Something waiting in the cold—Monday Flash Fics for November 27, 2017 by Jeff Baker.

23659411_10155815408499787_4472877611574536497_n                                        The Watcher In The Ice

By Jeff Baker

Scotty read the lines off from his phone. I didn’t ask him how he could operate it without his fingers freezing.

“66⁰ 34’ N 000⁰ 000E” he read. He swiped the screen with a finger and stuck his hand in his jacket to warm it up.

“Yeah, according to this, that’s about where we are right now,” Scotty said, putting the phone back in his pocket and putting the glove back on his exposed hand.

“Arctic Ocean,” Rob said, pointing at the water full of chunks of floating ice. “The ship would have gone down out there and they would have come ashore here.”

“And then what happened?” Scotty asked into the cold, open air.

“That’s what we’re here to find out,” I said.

The Lady Pollyanna had come here in 1922 with a full crew. They were considered lost at sea until one crewman was picked up in a lifeboat clutching the ship’s log and babbling incoherently about looking down at the stars. The co-ordinates were part of the last entry by Captain Borthwick-Leslie dated April 10, 1922. We’d been hired by the University (which now owned the Pollyanna’s logbook) to find out what had happened to the ship and remaining crew members, and why one of them had grabbed the logbook and set off on the ocean by himself.

“Look,” Scotty said. “It looks like mid-afternoon but we’ve been up eighteen hours at least. Let’s set up camp and get some rest. Start fresh tomorrow.”

“Yeah,” Rob said. “Get up with the penguins.”

“That’s the South Pole,” I said with a grin.

That night I dreamed.

I was on the edge of the ocean looking into the water. I thought I saw the shadowy bulk of the Lady Pollyanna but then I saw something else; stars. Hundreds of stars there in the water under the ice beneath me. I dove into the water, I didn’t get wet or cold. I was swimming in an ocean of black, surrounded by stars. And one shape; barely made out behind the stars. A greater blackness outlined in starlight. A huge mass which seemed to twist and flow and move. It was coming closer. I could feel the stars were afraid.

I woke up sweating, grateful for the little heater in the tent.

When I started to tell Rob and Scotty about my dream, just to get it out of my head, they stopped me and filled in the remaining details.

Yeah. The same dream.

We spent some of that morning going through the ship’s log and scoping out where the ship was supposed to be. Ideally, it would be frozen in ice and intact. There were some references in the log we’d never paid much attention to before. A lot of references to dreams. Dreams that started when they arrived in this area. Dreams they somehow shared. The same dreams we’d had. Plus a scrawled line that nobody had deciphered somehow. The Captain had ordered the ship to be sunk. The Captain. “To Be With The Watcher,” that was the line. We worked some more, ate and went to bed at the same time as the day before.

We had the same dreams.

When we woke up, our boat was gone and so was Scotty. He’d taken his phone but we still had ours, with the logbook saved on them. But that and the current location were all we could access. We couldn’t get into the phone, text, mail, anything. We had supplies for at least another two weeks, but we knew we couldn’t go back to sleep. In the dreams, the thing under the ice was getting closer. We stayed awake for two days. Don’t ask me how. We were keeping a journal and adding it to the printed text of the ship’s log. Also we were using our time to sculpt the thing beneath the ice out of ice there on the edge of the ocean.

And that’s where we are now. When it’s done we’ll walk into the water one right after the other. There’s a temple under there, where the Watcher is venerated. We do not need to dream of him to see him anymore. I will leave my phone here on the altar we have carved in front of the sculpture of the Watcher. We will be with him. We will not need to dream. We will be the dream. We will chant, ever:

“66⁰ 34’ N 000⁰ 000E”

“66⁰ 34’ N 000⁰ 000E”

“66⁰ 34’ N 000⁰ 000E”




This entry was posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Monday Flash Fiction, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Something waiting in the cold—Monday Flash Fics for November 27, 2017 by Jeff Baker.

  1. lizlisterauthor says:

    Oh dear, they drank the cool-aid. This was great! I loved the vivid and haunting description of the dreams.

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