Book Highlight ~ Dark Alignment

Dark Alignment by David Haskell

‘A deadly anomaly is wreaking havoc all over the world. One scientific researcher, Dean Eckert, has the power to stop it, but he has to get his ‘solution’ into the right hands. Governments and terrorists want to exploit the gravimetric force destroying homes, communities, and whole continents, and turn it into the ultimate doomsday weapon.


The patrol, sent out to evaluate and assess 911 hang up calls, got word of three more upon arrival at the first single-family dwelling in question. Aside from the fog blanketing the yard, nothing appeared out of the ordinary. There was no indication of a criminal situation from dispatch, so the cops stepped out and made straight for the front door, walking casually. They knocked twice, then with no response one of them stepped off the porch and walked around the side.
“Nothing here,” he called out to his partner, who’d grunted an acknowledgement and moved around to the other side. “You got something?”
“Nope,” the first officer called back. He tried peering in a window, but the blinds were shut tight. He rejoined his partner and they made for the backyard. Dispatch had been unsure on the specifics; apparently it was called in by a third party, though there was no one on the street to speak of. As they walked along the side of the house, the fog seemed to thicken and swirl around them, making them squint as they attempted to assess the backyard situation.
Past the rear of the house, they found an empty yard, no sign of trouble. Turning around, the fog had swept upward, curling its way up the faux-brick and stucco exterior. The pair waved away the substance, fanning it to the sides to reveal an opened back door. So thick they hadn’t seen it at first, it was the first sign of real trouble to raise their hackles.
“Police,” said the first, “anyone in there?”
“You called 911?” called out the other.
No answer came. They looked at each other, unsure about whether to go in. A crashing noise, inside but somewhere out by the street, made the both of them jump. Throwing caution to the wind, they drew their weapons and entered.
“Police! Show yourself!” warned the cop in front.
Silence for several seconds, followed by a steady, sloughing sound. It wasn’t threatening, exactly, but eerie. And loud. Like a hand squeezing slimy hamburger next to an amplifier.
They moved forward, weapons trained, and made their way into the next room. There they saw what was making the disgusting sound, though the sight was so surreal, so nightmarish it barely registered as real to the horrified men.
Some kind of webbing strung across the center of the room, shimmering in the light, slicing straight through the walls on either side. Caught up in the middle of it was a woman, grotesquely distorted, looking like half of her was entangled in the web. The sloughing noise came from her center, where her midsection bobbed and ebbed around the middle of the shimmer, where human ended and alien began. Her face contorted into a pained grimace, her eyes stared vacant. There was no question that she was dead—and yet the undulations and the sounds continued, her corpse hovering there in the center of the room like a freakshow prop.
One of the cops dropped his gun. The other managed to call for backup, then turned and puked violently against the far wall, adding an unpleasantly familiar splashing sound to the grinding-meat cacophony. The noise grew louder as the woman was slowly consumed.


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