Bogleech.com's 2018 Horror Write-off:
Submitted by Shakara
Sinéad’s Journal – Please return if lost. Glean Dubh, Filly Road, BT[XX] [XXXX]
Have you ever looked outside during a thunderstorm? Probably haven’t. I guess you’re too scared to. I don’t blame you. The great clash of thunder ripping through the air, the blast of sheer blue-white light as the lightning stabs into the ground… It’s enough to put the frighteners on even the most resolute of people.
It’s alright if you’re in your home, though. The strong concrete walls, the brick, the wood, the foundations, the glass in the windows-- your home is basically your castle.
Sitting at the window here, looking out at the wide expanse of rurality, I can see the storm for miles on. Sometimes the lightning strikes far out in the horizon, other times it nearly strikes my house. The electricity is down, but I don’t mind. I have plenty of books to read.
I’ve always liked thunderstorms for some reason. Never knew exactly why, but I’d never been scared. I felt more… excited when the storms came. When I was a kid, I lived with my two brothers, Matthew and Samuel. They’d always panic and rush to their rooms during the storm, hiding either under their beds, or inside their wardrobes.
I was the only one who remained calm. I’d sit in the conservatory, looking up at the riotous sky, watching as the blue-white light danced above. Then either Mom or Dad would come and usher me back into the house, fearing that the glass ceiling would be struck and I’d be sliced to ribbons.
I’m no longer a child, but a young adult. Still, my interest in thunderstorms persists. I suppose my interest in meteorology stemmed from this admiration of weather…
Most people listen to soft music for sleep. I listen to the rain and thunder.
I look out the window for hours, late into the night until I’m tired enough to sleep.
Well, not today. There’s something… off about the storm.
‘Lightning never strikes twice’, they say. And they’re right. It is very rare for lightning to strike the same place twice. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur at times.
I’m looking out the window, out at the neighbouring houses far out on the fields… and I see that lightning is striking more than once.
I know that house. It’s Quigley’s house. He’s a friend of my father. He has kids: two daughters, Ona and Leola. The blue-white fork came down and struck it twice.
The first time, it looked like regular lightning. The second time, it looked… off. Thicker, almost. Perhaps this storm is more intense than usual?
As soon as it came, it stopped. Just like that. I even counted between each strike. The clouds are still there, the rain is still coming down… just no lightning. Storms don’t dissipate that quickly.
… Perhaps I should go to bed. It is getting late, anyway.
Something happened. I woke up pretty late, with it being the weekend and all that, so I must’ve missed something. It’s Quigley. He’s handing out posters. Ona and Leola are missing. Just like that. Gone. No notes, no evidence of another person-- they just vanished.
He’s called the police. The town is now forming a search party.
I went and uploaded Ona and Leola’s pictures onto social media, to see if anyone has seen them. Who would kidnap two innocent girls? … What am I saying? There are sick people in the world. They don’t need reasons. They’re just twisted.
I’ve been getting a fair amount of typing done. Global circulation of air masses and jet streams. It may be boring, but I have music for that.
It looks like there’ll be another storm again. I can see the dark clouds hanging over us. The air is ready to break.
I can’t risk using my desktop computer in case the power cuts out again. Thank goodness for laptops!
I’m very worried about Quigley. He’s been out all morning, handing out posters to anyone who passes by. And it’s still raining. He’s going to develop pneumonia if he stays out there any longer.
Typing, typing, typing… More notes on weather. La da dee~
Note to self: Buy more tea packets. Fresh out.
Another note to self: Bring in laundry before it gets soaked in the goddamned rain!!!
Yet another note: Return that library book on remote sensing and satellites.
Wonderful. The power is out. And with all this cloud-cover, it’s darker than ever. It isn’t even night yet! Had to eat cold couscous as I couldn’t use the oven. And is that rain getting heavier?
Quigley is still out there. Someone should help him. He’s not even wearing a coat!
The lightning came. It struck Quigley. He’s gone. And I don’t mean dead, I mean gone. It came down from the sky and struck him, and then he vanished. There’s nothing but a dark mark on the pavement now.
I must be imagining things. Maybe he collapsed somewhere. Perhaps it struck the ground to one side of him and he ran away?
I must be tired.
Quigley is gone. He’s vanished, just like Ona and Leola.
This is crazy. First, two innocent girls, now an innocent man. Who is doing this?
The search party revealed nothing. Ona and Leola are now truly vanished.
Sick, sick people.
… Could they be using the storm as cover?
The weather centre has issued a warning telling people to stay indoors. All schools and workplaces are now closed.
I don’t feel like typing. I’m gonna watch a movie or something. Maybe make some hot chocolate. I don’t feel well.
I should get one of those remote chargers. This blackout is lasting so long.
Now, this is getting ridiculous. Three days of storms? Where is this coming from?
Has to be the tropical, moist air colliding with the cold air here…
I can’t sleep. Ona, Leola, Quigley… What if there’s someone in this neighbourhood who’s secretly a kidnapper? People do always have dark secrets. Nobody’s perfectly innocent. There’s always something hidden, damn it.
Someone’s using the cover of the storm to hurt people. The police have turned up nothing. Nothing at all. What if they’re being bribed to look the other way? What if they’re in on it?
Government culls. Eugenics. Secret wars. I know this sounds insane, but there is truth within insanity. You can’t say I’m wrong. It’s you who’s wrong. You’re just complacent. You’re afraid to fight back against the system. Well, I’m not falling for it. I’m going to fight.
They think they can get me? Think again.
I’ve pushed the chest of drawers in front of the bedroom door. It might not stop someone from coming in, but the noise will wake me if someone comes in the night.
I have the curtains drawn over so I can’t be watched.
Laptop camera? I got electrical tape and covered it. Now, nobody will get me.
That storm sure is raging on. I fear it’ll turn into a supercell at this rate.
This makes no sense. The storm isn’t moving. Thank god the WiFi’s working again. I can see a live-feed of the weather programme. The storm isn’t moving at all. Due to the pressure gradient force, wind is meant to move from high pressure to low pressure, but it’s just sitting here!
This goes against all the laws of meteorology. No storm remains stationary. It’s just… stuck.
And now the WiFi goes.
And the power.
Ain’t this just peachy!
I’ve been sitting here for the past three hours, monitoring the storm’s progress. Still raining, still dark, still thundering.
… Cars? Wait, the neighbourhood is evacuating! I can see it, a long line of cars stretching on, leaving Glean Dubh! Where are they going? Why didn’t anyone tell me?! No knock on the door, no crowds with megaphones telling people to leave?
… It’s a cull. It’s definitely a cull. The optimal subjects have been removed, with the dross left behind. I knew it. They probably looked through my damn laptop feed, finding my electronic journal.
I knew I should’ve stuck to paper!
Can’t go to the shops. I tried to open the door, and even with my long hiking coat, I got soaked. I could barely breathe out there.
Looks like it’s just going to have to be rice from now on. If I knew the system would begin the culls so soon, I’d have prepared for it even earlier. More lentils. More dried fruits. Nuts. Jerky.
The storm is still going…
Stragglers? I can see someone outside. Who is that?
It has to be Dierdre. Old grandma Dierdre, as everyone calls her. Not that she’s anyone’s grandma, she’s just a pleasant old woman. I guess she’s left behind as well. Damn the government. Damn them all.
It’s still raining.
Her umbrella is turned inside out. The wind is getting stronger, too.
Please be careful, Dierdre.
Dierdre is gone.
It’s not the government at all. It’s the lightning that’s doing it.
I saw it, good and clear. Dierdre was just walking down the street, and then the blue light came. I did not look away. I kept staring right at it. The blue-white light struck down, and Dierdre was picked up and carried away, a mere dark blot shooting into the sky.
It was the same with Quigley. His daughters must’ve been outside at the time, or perhaps a window was open.
If you’re struck, it takes you.
The lightning is taking them all.
Storm still going.
Food supplies are low.
The power supply is near 20%.
Can’t believe how much I liked storms as a kid.
Thunder-crack. Boom. I hear it all the time now. Boom, boom, boom. It’s striking the roof. I hear the shingles falling off as I type. The WiFi is gone. The satellite is broken and now the router is fried. I don’t dare go near the window. I won’t even turn on a faucet.
It’s trying to get it, but it won’t get me.
I’ve got electrical tape here. I’ve covered everything. My laptop case. The bed. The chair. The desk. The door. The walls. I can’t let there be a single crack uncovered.
Not even me. The iron in my blood could act as a conductor for the lightning.
I must cover myself.
Tape. More tape. Around me, round and round and round we go. More and more.
The lightning will not take me. I won’t look at it. I won’t hear it. I won’t breathe of it.
Cover cover cover
I am now coverd entirely
The lighnting will not geteeeme nw