Short Story: The Encounter

Sarah casually walks down the street, taking in the cool night air around her. She is whistling the song “Don’t worry be happy,” as she strolls, thankful it’s finally her weekend, and she won’t have to return to the resturant for two whole days. There’s no one on the roads, which isn’t that unusual, since it is 2am, but a little strange to see absolutely no one at all. No cars driving, no drunk man stumbling home from the nearest bar, not even that ugly, orange alley cat that usually sulks around begging for food.

 Only her, and the traffic lights slowly blinking orange like they always do after 9:30 in Casper. No one anywhere. All alone in the world. 

She shrugs, and continues to walk and whistle. She likes to be alone. She wouldnt talk to anyone anyway, so what’s it to her if there here or not. 

The road she usually takes is blocked off, so she turns down an unfamiliar sidestreet and began a walk down a long grey tunnel. She likes the tunnel, her song echoes and makes her feel less alone. Something makes her suddenly stop, her song ceasing and the whole world goes quiet with it.

 Everything seems strangely familiar, like she’s already done this. She looks around at the tunnel…Its the tunnel from her dream. She had been here before. More than once. She turns back to go a different way, out of the tunnel. This time she’ll escape. But when she looks back at the path she had taken to get to the tunnel, every single light, in the shops, in the street, and even the comforting blink of the orange caution lights, had gone dark. The only way forward is the tunnel. 

She doesn’t want to go in the tunnel. There has to be another way. This time she’ll figure it out.  She takes her phone out of her pocket and turns on the tiny flashlight, in an effort to navigate back through the darkness. In the beam of her flashlight she sees a 7-foot tall figure, bony, gaunt and utterly terrifying. It’s oversized head houses two gigantic black eyes and his pale grey skin reflects the beam of light back into her eyes. 

She screams and drops her phone, the world going dark as the being reaches out for her. 

There is a a loud feedback noise that comes from seemingly, the heavens, speaking in a horrible foreign tongue. “Begin the test again.”

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