I don't like Godzilla movies.
I know, weird way to start a story, right? It seems so out of left field for the kind of stuff you find on websites like the ones I'm posting this on. Most people would start their stories with some kinda description of how they got in the mess they're in, or some ominous warning, but all I've got is the fact that I don't like movies about a radioactive dinosaur smashing cities. It's dumb, I know.
See, the appeal of monster movies, if I had to describe it, is how impossible people think they are. According to accepted scientific law, animals that big simply can't exist on land because they'd collapse under their own weight. I think Neil deGrasse Tyson said that once, something along those lines. I don't know, I'm not big on science, never managed more than a passing grade in the subject in any school. But what I do know is that these people, are full of shit, and I'm about to explain why.
I remember the whole incident pretty fuckin' vividly for something that happened, I dunno, two or three years ago. The actual date is fuzzy, though even if I had the date, I wouldn't give it out. I'm not going to tell you where this happened either, but I'll describe the location as vaguely as I can manage without making it pointless.
I live in a small rural town. It gets really hot in the summer, really cold in the winter, and ever since 1924, we've had ten-minute earthquakes every ten years. It's just kind of an accepted fact of the place at this point; residents like to joke and call it Shakesville, so we'll call it that for now. Anyone who lives here will know what I'm talking about. And for your sake, and everyone's, do NOT say anything about where Shakesville actually is.
Anyways, I've lived in Shakesville my entire life; I was born the day after one of these earthquakes, and we've never left since, aside from the odd vacation. It's a pretty nice place in all honesty. I have a job working a 9 to 5 at the local grocery store, pay my bills, and just generally make a decent living. I'm not some massively creative person by any means; I just do what I need to do to get by and remain content with what I've got.
But I'd always wondered what caused these earthquakes; I'm sure anyone who's been in this town for more than ten years has wondered that. In fact, no, I know it; we'd always talk about it after school, because we all had this weird feeling that it wasn't something natural. After all, they always happened on the same date, at the same time of day, and lasted for the same amount of time. Some kid named Jimmy, he was the weird one, he always said that it was because there was something beneath the earth; a species of mole people that burrowed through the earth every ten years or something like that. We all laughed it off, said it sounded ridiculous. Looking back, I almost wish it was that simple.
It's happened three times in my life. The quakes, I mean. Once when I was nine years old, once when I was 19, and once when I was 29. The time when I was 19, I'd made a decision; I'd use the money I got from working at a local burger joint and get some equipment to figure out where the epicenter of the earthquakes was. I got a ruler, a high-quality compass, a printer and some paper, a beefy calculator, and I got to work. I watched the clock intently.
A guide written by an undergraduate studying geology lists the following instructions, and these are the ones I followed for those curious.
1: Measure the time that elapses between the arrival of the primary wave (P) and the arrival of the secondary wave (S) to the seismic stations.
2: Using the S-P time, determine the epicentral distance of each station to the earthquake using a travel time curve.
3: Use a map and graphical compass to draw arcs of radii equal to the epicentral distances around each station. Where these arcs overlap, you may approximate your epicenter.
I didn't manage to get a precise measurement; maybe it was because I only had ten minutes to do it, maybe it was because it was my first time, or maybe the instructions were bad. I dunno, I'm no geologist. But I did get a general direction. And the next day I called in sick, got some supplies, and walked in that direction, out of town and into the woods surrounding it.
I had the foresight to time my walk; five hours there and back in total. When you work at any kind of restaurant, you get used to standing on your feet all day, and looking back I'm incredibly grateful for this, because I dunno if I could have made it all the way out there if I wasn't used to being on my feet like, 24/7. But after two and a half hours about, I broke through the trees and found the weirdest thing I'd ever seen up to that point.
It was some kind of rock formation in the middle of some kind of clearing, and it was huge. Like, it was so big that it could have been mistaken for a football stadium from really high up. I didn't even bother trying to walk around it. But something didn't seem right about it. For one thing, it was made of a bunch of jagged rocks that looked almost like canines. You know, the little fangs everyone has on the upper and lower lines of teeth? Run your tongue across your teeth, and if you feel little fangs, that's them. Some looked chipped, others didn't, but they were arranged into a circle, or maybe an oval. The way they were angled gave me the impression it could be either or, but the weirdest part is when I went over to it, and managed to get a peek between them, all I saw was a hole.
By this point I'd decided that it was something to do with these rocks. Specifically what though... that's what was confusing me. I made a personal note to come back here a few hours before the quakes happened again in ten years, and then I went home.
Things just kinda went along as normal. In the ten years between then and the next quakes, I quit my job, found a new one, got hooked up with a girl I knew in highschool, broke up with her after I caught her cheating on me, and moved into the house I own today. And every passing day inched me closer to it... I have to admit, I was kind of excited. I started having all these fantasies of showing my recordings to some scientist and becoming massively popular, this world renown guy who uncovered the mystery of the Shakesville quakes. Finally, the big day arrived; after calling in sick and packing my equipment (a camcorder, a tripod, a lawn chair and some sodas and snacks in case I got hungry or thirsty), I chose to take my car that time, driving out to the location, parking my car out there and getting everything set up. I started with the camcorder, getting it recording. It had enough battery life to last it ten hours, and the quakes were due to start in one. I stood in front, gave my name and the exact time, stated my intent, adjusted it to make sure all was correctly set up and it'd get the full picture, and then set up my chair and waited.
Fifty minutes passed, and then I thought I heard something. Something like distant movement... something hard scraping against dirt. It got steadily closer and closer, until I physically felt it moving beneath my feet; but it wasn't the exact time for the quakes to start, which left me more baffled than anything else. Of course, I quickly realized what was happening; something was moving underground and causing a smaller, more localized quake. My mind briefly wandered back to that kid, Jimmy, and his idea of mole people.
Then, the sharp tooth-like rocks shuddered, and what came up from the hole they surrounded physically froze me to my chair in sheer, unadulterated horror. I felt myself shaking horribly, yet I couldn't voluntarily move a single muscle.
It looked like some kind of gigantic worm. Its entire body was pitch black in terms of color; it didn't suck up light, it was just very very dark in color. It did glint under the sunlight, which allowed me to make out details; its scarred and battered exoskeleton, its long yellowed tusks coming from its lower jaw, its segmented body curling as it rose out of the hole in the earth. It had a single, bulging eye embedded in its head, and three nostrils between that and its mouth, and coming out of either side of its body were arms; they were fairly thick in width compared to the worm, giving the impression it was quite physically strong. Each arm was adorned with three-fingered hands, with worn claws extending from each finger. It didn't have thumbs; looking back, they were probably meant for scraping through dirt more than grabbing things. Long, sharp fins rose out of its back, going down the entire length of what I saw.
This thing was massive. I have no doubts that it would have zero trouble wrapping around the Empire State Building if it wanted, and it could probably dwarf the whole thing if it raised itself up as high as it could. It cast a massive shadow upon the ground behind it, and its gaze was focused squarely upon the sky. It braced itself against the rock formations, which makes me think it had trouble standing upright.
Its entire lower jaw split vertically down the middle, and it drew its head back, taking in a breath for a solid five minutes; so much air was pulled in that I felt myself becoming short of breath, so I breathed in myself and waited it out; the first thing I did that wasn't just sitting and staring in utter horror.
It stopped, and it held its breath for another minute, then thrust its head forward and what came out was a roar that was simultaneously the loudest thing I've ever heard, and the quietest. I know now where the quakes come from; it's this thing, emerging from beneath the earth every ten years and unleashing this terrible shout for ten minutes straight, and it's so loud that it shakes the ground for the whole duration. Yet, it's so high-pitched that you have to strain your ears to hear it, but once you pick it up it becomes almost reflexive, and you're able to hear it without trying. It wasn't a pleasant sound either; the noise was dreadful in every capacity, sounding like every dying squeal you've ever heard from an animal meshed together and pitched up so far you can't hear it. It strikes me as odd that after a few years I still remember it so vividly; I guess it's just one of those things you can't forget.
After the allotted ten minutes, it stopped. It very slowly blinked, its eyelids closing vertically rather than horizontally like you or me would. Then it turned its head, and I realized that it knew I was there. It removed a claw from the rock formations and bent over, planting it on the ground to support its weight, and then it did it with the other claw. It pulled itself towards me, twisting its head 180 degrees clockwise to angle the eye at the ground, and hovered its head over me and stared down at me for what felt like hours (though, after looking at the footage, it was just a couple minutes).
I've never been more convinced that I was going to die, right then and there. This horrible thing from right out of a monster film was going to eat me, or squash me, or even breath on me a little too hard and break all of my bones. If I ran, I would most certainly die; so I stayed put, hoping and praying to whatever god existed that this thing would decide to spare me.
It eventually began to go back, rotating its head into the default position as it used its claws to push itself back towards the hole; it climbed back in, once more using its claws to brace itself against the formations. It gave another roar of the same length as the last, and then slipped back under the surface to return to whatever pit it called home.
I sat there for an hour or so as I regained my ability to move. Once I did, I very shakily got up, turned off the camcorder, got everything packed back up, wolfed down some snacks, and then went home.
I didn't sleep that night. How could I? I'd just witnessed something horrible. Something I couldn't forget if I tried.
I attended a local church the next morning; I've never been a religious fellow, but I needed to feel there was someone out there better than that thing. Something that could give me an ounce of security. It hadn't killed me; for some reason I was still alive. But the thought of the kind of damage it could do if it ever had a reason to go on some kind of horrible rampage haunted me for months after, and it still hasn't quite left my mind.
Of course, the townsfolk seemed shaken as well; two quakes instead of one. They were baffled, somewhat concerned, and when they saw me they just assumed I was worse off than them over the same thing. Apparently some accidents happened during that second roar; thankfully noone was seriously injured, but it still left some people jittery.
I refuse to release the tapes or even say exactly where I found it. Heck, this is the first time I've even mentioned it to anyone besides myself. But if somehow you know where it is, then do yourself a fucking favor and listen to me.
Tell. Noone. Because if word gets out, it'll create a panic. And if there's a panic, the military is gonna get involved, and they're gonna try to kill it. And anyone who's watched any giant monster films knows exactly what will follow.
You want to know the reason I don't like Godzilla films these days? It's because they remind me of what could actually happen.