My name is Eulalie, and this is my story.
It all started on a perfectly ordinary Thursday in February. The weather: cloudy.
I woke up to the birdsong of winter thrushes and the restless vocalizations of my housecat, Molly. She preferred to have me out of bed by seven o’ clock, and now it was a quarter past that. I yawned sluggishly, my night’s dream of Paris still wavering in my mind. Then it struck me: the interview was today!
I hastily threw myself into an off-white bathrobe and headed down to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. First, oatmeal for myself. Nothing fancy, just regular thick-rolled oats, a pinch of cinnamon, and a handful of coconut shreds for variety. Five minutes in the microwave would do, and meanwhile I could placate the housecat’s urgent cravings. Molly stared intently at me as I produced an aluminium tin from the pantry. Her whiskers trembled with anticipation as I opened the tin and the room was filled with the smell of pickled tuna. And that was when everything suddenly got very dark.
The microwave abruptly suspended its harmonious buzzing, the oatmeal inside it quite unfinished. I felt the cortisol surging through my veins: there was no time for a blackout today! The interview, this very important interview that could land me my dream job, was in less than two hours! The drive would take around thirty-five minutes, and I needed to drop off the cat at my neighbor’s before that, and I hadn’t decided on an outfit yet… My stomach growled. I simply had to have breakfast before the interview, or the nausea would ruin everything.
Hopefully, it was just a matter of flipping a switch on the fuse box, down in the basement. I silently thanked myself for cleaning out the cellar last week – getting to that fuse box could have become quite the ordeal if I hadn’t. I’m quite the hoarder, always finding some silly reason to keep stuff I actually don’t need at all, but I have to admit it was rather cathartic to weed through the clutter of old shoes, broken appliances and unopened boxes of regifted ornaments and then unceremoniously dump it all at the landfill.
Anyhow, when I opened the cellardoor I was surprised to be met by light – electric light. What about the blackout? I had passed both the living room and the entrance hall on my way to the basement, and none of those rooms had been lit. Yet the basement was apparently unaffected! And didn’t I always make sure to turn the lights off down there? I was puzzled. Why was the cellar exempt from the blackout? But there was something different about this light… This wasn’t the sharp, faintly yellow glow of a lightbulb, but a strange form of green glimmer, somehow thicker than regular light. And as I, with some apprehension, walked down the narrow stairway to investigate, I noticed something else: a weird buzzing sound. The microwave? No, this wasn’t the microwave – it was a feeble sound, the sound of a wasp on the other side of a window.
That’s when I saw it for the first time. The big, circular glass tank with a human brain inside it – a huge, pulsating pink brain, writhing about in viscous pale-blue liquid. I shuddered with discomfort. What was this thing doing in my basement? Who had left it here?
I felt something rub against my leg. Considering the situation, I’m not embarrassed to say that I screamed, completely terrified. Looking down, I sighed in relief when I saw the cat gently nudging at me for attention. Then Molly turned her face towards me and gazed directly into my eyes. The strange green light, reflected in her eyes, was almost hypnotic. I had to lean against the wall, my mind starting to unravel. The feeble buzzing intensified into an ominous, almost human-like humming. I could almost feel the sound prickling against my skin. And I suddenly realized what was happening. And I whispered:
“Lucretia – she’s back…”
Originally written in my native language and posted on a family-unfriendly hookup website on 2013-01-10. Translated into English (and more or less rewritten) today.
Most certainly not proofread. Vigorously edited, also today.