I’ve never been a fan of watching the news. Usually, if the news anchors aren’t being overly dramatic about the weather or sports, they’re reporting on depressing things like car crashes, animal abuse, and child abuse. I find none of this entertaining, and typically flip the channel to an episode of South Park. Just recently, a news report caught my attention during a ritual of channel-surfing. If the anchorman hadn’t phrased it just right, I probably wouldn’t be alive right now.
I caught the tail-end of a news segment before the commercial break, and the anchorman Ross Cooper said, “Coming up, find out what local residents are starting to call a ‘miracle’. Our own Dan Aaron reports live on a slowly growing phenomenon happening in our city right after the break, stay tuned.” A line like that was enough to keep me hooked, so I chose to sit through the seemingly endless string of commercials. As usual, you had your movie trailers, store advertisements, and those drug commercials that always show people frolicking in meadows while a narrator lists all the unpleasant side-effects. Commercials always last too long, but I feel it’s worth it for listening to this potentially exciting news story.
When the news returned, the face of Ross Cooper looked very worried as he reported that there was a breaking news story, and reporter Dan Aaron was on the scene. The camera cut to Dan standing inside a darkened home with several other people peering outside a window. It’s impossible to see what was happening outside, but shouts and screaming could be heard in the background.
“I’m reporting from a home deep in the heart of Los Angeles, where other survivors have taken refuge. The miracle that people have been talking about is false! To everyone in the area watching this report: Do not go outside! If you hear people calling your name, do not listen to them!” Dan started, looking both panicked and nearly ready to break out into tears. Showing concern, Ross asked him exactly what was going on. “Earlier today there was a giant flash of light that looked like a portal was opening up from the sky, and then these things came. I don’t know what they are, but they’re not human, and they intend to kill us all! Extermination has already begun!” Dan shrieked, trying his best to keep cool on live TV. Something inside of me said this was all a prank, but I had to keep watching.
“Now calm down, Dan. How can you describe these attackers to our viewers?” Ross asked, staying professional. “Well, a young man in our group described them as ‘shape-shifters’, and I believe that’s an accurate description. None of us here have seen their true form, but their appearance seems to have changed multiple times, completely at random. When one of these things looks at you, it’s like it can see into your mind, all of your thoughts and memories, and it uses this against you. These beings will take the form of all your friends and family, even those that have passed on. They will mimic their speech exactly how you remember it, then they’ll beckon you to come outside with them. That’s when they get you! When their victims die, their bodies vaporize from this eerie light that shines from their eyes and mouth, and then you hear what they really sound like, and it’s horrible. I’ve seen so many people die today, Ross, and there’s nothing left of any of them.” Dan had completely lost his mind and was now trembling and sobbing into the camera.
“Dan, do you feel safe where you are right now?” Ross asked. “I don’t fucking know!” Dan snapped back, his sadness turning into rage suddenly. “The group that I’m with has guns, and the doors are bolted, but we have no idea what these beings are capable of. I don’t know if they’re aliens or demons, but their numbers are growing by the minute, and I think L.A. will soon be overrun. Everyone with me is in a bad mental state right now. We can hear our loved ones calling to us, begging us to go out and see them. I just saw my great-grandmother moments ago, and I want to run to her, but I can’t! This seems like the end of times, and I’m sure this is happening elsewhere and that the human race may be wiped out, but if we can just hang on and not let our emotions cloud our judgment, we will survive long enough for help to arrive. Call the military! Call everyone you can! We can’t let these creatures win!” Dan exclaimed, right before the signal started to die. The last thing I remember him saying was, “Oh God, I think a few got inside!” before he faded out, and a shocked Ross Cooper announced that his station would be going off the air.
An emergency broadcast signal started seconds later, and I just sat there on the couch in silence. I didn’t know if I should call everyone I knew, or wait and see if this epidemic would even affect my area. I felt the sudden need to look outside, and just as I did so I saw, of all people, my old gym teacher Mr. Moors, who had mentored me and helped me become the athlete that I am today. He called to me, reminding me how long it had been since we last spoke. Of course, I knew it wasn’t really him, and had I not watched the news report when I did, I would’ve gone out to talk to him, only to meet an agonizing death.
Behind him, approaching from a distance, was a mob of these invaders that were marching through my neighborhood. That’s the last time I glanced outside. Now I sit locked in a dark basement with only the glow of this computer screen. All the doors to my house are locked, and all lights that would attract attention are out. I think the mob has bypassed my house, as I can’t hear anyone else calling my name.
I’ve just heard screams of terror from my other neighbors, and I think they’re dead. It’s very quiet now, I’ve already warned everyone I can think of to stay indoors. I’m sure I’ll think of more people as the night goes on, but for now I’m just going to focus on getting this story out. I know the military will act, I’m sure they’ll be here any minute to get whatever this is under control, but if not, I have enough supplies to hopefully last a month or two at the most. After doing constant research online, I’m certain that this is now a global phenomenon.
Videos are starting to appear on YouTube shot by people who have barricaded themselves in either their homes or public places, and these videos feature footage of mobs like the one I just saw not long ago. One particular video comes from as far away as Tokyo, Japan. The video already has over a million views, and in the comments section, several people have claimed to have seen their own relatives in the mob that was filmed by a man from the fourth floor of his apartment building. I checked it out for myself, and sure enough, all the way from Japan, I saw my grandfather, my uncle, and my stepmother marching through the streets, and they seemed to be staring right at me through the computer screen. Videos like this are proof that we are now dealing with a force far beyond our understanding.
What exactly are they? How did they get here? Hopefully we can survive long enough to find out these answers. If I make it through the night, I promise to constantly update my tale of these catastrophic events. My name is Reagan Myers of Los Angeles, California, and I am a witness to the beginning of a new era.