Captain Sean “Deadly” McCormac had been dead for a while. He could remember a time before living above the clouds. Before he had been a pirate captain he’d been something as unimportant and unimpressive as a team lead at a funnel cake stand. He’d actually been at work when the squids attacked. Everyone had thought the world would end by a zombie apocalypse, or some religion’s Armageddon, or even by an asteroid slamming into the Earth. No one expected or was prepared for flying cyborg squids.
The theme park was actually doing horrible business that day. It wasn’t pouring down rain, but it was a steady rain from a gray sky that had lowered the usual summer highs of upper nineties and lower hundreds to half that. The park barely had two thousand people in a place designed for near ten times that amount. He could see them through the windows of Funnel Cake. The hardcore guests, those that had traveled long distances to the theme park and could not reschedule due to weather, or the more crazier season pass holders who came to the park rain, shine, or inclement weather. They walked past the stand occasionally. It had a cloth awning that allowed for a respite against the constant rain. Most of the guests that walked past were wearing ponchos, and though the nearest roller coaster was still running, the thrilled screams of the few passengers were not enough to be heard over the operation of it.
Sean had already sent home most of his staff, the rest were supposed to be doing cleaning projects, but even though he was a kid himself, he was more responsible than the other kids he worked with. The theme park was run by children, as one of his employees mentioned often. Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen year olds. Sean was eighteen himself, and he attended the cleaning projects on his own even as the two other employees just stood and talked to each other.
“I’m so pissed,” came the voice of Rebecca after the sound of the side door opening and closing. Sean had smile. She was slightly wet, apparently she had had an umbrella and wore her dark blue coat from almost thirteen seasons ago. Rebecca was one of the adults that worked at Six Flags. She was in her early thirties, loud mouthed, somewhat vulgar, and had this bad habit of speaking whatever thoughts were scurrying across her brain at the moment. She had no problem telling someone she did or did not like them, then she’d proceed to tell why. She was heavy, broad shouldered for a woman, with a large rear end, and thighs almost as large as some trees. Rebecca was plain faced, as she didn’t wear make-up, a pair of brown rectangle lensed glasses on her nose. Her brown hair was pulled up in a loop on the back of her head.
“Why is that?” Sean had to ask. He supposed that Rebecca’s attitude towards life, the universe and everything was to make up for her lack of appearance. She was nice to the guests, she followed 99% of the rules, and always showed up in complete dress code.
“As I’m clocking in, I get told the decision has been made to close the park at five,” she begins. There was no such thing as a short version of any story from Rebecca. Sean reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. He pressed the button on the side, the screen lights up showing 3:55 PM. “Yeah, exactly.” She stated indicating she knew what he was looking at his phone for. It was the modern day pocket watch, everyone used their phone to check the time. No one wore a wrist watch anymore. “Why in hell didn’t they call me and say, ‘Hey, don’t come in.’ I mean do you realize that what I make an hour probably didn’t cover the gas to drive here to work two hours.”
That was when the screaming began.
Working at the theme park you kind of become immune to sounds of people screaming. People came here to be scared, to be thrilled, and to have their adrenaline boosted. These screams were different, they were utter terror, and unlike most of the screams, these were not accompanied by the sound of the moving roller coaster.
A woman was suddenly running towards them, from the direction of the front gates and the screaming. Her blue poncho was torn, and from the looks of it, having blood washed away by the rain. Buildings were in the way, and though everyone in Funnel Cake had moved to the front of the stand to try to see what was causing the screaming.
Rebecca was the first one who was outside of the stand, and put her hands up to try to stop the woman from running.
“Are you alright?” She asked indicating the blood on the torn poncho. Rebecca turned to the employees inside of the stand who were just being lookie loos. “Call Security!” She shouted but Sean was already on the phone and to his surprise, he dialed 202 repeatedly and all he got was a busy signal. “Ma’am? Are you alright?” The woman was blubbering, her eyes wide with genuine fear.
“My boyfriend! They ate my boyfriend!” Rebecca’s face tried to keep incredulous off of it, and tried to remain passionate. She tried to lead the woman towards Funnel Cake, out of the rain and under the green awning. Sean knew that soon the Halloween event would start leaking into regular operation. Usually a single ghoul or dressed up creature would wander around scaring people. It didn’t seem likely that it would be this early in the season and especially on a rainy day such as this.
The frightened woman’s poncho was torn and bloody, and her arm looked like it had a giant bite taken out of it. The thing was the blood and the bite looked really, really real. The woman kept looking over shoulder, her blonde hair wet from the hood of her poncho having fallen off or been ripped off. Her make-up was wet and ruined, mascara dribbling down her cheeks like black tears. She was slightly plump, more slender than Rebecca who looked like a bean bag chair on two legs. Suddenly the woman looked over her shoulder and screamed. Rebecca looked past the woman and though she didn’t scream she tried to drag the woman around the building and in through the side door.
“Sean! Close the shutters!” Rebecca was yelling, the two employees were standing start still, eyes glued to something. Sean looked past them. Rebecca was locking the doors and had grabbed the crank that lowered the metal shutters over the large windows in the front of Funnel Cake. Rebecca was short, and had to use the crank, Sean being well over six foot could just reach up with his arms and pull them down. However Sean’s mind was still trying to make sense over what he we was seeing.
The creature floated and moved through the air and in fact did look like every photo he’d ever seen of a squid. It was bullet shaped, with one end rounded to a dull point. The other end had short tentacles and two long whip like tentacles all surrounding a bloody beak like mouth. It had a large eye on either side of its head. A red glow came from deep within each eye, and metal plates seemed to be screwed into places on the squid’s side. A small antenna rose from the rounded butt of the squid. It moved like other squids, in reverse, and after short jets through the air the squid would turn as if looking around before choosing to jet again in either the same or different direction.
“Did you call security?” Rebecca’s voice cut through his paralysis. One by one the shutters came down and she moved to the next one. The two employees, had already moved to huddle in the back room with the bloody woman. Rebecca had her phone out of her pocket and was trying to dial someone with it.
“I can keep trying but the line is busy,” Sean answered.
“Do you think its aliens?” Asked one of the employees. The wounded woman had already sat on the floor by the dish sink, sobbing as her arm bled. Sean tried dialing security again, now it was ringing with no answer.
“Try your cell phone,” Rebecca suggested. The two employees already had their cell phones out and were dialing but they had the same look of disappointment as Rebecca did.
“I think Security already knows about this,” Sean stated. Sean pulled out his cell phone from his pocket, he swiped the lines to unlock it. He dialed his mother.
“All circuits are busy, please try your call again later,” said the robotic female voice.
“Is it aliens?” Asked the employee again. Rebecca had lowered all the shutters and tried to lock them down, but the locks had never worked even though the keys still remained in the locks.
“Keep your voice down, we don’t even know if they can hear us,” Rebecca whispered harshly, she was still holding the long metal crank. All five of them were in the back room. “I was hoping to reach my husband or my kids.”
Listening, barely breathing, and hoping that the cyborg squids passed them by. Outside were the occasional scream or the sound of pounding feet, nearly muffled by the dull roar of the rain.
Suddenly there was a bump against the metal shutters and everyone gave a collective gasp. Rebecca even put her hand over her mouth to keep from making any more noise. There was a shuffling over the shutters as if something was feeling over them. One of them moved up slightly and a tentacle slithered between the shutter and the counter.
Sean walked over to the dish sink and pulled a carving knife from the knife rack. He wasn’t sure what he planned to do with it, but both he and Rebecca walked towards the tentacle that was shuffling under the shutter. The tentacle appeared to be feeling around the counter, it reached the scanning gun. Curled around it, pulled it off its stand, felt all over it, and then put it down. Sean raised his arm, knife in hand and brought it down like a meat cleaver on the tentacle. The tentacle severed, black blood or maybe even motor oil spurted. There was a squeal on the other side of the shutter, and a banging on it. The severed tentacle curled up and lay still.
Suddenly the shutter was ripped off its tracks and now a gaping hole was in the front of Funnel Cake exposing them to the cyborg squid. Sean and Rebecca tried to take a step back, but they were stopped by the counter between the fryers and the front counter. Behind the squid were dozens of others. People were running and the squids were tripping them up, and wrapping their tentacles around them and biting them, eating them. The streets of the theme park were red with blood and tossed body parts, an arm here, a leg there. Entrails hanging from the beaked mouths of the squids.
Rebecca had either not seen the gruesome sight behind the squid or the sight of it had not bothered her from her task. She brought the metal crank down on the squid, as the metal arm connected with metal it vibrated and it looked like it had hurt her to swing at it, but that didn’t stop her. The metal arm had left a dent in the squid’s head, above the eye. Rebecca brought the metal crank down again. The eyeball shattered, like it was made of glass. The squid was screaming now, trying to wriggle back out of the open window.
“No! Don’t let it go!” Rebecca yelled at Sean. Together they wrestled the squid further into the window. “Quick! The fryer!” She shouted and together the two of them dragged the squid towards the large fryer where the funnel cakes were cooked. Every time the squid curled its tentacles around something to try to halt its hijacking, Sean sliced it off, soon it had none left. They managed to shove it into the fryer and the stand soon smelled of fried fish. It screamed and howled and the oil boiled under it, around it. It slowly stopped fighting to get out of the fryer the light in the remaining eye winked out.
“Ho, mother fucker!” Rebecca said exhaustedly as she backed away from the fryer. Her hands were burned in places where fryer grease had splashed them, but her coat had taken most of the oil. That was when Sean saw the hole in her coat, the redness that was dribbling from the hole and down her black apron and brown pants.
“Rebecca,” Sean began. Her face paled as he pointed and she looked at herself.
“Mother fucker bit me,” she wheezed and slid down the front of the stainless steel fridge. He tried to catch her, Sean, though slender was strong, but she was heavy. He tried to apply pressure to her wound, he wasn’t sure if he should open the coat and look more closely or just keep up the pressure.