Day 3

Day 3


The dark ancient thing that had moved through the infinite void since the beginning/now/end continued to mechanically move as it had always done. It had one job; to ensure that each of the strings was vibrating in the correct placed that the thing before it put them there before it was eaten up by something else. The appendages moved across and around each string, pulling the hulking incomprehensible mass behind it. Since it’s ancient memory, the same sounds coming from the infinite lines had been the same. At first, it found, what humanity would call annoying, but eventually it grew to understand the purpose.

As it was moving in the now/then/later the noise changed ever so slightly. One single string had stopped and the silence, to the thing was so deafening that it felt pain in the deep recesses of its elder brain. A switch that had been placed inside the thing was flipped and the primordial hunger that only found in the apex predators was ignited deep in its central nervous system. Now/Then/Later supereons of starvation thrummed through the thing, and it began to move with a new single purpose; to find the flaw and correct it through destruction. It moved at great speed, but it’s mark was immeasurable and uncountable distances away. It roared in what humanity would have considered anger at the idea that it could not fulfill its need immediately. It would be the first and second noise the thing would ever make. Everything everywhere heard it.

There would be/has been/will be a moment where every living thing, no matter the number of synapses in the brain, that it would start from a slumber, trance, or sleep with a deep sense of fear, loathing, and self-destruction. The sensation will be so devastating to some, that they will find ways to end their existences within the four seconds that they heard it. Four hundred and thirty-two million living things will cease to exist. It did not pause to think of the implications of what it had done or what it was going to do. Instead, it only thought of eating what had/will/continued to change.

At that moment, Perdita felt a wave of dread come over her as she looked down at her notes that lay sprawled out on the wooden writing desk. She had rented a specific room that still followed The Plan and was now going over all the information that she had. She had pulled the heavy curtains shut so she wouldn’t have to look out and see how high she was from the ground. She was still bothered that the records no longer showed Sarah nor Natalie. They had, in all the sense, disappeared from where she had left them. There were a few ideas that she had, but there wasn’t anything she could really do to investigate. She had to stick to The Plan and hope for the best.

She loved music no matter what it was, so she didn’t pause to turn off “Johnny Zero” as it came on. Though it was completely different that what she was used to, she didn’t mind too much. It allowed her to focus on other things than the diagram in front of her. It was ten perfect circles drawn out with a straight line drawn down the middle of them. Each of the circles were spaced apart with the word CYCLE and a number. Where the lines intersected the circles where dates. She had drawn a red X through six of the circles.

There were, she imagined, more than ten. But this was a start. She would have to go back home and do a lot more research and calculations. She might even have to find someplace else that had more information on what she needed to do and risk all kinds of dangers. But she wasn’t there yet. She wouldn’t have to go there if one of the four remaining cycles had what she was looking for.

The Monroe’s might have had what she was looking for. It was a new family placed in a new suburb outside of New York with a baby on the way. The man was Charlie Monroe, age twenty-three with a limp from a bullet taken to the hip. His wife was Grace Monroe, age eighteen, with a knack for writing, and a need to drink a little too much. They both were going to come into the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel and rent the room right beside Perdita. In one week, Grace would have Mary Elizabeth Monroe in the Lebanon Hospital. After that, she wasn’t sure what happened because there were no records found.

The couple had rented the room because they were to visit the doctor for a routine checkup along with planning the birth and then, from what Perdita assumed, they were going to spend some time in New York doing whatever people did there to have fun. Perdita would not be having fun. She had prepared herself to follow them and observe and note their actions and comments to see if Grace and Charlie would be fit to raise Mary Elizabeth. After assessment, if they were deemed unfit, Perdita would then take actions needed. But not until then. She wasn’t about to assume anything of anyone until she was sure what she was doing was better for the child.

No matter what came through the radio, she couldn’t seem to keep her mind at ease. The pains in her stomach grew until she could no longer sit in her room and stare at the walls. So she gathered a few dollars from her bag, put them into her purse and walked out into the hot busy street.

New York was considered metropolitan, so she didn’t get looked at too much and there were only a few men that had choice words that she ignored easily. Instead, she focused on finding some place that she could sit under the shade and eat a sandwich and drink a few bottles of Coke to kill time. The family would be in their room within the hour, and she had already had the steps prepared to watch and listen.

There was a diner that was poorly lit that came into her view, and with the sun coming down on her she decided it was the best place she was going to find. The lighting was poor and there was a thick layer of cigarette smoke that collected in a light blue haze above the patron’s heads. Men and women sat at booths and tables talking, reading papers or magazines. It was loud, hot, and crowded.

She found the last booth and took it before anyone else had the chance, order two cold tuna sandwiches, and two bottles of Coke. When the waitress came out, she slid the extra two items to the other side of the table to make it look like someone else was sitting there. Most of the men, she had noticed, if knew she was alone wanted to talk to her. Usually, they brought up things she wasn’t aware of, and it made her look stupid. And she knew she was far from stupid.

The second bottle of Coke was almost finished when she spotted two figures step into the diner. One of them was a young man with slicked back blonde hair, a white button down and pressed dress pants. The girl looked younger and wore a light blue dress that swelled out with her pregnant belly.

The waitress started to whisper to them that there was no room for them to sit but Perdita stood up and waved them over. At first, they looked confused, but then, reluctantly moved and sat down across from her.

“I’m Grace Monroe and this is my husband, Charlie,” Grace said as she clumsily slid into the booth.

“You’ve got a big belly there,” Perdita smiled. “How much longer?”

“A week or two,” Grace smiled and blushed.

“Who are you?” Charlie asked after ordering a beer and a BLT for himself.

“My name is Perdita,” she answered.

“Funny name,” he said. “You’re not some kind of lady of the night, are you?”

“Charlie,” Grace slapped his arm.

“A man can ask,” he shrugged. “It’s been a while.”

“That’s crude of you to say,” Perdita frowned. “And why aren’t you eating, Grace?”

“What’s it your business why she isn’t eating,” he pulled a paper from his back pocket. “And I’m not apologizing to a woman who sits in a place like this alone.”

“I’m really sorry,” Grace said. “This isn’t a good day for him.”

Charlie didn’t reply. Instead, he unrolled the newspaper, pulled the cigarette from the back of his ear, and stuck it in his mouth. Grace fished around in her purse and lit it for him without a thank you or even a glance in her direction.

“You don’t mind if I have a drink of your Coke,” Grace asked.

Perdita ordered Grace a Coke and a cob salad even though she tried to decline. Charlie ruffled the paper but said nothing.

“Do you live in New York,” Grace asked.

“Just traveling,” Perdita replied.

“We live outside of New York,” Grace said. “The government built us a home because Charlie was injured in the war.”

“Shut up, Grace,” Charlie growled.

“You shut the fuck up, Charlie,” Perdita stood up. She didn’t notice that everyone in the diner had stopped doing what they were doing and was looking at her. She didn’t notice that the cars outside had started slowing down and the people on the inside were starting to go for their door handles.

“Excuse me,” he looked up from his newspaper.

“I said shut the fuck up,” Perdita said. “You’re a worthless moron treating your wife like this.”

“I can and will treat my wife how I want,” Charlie tried to stand but Grace was in his way. So, he pushed her, and she fell onto the floor she shouted as she fell and cradled her belly.

Without pause Perdita grabbed the heavy Coke bottle and swung it against Charlie’s temple so instead of standing up, he laid down in the booth and began to moan. The men and women in the diner were standing up, dropping their food and drinks onto the ground. Grace was crying uncontrollably.

There was nothing else for her to do but help Grace up and usher her out onto the sidewalk where everyone had stopped walking and was not looking at the two of them as they walked hurriedly down the street back to Perdita’s hotel room. It wasn’t until she was in the lobby that she noticed that the light had diminished from the sky, and no one was moving as they should. They were either standing in place or moving toward her but not moving toward her at the same time. When they slowed so Perdita could ask what was going on, Grace cried out and they started moving once again to the room.

Once in the room Grace laid down and Perdita checked her over for any injuries.

“Charlie isn’t a bad man,” Grace sniffled. “He’s just angry about his injury.”

“Charlie is a bad man,” Perdita said. “He’s destruction to you and your Mary.”

“How did you know, if it was a girl, that I was going to name it Mary,” Grace asked.

Perdita shrugged. “It’s what I would have named my girl if I hadn’t lost her.”

“I’m sorry,” Grace said.

Perdita looked outside. It had grown dark and the people of New York had started gathering around the building. She could feel her skin begin to crawl as something in the sky above them made a loud cracking sound.

“This is a nice room,” Grace said.

“It is,” Perdita said still looking out the window.

“My husband Charlie would like a room like this,” Grace said.

“I’m sure he would love to break everything in it,” Perdita replied.

“My name is Grace,” Grace said.

Confused Perdita turned to see Grace standing beside the bed with a trickle of blood running out of her ear. She was staring blankly, smiling with a hand on her belly.

“Are you okay?” Perdita asked.

“I’m fine,” Grace smiled so large tears formed in her eyes. “How are you?”

She started backing away from Perdita who started following her.

“Come here,” Perdita held out her hand. “It will be okay.”

Something was wrong. There was another loud cracking noise above them in the sky but she couldn’t figure out what it was. Mostly because she was distracted by Perdita who now had her back to the large window.

“This is strange weather, isn’t it Charlie,” she whispered.

“Charlie isn’t here,” Perdita said as she held out her hand.

Grace took her hand and looked up. She shook it, smiled, and introduced herself. And then she opened her mouth and screamed. It was loud and throat burning. Perdita jumped back and let go. That’s when Grace slammed her head so hard into the window it broke. The glass shattered into large pieces and plummeted to the unmoving people below.

Grace followed shortly thereafter.

Perdita’s scream continued long after Grace’s had stopped.

Day 3


The dark ancient thing that had moved through the infinite void since the beginning/now/end continued to mechanically move as it had always done. It had one job; to ensure that each of the strings was vibrating in the correct placed that the thing before it put them there before it was eaten up by something else. The appendages moved across and around each string, pulling the hulking incomprehensible mass behind it. Since it’s ancient memory, the same sounds coming from the infinite lines had been the same. At first, it found, what humanity would call annoying, but eventually it grew to understand the purpose.

As it was moving in the now/then/later the noise changed ever so slightly. One single string had stopped and the silence, to the thing was so deafening that it felt pain in the deep recesses of its elder brain. A switch that had been placed inside the thing was flipped and the primordial hunger that only found in the apex predators was ignited deep in its central nervous system. Now/Then/Later supereons of starvation thrummed through the thing, and it began to move with a new single purpose; to find the flaw and correct it through destruction. It moved at great speed, but it’s mark was immeasurable and uncountable distances away. It roared in what humanity would have considered anger at the idea that it could not fulfill its need immediately. It would be the first and second noise the thing would ever make. Everything everywhere heard it.

There would be/has been/will be a moment where every living thing, no matter the number of synapses in the brain, that it would start from a slumber, trance, or sleep with a deep sense of fear, loathing, and self-destruction. The sensation will be so devastating to some, that they will find ways to end their existences within the four seconds that they heard it. Four hundred and thirty-two million living things will cease to exist. It did not pause to think of the implications of what it had done or what it was going to do. Instead, it only thought of eating what had/will/continued to change.

At that moment, Perdita felt a wave of dread come over her as she looked down at her notes that lay sprawled out on the wooden writing desk. She had rented a specific room that still followed The Plan and was now going over all the information that she had. She had pulled the heavy curtains shut so she wouldn’t have to look out and see how high she was from the ground. She was still bothered that the records no longer showed Sarah nor Natalie. They had, in all the sense, disappeared from where she had left them. There were a few ideas that she had, but there wasn’t anything she could really do to investigate. She had to stick to The Plan and hope for the best.

She loved music no matter what it was, so she didn’t pause to turn off “Johnny Zero” as it came on. Though it was completely different that what she was used to, she didn’t mind too much. It allowed her to focus on other things than the diagram in front of her. It was ten perfect circles drawn out with a straight line drawn down the middle of them. Each of the circles were spaced apart with the word CYCLE and a number. Where the lines intersected the circles where dates. She had drawn a red X through six of the circles.

There were, she imagined, more than ten. But this was a start. She would have to go back home and do a lot more research and calculations. She might even have to find someplace else that had more information on what she needed to do and risk all kinds of dangers. But she wasn’t there yet. She wouldn’t have to go there if one of the four remaining cycles had what she was looking for.

The Monroe’s might have had what she was looking for. It was a new family placed in a new suburb outside of New York with a baby on the way. The man was Charlie Monroe, age twenty-three with a limp from a bullet taken to the hip. His wife was Grace Monroe, age eighteen, with a knack for writing, and a need to drink a little too much. They both were going to come into the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel and rent the room right beside Perdita. In one week, Grace would have Mary Elizabeth Monroe in the Lebanon Hospital. After that, she wasn’t sure what happened because there were no records found.

The couple had rented the room because they were to visit the doctor for a routine checkup along with planning the birth and then, from what Perdita assumed, they were going to spend some time in New York doing whatever people did there to have fun. Perdita would not be having fun. She had prepared herself to follow them and observe and note their actions and comments to see if Grace and Charlie would be fit to raise Mary Elizabeth. After assessment, if they were deemed unfit, Perdita would then take actions needed. But not until then. She wasn’t about to assume anything of anyone until she was sure what she was doing was better for the child.

No matter what came through the radio, she couldn’t seem to keep her mind at ease. The pains in her stomach grew until she could no longer sit in her room and stare at the walls. So she gathered a few dollars from her bag, put them into her purse and walked out into the hot busy street.

New York was considered metropolitan, so she didn’t get looked at too much and there were only a few men that had choice words that she ignored easily. Instead, she focused on finding some place that she could sit under the shade and eat a sandwich and drink a few bottles of Coke to kill time. The family would be in their room within the hour, and she had already had the steps prepared to watch and listen.

There was a diner that was poorly lit that came into her view, and with the sun coming down on her she decided it was the best place she was going to find. The lighting was poor and there was a thick layer of cigarette smoke that collected in a light blue haze above the patron’s heads. Men and women sat at booths and tables talking, reading papers or magazines. It was loud, hot, and crowded.

She found the last booth and took it before anyone else had the chance, order two cold tuna sandwiches, and two bottles of Coke. When the waitress came out, she slid the extra two items to the other side of the table to make it look like someone else was sitting there. Most of the men, she had noticed, if knew she was alone wanted to talk to her. Usually, they brought up things she wasn’t aware of, and it made her look stupid. And she knew she was far from stupid.

The second bottle of Coke was almost finished when she spotted two figures step into the diner. One of them was a young man with slicked back blonde hair, a white button down and pressed dress pants. The girl looked younger and wore a light blue dress that swelled out with her pregnant belly.

The waitress started to whisper to them that there was no room for them to sit but Perdita stood up and waved them over. At first, they looked confused, but then, reluctantly moved and sat down across from her.

“I’m Grace Monroe and this is my husband, Charlie,” Grace said as she clumsily slid into the booth.

“You’ve got a big belly there,” Perdita smiled. “How much longer?”

“A week or two,” Grace smiled and blushed.

“Who are you?” Charlie asked after ordering a beer and a BLT for himself.

“My name is Perdita,” she answered.

“Funny name,” he said. “You’re not some kind of lady of the night, are you?”

“Charlie,” Grace slapped his arm.

“A man can ask,” he shrugged. “It’s been a while.”

“That’s crude of you to say,” Perdita frowned. “And why aren’t you eating, Grace?”

“What’s it your business why she isn’t eating,” he pulled a paper from his back pocket. “And I’m not apologizing to a woman who sits in a place like this alone.”

“I’m really sorry,” Grace said. “This isn’t a good day for him.”

Charlie didn’t reply. Instead, he unrolled the newspaper, pulled the cigarette from the back of his ear, and stuck it in his mouth. Grace fished around in her purse and lit it for him without a thank you or even a glance in her direction.

“You don’t mind if I have a drink of your Coke,” Grace asked.

Perdita ordered Grace a Coke and a cob salad even though she tried to decline. Charlie ruffled the paper but said nothing.

“Do you live in New York,” Grace asked.

“Just traveling,” Perdita replied.

“We live outside of New York,” Grace said. “The government built us a home because Charlie was injured in the war.”

“Shut up, Grace,” Charlie growled.

“You shut the fuck up, Charlie,” Perdita stood up. She didn’t notice that everyone in the diner had stopped doing what they were doing and was looking at her. She didn’t notice that the cars outside had started slowing down and the people on the inside were starting to go for their door handles.

“Excuse me,” he looked up from his newspaper.

“I said shut the fuck up,” Perdita said. “You’re a worthless moron treating your wife like this.”

“I can and will treat my wife how I want,” Charlie tried to stand but Grace was in his way. So, he pushed her, and she fell onto the floor she shouted as she fell and cradled her belly.

Without pause Perdita grabbed the heavy Coke bottle and swung it against Charlie’s temple so instead of standing up, he laid down in the booth and began to moan. The men and women in the diner were standing up, dropping their food and drinks onto the ground. Grace was crying uncontrollably.

There was nothing else for her to do but help Grace up and usher her out onto the sidewalk where everyone had stopped walking and was not looking at the two of them as they walked hurriedly down the street back to Perdita’s hotel room. It wasn’t until she was in the lobby that she noticed that the light had diminished from the sky, and no one was moving as they should. They were either standing in place or moving toward her but not moving toward her at the same time. When they slowed so Perdita could ask what was going on, Grace cried out and they started moving once again to the room.

Once in the room Grace laid down and Perdita checked her over for any injuries.

“Charlie isn’t a bad man,” Grace sniffled. “He’s just angry about his injury.”

“Charlie is a bad man,” Perdita said. “He’s destruction to you and your Mary.”

“How did you know, if it was a girl, that I was going to name it Mary,” Grace asked.

Perdita shrugged. “It’s what I would have named my girl if I hadn’t lost her.”

“I’m sorry,” Grace said.

Perdita looked outside. It had grown dark and the people of New York had started gathering around the building. She could feel her skin begin to crawl as something in the sky above them made a loud cracking sound.

“This is a nice room,” Grace said.

“It is,” Perdita said still looking out the window.

“My husband Charlie would like a room like this,” Grace said.

“I’m sure he would love to break everything in it,” Perdita replied.

“My name is Grace,” Grace said.

Confused Perdita turned to see Grace standing beside the bed with a trickle of blood running out of her ear. She was staring blankly, smiling with a hand on her belly.

“Are you okay?” Perdita asked.

“I’m fine,” Grace smiled so large tears formed in her eyes. “How are you?”

She started backing away from Perdita who started following her.

“Come here,” Perdita held out her hand. “It will be okay.”

Something was wrong. There was another loud cracking noise above them in the sky but she couldn’t figure out what it was. Mostly because she was distracted by Perdita who now had her back to the large window.

“This is strange weather, isn’t it Charlie,” she whispered.

“Charlie isn’t here,” Perdita said as she held out her hand.

Grace took her hand and looked up. She shook it, smiled, and introduced herself. And then she opened her mouth and screamed. It was loud and throat burning. Perdita jumped back and let go. That’s when Grace slammed her head so hard into the window it broke. The glass shattered into large pieces and plummeted to the unmoving people below.

Grace followed shortly thereafter.

Perdita’s scream continued long after Grace’s had stopped.


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