It’s been five days since our city went dark. Those disgusting gurgling sounds coming from the streets are chipping away at my sanity. Rescue still hasn't come and I'm afraid this thing has spread far beyond the city. That thing blanketing the streets, it could be alien, a government experiment gone wrong, or even the wrath of God. Whatever it is, it’s the end of humanity.
Two weeks ago missing peoples reports started cropping up, all from a neighborhood in the south suburbs just below our city. Over the next few days, the dozens of cases turned into hundreds. In every case, someone would be in their house or a private place, and just vanish into thin air. Everyone was baffled. A state of emergency was declared and a ten o'clock curfew was put in place and strictly enforced. Anyone caught outside was promptly arrested. But people continued to go missing. The police posted a digital map of the disappearances that they would update as more and more people vanished. It was updated by the damn hour. In the center of it was that small neighborhood. When the federal government came in, they set up a quarantine zone around the area of disappearances, but people would quickly start vanishing outside the boundaries of the zone. The Feds just couldn't keep up.
I was at work when everything went to hell. It came from the sewers. Wherever there was a sewer drain or a hole in the ground, it oozed out. The city was in mass panic. No one knew what was going on. News channels could only show short, shaky snippets of a yellowish substance seeping out onto the street. No one could get long, clear footage of it. It could have been that police were blocking people from getting near it, or for some reason anyone who saw it immediately booked the hell out of there, from something the cameras didn't show. The only thing we were told were vague reports ordering not to go near the substance and most importantly, don’t make contact. I worked near the top of my building so I was 56 floors above whatever was going on, so I felt reasonably safe where I was. Every one of my colleagues immediately chose to flee home to their families. I tried calling them to see if they successfully got away.
Not one person answered. I tried to look out the windows to look at what was going on down below, but from how high up I was I couldn't get a good angle down on the streets below my building. It sounded like a war zone out there. The news stopped rolling and all I had to listen to were sounds of anarchy. After a few hours the sounds of chaos grew quiet, only to be replaced by a new citywide chorus of gurgling moans. I broke down when I heard it. What the hell was going on down below? I decided I didn't want to look outside and find out. That night I slept in the bathroom on my floor. It was the only place where I could go to block out the chorus from hell. The next morning it was gone. It felt so eerie to have complete silence in a city. After buying some food from a vending machine, I worked up the courage to look outside. I made my way up to the roof and walked over the edge to get a look down below.
What I saw was nothing like any apocalypse movie I’d ever seen. I didn’t see cars on fire stores broken into, or bodies littering the street. All I saw was a flood of that sickly yellow substance. Only now it was streaked a shade of red. It stretched as far as the eye could see, up and down every street. It looked worse than any flood disaster movie I’d ever seen, only it definitely wasn't rain. It looked to be flooding at least ten feet high, with a few cars and lamp posts protruding from the top. I was in total shock. Where was everyone? When would the military or someone come and rescue people trapped in other buildings? I tried calling family and friends to see if they were OK, but I got no response. I was alone, cut off from the world. I had no way of telling how far out this flood stretched as the skyscrapers blocked my view of anything outside the city. I spent the next two days sleeping on the roof, waiting for rescue to arrive. I had a pair of binoculars our building had on the roof for sightseeing. What confused me more than the lack of rescue efforts, was that there was not another soul I could see trapped in any of the buildings. There were no voices calling out for help, and I saw not one person moving about the other skyscrapers. The city was dead silent.
I finally saw another person three days ago, and he could've been the last person I'll ever see. He was looking out of a broken window about 40 stories above ground level in the building across the street from mine. I could see he was handling a bundle of rope with a hook on the end. He looked absolutely terrified, like he was in mortal danger. I was about to call out to him when I saw something shimmer by his side. I focused on it with my binoculars. It was machete, covered in bright red. I figured if this man was dangerous, I shouldn’t let him know I was here. As the minutes went by, he kept making his rope longer while constantly looking deeper into the building, as if he was expecting something to attack him at any moment.
Once he was done he tried throwing the hook to my building. Time after time he failed. The hook wouldn’t latch on to anything and he’d have to pull it all the way back. He looked more and more hopeless with every swing and miss. Eventually, to my disbelief, he looked behind himself one last time, let out a roar, and heaved the rope with all his might across the street. It must have caught something because it stuck. The man pulled hard on the rope to make sure it was secure. He then tied the rope to a bar near his window, grabbed a backpack and proceeded to hang from the rope.
I watched as he shimmied along, slowly at first, then picking up the pace a bit. About halfway across he turned his head over his shoulder to look back at the window and started panicking. I focused my binoculars the window and felt my reality crash all around me. That goo was gushing out of his window, creating a powerful waterfall back down to the street. Had it flood his building? How could that goo flood the 40th floor of his building without being barely over one story on ground level? But most concerning was why was that goo only flushing out of the window that man came from? Could it be hunting him? Was it alive? I was just about to call out to him when I heard a distinct snap, and the man plummeted downward. He let out a scream that echoed throughout the streets. It sounded like he was falling into the fiery pits of Hell. The few seconds he fell felt like an eternity. What happened next is how I came to call this flood the 'Glutton’.
There was no way he would survive that fall. I hoped the man would at least die upon impact, like how one would die falling into water from a great height. What happened drove me to insanity. Before he even hit the flood, hundreds, if not thousands of skinny, veiny tentacles shot up from the goo and wrapped around him with lightning speed. The veiny tentacles covered almost all of his body and pulled him under with crushing force. A few seconds later he resurfaced, screaming in absolute anguish. It looked as though there were fewer veins on him, but when I zoomed in closer with my binoculars, I was introduced to the most terrifying thing I’d ever seen in my life. The veins were swarming inside him. They penetrated through his skin, mouth, nose, and eyes. They were writhing under his skin like worms.
The veins started to swell, and the man’s skin started changing. It looked like he was melting. The skin of his arms, sides, and legs fused with the Glutton, all the while the veins getting fatter, sucking more blood and God knows what else out of him. His screams became gurgled from choking on his own blood, veins, and the melted skin from what was once his lips. He was slowly becoming a part of the Glutton. I just stood at the top of my building, frozen in place, unable to look away. Then I heard something that snapped me out of my trance.
“Shoot me! Please!” the man cried out, with only the remnants of his melted face now sticking out of the Glutton. He must have seen me looking down upon him as he was being devoured from the inside and out.
What could I do? I didn’t have a gun or anything.
“Shoot me! I beg you! Plea-”
Just as he was about to finish, an explosion of Glutton and veins erupted from his mouth and brought most of his face down under. The only thing left of him was a mouth, just barely peaking the surface, permanently opened wide in a frozen scream. The veins retreated back into the Glutton and all went quiet.
That was three days ago and I'm losing hope and time. Ever since I saw that man die, the Glutton has slowly been moving up my building. It's sweeping through every floor, hunting me down. It only has about ten floors to go before it reaches the roof. It had to have been that man who gave me away. Maybe it saw me through his eyes? It doesn't matter anymore. It's alive and it knows I'm here. There’s still been no rescue and I don't know if there's anyone out there to even rescue me anymore. The Glutton knows I’m here and it’s coming.
There's an overturned freight truck on the other side of the street with its side sitting above the Glutton. A part of me wants to jump and end it all. If I manage to hit the truck, I'll die a quick death. But it's a extremely long fall, from the top of a damn skyscraper! If I miss and land in the Glutton, I'll end up just like that man, dying a slow, agonizing death. Maybe I won't even die, and I'll spend an eternity somehow being alive in that thing, like a horrific shared consciousness, a hive mind. If I wait here and rescue doesn't come, the Glutton will get me regardless. I only have a few hours before it reaches the roof. Just a few, short hours. No one has come in the five days that I've been here, so what are the chances someone will come now? I haven't seen one damn plane nor helicopter. Nothing. At this point I've lost almost all hope of making out of this alive.
Besides, that truck down there is pretty big isn't it?
Written by My Brother Daryl