Penumbra: Nightmare Episode 7
Part 3 of 4
Agent Mark King shifted nervously. He had always gotten jitters right before a big test. He felt the rain run off his hat and coat, his gloved hands clenching and I clenching as he waited for the door to open.
“I lead, you follow.” Grunted E.
“Yes sir.” Mark replied trying to stand up straighter. The door slowly opened partway.
“Can I help you?” The man of the house asked. Both agents pulled out their badges. Mark felt his heart pounding in excitement.
“Inspectors from the department of health’s Psychological division. Our Psychostatistical algorithms predicted an event here. We were dispatched to investigate. Can we come in?”
“Sure.” The man replied. Instantly Mark felt as though a barrier around the house had dropped. He and E strode easily through the door.
“You’ll be just like your father!” A voice screamed at Mark. He missed step and stumbled, looking for the source of the voice. E looked over in the same direction, coolly enough that Mark chastised himself for the distraction. The source of the voice was a black and red parrot that cackled from a ledge in the sitting room.
“Sorry about that, begone Satan!” The father said flatly. The bird squealed and flapped off.
“Do you have any kids?” E asked as Mark began to check any mundane causes off the list. The gas looked fine, and he couldn’t smell any mold.
“I do, three kids. Why?”
“We need to speak to everyone in the house.” E answered back coldly.
“Upstairs, but everyone’s asleep.” He responded, E nodded and Mark followed. He didn’t make it up the stairs before he felt a heavy impact. Something struck him in the chest and sent him back down the stairs. His back slammed into the floor and he looked down at what had struck him. It was the battered body of a fat boy. The eyes were beginning to swell and it looked as though blood was beginning to drip out the nose. A soft groan issued and Mark let out a breath of relief. He looked back just before another body came at him. Mark threw his body backwards along the ground and let the next body slam into him. He grunted as his body was struck by a girl not much younger than he was. He pushed her off and rose as swiftly as he could to his feet. His hand went to the inside of his cost and drew the long handle of his lightblade. In a swift motion he zipped his coat up and activated the blade. The bright yellow blade raced forward as Mark readied his stance.
Atop the stairs stood the monster. Four long arms extended from a muscled human torso. Each arm ended in claws that were a sickly green color. In fact the whole of it was a sickly blue green skin color. What should have been the waist and legs were like the body of a scorpion. Where the tail of a scorpion would have been, the tail was like a shark. The head, if it could be called that was one massive eye the size of a dinner plate. The iris was the same sickly green, but from the pupil a single pink tongue lashed at the air. It’s claws snapped, it’s scorpion legs clattered, the tail swished side to side, and the tongue lashed the air. In a single motion it charged down the stairs straight towards the father. Mark threw his body forward up the stairs, his mind was one track to interpose himself. The monster took a single swipe at the father, slamming him up against the wall. The other three hands crashed into Mark.
The impact sent both of them crashing down the stairs, past the kids, and into a sitting room. Mark swung his sword arm and forced the creature off his chest. The claws snapped and Mark twirled his blade. The creature shot forward. Four punch like hits struck Mark as the creature raced by. Mark felt four dull thuds on his chest as the creature raced by. His blade sang through the air. The creature skirted just outside his reach on the second pass as Mark let the backswing of his strike buy him time. It came at him again, this time Mark hop-stepped back and swung to keep the racing beast at bay. The next time though, the tail blind sided him and Mark felt a claw clamp down on his sword arm. Two more blows crashed into his back and Mark grunted in pain. Here ached across and felt his other arm gripped down on. Mark grinned.
“Surprise.” A burst of yellow light exploded from Mark’s left cuff. The creature screeched and released Mark. Without wasting a second, Mark let his sword swing in a wide arc, it managed to graze the monster across the chest. Acrid smoke poured from the wound as Mark pressed the advantage, he rushed forward and took powerful lunging strikes with both hands. The creature stumbled backwards, apparently clumsy in reverse. His blade made a low strike and severed two of the legs, as he lifted the blade to strike the killing blow, he heard a scream. His head turned as the mother had entered the room. The parrot sat on her shoulder as she screamed at the sight. Mark’s eyes met the parrot’s and he felt his muscles lock. He tried to swing down and he couldn’t. He willed his arms to move, even to drop or relax, but they couldn’t. He felt the blow to his gut and couldn’t even react as the creature toppled him over. Mark could only listen as a female voice called out.
“There’s nothing to fear!”
Click. The sound of a scorpion leg moving.
“There’s nothing to fear!”
Clack. Another step.
“There’s nothing tofear!”
“There’snothingtofear!” The words were running together.
“There’snothingtofear! There’snothingtofear! There’snothingtofear!”
“Look what you’ve done.” The voice of the parrot said. Except now it wasn’t a screechy voice, it was a deep and familiar baritone. The voice seemed to echo as though the speaker was speaking into a metal bucket or helmet that seemed to magnify the voice. “It’s your fault she died. You couldn’t save her. Look at her!” Mark felt a claw grab him and face him straight into the woman’s cold dead eyes. The pupils expanded and he was forced to stare into the empty blackness. “You killed her. You’re just like your father.”