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waiting for the nyquil to kick in ◈ Forget about coffee buy me a cup noodle.

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Fractures, Chapter 1: Bubble · 6:12am June 10th


The floor creaked under her feet. Distant, metallic screeches echoed through her skull, almost drowning out her muted humming. She clutched the fragile glass of the cup, unwilling to let it come shattering to the floor. A dim corridor terminated her path ahead—three doors. Faint voices echoed from behind the one to her left, though she kept her sights on the one directly ahead.

Here, the screeching was louder than anywhere else in the house; enough so that she could see it in the water of her cup. Burning metal singed the air, though the odor was hardly unfamiliar to the young girl. She sucked in a breath before opening the door.

She squinted in the blazing light, both from the open garage before her and from the dancing flickers of color shimmering now against her surroundings. A masked figure wearing heavy-set goggles turned their head to her, one hand still gripping the handle of the now-still circular saw they stood beside.

“Zoey!” The figure chuckled, lifting their goggles. “You don’t have to fill the cup that much. You want any snacks while you’re at it?”

Zoey shook her head, carefully lowering the glass onto the corner of the table. A stray droplet dripped down her hands. She whipped back around with a grin to face the figure. “Nope! Do you think we can go to that ice cream place again later, Lisa? I wanna try that weird new flavor that they added! Y’know, the one where they mix grape juice with chocolate?”

“Maybe,” Lisa stepped away from the saw. She pulled down her mask before reaching for the cup. “You know your mom doesn’t want you eating too much ice cream, right?” she took a sip before letting out a laugh. “Just a small cup this time, ‘kay? You had a bowl bigger than mine yesterday.”


A loud SHOOM rattled the concrete beneath them. Dust sifted down from above as the initial blast subsided, replaced instead by a dull hum unlike anything either girl had heard before.

Lisa coughed as she pulled her mask back up. She reached over and pulled the collar of Zoey’s shirt over her own face. “Stay here,” she said in muffled tones. “I’m going to check on the boys. If it’s too dusty for you, go out on the driveway.”

Frenzied footsteps thumped up behind the door, followed by muffled pounding. “Lis!” the voice cried. “A huge hole just opened up in the basement! I tried to pull them away, but—”

Another tremor tore through the house, followed by an earsplitting creaaak. The door slammed open.


“Caleb,” Lisa’s voice pierced through the uneasy silence. “Show me.”

A single nod was all it took. Lisa trailed behind her brother, following him out and into the open doorway to the basement. A dark, almost milky haze obscured the bottom.

Caleb stepped back, trembling hands gripping tightly against the railing.

“That… wasn’t there before.”

“You think?” Lisa blocked her brother’s path with an arm. “Go stay in the garage with Zoey. You said your friends are in there?”

“Y-yeah. Not sure if they’re still there though.”

Lisa stared at the darkness for a few more seconds before backing away. Thin tendrils of shadow pulsed from the hazy core, spiderwebbing outward in every direction like a crack in a mirror. A dull hum accompanied their slow spread as they further enveloped the stairwell.

“It’s spreading,” she took another step back. “Caleb, go. Now.”

She didn’t need to look to know that her brother did exactly that. She pulled the door shut behind him.

Fractured thoughts filtered through her paralyzed mind.

She couldn’t hear any voices coming from the basement anymore.


The word screamed through her head.


Those were Caleb’s friends down there.


Were they—

She placed a hand on the railing, feeling her body move on its own.




She tore away from the stairwell and threw open the garage door.

“Lis!” Caleb sounded surprised by his sister’s return. “Did you—”

His words faded into the background as she grabbed him by the hand, practically dragging him out further onto the driveway to join Zoey. She could barely make out the puzzled expression on his face as she turned away, making a beeline for the hanging tools on the wall.

A C-clamp and a length of tie-down strap would have to do.

What was she doing?

“Lisa?” she could vaguely make out Zoey’s voice.

Her body marched itself back through the door. She hooked the clamp around the handrail, screwing it secure while keeping an eye on the darkness. It was nearly at the top of the stairwell now. The haze had since dispersed, giving way instead to a uniform black; like a bubble made of pure shadow.

Every nerve in her body screamed for her to flee.

She tied one end of the strap around her waist.

“Lisa!” Zoey shoved herself between Lisa and the top of the stairwell. “Come on! You have to go too! Before something else bad happens!”


Zoey’s gaze drifted downward.

“…Lisa, I can’t feel my feet.”

Lisa’s eyes fell to the darkness that Zoey now stood in. Then back to her paling face.

“Lisa,” Zoey repeated, her voice barely a whisper now. “What do I do?”

“Lisa!” Caleb’s voice came from her side. “It’s coming into the garage now, too!”

Her heart pounded in her throat. She grit her teeth, looking wildly around for something, anything, that she could use.

She shook her head. There was no time. She grappled Zoey beneath her arms the best she could, pulling upward as hard as she could while paying mind not to set her own feet into the inky black.

“Ow…” Zoey managed through her own panicked breaths.

Lisa released her. The darkness was halfway up her calves now, and only creeping higher. A razor-thin tendril of shadow raced past them.

There was hardly room to stand anymore. Lisa felt her back press against the door opposite to the stairwell. “Zoey,” Lisa held out a hand. “Hold on. I’ve got you. You hear me?”

Zoey lifted her head, locking eyes with Lisa. She forced a trembling smile as she reached with her own hand. A shot of pain flashed across her face as she did so.

“I’ve got you.”

Lisa could feel the gash across Zoey’s hand as she gripped it. She must’ve scraped it on the clamp.

“Is everything going to be okay?”

Lisa pursed her lips. She shook her head. “No, but as long as I’m still here, I’m sure as heck gonna try.”

She felt another pair of hands grip around her own arm as she too began to sink into the darkness. “Caleb?” she jerked her attention to her brother. “I thought I told you to stay in the garage!”

“You might be Zoey’s babysitter, but she’s my friend too” —Caleb grunted, tugging with all his strength— “I’m not… going to let… another one… disappear. And you know I’m not letting you get eaten either!”

Lisa shifted her gaze downward. Caleb too was now ensnared.

Their fate had been sealed.

She glanced one last time to Zoey, who by now was only a face and a hand at the edge of the growing bubble of shadow. Her eyes were closed, though she was still breathing.

A trickle of blood ran down her hand.

She looked now to Caleb. He gave another futile tug.

There was really only one thing left that she could do now. At the very least, perhaps it could spell an end to their collective dread.

She threw herself forward fully into the darkness.

Report TheMajorTechie · 123 views · #Fractures
Comments ( 2 )

Ensnared, fate sealed, shadow, into the darkness... Yeah, I like it. All trigger words.

Congrats with 8 years today!

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