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Old 07-19-2010, 03:39 AM
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cmhine (Offline)
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Default Demogoran: Chapter 1 - The Pit. Feedback appreciated

Chapter 1.

The Pit

The four anthropological team members worked in the rain and into Monday night, pulling out bodies, one by one. By morning, their orange boiler suits were more the colour of chocolate and they’d unearthed a rain sodden hole almost twenty feet across and almost twelve feet deep. Far from a silent affair, Nick had heard and witnessed the whole muddy thing from his bedroom window. JCB’s accompanied by the burbling bass of diesel-fuelled trucks had turned up and drove away all night. Their engines, less than silent, had totally prevented him from sleeping, as had the temporary argon light towers providing nighttime illumination for the digging four. They blasted out light like a solar flare in the night’s sky, raining dazzling white onto the pit while it grew in size. For an almost sixteen-year old boy, this was way more than fascinating, in fact better than TV.

With the old sash window pushed up as far as its ancient jamb would let it, he gazed down for as long as the increasing weight of his eyelids allowed, screwing up his face in silent reaction to each unearthed body. One after another, excavated, exhumed. It was a double quandary, a spectacle and a monstrosity all at the same time.

Eventually, with the noise levels dipping slightly, he dropped into a fitful sleep. With no chance of a lie in, Tuesday morning saw Nick uncommonly awake, out of bed, in the garden area, and leaning against a recently erected makeshift fence framing the perimeter of the pit. With a horde of media, radio and (possibly) television to his right, there was probably no chance of school today anyway.

He glanced into the pit at a cloud of midges about twelve feet below. Wholly unaware of their macabre surroundings and media attention, they hovered over one of the rain created pools, basking in a narrow shaft of light. It was astonishing: the floor of the excavation, pockmarked with indents and shadow, echoing a ghoulish reminder of what had been, what had been there only hours earlier.

Apparently, one of the anthropological team, or A-team, as Nick had called them, was going to give a statement, at least at some point. And that’s what the horde was waiting for.

One of the A-team performing the excavation had told Bill, Nick’s dad, not to worry, that the site was most probably an ancient burial ground, likely from some form of epidemic, possibly because of a plague of some sort, but that they would mount an enquiry once they’d taken the bodies away.

Perhaps Bill’s decision to continue his commute back to London was premature but aided by the reassurance that the bodies were indeed old, in fact very old.

However, with understandable concerns, he had asked about the watch found on the rotted skeletal hand and DI Grants strange interest in it, and his surprising and seemingly rapid exit. Nick stood at his dad’s side, listening intently to the response. Another one of the A-team had indicated that it was more than probable that the site had perhaps become contaminated, at least at some stage. He threw his small spade down and walked over, wiping muddy hands on his legs. ‘Oh, I wouldn’t worry about it,’ he said. ‘DI Grant probably had somewhere he needed to be.’

‘And the watch?’ asked Bill.

‘Kids,’ he replied. ‘They get into all sorts.’

Bill grimaced. ‘Are you trying to tell me some kid had placed a watch around the skeletal remains of a corpse?’

The suit nodded. ‘You’d be surprised at what we’ve seen in our time mate.’

‘It sounds unlikely.’

‘Once, we found a―’

A voice sounded from about twenty feet away. ‘Pete!’ Nick could see he was frowning. ‘That’s enough!’ Clearly, a reprimand, the man speaking to Bill looked down and kicked some earth. ‘Sorry,’ he shouted back, paused and then turned back to face Bill. ‘Hmm, we shouldn’t discuss it.’

Bill nodded and said, ‘It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.’ He then paused and said, ‘Look, I have to leave for work. But my wife’s in. And…’ He gestured a hand to the burgeoning swell of media at the front of the house.

‘Oh, don’t worry about them,’ said the suit. ‘My gaffer’ll sort it. Once he tell’s em’ what’s here, what we’ve found, that it’s not some mass murder, they’ll clear out. You’ll see.’

‘I’m not so sure. And I’m not going to be around to make sure.’

‘Nine day wonder, max! You’ll see. Prob’s less.’

Nick waited until the suit had walked away, and then gestured to the surrounding turmoil. ‘Do you have to go back to work?’

‘I’m afraid so,’ said Bill. ‘Got stuff on.’

‘But what about this lot?’

‘You heard the, what do you call them, the A-team?’ Nick nodded. ‘Besides, you’re not on your own.’

Nick flinched. ‘Doreen? You mean the Acid Queen.’

Bill’s face stiffened. ‘What have I told you about calling her that?’


That same Tuesday morning, Bill had made his arrangements with the A-team, and left for London as indicated. In his absence, Doreen, his wife, had surprisingly been more than happy to receive the attention from both the A-team and the media, enjoying nothing short of an unexpected bask in the limelight. At least initially that is.

Not that she looked the part. With a fag cornering her mouth, she was certainly no starlet. Venturing at the front door to collect the milk, she was pounced on by an inquisitive young male reporter. She flinched in mock surprise, pulling her dressing gown tight over her spindly limbs. After picking up the bottle, she held it tight to her chest and smiled.

‘Yes?’ she asked.

Happy at the invitation, the young journalist thrust a microphone before her. ‘What do you know about the plague pit Mrs Ramsdale?’

‘Plague…pit…oh?’ replied Doreen with a confused stutter. Composing herself, she slid a hand through her peroxide hair. ‘Well, we’re not sure what it is. They only unearthed it yesterday.’

‘Well, how does living on top of it make you feel?’

‘They’re dead aren’t they? What does it matter?’

‘Well, yes, but it seems the first thought plague pit may well have been the scene of a massacre, one that occurred over four-hundred years ago.’ Doreen simply stared back in silence. The journalist appeared slightly nonplussed at her vacant and abhorrently disinterested stance. Presumably defeated, he tried a different tack. ‘Is your husband in Mrs Ramsdale?’

She frowned. ‘No, he isn’t. Look, I’ve kids to feed and get to school. Is there anything else?’

The man smiled. ‘Yes, just one thing.’


‘All the bodies were almost half a millennium old, yet one appeared to be wearing a modern day timepiece. And, this is the most interesting bit, what we are told appears at first to be the remains of a mobile phone.’


‘Have you nothing to say? Don’t you think it strange?’

‘I’m busy,’ she said, and slammed the door, dispatching him away. After this, Doreen took great pleasure in regaling Nick and Conner, her real son, with the young man’s comments.

Nick rolled his eyes at Doreen’s less than humorous attempt at adding inappropriate cheer to an otherwise serious situation. After all, he’d heard firsthand of the likelihood that the site had been visited at some point by marauding kids.

Happily, and as thought, school didn’t happen that day either, which was a plus. However, Tuesday night, was about to throw yet another one of his confusing nightmares into his head. And, it wasn’t going to be a macabre hand reaching up through the soil. No. This was something else, something far worse.

I say we Nuke this site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
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