Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 186

The air beneath sparkled and Evie lurched as if part of the force of the blow had connected. She stumbled into the side of the escalator, almost losing her footing but still scrambled upwards, half on her feet and half on hands and knees. then stepped back as she realised there was nothing she could do. The Morph dropped onto Evie and engulfed her. Claire screamed ‘No!’ as Evie floated up from the ground, still struggling and twisting, until she was hovering in the middle of the Morph. The monster looked up at Claire and she clamped a hand over her mouth, realising too late that calling attention to herself was not her best idea. The Morph turned away as if dismissing her. As it moved off, it started to absorb its own arms and legs, stretching out until it looked like a slug with a bulbous head. The Morph looked down at the red ‘Emergency Stop’ button mounted on a box and casually swung a fist at it. The box disintegrated, glass shards and sparks scattering outwards as the metal frame was hammered flat. Both escalators slowed and rumbled to a halt. Claire watched in horror as the Morph’s mouth stretched opened again. Before she could yell a warning, the tongue sprang forward and thumped squarely into Evie’s back. This time it truly connected and there was Claire couldn’t see Evie’s face, but she was struggling no sparkle in the air. It landed so hard Claire was sure less and Claire realised Evie could be drowning in she heard it, like a dull drumbeat. whatever gloop filled the creature. The Morph slid away towards the platform. Evie seemed to renew Evie sprawled forward. Her arms flailed as she tried to her struggling and slowly spun around inside the sac. try to protect herself and her gun was thrown though Black splotches covered Evie’s eyes and mouth, and the air. Evie cried out in pain as her head cracked for one horrible second Claire thought that something down on the edge of a step. Claire winced in sympahad started eating away at her face. A moment later, as thy. Blood ran down into Evie’s eye from a cut. She the Morph passed one of the lights and Claire realised turned herself over and faced the Morph as it climbed that Evie had pulled her goggles over her eyes and had the stairs towards her. Claire looked around for anyanother gadget in her mouth. thing that might help, but there wasn’t even a fire extinguisher she could throw. Below, the Morph loomed The Morph carried on down the escalator. Claire exover her new friend. pected noise of some kind. Perhaps something gurgling or rasping like snake scales rubbing over them‘Pus-filled bag of shit. Sod off,’ Evie snarled, as she selves. There was a ticking sound, like metal cooling, tried to scoot backwards, repeating the last two words but that seemed to be coming from farther away, out over and over in a crescendo of anger and fear. Claire of sight. The Morph silently eased across the hallway didn’t understand Evie’s predicament until - as if at the bottom of the escalators and through onto the on cue - the Morph changed; blurring and bloating, platform. becoming colourless and translucent. A bulbous sac extended from where its stomach had been, and sank Claire was alone at the top of the stairs. downwards. Evie tried to fend it off, screaming and cursing and beating at it with her fists. II Claire could hear a sizzling noise and a drum-like boom each time Evie hit the bubble, but as it sank lower Evie had less room to move, and then her arms were slipping through the bulging sac and inside the Morph. Bile burned the back of Claire’s throat as her stomach heaved. She took a half-step forward to go and help, Claire spun around, turning her back on the motionless escalator. Blood pounded in her ears and every breath felt like a conscious act. What had happened didn’t feel like a dream - it was in colour, for one thing - but it was too weird. Had she only fallen asleep on the train? It would make things so much simpler if she had. She pinched her arm to try to wake herself up, but nothing happened except a red mark and some pain. PAGE 185