This week's guest columnist are FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dr. Dana Scully, who—I want to believe—keep each other “balanced.”
Dear Mulder and Scully,
I recently had to downgrade my apartment because my roommate left. This led me to a not-so-nice area of town, right outside the city. I was able to rent an entire house for next to nothing, which, at the time, I didn’t think much of it because I was too excited for a bargain and in real need of a new place.
Soon after I moved in, I started noticing strange sounds at night. The best I can say is that it sounded like animals but was almost like a man’s voice making them. I chalked it up to the fact that I had previously lived in the city and had just not heard these animals until now.
But one night, I decided to check out the sounds, and what I saw terrified me. I found a very old house out near the more wooded area at the end of my lane. I thought there was no way someone lived in this thing—it was filthy and falling apart. But I saw something moving around in the yard, and it was making those crazy sounds I had been hearing!
It was a cloudy night, but just as the moon poked through and lit everything up, I could see that this thing was some kind of a man! It was grotesque—all lumps and bumps and wearing filthy, torn clothing—but there was no denying it was human. The craziest thing is it lifted its nose in the air and I swear it smelled me!
Right when I thought this thing was going to find me, a raspy voice called out from inside the house. It was calling for the thing, which promptly left me and ran inside. Needless to say, I ran all the way home and didn’t sleep a wink. I didn’t call the cops because nothing had really happened to me, and I didn’t know what else I would say without sounding like a lunatic, so I left it alone.
Two nights have passed and I still hear those crazy sounds. When I sleep, I have nightmares of that things face and of whatever might be in that house. I’m afraid to tell anybody because they’ll probably think I’m making it up or I’m crazy.
What should I do?
—Sleepless in the Woods
Scully: Mulder, are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Mulder: Oh my God, it’s the Peacocks.
Scully: Could it be? Could it really be?
Mulder: It has to be.
Scully: I guess I was hoping that they had finally died out. Or at least the mom had stopped reproducing. To be honest, I haven’t thought about them since they disappeared because it was too horrible to revisit.
Mulder: To think that they’ve been out there, making little Peacocks, living it up in another city, another town. Pumping out more twisted, horrendous freaks. Man, the genetic possibilities are endless.
Scully: Come on, Mulder, keep it together. We genuinely have to help this guy.
Mulder: You’re right. You’re right. But imagine what they would look like now, each generation devolving into less of a humanoid and more of a…
Scully: MULDER! Concentrate. Now, first off Sleepless, do not approach them. I repeat—DO NOT APPROACH THEM. They are dangerous if they feel threatened. Who knows, they might even remember your smell. Just stay away. In fact, if you can find the resources to relocate, that would be even better.
Mulder: Yes, and I wouldn’t even bother going to the authorities. The last time they stepped in it got very ugly. It’s best if we all just let them be if they’re not harming anybody. But can you imagine, Scully? I wonder if they’re even able to walk upright anymore?
Scully: MULDER, I MEAN IT! You’re going to give me nightmares. On the other hand, maybe you could use this for your Halloween costume idea. No one would know what you were, but it would still look creepy enough. It’s definitely better than the whole Trump idea you had.
Mulder: Only if you’re willing to go as Mama Peacock. I could wheel you around all night. It’d be easy.
Scully: Shut up. I’m going to have to go scrub myself at the mere thought of it. Sleepless, please let us know if anything else happens, but also heed our warning. This is serious. Get out of there and don’t go near them again.
Mulder: And Happy Halloween. Come on, Scully, say it.
Scully: * sigh * You are a child.
Mulder: Come on.
Scully: All right. If you’ll leave me alone. Happy Halloween, Sleepless … and you, too, Mulder.
Amber Keller is a writer who delves into dark, speculative fiction, particularly horror and suspense/thrillers. You can find her work on her Amazon Author Page and she also features many short stories on Diary of a Writer. A member of the Horror Writers Association, she contributes to many websites and eMagazines and you can follow her on Twitter @akeller9.