Phase One

by Ollie Haber, age 11
Phase One Ollie Haber is an 11-year-old boy who has lived in New York City his whole life. He enjoys metal music and video games. He goes to the Dwight school. He is in the sixth grade but has been at that school since first grade. He really likes cheeseburgers. He enjoyed writing this story because it was inspired by a conspiracy theory and a book and a song that he all really likes.

“No one knew when the house appeared. All they knew was that it wasn’t recorded in any construction book. None of the supply companies had a clue what it was either. It seemed like it had just… appeared. All the kids were a little freaked out by it. Actually, thinking back, everyone was scared of the house. All they knew was that the lights turned on at night and were off in the day.”

No one knew when the house appeared. All they knew was that it wasn’t recorded in any construction book. None of the supply companies had a clue what it was either. It seemed like it had just… appeared. All the kids were a little freaked out by it. Actually, thinking back, everyone was scared of the house. All they knew was that the lights turned on at night and were off in the day.

Except one night, they didn’t turn on. It was exactly twenty years since then that the attacks first started. It started with my house.

I was the first one they took, the first step. Phase One.

***

The House

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is… actually, I better not tell you. They watch everything. They don’t know my name yet. I bet they’ll find out soon though. There isn’t much that they don’t know. If you promise not to tell, I can tell you my name.

First, let me tell you a bit about myself. I am in my mid forties so, before you ask, no, I’m not old. I don’t know why they chose me. They could have chosen anyone. I know you are dying to know who “they” are. I’d love to, but I can’t say because they’ll kill me. Well, not me specifically, but never mind. All I can tell you as of now is that Phase Two is coming.

Okay, I’m off the radar now, so I can tell you more. My name is Calvin. I don’t remember much about my life before I came here. I like it here, though. There’s no reason to go back, especially because of what’s about to happen to them.

Let me give you some backstory. The earth does not belong to you. I don’t know why humans think that it does. Even your biggest political leaders are secretly with them. They don’t have a name, although they are sometimes referred to as…

“Hello, humans of Earth. I see our friend, Calvin, here has been trying to contact you. I guess Earth is a bad name for it. We like to call it Phase Two.”

Now do you see why I can’t tell you confidential secrets?! I was off the radar when that happened too. If that happened when I was on the radar, Phase Two would have happened much sooner, along with Phase Three, Four, Five, and every number after. I really wish I could tell you.

I suppose you’re wondering what I meant by the “attacks” near the beginning of all this. Well, people die on Earth all the time. Normally, it’s at an old age. But anyone who has seen the house… well, they are the first to die. They die when–

Wait a minute. If their name didn’t get me killed, then this secret will. I’m struggling to tell you that you’re in danger. Allow me. For those familiar with the house, remember the lights? Now, imagine those lights as lives. They have been off for twenty years.

Now, imagine that all lives could just be turned off by a flick of a switch…

***

Earth, Present

Billy was walking down the street late at night. He was getting some bananas from the corner store. He was going to take a detour around the house but saw an injured frog. He wanted to help it, so he chased the slow-moving frog down the sidewalk. He stopped at the house. The lights were on. One was always cautious when the lights were on.

He saw a window open and, when it did, the light blinded him. He took a step backward. A hole opened under him. He fell down a hole, down and down and down. It felt like he was falling forever. It was getting hotter and hotter. All of a sudden, he was hit by a wave of cold. He fell into a large, open, circular area. He saw a shadow fall over him. The last thing he saw was a blinding light. He was never seen again.

***

Earth, Twenty Years Ago: The First Day the Lights Stayed Off

Everyone hid in their houses, waiting. This was how it went every day. The people stayed in the day and hid in their houses when the lights come on at night. Eight o’clock came and gone. Then 8:30, 9:00, and 10:00, all came and went. Then one door opened. It was the parent of the newborn baby next door. The man went up to the house.

“They have left!!” he shouted, raising his fist.

Cheers broke out. Everyone came out to celebrate. The man and his wife finally got the celebration they deserved for their new baby. Everyone celebrated the newborn baby boy, Billy.

***

Earth, The First Attack

Everyone was walking through the streets. Everything was so peaceful ever since the lights went off twenty years ago. There was a big barbeque to celebrate the twenty-year anniversary of the lights. There was an amazing smell drawing anyone who wasn’t already there outdoors.

Only one person stayed in their house. Calvin skipped out on anything related to the lights or the house. Although he was only forty-four, he was experiencing voices and visions about crazy looking lizard-humans and aliens that he believed were connected. Still, he grabbed some ribs from the barbeque on his way back from the store. No one blamed him. They were delicious.

He sat on his chair to read. All of a sudden, the lights blazed on, and all of the other lights turned off. It made an illusion that the house was glowing. All of a sudden, everyone got a major headache and shut their eyes tight. Everyone saw a brief vision of a massive creature with shining, orange eyes and tentacles instead of a mouth. They saw it use its massive arms to push itself out of the water. Then, a huge beam of light shot high into the air and exploded.

The lights in Calvin’s house started flashing on and off. A blood-curdling scream was heard from Calvin’s house. A man ran in just in time to see the floor coming together to cover up a hole.

“He’s gone!!” he said.

“They’ve never bothered us before. Why’d they start now?” a woman asked.

“I don’t know,” the man said, “but I’m afraid we won’t be able to stop it.”

***

The House

Something happened. I don’t know what it is, but they are excited about it. It’s something about a second sacrifice.

Hold on, I can hear someone coming. Wait a minute. Is that what I think it is?

“Who the heck are you?!”

“I am Calvin. Who the heck are you?!”

“Billy. What is this place?”

“Wait, you mean the Billy that the celebration was about all those years ago?”

“Yeah, when I was a baby. Are you the Calvin that those things took?”

“Yes. To answer your question, you are in the house now. Do you have any other questions?”
“Of course I do! I fell through a hole, down a pit, and was abducted by crazy lizard-people!!”

“Mentioning them might be a bad ide — oh no, you’ve triggered it.”

“Triggered what?”

“They re-populate by using people like us, people deeply connected to the aliens. They clone us in a really torturous, painful way and then turn the clones into them. They can also turn our lives off with the flick of a switch and then turn them back on again.”

“Awesome.”

“You are acting oddly calm about this.”

“No, I’m not. I… I think… I don’t feel so good…”

“It’s starting. Try to stay as relaxed as possible.”

“It is time to commence the process.”

“Wait, aren’t you going to do what you did to me? Torture Billy and clone him to populate your species?”

“No. Billy is going to get a much bigger job. He will be the start of the next phase.”

“What is the next phase?”

“The awakening of our new king.”

“He’s been asleep for thousands of years. What makes you think he will wake up now?”

“Billy.”

***

Earth, Present: Middle of the Sea

“Get that off of the ship!!” the sea captain yelled.

“Sorry,” one of the shipmates replied.

He scrambled to grab the stray piece of sea garbage that flew out of the sea and landed on the deck. When he threw the plastic off the ship, he noticed a huge storm cloud. It started to swirl like an above-water tidepool. Then, from the eye of a storm, a bolt of light shot into the water. It wasn’t necessarily lightning, but more like light itself.

All of a sudden, one of the crew members, who was from the town of the house, doubled over and screamed. He was twitching in agony on the boat floor. He kept repeating the words, “He’s coming,” over and over and over again. He bolted to his feet and pointed a shaking hand at the water. Then, he passed out.

The rest of the crew members rushed to other end of the boat. The man was out cold. They stared at where the man had pointed. Slowly, the waves started to part around a massive body of black scales. Two massive hands, connected to massive arms, came out of the water and slowly pushed up a massive body. Then, the head rose out of the water. It was a huge, round face, but the scariest thing wasn’t the huge horns or the shining, orange eyes. Everything under its eyes was a huge mass of tentacles. The thing let out a massive roar. It took its fist, lifted the boat up out of the water, and slammed it back down.

No one made it back to the surface. In fact, all of the men committed suicide when they were underwater. But the man who was out cold had been awakened by the water. He hadn’t seen the beast, so he swam to the surface. When he saw a stray piece of the mast, he knew something was wrong. An iceberg or system failure wouldn’t completely demolish everything.

Then, he saw a shadow block out what sun was left. He turned, and the last thing he saw was not the beast, but another vision. In his vision, it wasn’t the monster that smashed him. It was one of the men from the village. The man saw Billy reach up and kill him with his fist.

***

Earth, Present

Things were back to the way they were all those years ago. Everyone was walking back inside their houses before the lights came on. But, instead of lights, something else happened.

Billy’s dad let out a scream, like a murder victim in the middle of the streets. He doubled over and screamed out the words, “He’s coming!”

Somewhere deep in the ocean, a sea crew member started twitching deep under the sea.

Somewhere inside the house, a young man started screaming at the top of his lungs.

Back at the village, the man collected himself. With shaky breaths, he said, “It’s coming. The thing from the vision. It’s real.”

Then, he passed out. The man’s wife, who was Billy’s mom, came outside. For some reason, she wasn’t experiencing any visions. She came outside, holding something. It was hard to tell what it was. As she got closer, everyone realized that it was a knife. She took the knife, and dug it deep into her husband’s chest.

“The plan is working as expected. It is the only way. I need your blood for the next phase,” she said.

Her voice sounded like it was not her own. With that, she withdrew the knife. The man crumpled to the ground.

Deep in the midst of the house, Billy screamed.

Far out in the sea, the beast let out a huge sound. It was part-growl, part-screech, part-roar, and part-human.

Then, the woman stabbed the knife into her own forehead. She dragged it down to her neck and dropped the knife. Her skin fell away to reveal a terrifying, scaly lizard-person.

“This is why Billy was connected to our species!” she exclaimed. “Not because we trapped him, but because of his blood.”

Deep in the house, Billy dropped to his knees. He looked at the sky as his eyes turned into slits.

***

The House

“Holy s**t!! What the hell is wrong with you?!”

“I don’t know. I feel a deep connection with this species, but somehow… it feels like loss.”

“C’mon, man! Fight the urge!”

“Okay, I got this! I can do it!”

“I know you can! I trust you to fight the urge!! Let me see if I can find out what is going on outside”

“Oh no.”

“What happened?”

“There is a lizard person outside, and a dead man on the floor.”

“Let me see. Wait a minute… that’s not just a man. That’s my father.”

Billy curls his hands into fists. He slowly realizes who the lizard-person was.

“Wait, that lizard-person possessed my mom! Both of my parents are dead because of these things.”

“Billy, you don’t want to get to angry.”

“Why, Calvin? You think that just because you don’t understand human emotions, I shouldn’t go beat up a lizard person right now?”

I punch Billy in the face. All of a sudden, Billy’s eyes turn orange and went back to slits.

“Don’t direct your anger at me, Billy. Use this power to kill a lizard-person, if it is what you must do.”

“Where will I find one?!”

“The one outside, the one that possessed your mom.”

“How will I get outside?”

“All lizard people can get outside.”

***

Earth, Present

Everyone stood, gaping at the lizard-human holding the knife.

“Any other volunteers?” said the lizard-person.

“Me, you dumb lizard-bitch,” Billy said.

He stood with his lizard-eyes and balled up fists. He charged at the lizard and punched it in the face. It was about to fight back, when the sound of gunshots were heard. Helicopter blades could be heard, and shouting too.

Back at the house, Calvin could hear it, too. His face went white as a sheet. He secretly snuck through the house. He jumped at the first lizard-person he saw. He wrapped his arms around its neck and his legs around its waist. Eventually, it passed out. He took its weapon and used it to slice its hand off. With shock, he realized the knife was also a gun. He took the hand, and gun, and ran. He used the hand to bypass security, and he was out.

By the time he got out, a much bigger problem was clear. Not Billy, not the people, not the fact that he was still holding a hand, but the fact that the beast had arrived.

The first clue was that every time he closed his eyes, he saw Cthulhu’s terrifying face. The second clue was that a flaming helicopter was now flying towards him. It crashed right at Calvin’s feet. That’s when he realized. Cthulhu was Phase Two, and he was Phase One. If the aliens used Cthulhu as a second resort, then they were probably afraid of him.

He closed his eyes and tried to see where Cthulhu was. Then, he realized what he was seeing. He was seeing through Billy’s eyes.

***

Earth, Present

Billy was standing over the alien. He was holding the weapon high above his hand.

“Time to die!” he yelled.

He took the knife and dug it deep into the alien’s face. The face imploded, and the blood trickled out from where the eyes used to be.

“Good game,” the lizard-person on the floor slowly smiled.

Suddenly, Billy noticed Calvin. He was staring at the sky. Billy looked up too, just as the sun went out.

Calvin saw Billy look up and pass out when he saw the sun slowly go out. With shock, he realized the sun wasn’t going out. It was getting blocked.

Cthulhu landed on the ground, just outside the house, with two more helicopters in his hands. Calvin noticed the army logo on one of the helicopters. The other was blank, maybe a civilian helicopter. Cthulhu crushed them with his hands.

Calvin knew what he had to do. He took the gun and shot it right between the eyes of Cthulhu. The bullet went right through Cthulhu’s head, but he took no notice.

Billy, however, woke up with a searing pain in his head. Calvin knew he had one choice. He took the knife, ran up to Billy, and stabbed him in the heart. When Billy crumpled to the ground, Cthulhu did too. His massive tentacles wrapped around a few more townspeople, squeezing the life out of them. That’s when Calvin realized something was wrong. The lights turned on. The parts that weren’t windows started to glow. Soon, the whole house became a light. Then, it exploded. Standing in the center of the wreckage was the real Cthulhu.

***

Calvin

I knew what was happening before anyone else did. My biggest secret. I let himself get captured to prove that I wasn’t crazy. Even if I knew this much chaos would happen, I would still do it.

The first Cthulhu was a fake, a lab experiment made by the lizards. It was a ploy to get me to kill Billy. I knew it was coming, but I did it anyways. Billy had to die. If he spent any more time in Cthulhu’s head, he would’ve killed us all. Now, we are all going to die anyways, but in a much more painful way.

Good game.

***

Earth, Present

Calvin slowly approached Cthulhu. With every step, the visions hurt him more. With every thought, he pushed them away. He now stood in front of Cthulhu.

Take me first!” he yelled.

Cthulhu grabbed him by the neck. He squeezed the life out of him and crushed his rib cage. He threw the bleeding carcass aside. Energy pulsed through Cthulhu. He was trying possess the earth. It wasn’t a living thing, so it would be extremely difficult. All of a sudden, orange energy from his eyes went through his body and into the earth. All of a sudden, everyone who was still living got orange eyes and died. Then, Cthulhu got so much energy that he exploded. His life form stayed in the earth.

All that was left of the earth was a single kid’s toy, a stuffed tiger.

 

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