working on a science team with my mom and dad. they are divorced, but still working together. we are very cautiously exploring an anomaly- a cave or pit that has appeared in a place where there had been none, and no record of seismic or other geological activity. in fact, satellite scans revealed no tunnels or voids below the surface- this despite the fact that we had explored miles and miles of tunnels with no end in sight. further adding to the anomalous nature of this cryptic aperture was the fact that from time to time it disgorged monsters. huge, misshapen toads are the most recognizable of the horrors we have encountered. after we had dispatched the monsters found roaming the countryside, we had sealed up the entrance to the anomaly, and it was now accessible only by a specially designed combination elevator and airlock, hermetically and electromagnetically sealed. when we made excursions (incursions?) into the anomaly, we donned specialized suits outfitted with a variety of telemetry and life support functions, as well as ceramic armoring and muscle-assist servomotors, able to magnify the strength of the wearer by about one half.

at this point we have mapped well over twenty-five miles of tunnels, all by hand, as none of our sophisticated sensory equipment can be coaxed to function within the anomaly. we have moved our whole family onsite, as the oldest, I worked with my parents, while the younger siblings watched each other and occupied themselves out of the way.

over the last several weeks, my father has become increasingly erratic. several times, against all protocols, he has made trips into the anomaly alone. i have heard him muttering in his sleep, he shares a bunk with me since mom kicked him out of their quarters. i can’t access his data logs, they’ve been encrypted. i asked mom about it, but she doesn’t want to talk about him. they’ve taken to working opposite shifts and barely speak even when they do see each other, which isn’t often.

then one night i wake abruptly, and some hunch propels me from my bed to the main lab. there I see my father, suited up, punching the access code for the elevator- and he’s carrying my little sister on his hip, still in her pink onesie pajamas. the door to the lab is locked, and banging on the window earns me a wave from my baby sister, but dad ignores me as the airlock irises open and he carries her through. i slap the fire alarm, waking everyone, and yell for mom to open the lab door so we can go after them. as the two of us suit up, she fixes me with a hard stare. “we may have to kill him.” she says, matter of factly. i just nod, waiting for the elevator to come back up.


~ by oberon the fool on June 16, 2011.

4 Responses to “depths”

  1. So, this one reminds me of a book I read last year – The Compound – where the father tricks his family into staying in an underground shelter/compound for several years. He claims that the world has gone to hell/war and that they have to hide from the radiation. Things start to go wrong almost immediately with their food supply (all their animals die – so they become vegetarians by default), their hydroponic garden is on the brink of failure because they don’t have enough replacement lightbulbs, and dad is probably crazy – the family has suspected this for awhile. The teenage son finally rallies his sister and mother when he discovers dad has been lying to them the whole time about the real situation (this is all a marketing stunt so he can make billions off of similar shelters when he and his family emerge to publicity and acclaim). They think they might have to kill him, too.

  2. No giant mutant toads, though?

  3. I’m pretty sure the father in this dream has encountered some unearthly diabolical force or entity, all Shininglike, and is taking his daughter to trade for powers of a dark and unwholesome nature.

  4. No toads. There was some ergot poisoning, though. *eyeroll*

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