAKE THINGS FEEL IMPORTANT it doesn't work. Punctuation and phonetics also help, even more than stylization. A scared muttering person would have their w-wor-ds b-broken ap-ap-apart for example. Exclamation marks display explamation and urgency and so on and so forth.
It needs some work and it'll be great.