Carapace

Carapace

A Story by joenum83
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A man hears mysterious sounds from beneath his recently emptied home.

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The basement was extra musty the day David decided to dig a hole in the basement floor. His neighbors, who have always lived in the area, told him rumors of old tunnels beneath the basement level of this historic part of town. Some said they were old prohibition era liquor tunnels while others would go no further than mentioning their possible existance.

He never took the rumors seriously, as Navidson Glen is old and filled with small town myths, but the rumors resurfaced in his thoughts now that he was alone. The quiet empty shell of a house allowed new scritches and creaks to emanate from every deep corner. Before, when the laughter of his two small boys and other life-sounds filled the home these tiny sounds were masked by family and furniture.

Now, both were gone and all David wanted was to have some quiet. He wanted to think. Just think and take stock of what went wrong with his life. He could reason away all of the pops and slight sighs as the house taking it’s daily breaths. It was the sounds that were coming from below that irritated him; interrupting his stillness and keeping him from his self loathing.

The shovel was easy to find out back, and it dug into the dirt floor of the old basement nicely. The first few stabs of the spade took almost all of his weight to push through the musty packed ground and after a few gouges of dirt were tossed aside the ground softened. The ground smelled more musty as he removed the top layer of his basement floor, and slowly the floor transitioned from dusty dirt to something that could be called soil.

After an hour of digging David had a grave sized hole. He pulled himself up and out and sat in the edge for a small break to stop the sound of his shovel scraping softly into the softening earth. Sweat trickled over most of his body adhering his shirt to his body, both front and back. As he sat, his breath and heartbeat slowing to a normal pace, the silence crept back more and more thick with each passing moment. Moisture seemed to rise from his new hole and he could imagine small acrid clouds forming among the joists and beams spanning only standing height above the natural floor.

It was not long before he could hear the sounds from below again as his heart rate returned to normal. He hopped back into his hole and put his ear to the soft-soiled bottom. The bottom of the hole was warm to the touch. It was almost soothing except for the sounds of whispers filtering from below. It was still too deep to be anything more than a language of s’s and p’s, but they were slightly louder than before he began his hole.

Twenty or more spades of dirt and his shovel struck something hard and hollow. The thunk of his shovel’s contact echoed to both David’s left and right off into unknown depths. He uncovered the hard surface and marveled at the top of a large black tube running under his neighborhood. This was not a utility or sewage line as those are made of concrete or even plastic materials. This was not something man made, this tube seemed to be armored with small black scales, each scale looking to be a the carapace of some large black beetle.

David got down and knocked on the concrete hard surface three times. The whispering stopped and three knocks replyed from within the black scaled tube. He knocked again then sat on his haunches waiting to see if there would be another reply. Seconds passed in the thickening silence. Than a large booming impact shook the floor beneath him. Before the dust could settle from the blow another boom came. The portion of exposed carapace protruded slightly and a crack was snarling across it’s surface, following the contours of the carapace scales.

David scrambled out of his hole as each boom shook the whole house and grew the dark crack. Once out of the hole he saw a fiery glow come through the widening fissure. Another hit and a chunk of carapace flew to the side leaving a spade sized hole filled with fire. The fire seemed to rotate until a large black glassy eye stared up through the hole.

“Eye see you.” A voice like the rumble of boulders shook the house. David attempted to hide beneath the stairs as living fire broke through and into his basement. The fire grabbed him by the ankle, it’s hand burning down to bone, and dragged him into the black carapace tube, leaving behind only burning beams and joists that would not bear the burden of the old home for much longer.


The next day a woman arrived to survey the ashes. Investigators from both the police and fire departments still wandered the piles of blackened debris behind yellow tape. David was nowhere to be found and had probably skipped town after torching their home. If the b*****d knew what was good for him he’d stay missing so at least his life insurance would pay out.


© 2016 joenum83



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66 Views
Added on July 20, 2016
Last Updated on July 20, 2016
Tags: horror, house, fire, flash-fiction

Author

joenum83
joenum83

Oklahoma City, OK



About
Hello, I'm a programmer in Oklahoma City who loves reading and wants to try a hand at writing. I'm still on my first attempts at this and so far my writing always ends up a little dark. I should have.. more..

Writing
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