The Eye of the Storm

Howard Krugler, a famous actor, sat in his car. The chrome vehicle rested upon the right shoulder of the highway. It was a fancy car, one of the new 2014 models. Shiny exterior, leather interior. All Howard felt towards the vehicle at the moment was anger. The damned thing had shorted out.

How was he supposed to have known that a storm was rolling in? How was it his fault that his car, his horrid deathtrap of a car, had skidded through a massive puddle? He punched the dashboard, adding yet another dent into the already impressive array of damage.

Fury had always been his initial reaction to anything that upset him. In nearly every situation it was his go-to method of coping. Normally people were there to calm him down, make him feel important, and put him back into his place of fame and popularity. It was not so on this night. It took a great deal of effort for Howard to calm himself down. When he finally managed to quell his anger, nearly an hour had passed. The storm raged on.

He was stranded on some highway in the middle of nowhere. Dark woods loomed over both sides. The only reason Howard has even chose to take this road was to save some time. He had already been an hour late for an interview. By now the interview would have to be cancelled. He didn’t care much. He could always get on another interview once somebody got him out of the mess he was in. Surely, he thought, somebody would be looking for him by now.

The hours passed slowly. Howard glanced nervously at his watch. To his dismay it read 1:43 a.m. Nearly six hours had gone by. There was still no sign of any help coming and, to make matters worse, the storm had only intensified. Feeling hungry and somewhat frightened, Howard decided he needed to have a plan of action. He forced the door of his car open and stepped out into the storm.

He doubled over almost instantly as the full force of the rain and wind struck him. His car door had long since slammed shut. Instantly regretting his decision to leave, he attempted to get back in but the door wouldn’t open. Lightning flashed, illuminating the interior of the car long enough for him to tell he had been locked out.

He cursed loudly but the sound was lost in the roar of the storm. There was a crash and a great boom of thunder. He noted the treetops to his right swaying precariously. Dimly he reasoned that a tree must’ve fallen over. He turned back to his car, struggling to get back inside. The crashes and booms of thunder started again. They seemed to be getting more frequent.

Now, thoroughly soaked and demoralized, Howard glanced at the tree line. Lightning lit it up for a brief moment. He let out a gasp. The tree line was gone. The trees had given out and toppled over backwards into the woods. In their place were two immense feet, blacker than the night. Attached to those feet were two similar legs.

Overcome with terror he fell and crawled underneath his car. The ground was cold, but he barely felt it. Several minutes went by. During this time the fear had begun to ebb away and clear thoughts came through. He knew he had to get help, for none was coming. He wasn’t about to freeze to death under his damned car. His wife and daughter would frown at that.

Summoning his remaining courage, Howard Krugler crawled out from under his car and stood tall. The wind whipped around him in a frenzy and the rain pounded him like stones. Yet, Howard stood. His blonde hair, once perfect, now rugged and soaked whipped sideways. He looked behind him on the highway and saw nothing but darkness. He looked ahead and saw the same thing. Then he began to walk. It was a confident stride. The stride of someone who knows something terrible is going to happen and accepts it.

There was a loud groan and he looked up. The sky was darker along a certain area. The blackness forming what appeared to be the shape of a giant man. The lightning started up with new fury, casting an eerie glare about the area. The figure of the giant man was kneeling down on the road, its supposed head even with Howard. Howard continued to walk, heading directly towards the man now, convinced of its reality.

The noise from the storm was slowly fading. The rain stopped, the wind halted, and the thunder no longer rumbled. Silent bolts of lightning crashed into the woods on either side of the road, casting a very dull light upon the surrounding area.

Upon the dark head a great luminous slit appeared and opened like a giant eye. Howard stared into it. Inside pictures flashed. The first time he met his wife. Their honeymoon. Their daughter being born. A lone picture of Howard in a tuxedo, the only person attending the funeral. Two coffins, one small, one normal sized. The last family portrait he had of the two. His beautiful wife and four-year-old daughter stood side by side. Howard remembered this picture specifically, for he had not been present. His job had demanded his full attention and he had been far too late. This picture reflected in the giant eye for a few moments. Then it began to change. Howard’s family appeared to be gesturing for him to walk forward. They had knowing smiles on their faces. Howard took a single step forward when he realized something was terribly off.

The faces were melting, the horrible knowing smiles still plastered across them. The bones and muscle showed beneath. The melting faces began to anger and point accusingly at him. His courage broken, Howard screamed. The storm resumed with a new and intense resolve. It slowed Howard down as he ran for his car; he slipped and reached out, hoping to stop his fall. His hand hit something hard and he gripped down. The car. Somehow he had made it. His hands still clamping onto the roof as if his life depended on it, he glanced back up the road. The giant man was moving. Walking towards him. Howard gave a strangled yell as he felt something close around his waist.

It had grabbed him. His feet left the ground and he let loose another scream of terror. His hands gripping the vehicle tightly. The eye opened again but this time there were nothing friendly in it. It was a light blue color and flickered off and on with the lightning. It was narrow, as if angered. Howard noted all of this with something like horror. The massive hand squeezed hard. Everything went black.

Credit To – Nickolas Herrmann

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