THE SHINING ONE
By; Gerald A. Polley
It all began in a quiet enough place...a beautiful little shaded brook on the quiet English countryside. All seemed normal and still., and then a faint hum began to fill the silence. It grew louder and louder. Streaks of a strange, silvery light began to appear flashing around and around over the water. As the hum grew more intense, more and more of the streaks of light appeared. They formed into a circle that began to spin faster and faster over the little rushing stream. A point of silvery light appeared in the midst of the circle, and as the light around it spun, it grew bigger and bigger until it filled the spinning circle.
For some time, unnoticed, the circle continued to spin, then, a black blob about the size of a man's fist poked through it. It turned this way and that, as it searched for something. Then, satisfied, that there was nothing around that could harm it, a black shapeless form slipped through the silver light, dropped into the stream, then taking a shape like a giant serpent slithered up the bank.
It slipped into a beam of sunlight, gave a horrid shriek of pain, and slipped back into the shadows. Angry growls emerged from the quivering form. Working its way down the stream it found the surface casing of a telephone cable. In moments the top of the casing was off, and the thing slithered slowly inside, the last of it going with a 'Swoosh!'
A few moments later another object poked through the silvery glow that was now beginning to fade. Where the first had been shapeless darkness, this was like a ball of shimmering, golden light. It, too, searched around, then plopped into the stream and exited in the same manner as its predecessor. There was a sniffing sound as it followed the trail along the shore that its predecessor had taken. Behind it, the humming decreased, and the shimmering glow disappeared in the reverse order than it had come.
The second visitor found the telephone cable and gave a disgusted shriek of anger. It hesitated a moment, then, in the manner of the one it was following, it disappeared into the cable.
In a nearby city, the first creature emerged in a shaded area. The sun was low, now, it could move about easier. It looked at the disappearing disc and made a snorting, angry sound. It waited until darkness was full, then took on a shape that resembled a lizard with a great, long neck. It sniffed the air, turning its head this way and that, then a pleased tone began to emerge from it. It trotted off, skirting the lights of the city.
In a short time, it came to a large building with a fence and guard towers. A sign by the gate read "Durman Hospital For The Criminally Insane. No Unauthorized Admittance." The creature again sniffed the air, and again the pleasing humming sound came from it. It went to a utility pole which supplied power to the hospital, and with a single blow of its head shattered it to splinters. As it fell, the wires snapped, and the hospital was plunged into darkness. The creature ran for its goal before emergency lights could switch on.
It reached the generator shack after making a bound completely over the fence, ripped off its door, and tore the generator to scrap, as it was turning on! Pleased with its efforts, it trotted off towards the hospital. It could now work at its leisure.
Inside the hospital several attendants ran around with flashlights.
"Why hasn't the generator come on, Charlie?" one man screamed.
"I don't know, mate!" the other answered, "One of us better go have a look. You're the electronical genius, YOU go! I'll stay with the fruitcakes. They all seem pretty quiet right now."
"These vegetable cases aren't much problem anyway," the other answered, "just don't open any doors 'til I'm back."
The man hurried off unlocking doors as he went. The other guard paced nervously up and down the hall, shining his flashlight into this cell and that. He never saw the creature ooze through the open window and come up behind him. One good slap slammed the attendant's head against the wall, knocking him senseless. The creature then made its way quickly, to one cell. It seized the door and ripped it out of the casing, tossed it aside, then continued in. A rather handsome dark haired man in his early twenties laid on the bed staring blankly at the ceiling. The creature hovered for a moment over him, then with incredible speed disappeared into his mouth, ears, and nose. When the last of the darkness had oozed into him, the man sat up and laughed.
"Ah!" he said, in a deep, drawn out voice, "Not bad! Not bad at all! It will do quite well!"
He rose up and made his way out the door. The man in the hall moaned. The man from the cell reached down, picked him up by the hair, holding him at arm's length.
"If I wasn't in so much of a hurry," he said, "I'd have some fun with you, but you haven't been a bad sort, anyway, so I'll just let you sleep for a while."
He slapped the attendant hard, behind the ear. The man went limp and he dropped him back to the floor. Coming to the door he stood waiting. In a few moments keys began to turn.
"The damned generator's been torn to pieces!" the second attendant said, returning. "And the phones are out! They're having trouble on the other floors."