The Last Night. Short Story.

The night air was colder than Janice had expected, despite her warm hoody she still shivered slightly. Standing she went to her car and grabbed the spare blanket from the trunk. Blanket in hand she went back to her spot and lay down, covering herself. She put her hands behind her head and continued looking up at the stars. She had always loved looking up at the night sky, ever since she was a child, watching those pinpricks of light and imagining that somewhere on another planet another little girl was doing the exact same thing. It seemed fitting that she would look at them for her last night on Earth. Perhaps that little girl was out there, maybe she would live on, maybe what ever was happening would be contained to earth, but Janice doubted it. What ever it was would spring from the earth and then travel the universe, consuming everything it encountered. Thinking of it now it seemed inevitable. Humanity was going to die out sooner or later, the universe was a cold, harsh place and only the fittest could survive, humanity just wouldn’t make the cut. Maybe someone would eventually stop it, but by then it would be too late for Earth.

Part of her wished that she had never met Tom, that she could be sitting at home, watching TV, or talking to friends, unaware of what was going to happen tonight. They had met in college, he had an air about him, one she couldn’t pinpoint. He was quiet, but there was something about him that drew her, the way he held himself, the way he spoke. They had started seeing each other casually, meeting up for drinks, or a quick bite to eat. Nothing too serious, just enjoying each other and the time they spent together. It had gone on like that for two or three months before Janice realised she was falling for him, and falling hard.

It seemed so harmless when he introduced her to his friends. They seemed a bit weird sure, but they were nice enough people. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until she was invited to one of their “game nights.” She had never expressed any interest in attending before because for the most part Janice found video games boring and pointless. She decided she’d go after Tom promised her she would have a good time. So she went, prepared to have fun, but reassured that she could bail during the night if she wanted.

They all gathered in Johnny’s house and everything was normal at first, people were drinking and Janice was having a surprisingly good time. Johnny was the one who instigated it, “It’s getting a bit late, isn’t it?”
Tom looked at him and frowned, “I guess man, it’s fine.”
“I think maybe we should call it a night, don’t you?”
Janice was getting a weird vibe from Johnny, and everyone seemed to be looking at them. Janice smiled, “I’ve an early morning tomorrow anyway, so maybe it would be best.”
Tom grabbed her hand, “No, I want her to stay.”
Johnny shrugged, “If you think she can handle it.”
Janice felt a twinge of unease, handle what? She looked at Tom inquisitively, he just smiled and shook his head slightly, he leaned over and whispered in her ear, “Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.”

A few minutes later Janice noticed the room was clearing out, Tom guided her down towards the basement, “What’s down there?”
“You’ll see, trust me, it’s awesome.”

The basement surprised her, it was clean, well lit and furnished. All in all it was a good place to have a party. Janice rolled her eyes, obviously they were just planning on getting completely wasted. That didn’t surprise her all that much, most of the time Tom was tired and cranky after his gaming nights. Someone turned on music, it was low, too low for her to hear properly, but it had a steady, rhythmic beat. Everyone started to sit in a circle on the thick carpet, Janice sat beside Tom, wondering what exactly was going to happen. She thought it would just be some kind of drinking game. Everyone linked hands, Janice did likewise, feeling out of place, she wanted his friends to like her, she didn’t want to be uncool.

Something came over her, she didn’t know what, even now. Words came from her mouth, complicated and thick, joining in with the others. Then it appeared. The pulsating mass, talking to them in its deep, guttural voice. Telling them that soon it would be time. Janice could feel the terror and fear building but she couldn’t stop chanting, she couldn’t move. Then it was over. She collapsed backwards, Tom was beside her, also lying on the floor and giggling, “Wasn’t that such a rush?”
Janice was panting heavily, “What the hell was that thing?”
“It was God.”
Janice felt her stomach tense, she felt like she was going to throw up, she felt unclean, her whole body felt like it was covered in a thick layer of grime, one she would never be able to remove.
“What are you talking about? That thing couldn’t be God.”
“Oh but it is. It’s powerful, more powerful than anything you could imagine. I wanted you to be here with us, to see it. We’re summoning it tomorrow, it will make all our dreams come true.”
Janice shook her head, it started pounding steadily, “Something like that, it couldn’t be God. Can’t you feel it? The filth and the wrongness of it?”
Tom looked at her, he was smiling, “Trust me, it’s for the better, we’re going to create paradise on earth.”

Janice saw it in her dreams that night, heard its whispering but she could see it for what it truly was. It was evil, and it was hungry. A deep and ancient hunger. She had promised Tom she would be there, he told her there were others, all across the world. She knew she couldn’t stop it, besides, who could she even tell? Everyone would think she was crazy. A slight breeze blew over her, the ground beneath her began to rumble, faintly at first but it grew stronger. Her heart started beating heavily in her chest, her stomach tightened. It was happening. Somewhere in the distance there was a great roar, the ground below her started to twist and buck violently, her body slamming against it again and again, it opened up, a great chasm and she started falling. The wind rushed through her hair, stole her breath, she could see it below, rushing up to meet her. Pain, sharp and unbearable ripped through her skull, destroying her mind, her sanity. She fell into the giant, gaping maw of the beast, everything went dark and mercifully quiet.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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