Hello, and welcome to a lovely edition of "Brontë actually writes what she says she'll write." Now, this is just the prequel, so don't judge it too harshly. In fact, go ahead and start on the next chapter (once it's uploaded.)



Kyle Grant awoke as if it was any other day. He put on his unwashed work clothes, ate some toast, and got into his rusted pick-up truck. He waved politely to the neighbors even though he knew nothing about them. Arriving at work, he pulled up next to a truck just like his in a line of trucks just like his. He walked inside to see a bunch of men in the same outfit as him bustling around despite the fact that they probably had nowhere they needed to be.

He lived what one Dean Winchester would call an "apple pie life".

But then something strange happened.

"Hey, Kurt?"

A man in a suit with gelled back hair barreled down at him, a false smile on his false face.

"Kyle," he corrected him.

"Yeah, Kevin, the levels are a little off down the river. Can you check it out? Make sure somebody didn't dump something in the water? Everyone else seems pretty busy."

And the man was gone, leaving Kyle alone. With a groan and meaningless curse, Kyle turned and walked out the door. There was nothing worse than checking the river. You had to check every station and make sure everything was normal. It always was.

And yet something seemed off as Kyle arrived at the second entrance to the main river. The lock to the gate appeared to have been rusted off of its chain, leaving the gate ajar.

"Ah, shit," Kyle breathed. Some kids probably got in and were swimming around. Don't they realize that people drink this stuff?

Kyle looked down the river and saw absolutely no one, so he decided to check one station down. Maybe the current dragged them down there.

An eerie silence filled the air at the third station. Despite the rural setting, not even a bird could be heard. Even the rushing, churning river seemed still.

And something was lying off the shore.

"Damn it."

A soggy black suit jacket was caught on the very edge of the shore, repeatedly tugged by the moving water. Whoever these kids were they were stripping, and, assuming the jacket belonged to a male, that wasn't something Kyle wanted to see.

"Hello?" Kyle called out, not really wanting to hear anyone.

"I'm sorry."

Kyle leapt into the air, his heart suddenly racing at an unimaginable rate. He snapped his head in the direction of the noise, fighting the urge to run the opposite way.

"I'm sorry."

A man was lying along the bank, his face was dark with muck and blood. Despite Kyle's better judgment, he ran to help the man.

"I'm sorry."

The man muttered through blackened teeth. As he approached him, Kyle was hesitant to touch the disgusting man. A strange black liquid covered every inch of the man, even dyeing his eyes. Kyle'd see enough epidemic movies to know that making contact with men like this was how it always started.

His hand was on his phone before his mind had the time to process the action, and his fingers were dialing 9-1-1 before he had time to figure out what to say.

"911, what is your emergency?"

"I, I don't know. A, a man washed up on shore and he's covered in…" Kyle's voice trailed off as nausea consumed him. He ran to the nearby bush to vomit.

"Covered in what, sir?" The woman replied sweetly, unaware of the fear Kyle felt.

"In a black goo." Kyle said sickly, inflecting as if it was a question.

Was it a question?

"Is he breathing?" the woman interrupted his thoughts.

"Yes, he keeps saying he's sorry." Kyle said, his hands shaking almost too hard to hold the phone.

Kyle continued to talk to the woman, telling her his location. Eventually, an ambulance and a few cop cars showed up, covering him with a thick, stiff blanket.

They asked him questions about the man. They asked him questions about himself. But all he could think about was that man, the man that had already been driven off in a county ambulance.