"Wee-yoo! Wee-yoo! Wee-yoo!"

Head throbbing, Aard awoke. The klaxon of her alarm clock blared through the room, warped and distorted by her drowsiness as she fumbled with her alarm clock. The room was dim, lit only by the dim light of the cloudy morning and the scattered LEDs: alarm clock, laptop, cell phone.

"Wee-yoo! Wee-yoo! Wee-"

The noise stopped. Finally. It's too damn early. Pulling out a rumpled class schedual, she scanned for her first class. Thursday. Hmmph. Nothing till seven.

Reaching over, she ticked the alarm from 8.00 to 10.00, and went back to sleep.

"Wee-yoo! Wee-yoo! Wee-yoo!"


A hand shot out from under the covers. Slamming on top of the alarm clock, it fumbled for a few minutes. The klaxon didn't stop.

"Wee-yoo! Wee-yoo! Wee-yoo!"

Sticking her head out from under the covers, Aard pulled the clock closer.

The number, 9.58, burned red and bright, a steady stream of pale light, not pulsing with the klaxon as it should.

And the klaxon itself was growing quieter, as if even now it grew distant.



And when the klaxon cut off, the room became perfectly, absolutely silent.


"Wee-yoo! Wee-yoo! Wee-yoo!"

Rolling out of bed, Aard stumbled to the door, flicking on the lights. Surveying the concrete room, she checked her plants, and turned to grab some clothes for the day. Pulling a clean t-shirt on, she glanced out the window.

That's… a lot of fog.

Gazing across the street at Constitution, she shook her head. Only vague pricks of light were visible through the fog.

… How odd… But winter is coming, I suppose…

Glancing around the room, she grabbed her empty leather camera bag. Even though her own camera was a point and click, the large, sturdy, flat bottomed bag was her favorite. Tossing her cell phone inside, she unplugged her tablet, and put it carefully into the bag. Glancing around the room, she debated grabbing a few things.

Pulling open one of the drawers on her desk, Aard shuffled through her papers until she found her lighter. Pocketing it, she tossed a matchbook into her purse. A few birthday candles found their way in, too, a small flashlight, and some paperclips; a few pens, a handful of various pencils, a pair of Clif bars, a few pieces of gum, and a notepad. Finally, Aard pulled out her objective: the stuffed Aardvark, Newton.

Satisfied, Aard clipped her keys to her jeans and kicked on her boots. Leaving her room, she glanced down the hall, somewhat unnerved by the dim, flickering lights.

Did I sleep through a storm? Were those tornado klaxons? But… why'd they stop? And where is everyone?

Heading downstairs, Aard shoved through the door to the front entrance. Glancing through the glass to the office, she stopped, puzzled, before continuing outside.

Where are the RAs?

Setting off through the fog towards Hurley, she glanced around at the buildings surrounding her, fading into the mist as they rose skyward. They seemed to tower over her, spreading out and vanishing into the distance in all directions. The neon "Student Center" sign seemed distant where it glowed on the library. Even the blue police call boxes seemed spread too far in the gloom, and she felt tempted to push one, just to here another person's voice.

The nearest speaker crackled. As Aard's eyes shot to the blue post, a figure began to appear out of the fog. Moving forward, Aard made to call out…

… And stopped as the creature began to come into focus.

The tattered white of a tank top covered the slender, skeletal body. Its form was tall, not as tall as her, but maybe 5'5, and it staggered, almost drunk looking, towards her, too-small hand clutching a heavy-looking umbrella, as Aard took a step back. Its body, thin as it was, was gangly and disproportionate; it's emaciated legs seemed not enough to support the bulbous breasts that bounced as it walked. Its face was worse; distorted lips took up half of it, while its eyes were little more than sunken pits. Boils seemed to cover the insides of its upper thighs, and its feet were oddly elongated, like high heels made of flesh. A broad, clean hole shone through the monster's stomach.

Reaching down slowly, Aard gripped a rock twice the size of her fist, and lobbed it at the beast.

The first one flew wide, and Aard staggered back, scrambling for another in the small garden. This one shattered one of the legs, and the creature fell. Lying on the ground, it convulsed, emaciated arms trying to drag it towards her. Hesitantly, she approached, rock in hand, and began to bash the monster with it, panicking, falling to her knees beside it, smashing it over… and over… and over.

When the demon finally stilled, Aard slumped over, sobbing in terror, and stayed there for a long time, as the static from the call box faded, and blood pooled on the ground beneath her and the monster.