by Faye Sizemore
forum: Committed
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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       Poor old Mr. Dallas had quite lost his mind. His doctors had already signed the papers for him to be picked up from his home of sixty odd years and taken to the Carson City Sanitarium.

       The poor eighty two year old man had been abandoned by his much younger wife and had called the local authorities and told them a wild story of her disappearance...

       He insisted that she was taken by aliens... aliens that crawled out of their dumbwaiter in the hall outside his bedroom door. The dumbwaiter was inspected and yielded nothing but cobwebs... nothing that would support his story.

       All that anyone knew was that Mrs. Lillian Dallas was definitely missing... Gone as if she had decided to leave in a hurry. Her clothes and other things were still there at the home. Her car was still in the garage.

       After talking to neighbors and relatives, it was decided that she must have had enough of the old gentleman, especially after him becoming so ornery and apparently senile.

       It was known that she had only been there for the money anyway. Mrs. Dallas had just moved on to greener pastures.

       They called in his doctors and they all agreed that Mr. P.S. Dallas would be better off to be confined for his own good and protection from himself.

       The Carson City ambulance pulled into the circular gravel driveway and continued to the front door of the house. The two muscular attendants got out and stared up at the face of the old stone mansion.

       Shaking their heads in amazement, the one called Elroy was heard to say to the other, “Look at that, George. Can you believe it? All this money and a fancy home like this, and then to lose your mind and have to go live in the rest home?”

       George silently agreed and proceeded to ring the door chimes. The door went unanswered for an unreasonable length of time... Looking at each other, they shrugged their shoulders and went in search of another door.

       The walkway at the side of the house was overgrown and unkempt and they tripped several times over the intruding ivy vines. Finally finding a door, Elroy repeatedly knocked with the heavy old brass knocker and finally, with his knuckles..

       There was still no answer, despite there being a car in the small parking area with a Department Of Health Seal on its driver's door.

       "We better call in," George told Elroy. "Something isn`t right here. Maybe he has already been picked up.”

       Trekking back through the vines, they reached the telephone in the ambulance and made their call.

       They both listened as the hospital dispatcher came back from checking and told them that Mr. Dallas’s caregivers had been given to leaving unexpectedly with no word beforehand. It would seem the old fellow was very wearing on their nerves, so there was probably no one there to answer the door, as the old man himself was bedridden in an upstairs bedroom.

       George and Elroy went once more to the front door and knocked extra loudly... loud enough to wake the dead. Yielding no results, George tried the door and it opened inward.

       Stepping inside, they saw a wide stairway to their left. Looking at each other as to see who would proceed upward in the lead, they both started out at once... George stepped back in relief as Elroy led the way up the stairs.

       Halfway up the staircase, they heard sobs coming from up above. At the top of the hallway they saw a mess of dishes and a serving tray, as though someone had dropped them in a hurry and kicked them out of the way.

       There was also a strange odor of acid or something similiar in the hallway. It smelled like someone had vomited up their very digestive juices.

       The crying came from a room opposite the landing. Hastening quickly to the source, they found Mr. P.S. Dallas on his bed, sobbing in terror.

       It took quite some time to calm the old gentleman, plus an injection, which did not seem to accomplish much.

       He was mumbling, “They ate them right in front of me... Right in front of me! Oh, their cries, their pleas... and I can do nothing... nothing!!”

       He was obviously further out of his mind than George and Elroy had been told. It would take a while for them to get him ready for transport. P.S. Dallas was in a great state of hallucination.

       Elroy listened to the man's heart, which was racing wildly, while George readied another injection. After all that could be done was accomplished, George went downstairs to fetch the stretcher.

       Elroy continued to talk soothingly to the old man, thinking to himself that he, for one, would be glad when this job was over. The old gentleman was quite scary. All that mumbling about the dumbwaiter and people being eaten was making him nervous. It was right outside the door.

       “We must leave now,” the shaking man told Elroy, "before the dumbwaiter comes. That's how they get up here. Let`s go now... right now." And he began to sob again.

       The sound of the rusty old pulleys and cables of the dumbwaiter starting to move came to Elroy's ears above Mr. Dallas's crying. What was George doing so long? Surely he wasn`t sending the stretcher up in the dumbwaiter. It wouldn`t fit in there, anyway.

       “George... George, whatever is taking you so long, buddy?” Elroy called, stepping into the hallway and peering down the unlit stairs

       Behind him, the creaking came to a halt and the dumbwaiter door slid slowly open. Elroy turned in time to see the grey green tentacles come flashing through the opening and curl about his chunky body. Screaming now in fear, Elroy could feel the tiny suction cups sucking blood and flesh out of him.

       ”Help me... Help me!" Elroy screamed as he had never screamed before. "Please, somebody, help meeeee!” His cries soon subsided in an abrupt gurgle.

       Old Mr. Dallas, partially sedated, heard the dying throes of another being taken but somehow, through the mist, this time it didn`t seem quite so horrible.


copyright 2006 Faye Sizemore.

Faye Sizemore:
I am an imaginative grandmother, loose with pen in hand, who just loves a mystery from the unknown.