On April 24th a head fell from the sky. Now, as strange as that may sound, it is not nearly as bizarre as the full description of the event and the events to follow. So to clarify, on April 24th a large stone head, roughly ten stories high, plummeted to the earth at meteoric speeds. The impact site was a deserted stretch of beach one mile South of the small fishing village of Puerto Apestoso. The giant head landed chin first and cratered into the sand just below the upper lip; the open mouth gave the impression of a large semi-circular doorway. It would be incorrect to describe the head as human, but it was definitely humanoid; the features were somewhat simpler and undefined. The top of the head was cone-like or perhaps beehive-like with a little opening at the very top giving the impression of an unnatural volcano.
My name is Christopher Lee (no relation to the renowned Dracula actor…though my brown eyes had a slight reddish coloration) and along with another photographer, Sally Pandoro , we were assigned to capture images of a rare hummingbird indigenous to this region. Our captain, Jonas, was a seadog of some unknown age; a common trait with those who spend there life beneath the harsh sun and above the salty sea. He had been ferrying us up and down the coast when the cranium came crashing down. The impact brought forth enormous waves that battered our craft and we most certainly would have been capsized, if not for the intuitiveness of Captain Jonas. Anticipating the chain of events, Jonas gunned the motor, sending us full throttle into deeper waters just as the giant stone noggin touched down. Through binoculars, the three of us watched intently from what we thought to be a safe distance.
“We have to go ashore”, Sally said impatiently. I responded with a quizzical look.
The captain shook his head, “As far as I know, that is the devil himself…and if it is I have no desire to meet him. No yet, anyway.”
Sally scoffed and turned to me, “We must go, Christopher. Think of the photos. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
It is true, that at heart I am a coward. That said, deep in the recesses of my mind, I remembered a younger more adventurous me, jumping from foxhole to foxhole dodging bullets to get “the shot” while avoiding getting shot. But that was before a mortgage, a bad case of planter fasciitis, and a general aversion to dying a horrible death. Photographing orchids and rare birds offered a touch of adventure with only an ounce or two of danger. Of course, despite my internal dialogue attempting to sway me toward the safe route, I knew that Sally was right. I turned to Jonas, “How much to drop us off? You can head back to sea, but can you at least to get us close?”
Jonas turned on the boat and said in an uncomfortably prophetic tone, “It will cost you nothing. I will not profit from your idiocy.”
We disembarked at a rickety overgrown dock one mile south of the large head. Jonas handed Sally and I each a flare gun. “The radio and cell phones aren’t working. If there is any sign of trouble, signal me…meet me here. ”. He then headed back to deeper waters.
What started out as a brisk walk, was quickly upped by Sally to a sprint. About 500 meters away from the head, the earth started to tremble beneath our feet and suddenly plumes of black smoke billowed from the opening on top of the head. From our vantage point we were able to get amazing shots of the enormous stone structure dwarfing the small fishing village and panicked masses scurrying in the background. Suddenly a loud noise filled the air…a sucking hiss, like a broken vacuum seal. The dark smoke began to swirl. Faster and faster it spun like a black tornado rising from the stone monster’s volcano top. Debris whirled around us as the wind picked up; the sandstorm was unbearable. Sally and I darted for cover inside a rusted out Chevy with a tree growing through the center of it. As we climbed in a large Virgin of Guadalupe shrine mounted on the hood of the vehicle rattled and shook until it snapped off and took flight into the rubble filled air.
“We need to signal Jonas” I yelled trying to compete with the cacophony of sound.
“Are you kidding me?” Sal said giving me a baffled look. “You do what you want! I’m going on!”
Without a moment of hesitation or debate (as was her way) she opened the car door. The wind was strong; stronger than she expected and it lifted her off the ground. In a desperate attempt she held tight to the door handle as the unnatural tornado pulled at her. Her skirt fluttering and her feet kicking violently in the air I lunged with my hand…a moment too late….and she was gone. I could see her flailing silhouetted body still holding on to the car door as she disappeared into the top of the stone head. My instincts to follow after her were quickly sobered as I watched an entire condominium building disintegrate upwards into the sky. Sally was gone and, without a doubt, I was soon to follow.
I needed to contact Jonas. Crouching down I watched as people, plants, animals and machines were whipped through the air like confetti. The Chevy was shaking and creaking. The force was enormous and the only think holding it, and me, in place was that large palm tree trunk that anchoring the Chevy to the ground . I knew, however, that it was only a matter of time before either the car or the tree would give. My only hope was that the volcano vacuum would ease up before that happened…and ten minutes later that’s exactly what happened. The black twister retreated back into it’s source atop the strange craft.
Desolation surrounded me. I crawled out of the car and without delay I fired a flare into the air. Hurriedly I ran to my rendezvous point, prayingthat Jonas was still alive to retrieve me. He was.
“Hurry up!” he motioned to me from the dock. “Where is Sally?”
“Gone”. I said climbing on board.
“What do you mean…gone?”, he looked at me sadly.
In a raspy whisper I repeated, “Gone”.
Moments later, at full throttle, we headed out to sea. From behind rumbling could be heard from what was left of Puerto Apestoso. I picked up the binoculars to see if another tornado was in the works. No black smoke; instead movement from the mouth opening.
“There are people coming out of it’s mouth!” I alerted the captain.
Jonas stopped the boat. “Who?”, he asked.
“I can’t tell. To far away.” I said straining my eyes.
The captain disappeared below deck and returned with a large telescope. He positioned it looked through the eyepiece. He panned the beach for a few seconds and then shot me a horrified glance. “Those aren’t people. Devils”.
I looked. He was right. They, for the most part walked on two legs but they most definitely weren’t people. They seemed like flesh and bone, but more accurately they seemed like flesh and bone…and things. Just then I caught a glimpse of a strange creature, turtle-like, with a large metal shell. On its’ chest was a Guadalupe effigy, and I was certain it was the very same one ripped from the hood of my Chevrolet fortress.
“This is bad. We’ve got to get out of here, Jonas”. I could feel the blood rushing from my face.
The Captain took the wheel and we were back on course…nowhere in particular but somewhere else. The port grew further and further away, but a buzzing sound grew louder and louder…. and then I could make it out. We were being followed by what looked like a drone. As it grew closer I could make it out, it was one of those creatures, this one with a propeller coming out of its head. Jonas stopped the boat. He pulled out two pistols handing one to me. “Shoot first. Ask later”, he said.
The blue propellered beast was upon us in no time. It hovered high above us then swooped down in a dive bomb toward me. The captain shot…and missed. The flying demon rushed the captain. Its monkey wrench hand gripped the barrel of Jonas’s gun. He fired another shot, but no avail. I raised my gun and was about to pull the trigger…
“Kill it!” Jonas screamed battling the blue monster with all his might.
I hesitated. I hesitated because I saw something familiar in its eyes. Could it be?
“Shoot!” the captain called out desperately.
The beast turned to look at me with it’s green eyes. It couldn’t be…but it was… It seemed to recognize me. It pushed the captain to the deck floor and hastily flew off. Jonas raised his gun and took aim as the monster flew off. I lunged at him and blocked the shot. A puzzled look came across Jonas’ face.
“I know it sounds strange…but I think that thing was Sally” I said.