Bug Eyed Monsters, by Gary Clifton
“Greg…Greg?” Nathan whispered hoarsely, his voice dripping with terror. “I think they’re gone,” his voice trailed to a half sob. “Greg…try to get up. Those things might come back for God’s sake.” He shuffled in the bottom of a small leaf-clogged wash between two Oak trees and sat upright. Leaves which had covered them scattered on the unseasonably warm Spring Maryland wind.
Greg slowly stirred from the camouflaged spot. As dawn touched the Eastern sky, a nasty gash was visible across his forehead. Blood had coagulated to form a gob which spread partly into his thick dark hair. Gingerly, he touched the cut with his shirtsleeve. His tone was as frightened as Nathan’s.
Nathan gained his feet, barely able to stand.
“Damn, Nathan, I’m responsible for this,” Greg staggered to his feet and peered around in the dim light. “If the university had allowed us to have our toga party at the fraternity house, we’d never been up here in this Godforsaken hole. My God, what were those things?”
“Carnivorous aliens I think,” Nathan looked upward. “They killed all our friends. I don’t see any bodies…or hear anything. If we call out, those monsters might come back.”
“You thinkin’ the whole groups is gone, dude…two guys and four girls butchered? Good lord, Nathan, those beasts probably carried them to that mother ship we heard roaring…for food or medical experiments,” Greg said, his voice hollow with fear.
Nathan reached in his pocket. “If we could find the car, I still have my keys. We could try to escape down to Frederick…maybe get help from the cops…if we can get them to believe us.”
“The Dean is gonna have our asses for coming up here to have a little privacy…smoke a little weed…lay out in the woods with the girls.” Greg said.
“Right now, I’d be plenty glad to see his pompous ass.” Nathan replied.
“I was so stoned and drunk, dude,” Greg shuddered. “Never heard squat. Thought that damned spaceship the girls were screaming about was just a truck passing on that highway out there,” he gestured. “Then they attacked with those horrible heads and ghastly, glowing eyes…probably X-ray vision. Hell, I always thought spaceships were silent things. God, Nathan, I just panicked and ran away. Left our friends to be eaten alive or torn to bits. Lost my cell phone…busted my damned head.”
“My phone’s gone too…not sure there’s service up here anyway,” Nathan studied the sky. “Dunno where we are…just somewhere near the edge of Catocin Mountain. I’m surprised those creatures didn’t have heat seeking devices or some machine to pick up our scent.”
“Cars were parked that direction,” Greg pointed toward the increasing daylight. “We came up here on Highway 550. We find that road, we can follow it to where we parked.”
As day grew brighter, they recognized several landmarks as they worked their way toward the point where they’d left the vehicles. When they found the spot, all three cars were gone. “Those things took the cars, Greg. If we walk, there’s almost no foot traffic up this way. Only thing gonna find us is those goofy-eyed aliens.”
“Maybe we can stick to the trees,” Nathan inspected Greg’s headcut. “Try to stay hidden. I’m thinkin’ those things are already back up in space or something.”
In a mile, the hangover from a dozen beers each, too much marijuana, and no food began to sap their strength. Then, horror of horrors, the mother ship was upon them in an instant, the roar deafening. It banged down on the highway and six of the horribly ugly beasts from the night before emerged thirty feet away. All clad in black, their heads were huge, the size of basketballs with those ghastly, protruding, unblinking eyes. Each held a futuristic appearing weapon, all pointed squarely at the two terrified college students.
“Heelllp,” Greg shouted foolishly. “My God Nathan they’re going to cut out our brains,” he shrieked.
“Or our genitals!” Nathan gasped. “Space aliens are interested in the human reproductive system.”
“Both of you on the ground!” one of the monsters ordered, his voice modulated as if filtered through a radio speaker.
Both boys hit the ground, limp with fear.
The leader stepped forward, then turned back to the other five. “It’s daylight enough, guys. Lose the night vision equipment.” He pulled off his head, then plain to the two prostrate boys it was a helmet. The alien had sandy, close cropped hair. The five other aliens removed their helmets and showed human appearing heads.
“God help us, Nathan…they’ve taken human form,” Greg cried out, semi-hysterically.
The chief alien spoke: “Do you two dumb clucks realize you’re trespassing on a U.S. naval installation? Can’t you read the warning signs?”
“Say what,” Greg blurted, sensing a horrible death was near. His fears multiplied when a pair of black SUV’s rolled up the highway. “Please sir, don’t cut out our brains.”
“Or our balls!” Nathan echoed.
“You’d have to have one or both first,” the leader motioned for the other five to lower their weapons.
“You’re not from Mars?” Nathan looked up.
“You’re only off by one planet. United States Secret Service,” the man slowly shook his head. “You were having a damned beer and grass bash on the premises of Camp David. The President is scheduled up here this afternoon. We spotted you just now…same way we picked up on y’all last night…satellite. It’s a wonder somebody didn’t get shot…the way you two ran off through the woods like fools. Looks like we need to fix that cut on your head,” he pointed to Greg.
“I…uh, hit a tree,” Greg stammered.
“We have your cars and your friends down at the brig. They said you two weren’t accounted for, so we came back lookin’ for you. Thought maybe the boogy man had got you.”
“So did we,” Greg said faintly.
Clifton, forty years a cop, has been shot at, shot, stabbed, sued, lied to and about, and often misunderstood. He’s retired to a dusty north Texas ranch waiting to see what happens next. He has an M.S. from Abilene Christian University.
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Tags: aliens, Gary Clifton, paranormal