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The Strange Accounts of Emilie Barton

by Teresa Evelyn Hart 2 months ago in fiction
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A science fiction horror

Story and illustration by Teresa Hart

June 9, 2300

Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. Such strange, morbid, and impossible things have become possible since our voyage into the unknown began.

It all started about five weeks ago. While aboard the Babylon, our team had discovered an uninhabited planet. We were given the task to survey the area, and to be on standby should we be given the ‘OK’ to explore on foot. Beacons were sent down to provide visibility through the dense fog.

When recording our findings, one of our surveyors had spotted something most unnerving; a trail of petrified corpses of a most unusual species led to a large sinkhole about 5 kilometers wide.

Captain Harvey, damn that man and all who remain loyal to him, ordered us to fly the beacon down. Oh, how I wish morbid curiosity didn’t have such a hold on him.

Our pilot followed orders. We must have flown for miles and still never managed to find anything. No inscriptions along the walls. No passageways. No bottom was ever reached.

Eventually the pilot recommended the beacon return to station, for its power was draining rapidly. Captain Harvey reluctantly agreed with her, and she was able to begin the retrieval.

The beacon returned safely, with just enough power left. Although no other incident occurred, everyone felt uneasy about the descent. For the next several days, many crewmembers (particularly the ones in survey) complained of unbearable headaches. Then the nightmares came.

My crewmates all seemed to suffer from the same dream. A dream in which they were all marching towards that damned sinkhole. The same feeling burned inside each one of them as they approached the first step downward. There’s something there waiting for us…And it slumbers…for now.

Before venturing forth, they would awaken in a state of temporary paralysis. A most hideous look of terror etched into their poor faces; wild eyes darted about, as if they saw something in their room the rest of us could not. Upon regaining control of their bodies, the Babylon became a vessel that bottled up their hellish screams.

And just as quickly as it began, their screams died down. What had terrified them so? We were never given an answer.

For days I counted my blessings, grateful to not have fallen to these devilish dreams. And yet…I suppose my luck had to run out sooner or later. And what horrible luck I had.

I finished my shift, and returned to my bedroom to resume my readings. A couple of hours passed, I believe. Typically at this time I like to ready myself for the next day. Oddly enough, I remained at my desk. I succumbed to exhaustion, despite feeling an overwhelming sense of dread. Sleep took me, and I still question all that I had witnessed in that wretched dream.

I drifted through space, gazing in awe and wonder at all the magnificent sights around me. I slowed to a stop, as if I had reached the edge of the universe.

A large eye opened up and stared into me. Its red iris distastefully complemented the pale yellow sclera. Peculiar geometric lines and curves danced around it. And as it spoke, the odd shapes seemed to glow.

Who is this? I wondered.

The entity read my mind and answered through a haunting, disembodied voice, “I am the one your kind calls ‘God’.”

God? I immediately thought of the benevolent being who resides in the skies above. Skies? Was it perhaps they meant beyond the stars?

“I have been observing you humans for thousands of years.” it continued, “And I am not blind to your pain and suffering. In fact I-” it chuckled, “Rather enjoy it.”

Enjoy it? You have seen our decline? And all our problems… all could have been resolved had you just stepped in. And now…

Disgust filled me. All I ever wanted, and many others before me had ever wanted, was to escape this hell of hopelessness. Together.

Its voice turned cold as it stated, “You truly believe you have a noble cause, that you will harvest many resources, inherit all the riches, lead humanity into an era of progress unlike one that anyone has ever seen.”

The entity's gaze intensified. Images of Earth flitted across my memory; a planet once so bright and vibrant, now a hollow coffin infested with disease and corpses.

“Do you know why you are here? How you are here?”

Paralyzed. I couldn’t move my body. Its eye flashed every moment of Earth; past, present and future all at once. I’m not sure how my mind was able to register these instances. Strange.

“Do you know how everything came to be, and why it will always be?”

Faster and faster the images ran. Horrifying events revealed the disgusting traits of humanity that, looking back now, I realize we are simply not ready to cope with.

All the while the entity spoke as its own laughter, barely audible, filled the void, “You will never break the cycle. You will never leave this prison.”

The laughter steadily grew.

“The pain and suffering will never stop. And I will never stop watching. I will never stop laughing.”

That laugh. That horrible laugh rang through my ears. The entity shoved me away, and I spiraled out of control through the starry abyss with nothing but that laugh!

Oddly enough, that was not the only thing heard through the lifeless expanse. Screams. Maddening screams were reported by my crewmates. Dare I say those were the screams of my own?

June 11, 2300

Captain Harvey has ordered us to land. God have mercy on us.


About the author

Teresa Evelyn Hart

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