Author · Horror

Phantom Black (workshoppin’ a story idea.)

I posted a part of this story idea before, but I tweaked it a little and thought Id share. This story is a slow burn in the back of my mind. I am compiling some of my short horror stories into a book called “30-minute shivers”.

Phantom Black.

Phantom Black

The scientists fiddled with the device with excited banter, enthusiastic about
their apparent success. The device looked like an over-engineered paint spray
gun. One of the scientists adjusted a setting on the machine, causing a
pleasant harmonic tone to emanate from it. The other scientist poured a black
viscous liquid into a small vat attached to the instrument with tubes, hoses,
and electrical connections. The first scientist starts speaking into a
recorder, taking verbal notes with a shaky, excited voice. “Four-thirty
two hertz to four forty hertz seems to be the correct resonant frequencies to
properly align the filaments. We have achieved approximately….” He looks
up at the other scientist and nods slightly, prompting the missing information.

“Ninety-nine point nine, nine percent.” The other scientist reads off
of a computer monitor in a matter-of-fact tone.

“Yes, right. Ninety-nine point nine, nine percent of photon
absorption.” He continued, “We have found with the increased
amplitude and voltage, the harmonic frequencies will correctly align the carbon
nanotubes vertically, giving us an additional twenty percent efficiency.”
He said, his voice still quivering with obvious exhilaration.

            The scientist that poured the fluid into the contraption turned to a wall with a stark
white square painted across its surface, then began to spray. A five-foot blob
of black paint appeared on the wall. The scientist had to stop at that point as
vertigo overcame him, and he swayed on unstable feet. To look into the
blackness was to see a complete void that lied to his brain and made him dizzy
as if falling into a never-ending hole.

            He set the sprayer down and stumbled to the other scientist, that was busy
monitoring the equipment. He laughed as he walked drunkenly back to the
monitors. “I can’t believe it! I felt like I was going to fall into it for
a minute!” he said, finally reaching the desk where he could grab hold and
steady his feat.


The beam of light pierced the veil.

 Like an ugly knife wound tearing a rough, misshapen hole in the darkness.
The light touched the creature’s tentacle, a warm tingle drawing its attention.
Confused and curious, it extended its tentacles, reaching, feeling the jagged
edges of the opening. It wrapped its tentacles around it with more confusion
about the nature of this new thing in its world, then examined the edges,
feeling its solidity. Reaching in and gaining purchase on the inside surface,
it began to pull itself through, marveling at the warm tingly, yet slightly
stinging sensation on its skin.

Tentacles wavered through the opening, touching the air and feeling the strange
tingle of the light. As it pushed deeper into the new expanse, it could feel a
vibration of sound emanating from inside this new space. It waved a tentacle
sniffing the air, searching for the source of the vibrations. With so many new
sensations, the creature grew eager and more curious. It pulled itself through
the hole, sniffing and feeling.

With their backs turned away from the black painted surface, the scientists
quickly prepared their device for the new round of testing; the creature probed
a tentacle towards them. The probing tentacle extended toward the sound vibrations
and detected a unique sensation that triggered a biological response; Hunger.

            The tentacle wrapped around one of
the scientists and pulled closer to the creature. Strange and delightful
sensations came from it. It was warm and squishy and made sound vibrations that
pleasantly tickled its senses. A warm gush of liquid poured out when it was
pulled apart, metallic and salty. The creature pulled the pieces into its
beak-like maw, enjoying the warm salty, and chewy sensations. It was intoxicating.
Its first taste of this new food unleashed an unapologetic yearning for more as
it felt the nutrients provided a near-explosive growth.

2 thoughts on “Phantom Black (workshoppin’ a story idea.)

    1. I did consider that. I figured once i have the story fleshed out, names might fit in, but also since they are both dying. We may not need to know the names, and by the time the story is finished, you might have forgotten they existed. Thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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