Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Eighth Day

The national museum was one of Delphine’s favorite haunts. She loved visiting the place once or twice a month even though she already saw each and every exhibit.

But today was a special day as there were a new set of displays made available to the public. She saw the advertisements about this new exhibit and that it was about a very important moment in history.

Delphine went to the museum one Saturday afternoon and headed straight to the new exhibit. It was set in a small room with wooden floors and white walls where framed pictures hung. The air was frigid enough to make her breath seem like she was swallowing a blizzard, and the case that stood in front of her sent a glacial trail down her spine.

The guide gently placed his fat hands on a display case and spoke, "These are some of the husks that were recovered after the Eighth Day."

Memories rushed in as Delphine was but a young girl when the Eighth Day took place. It was a day like no other, bright and sunny with blue skies and monstrous fluffs of clouds.

Until everything became black as night, while the air was filled with a buzzing noise that heralded their arrival...

Legions of winged insects carpeted the green lands where Delphine's family planted their crops and fed their livestock. The horrifying creatures landed everywhere, mandibles gnashing on every surface be it wood or flesh.

There were blood-curdling screams from both man and beast. 

Delphine and her family were lucky enough to have a basement that ensured their safety, while her father and her brother swatted every winged monster that managed to wiggle through the cracks in the walls.

After a nightmarish hour, the insects dispersed in different directions while some fell to the earth as if their life was snuffed out with the snap of a finger. The crops were devoured, the fat cows that Delphine used to ride on were reduced to dry bones. Some of her neighbors, her friends, her classmates, were barely recognizable with the thousands of tiny cuts that ripped their bodies apart.

Before the cataclysm occurred, some of her neighbors reported sightings of a man in black clothes and pale makeup who warned everyone about the impending destruction. But none took heed, thinking that the man was just some nutcase in costume and body paint. Her neighbor told her about a certain librarian who talked to the said man, but she just disappeared one stormy night, never to be seen again.

Now the husks were nothing but lifeless displays on the case, a grim reminder of what almost eradicated every life in this world.

The guide extended an arm towards the entryway to the right which contained more display cases. Delphine moved with the other visitors towards it but, before she could go through the door, she found herself frozen and unable to move. Her limbs stiffened, and she felt this petrifying grip climb up to her shoulders.

Before she lost control of her head, Delphine turned to look over her shoulder and saw the display case opened.

And one of the husks missing.

The prickly sensation on her neck confirmed where it went to.


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