This is a short story related to the "Of Morlocks and Eloi" story..and to the 1960 time machine movie scene where the Morlocks meet the traveler for the first time..
A young Morlock male plopped himself in front of the feasting table, picking leftover marrow from the bones that were strewn about the cave where they slaughtered the Eloi. His mind was somewhere else, on the thoughts of this new creature that had come out of no where. Another Morlock came to join him.
"So Fown, I am sure you heard of this new Eloi-like creature." He started the conversation, looking over what was left on the bones as well. He wasn't too big on marrow-munching.
"Yeah only a lot." The male rolled his eyes. Everybody in the colony was chatting about this old news. Gossip like this always spread quickly.
"They say he's really smart! Smarter then Eloi!" The Morlock spat pieces of bone across the table. "That is just bad luck right there."
"Well lets slam him down here on the table and well you get the rest." Fown reached across the table, grabbing a femur bone.
"You just don't give a damn do you? What if he comes down here? They say he's already snooping around some." The Morlock shuddered, imagining if the stranger suddenly appeared over his shoulder.
"It's a damned mutated Eloi that thinks he has balls anything else?" He waved the leg bone in front of his face. "What I am angry about right now is that fact that I am hungry and there is not a lick of meat on these things. Plus some pig asshole stole all the marrow."
"I believe protecting our lives is more important then your damn stomach fool." He slammed his fists and left the male to himself.
"Let him come down here. I will just eat him myself." Fown snorted at his leave.
Fown was just coming towards his twenty third year. He was living on the outskirts of the corridors like most young bachelors of his age when they didn't have a cave. He was on the search of a mate but he too had his thoughts on this stranger even though he could not admit it to anybody else. He must remain strong. Only a week before they had called in the Eloi with their sirens to hid down below. It was engrained in the young Eloi's minds to believe danger was at hand when the sirens gave their alarm.
The Eloi always came in calm, too hypnotized by the whirling sounds to be scared by their enemies that guided them down deep into the bowels of the caverns. Fown took pride in lashing the stiff whip around to submit them to his power. It gave him a sort of lust, a desire to underhand these stupid morsels.
What moved him the most was the strange machine the creature brought with him. How could he lift such a heavy contraption? It was sitting on the wet grass in front of the metal doors of the Sphinx. Several of the males had looked over it, fiddling with the many buttons and screws attached to it. The large spinning disc on the back was intriguing as well. Perhaps the creature used it as some sort of a fan? The machine was beyond their comprehension.
That night he had wandered from underground to the night air above. He tilted his head back, breathing in the fresh air Mother Nature had to offer. The stars were shining like a billion Morlock's eyes. He stretched his back and decided to take a gander through the woods. Now he could rest his mind at ease and think about his own future. His mind shifted over to the assortment of lovely females that he was still deciding over. Well first if they even wanted him once he gains a cave. He was thinking of pulling that one lovely girl aside for a talk. Maybe bribe her into some type of a bargain. Maybe the head of that strange creature would be enough to appease her into becoming his mate. He shuffled through the thick bushes. A sweet scent crawled into his large nose.
Some other Morlock was stalking something in the bushes. His head arched forward with focused eyes. As far as Fown had learned, no Eloi came out of their safe houses after dark.
Slowly he joined the Morlock and peered through the same bush. There was that creature! He was very tall, just as tall as one of his kind and wearing strange clothing over most of his body. The creature's head turned, facing them. Fown had been loud while shuffling through the brush, giving off his position. There for a moment all three pairs of eyes locked on each other.
"His eyes don't even glow. He must be some mutated Eloi." Fown whispered. The creature pulled something from inside his shirt and struck it against a box.
Oh! The sudden flash of light spooked Fown and the other one that they toppled over backwards and ran off behind a tree. The young Morlock snorted loud and roughly in suspicion. Fire had suddenly appeared right in his hand! This was no Eloi! For none of the dead-heads knew of fire.
Another scent caught Fown off guard. A lone Eloi female was crawling through the brush very close to him. She couldn't see in the darkness, being only a few feet from her predators. Here was a meal that his stomach yearned for.
Fown further investigated the creature as the small female approached him.
"I heard you pounding!" She gasped as he grabbed her from the bush. At first Fown thought the creature was mauling her but he simply placed her down beside him in the grass.
The creature and the female continued to chat with one another. There was no more fire in his hands. This was a good moment to grab the female Eloi and make for the underground again.
With his stomach rumbling Fown lowered himself on all fours and crept closer to the thick bush that kept him from view from his prey. The creature was now off focus and picking up sticks for whatever reason. The female was looking away towards him. This was the perfect time.
Fown dove through the bush and grabbed the Eloi around the mouth and torso and yanked her back with him. The female shook her head free and screamed just as he was about to slash her with his tusks. The creature suddenly spun around and jumped him!
Fown felt himself being knocked across the mouth by a fist. He scrambled off back into the woods with empty arms. The creature did not pursue him. The Morlock raised his hair and snarled that his meal was spoiled.
"Damn him!" He growled, sneaking back under through one of the openings. His stomach churned in protest. "Tomorrow we should sound the damned sirens!
Fown ambled through the tight tunnels, his jaw set firmly. The rumble of the live machinery filled his ears. The Morlocks around him were busy as usual. Only now they were running out of energy from no food. Tomorrow they shall feast again. He passed by the wide cavern back to the smaller corridors that lead to the pockets of caves. This was dangerous territory for a lone bachelor. He was perceived as a threat to the other ones that were trying to fight for one themselves. He wasn't here to fight but to visit his family. Being still young he still had a childish side for his parents.
"What do you want?" His old father grumbled, resting against a boulder with his fat gut of a belly hanging over his clothing. It was a common tradition to toss out children, mainly sons, after they became mature enough. Fown remembered the day his father threw him out. He had come back to share dinner with his parents. His father had met him head on with mouth agape. He turned around to avoid a facial blow and received the tusks against his back. His father scored him across the shoulders with a single twist of his heavy head. His mother would not join in such affairs. When the father says it's time to go then it was time.
Fown approached them with a tensed posture, ready to escape incase his father decided he had enough of his presence. His mother greeted him with grunts and a nibble on the ear.
"You can't come back here to live you know. Go find a damned place of your own." His father reminded him, licking his fangs.
"I can visit my mother right?" Fown groaned, lowering his eyes in submission. "I'm on my way to get a cave. Don't worry about me."
"I'm not." His father snorted, scratching his stomach.
His parents were very old, him being the last child. He only knew two other siblings living with him when he was born. His oldest brother was already a grandfather himself. Still, despite his father's age he still could give his young son another nice scar to add to the rest. His father really never cared about him too much. Probably because he had so many children that those fatherhood feelings just got stale.
"I saw that creature again! He lit fire in his hands and it blinded us! He beat me away from an Eloi meal as well. He punched me across the face!" Fown huffed loudly. His mother's eyes widened. Who could overthrow a Morlock?
"Oh it's just your damned balls talking. There is no Eloi that does that crap." His father continued to put him down.
Fown had enough and bid his mother goodbye. He threw his father a haughty glare. "Oh shut it you old tosspot. At least half of my weight is not in my belly."
He scrambled out just as his father hoisted himself off the floor and after him for that remark. His old father didn't bother to even stick his head out of his cave. Fown found himself alone, being snarked at by other young males. He bristled up as he went by and retreated to wider space for a rest.
"That old fart is too fat to get himself off the floor." He said to himself, insulting his father once more.
The females never lingered here as this was the place where the young males hung out. It was just too risky for one. Every once and awhile a new female who didn't receive any notice about this hangout would venture around. The males would strut around her and crowd. So much testosterone and so little estrogen in one place was a disaster waiting to happen. The female would end up beating males off of her and escaping back through the narrow tunnel with half her clothes ripped off to save herself. Fown felt tempted a few times but knew better.
Now just a few more hours and the sun would be up to signal those snacks inside. He lavished at the thought of bloody cuts of meat in his mouth. Drool dripped off the edge of his long incisors. He rolled over on his back and flattened his arms out beside himself. The long, silver hair on his arms and legs kept him warm. A few other males were snoozing at various places on boulders and wedges between large cracks. Fown had built his own nest out of moss and shed hair. It was a very nice bed and worth stealing to his companions. He would snarl if any of them dared to challenge for it.
"Even think about it and I will add your hair into my nice nest, it would surely need it." He warned a male that was coming too close and too interested. They could build their own but would rather steal before that.
He fell into a deep dream. Never less he was a light sleeper, being able to pick up sounds from the outside world in his dreaming. He would snap awake if an intruder dare come near.
He dreamt of the Eloi slowly turning into savage beasts for no reason. They would spasm and foam at the mouth like a convulsing Morlock at his last moments in life. Diseased and stinking their eyes melted from their sockets. They would slowly stalk him with their bottomless sockets staring straight at him. Their teeth sharpened to pinpoint tips, lengthening as they came closer and closer. Their whining grew louder and louder till it rang in his ears. His eyes snapped wide and he heaved loudly. The sirens were wailing their calls.
That was enough sleep. He shook himself awake and crept back down to the feasting cave to ready himself a meal. He always liked being the first down at meal time. He stood close by the opening and kept himself occupied by nibbling on the leg bones to get his stomach working again.
Than there he saw him again! The creature stood with a horrified expression as he saw the piles of Eloi bones and skeletons strewn about. Fown stood frozen, glued against the wall. His breath now still. The creature moved on back to where the Eloi were usually herded in. He slid his hands along the wall and watched him. Others of his kind were in the same position as he was. Marveled to see this oddity just waltzing around in their caves.
He watched as another male came up behind the creature with his hands coming ever so closer to clenching his neck. Just as the Morlock was but a mere inch away the loud slash of a whip interrupted the still silence. The Eloi were being led in a single file line down a small path with a Morlock in front of them, showing them right to one of the openings to the feasting cave.
Fown exited out another end just before the Eloi were being shoved in, not wanting to arouse them from their trance. Then the creature darted across the room and stole one of the Eloi! He yanked her around the boulder and started to shout at the other Eloi, attempting to reawaken them. A Morlock swung his whip, the tip of it wrapped itself around it's neck. Fown grinned. It was about time somebody showed this immoral creature some discipline. The man yanked the weak male straight off his feet!
The entire fight before him exploded as creature whipped Morlock and vice versa. His kind eventually beat the creature at his own game and backed him inside with the other Eloi.
Fown felt himself drool as the Morlocks lumbered forward in their heavy gait, swinging side to side, taunting their prey with their glowing eyes. Fown's muscles tensed, ready to run forward and snag one himself.
Then the creature comes back with his old trick again. The sudden light from the fire in his hand drowned out all the scenery with just pure painful white. Fown reared back his head and shielded himself. Something inside told him that this creature was no good.
Again and again the Eloi-like creature threw himself against the horrid beasts and smashed their faces with his fists. The painful light screwed their senses along with their already low energy made them weak opponents.
Fown frowned deeply as the creature repeatedly beat one Morlock off like he was slapping flies off his shoulder. As much as he wanted to join that damned fire kept him at bay.
Yes at last one the Morlocks had him down in a chokehold. Fown leaned forward from above the ledge, urging the others with his grunts. He gets confused as the Morlock doesn't give him the quick blow with the teeth but only the choke. He must be a young one who doesn't know that choking is useless. At least for his own kind.
"Slash his belly open you stupid!" Fown roared just as one of the Eloi gave the male a slam on the back with his feast. The sudden counterblow shocked the Morlock into thinking there was more of them! He arched backwards as the creature kicked him into the sharp wall behind him. The blow broke his back and the jutting rock pierced his lungs. He slunk down low in a heap with blood spurting from his mouth. His eyes flickered out as his lids closed shut forever
The other Eloi found their new courage and herded themselves into the rest of the Morlocks who stood in their path.
Fown's jaw dropped. This was a nightmare right? The world can't just turn upside down so fast. To make it worse the creature spread his fire to the machinery. The painful light sprang across the cave as the roasting heat nipped at Fown's sensitive skin.
"Mother!" His thoughts raced back to his only family. The fire had made him forget all about food. Now he was in a fire trap! Quickly the flames blazed past him and engulfed the entire feasting room. He leapt off the ledge and landed hard on the other side. He slipped and rolled down to the bottom, almost catching himself on fire. He ran as fast as his short legs would take him. Around him he could hear the screams of Morlocks being cooked alive. The smell of flesh burning rose up above him. He felt his eyes roll back for a moment, his head feeling so light. He shook his sweaty face and continued race against the flames.
The smoke seeped inside his lungs, making him cough and slowing him up. Up above was an opening! It was light outside. The sun shunned him and warned him with piercing rays of light. Instincts lead him forward. This was better then being burned down here. He climbed up to the top with iron-like arms. The sun threw it's own wrath upon him. Automatically his eyes slammed shut and his skin felt the burning rays chiseling themselves into his back. He writhed against the ground and yelped loudly. He opened his eyes and blinked hard, trying to see shelter but only that white blindness. He threw his head down and sniffed loudly. The scent of trees beckoned to him. Trees meant shade. He galloped away from his burning home with his hands masking his eyes. He slammed head first into a tree trunk. The sun was less harsh here at least. He opened his watering eyes again. Only a few feet ahead he could see a spot of darkness. He crawled towards it and snuggled into the dense bush. Simultaneously his arms raked at the soft earth beneath it. He cried out loud from the built up shock. His arms continued to work themselves, throwing dirt on either side of his body. His nails ripped and worn themselves down after a few minutes. He shoved himself into the freshly scooped hole. It was barely enough to get his own front end in. He scrunched in a ball and shivered. Right now he imagined himself an unborn baby crammed in an under-sized womb.
"Think good things like food." He blurted between jittering teeth. He heard explosions rumble through the ground as his home blew apart and collapsed. "Just good thoughts!"
The explosions settled, the air was still again. He would not budge from his hiding place for the entire day until he no longer felt the sun trying to seek him out any longer.
When the stars finally shown themselves he untwined himself from the small hole and rolled across the ground. His joints were on fire and his back sun burnt.
"Oh no." He cried out loud. His home had disappeared into one big crater into the ground. A dozen or so Morlock bodies were lying about him. Their limbs stiff and reaching towards the sky. Their fragile skin couldn't handle the cruel sun.
He peered down the edge of the crater and sniffed for any signs of life. Cooked bodies and smoke was all he could scent.
"We must get away from here." He heard another deep voice behind him. "The creature had disappeared."
Fown's mouth was too dry to respond to the ruffled Morlock facing him. There was ten others around him. All with some type of injury. The youngest one was huddling close into the breast of one of the females. Fown would later come to know him as Mog.
"We are all what's left that want to leave. We should warn others of our kind elsewhere. He might come back." The leader frowned and led the group off. "We must find proper shelter before the sun comes to haunt us again. There are still some down below. They wish to stay with the Sphinx to lure the creature."
Fown fell back behind the others. He knew well his parents were not among those still fighting to keep what little was left of their home. He knew better than to stay here. He gave his home one more passing glance. Everybody he came to know was gone. His family roasted alive in the safety of their cave. He could never believe something that existed for so long could just suddenly vanish. The scent of the runaway Eloi and the creature was strong here. It trailed down the opposite path from him. He raised his lips in a snarl and promised that creature this.
"Someday we may meet again. Wherever you came from strange traveler."