Point Pleasant Observer
16 November 1966
Four PT. Pleasant Teenagers See ‘Demon-Like’ Creature
Four Pt. Pleasant teenagers told police Wednesday their vehicle was chased at around midnight last night by a ‘demon-like’ creature 6-7 feet tall with ‘red eyes’ and a 10-foot wingspan. According to Mike Burtker, the couples were driving through the TNT area when they allegedly saw the being. Luke Propst added that the creature was first visible in their car’s rearview mirror and disappeared when they reached Main Street. Mary Fizer alleges the eyes glowed ‘so intensely it hurt.’ Beatrice Nichols, the car’s fourth occupant, was silent on the event.
Pan Am Cargo Crash over East German Air Corridor
Darkness. Thick, everywhere. Skeletons stand scarlet sheened. Their thin arms twist through the dark and split to many fingers. I will think this fitting but, now, think nothing but dark, quiet.
Light. Rayed, beyond the dead things, which I will call trees. The light flies. I will watch a star fall and remember this light. I know I move not because I feel it, but because some of the dark, the rippling curtain I will call myself, moves towards the light. Dragged through the trees I feel no branches, no wind, only the sensation of falling. The light brightens, whining, then screaming, into what I will call fire. Fire screams. Fire hurts. I cannot look away from fire. Beyond the trees, smeared over what I will call a car, blue, wheeled, finned, flames pour orange from what I will call headlights. Screams give the fire a yellow border, winding to three mouths in its center.
What is that thing oh my god its huge
Oh my god please god
Faster faster go faster jesus god
Held by light, I’m forced to watch four what I will call people, in the fire, unburnt, screaming. Until it ends, as it always does, I will remember these eyes, watching me:
Eyes the color of what I will call lead: A blond teenage boy in the driver’s seat holds the wheel with two white hands, a white shirt unbuttoned to blond hair and a gold cross, brown trousers unbuckled. Socks on the pedals, right foot forwards.
Eyes the color of what I will call grass: A smaller boy in the passenger seat, smiley-face t-shirt caught in a crooked belt around blue jeans, hold the right elbow of the teenager with lead eyes.
Eyes the color of what I will call water: A blonde teenage girl curled on the floor in the backseat holds her knees through a white dress. Three pearl necklaces shake with her scream.
I will realize I make them scream. They think I’m chasing them, and they’re screaming.
Eyes the color of darkness: Sitting in the backseat in a black dress, face slick and scarlet with what I will call my eyes, she watches me and doesn’t scream at all. I will call this woman Beatrice, and try to save her.
I watch the girl I will call Beatrice, and she watches me until the car drives into a wall of fire. Wheeling. I’m wheeling. Burning. I’m burning. Shapes in the flames, which I will call letters, words: CORRICK DRUG CO, TINY’S DINER, WELCOME TO POINT PLEASANT, WV: WHERE HISTORY AND RIVERS MEET, STATE THEATRE, GC MURPHY CO, THE FLORSHEIM SHOE.
In the flames, unburnt, the town watches me: two black eyes lined with black, two brown eyes caked with dirt, one blue eye and one metal eye which I will call pistol. They lash out, a falling coffee cup, a swung purse, a flung bullet, but pass through me. Wheeling, and wheeling, and, finally, accidentally, I’m over the inferno. I raise my eyes and dive upwards until the heat beneath me fades. I lower my eyes.
Flames, shifting, plunge en-masse beneath me, surge across a trough, and swell upwards. I will call these waves hills, the trough town, and learn this isn’t fire at all. This is worse, because it doesn’t burn out–– it just burns. I see a bridge in the center of the trough, four small flames brighter than the rest. Beyond both swells is the soft orange glow of more fire. I will fly in every direction, over every hill, and will always return over town. I will learn I am stuck. I will learn I have to watch it happen before I leave this place.
I find the darkest, quietest place I can: a concrete igloo among the trees I came from. I will call this TNT Area. The doors, crooked on their frames, are open. Starlight slices a concrete floor stained brown and strewn with rusted metal tins, many turned over. Thin brown lines split down the ceiling, thinning and multiplying. I lay among the tins and try drifting away, but only go so far in the thin, tattered dark.
An interrupted dream: two white hands palms up, in darkness, and red eyes above them. The dark shifts on itself, breaking and reforming the hands ceaselessly, while the eyes remain solid.
Coming back to the igloo, I see the girl in black, who I will call Beatrice, watching me from the igloo doorway, before I fully return and she disappears to sunlight and a dog black within it. It sniffs, tilts its head. I reach out. It steps backwards, barks, and collapses. It lies still.
Sounds waft through the doorway: fat bands of music gold and violet, phone calls thin and gray, black and white radio waves. I learn the words Space, War, Riots, Microwave, Mothman. I wonder how I know these sounds are words. I wonder how I know their meanings. I wonder why I am here. I wonder what I am.
Two horizontal white flames break the doorway’s darkness and swish across the floor. I slip through the igloo’s back wall as they step inside. Gunshots pop dull brown beneath the trees. I watch the ground to avoid the lights swinging around me, and come upon the house accidentally. Its front window burns bright and holds me as the car pulls up and a woman steps out holding a baby wrapped in white. She sees me, screams, spitting yellow spirals from her mouth, and drops the baby. They rake little hands and little feet through the grass and their tears glitter down the front yard’s slight slope. They stop moving. I think I have killed the child. Later, I will know.
The door opens and a man runs across the yard, bends, picks up the baby, takes the woman by the right shoulder, and pulls her to the house. When the door slams and the curtain is pulled, blocking the light, I cross the yard and look in the window, trying to see the child, but am blocked by the curtain. Their screams twist beneath the front door.
As I find the igloo and the sky catches, I decide to stay away from the living. I will not be able to.
Sometimes, when I come back from the white hands and red eyes, I am no longer in the igloo. I will never know how or why this happens. Maybe the flames call me. Maybe I move when I dream. Maybe it’s both or maybe it’s neither. Maybe I am being controlled.
In an overgrown field of wheat, rustling waves taller than me, I watch the moon. Frosted, full, too far to feel. Beneath it four stars, faint. A father and his son step through the stalks and gawk at me. The boy holds a shotgun with both hands and the father screams sulfuric.
I fly away.
In a Main Street apartment, a floor of trash, balled and burned newspapers, cigarettes, condoms, clothes, candy wrappers, change, pill bottles, and potato peelings, I watch lights flicker up and down the State Theatre marquee through the window. Holding the thin, brown sheets with cracked fists, they cover their face and try to scream. Their voice is colorless.
At dawn, I fly away.
I think of the girl who did not scream, the girl in black, the girl I will call Beatrice. If I could just find her, I think. Maybe I do not scare her. Maybe she will understand and maybe I do not have to be alone.
On a stained glass window, a winged man with white skin, golden curls, and flowing white robes spears a monster beneath his feet. The man’s eyes are barely open and his lips are thin, pressed together. His hands barely touch the spear going into the monster’s neck. The monster screams, its black wings contorted, sprawled against the glass. Its scarlet eyes swell from their sockets. Beyond the window, I watch a man in black, who I will learn is called a priest, facing away from me, talk about demons, the lonely condition of Godlessness, an age of Hellfire. His black words fall heavy to his feet. I learn the man in the window is called angel, the monster demon. I wonder if I am a demon, if I am Godless, and that is why I am hunted, held by Hellfire, alone.
In flames falling from the church’s rafters, people watch the priest. Sat in the second to last row, wearing black, the girl I will call Beatrice watches the window over the priest’s shoulder. The blonde girl next to her watches her book. The two boys from the car sit behind them, in the last pew, close together, watching one another sideways.
I watch the congregation empty the church. Flames flash one by one down the road, every car leaving except the blue one, and the Priest goes inside the church, locks the door, and turns off the lights. I float around the church’s left side, hope, and listen at the corner of its facade.
The voices of boys:
is everyone ok
No obviously none of us are ok
well goodnight ladies
Shoe crunches gravel. An engine rumbles, softens, and disappears.
The voices of girls:
Can i walk you home
The road goes between the trees. I follow them inside the left-side treeline.
You werent at school today
The blonde girl’s voice is wet and pink.
I felt sick
I can’t see the girl in a black voice.
Oh sorry are you feeling better
They started looking at us at school everyone even the teachers I think they think were liars they think we said we saw a monster so we’d be in the newspapers I didn't want to be in the newspapers
I know now I am a monster who cannot even, at the very least, weep.
They're calling us all sorts of names
They've always done that and they've always looked at us
I guess i had not noticed
You were always looking at me
The blonde girl’s laugh is pink too.
Please come to school tomorrow
The trees shift in the wind. The girl in black’s shoes slaps solid dirt.
Ever since we saw that thing everything’s been awful
How do you mean
I’m afraid to go outside even during the day i always think ill see it again i wake up and think its there outside my window i always wonder if its watching me i wonder if its watching us now
It's not your fault
Luke wants to join up can you imagine? If so, that would break mikes heart that would break all our hearts the warm might kill us all you know the bomb
And i think they know during the service they looked at us like they know
They don't know were fine
Something coming something even worse beatrice im so scared
Beatrice. If I could I would say it over and over again. Beatrice.
The blonde girl holds her arms out, palms up.
Beatrice looks over her left shoulder, towards where I float in the trees. If I could I’d say see me. Please see me again. She looks over her right shoulder and both of the blonde girl’s shoulders then nods. The blonde girl wraps her arms around Beatrice’s midsection. Her chest swelling and shrinking beneath pale arms, Beatrice watches the dark over the girl’s left shoulder.
Can i stay with you tonight
Beatrice’s house is two stories, scratched, and peeling. A flowered white curtain covers the living room window, blotting blue light on the other side. Through it, I watch Beatrice lay on a green couch. She holds her head in her right hand and flicks a pen on a sketchbook. Next to her, the blonde girl sits upright and watches Beatrice draw. Nobody watches the television’s blue blaze. On a table next to the couch is a phone and a glass of orange juice half-full. The phone rings.
The blonde girl answers.
Four clicks and four beeps repeat four times. Something inhales. The call ends. Static.
Beatrice stops drawing.
what was that
I don't know i don’t
Beatrice holds the blonde girl and the blonde girl shakes. They fall asleep together.
Floating away from Beatrice’s house, I know I will never be held, because I am a monster, and I watch a star fall from the sky. It brightens until I can almost feel its heat, passes over me, arcs downwards, and disappears into the amber clouds. I wish it took me with it. Farther into the trees The “Man,” as I will call him, walks, haltingly at first, swaying side to side until they stabilize and begin a rapid clip, towards me. They almost run into me, stop. They watch me. I watch them. They straighten their black hat, the lapels of their black suit, and their black sunglasses. They brush off their black briefcase and say Do you fucking mind? Their voice is a color I will never know, all at once or none at all. They walk past me and into the dark towards Beatrice’s house. If I had a heart, it would be going fast. I follow the way they went, searching until dawn, but do not find them.
Back at the igloo, I think they are different from me. I think maybe they know what I am and why I am here. I think maybe they can help me.
I watch the snow fall through the igloo doorway. Viscera blooms red from the dog, and the flies pollinate it. Frost curls down the swollen flank, white on rust.
I am at the end of a block on the edge of town, the trough’s bottom. The house is brick, with a brick front walk, and a chipped white fence. The front yard’s grass is dead. The right side of the house faces the river and the bridge, four flames above and below the dark water. The sun is gone and there is no moon. The house’s occupant sits in a ripped-up, flesh-colored armchair facing away from the window, watching the television where a man in a black suit, circular glasses, and black hair speaks black and white tendrils from his mouth.
The Russians have developed a nuclear missile that can be shot into space and orbit the earth this missile could strike anywhere, a terrifying prospect
The “Man” walks through me and the open gate, down the front walk, and to the front door. They knock, wait with crossed arms, and knock again.
The door opens. The occupant is black in yellow light.
I can’t hear what The “Man” says.
Really well alright come in
The door is shut.
The “Man” appears at the window, watches me, shakes their head, and pulls the blinds.
Three cars scream red splotches on the houses. People watch them through parted curtains. The vehicles stop at the brick house and a man wearing blue and black hits the door with an ax, splashing black light. After sunlight has slid over the hill on the other side of town, men wearing red and white wheel someone wrapped in white from the front door. I will learn white wrappings mean death. Watching the men load what I will call a body into the back of one of the red and white cars, I don’t notice the young man in blue aiming his pistol at me until he fires. The bullet passes through me and hits the river with a brown arc and a brown splash. The young man’s mouth is open and something moves yellow inside it.
I fly away.
A red car pulls me down a winding river-side road. The driver is dark in the headlight fire. The car winds left, right, and left, and clips a tree. I want to fly away but I can’t. I can’t. The car swings left, right, right, more right, all the way right, its headlights going through the guardrail, down the snowy hill, and into the black water. They dim until the only lights on the water are from the bridge and my eyes.
When I fly away, I know the blonde girl is right. I am demonic, the monster in the window, but worse, because I can never be speared.
A yellow lamp burns on a piece of wood held by two sawhorses, barely illuminating four figures on a snow patch covered with stones and ringed with trees as they stick snow with their shovels, lift their shovels up, pour black dirt and green grass over their shoulders, and stick snow with their shovels again, small black puffs where their points hit the surface. Gold splotches spread over the trees coalesce into a lidless eye. Though the sun drowns the lamp, freeing me, I stay because is the boy with green eyes in the trees, watching the men dig. As sunlight boils snow, making it run rivulets into the empty hole, he leans against a tree and falls to the forest floor. His face melts wet and gold. When the men shoulder their shovels and walk away, he remains.
He leaves, and I fly away.
A stone will be placed over the filled hole that reads Mike Burtker.
When I pass through the back of the igloo, The “Man” is in the doorway. Their skin glows dirty white.
You don’t remember, do you? The ship?
If I could I would say Remember? Have we met before? Do you know what I am?
You can’t answer me, though, can you? All you can do is watch. You sure do watch that girl a lot. That put fire in your eyes. Do you know about her? What happened? You don’t do you? And I bet you don’t know what’s going to happen.
When the “Man” smiles, their mouth is the colors or no colors I do not know and I wonder what they did to the person in the brick house, what they looked like under the white wrappings, and if they will do this to Beatrice too. I remember watching them walk towards Beatrice’s house, and want to bash myself against the igloo wall, even if it would not do anything.
The “Man” scatters the nearest canisters with their white hands. Falling, they hit the canisters behind them, which fall too, filling the igloo with cresting crashing black noise.
They leave laughing.
Beatrice’s blinds are closed. I follow her house’s square perimeter and watch the trees, even though The “Man” is right and watching is all I can do. Or, maybe, I will make things worse. I watch Beatrice come down the stairs, into the kitchen, and pour a glass of orange juice. She takes the glass to the living room, turns the television on, and sits on the couch. She does not drink the orange juice and does not watch a cartoon about a family from the future. They live in the sky, and fly in rockets. Brother and sister go to school, Mother goes shopping, and Father goes to work. The program’s sound, a deep blue, wraps around Beatrice as she scratches her sketchpad.
Beatrice switches the television off, takes the full glass to the kitchen, and empties it into the sink.
When it’s dark, the phone rings.
Her voice bleeds pink from the receiver.
I told you not to call anymore
Beatrice puts her right hand flat on the table.
Beatrice everything falling apart oh my god everything falling apart I see lights over the hills its coming but i don't know what
Mary, please calm down just
Something this man is hunting me
It's all falling apart Luke’s dead and it's all falling apart and it's going to get worse
The voice pours pink onto the floor, pooling around Beatrice’s feet.
You know what it was it was us shooting that stuff into space machines animals people we shouldn't have gone up there now it's coming down here it's in the air I'm choking on it or maybe it is the wars’ TNT area you know poison in our air our water the bombs built there the bombs we thought we'd go to the moon but we’re dying down here instead
Lukes dead mike called he was crying and it was hard to understand what he was saying at first but lukes dead and its going to get worse
Please go to sleep
I cant watch this not by myself i need you please i really really
When Beatrice hangs up the phone, the voice’s puddle disappears. She stares at the turned-off television.
The phone rings.
The living room lights flicker. There are four clicks and four beeps. Static. An inhale. The “Man’s” voice flicks in and out of the receiver.
who is this
What does that mean
Do you know that it’s watching you, Beatrice? That it’s watching you right now?
I move away from the glass and around the porch as Beatrice appears at the living room window. Her words are thin and black.
Youre not the mothman then
It doesnt have a mouth
What is it
What do you think it is?
I dont know a monster
I want to leave but don’t. There is no-one here not terrified of me, and I will always be alone.
what are you
Your languages don’t have words.
What do you want
You’re not very bright, are you?
Are you the guy whos been scaring people
Youre not going to scare me
We’ll see tomorrow.
Why are you following my friend
Yes. Let’s talk about your friend.
What about her
Not really a friend, is she?
I dont know what you mean
Yes, you do. And it hurts. The light of your life burns too much, so you’ve snuffed her out. You already regret that.
The “Man” hangs up. Four clicks and four buzzes. An exhale. Static. Silence.
Beatrice closes the curtains and turns on every light in the house. They burn all night and keep me trapped, repeating monster to myself. Monster. I knew what I am, but it hurts more from her mouth.
The sun rises over the treetops, their skeletal fingers still stretching into the sky, and Beatrice opens her front door. She steps onto the porch wearing a blue dress, a blue sash around her waist, and blue heels. A white tag reads BEATRICE. Beatrice walks down the front steps and across the clearing to the dirt road. I want to say why are you going outside The “Man” could come from anywhere and hurt you but I cannot. Beatrice faces forward and her steps are measured. I consider cutting in front of her, trying to get her to stop. But when Beatrice would see me and scream like the rest, I would not be able to bear it. I follow Beatrice across the woods, town, and the bridge to a building called Tiny’s Foodland in the bridge’s left shadow.
Through the glass facade, shelves of food are draped with green and red ribbons and white flames fall from the ceiling. I watch Beatrice walk down the center aisle and through a door in the back wall. I cannot see her. I circle the building, listening, hearing nothing, imagining watching Beatrice roll out, wrapped.
Beatrice returns with a cart piled with cans. She wheels it through the shelves, stopping sometimes to place cans in empty spaces.
A thin gray sound ripples beneath the back door.
Beatrice phone call for you
Beatrice disappears into the back room again.
are you ok
Im sorry about last night i just
I was really scared
Can we talk after your shift ill drive you home
I wish we could talk now
Its ok well talk soon and itll be ok
The store fills the store empties.
Beatrice, alone, pushes the cart through the shelves, its wheels squeaking a flesh color onto the floor. She places a box of cans in the middle of the middle aisle and wheels the cart into the back room. The lights flicker and go out. I think now. Now. They are coming now. When Beatrice steps from the back room, I see The “Man” on the other side of the aisle striding towards her. I fly through the glass facade, down the aisle, and the lights turn on. I am frozen and contorted and burning on the white floor. Burning. I lose myself until the lights go out.
I float up. The back room’s door is slightly open. I wonder if Beatrice is in there, dead, but do not go and find out. I cannot watch anymore.
I leave the store crumpled and unfurl slowly. It is night and the bridge burns with cars, flames streaming slow then congealing, magmatic. The stoplight on Tiny’s side flickers green. The bridge shakes. Its four lights bounce up and down, the lights on the water moving with them, a crash rolls across the valley, and, one by one, from Tiny’s side to Point Pleasant, pieces of the bridge plunge black and booming into the water. The dark struts stand alone. Cars bob, flicker. Someone screams.
Behind me, Beatrice throws the store’s glass doors open. She watches the ruin and raises her hands over her head. She takes two steps, stops, and sees me.
I think Mary was on the bridge help her whatever you are please help her, please
I pass through the surface, into the dark, eyes first and rise with the drowning. White beams from above and below cut clouds of froth raining from thrashing limbs, open mouths. I cannot see their faces, and cannot find Mary–– not that it matters, because I cannot save her or anyone. Still, because it is all I can do, I watch them fall upwards. A hairless man in green flies feet-first through a beam coming from above and disappears, arms swinging. A spinning pink box, wrapped with a blue bow, briefly flared by the same beam, follows him. A glowing car, mother, father, and child pushing against its two doors with open mouths and golden faces, flies past and pulls me with it. In its headlights legs kick over a red dress, a swirling cloth bundle sinks out of sight, and a faceless figure swims into me, kicking, grabbing, finding only water. They scream two bubbling syllables, help me or damn you, and they fly away. Before I fade I see two white hands, my eyes reflected over them in the windshield of the car, which has stopped its flight and gone black, and darkness churning around us. I wish I could weep.
16 November 2017
Sighting Report: Mothman in Oz Park, Chicago IL
Sarah Greer, 19, was jogging in Oz Park when she saw “a gigantic, dark figure with blood red eyes and two black wings.” She recalls “it was by the playground and flew away when I screamed.” After, she felt “terrified, really terrified. It’s this sense of dread, honestly. And it hasn’t stopped.”
It is almost sunrise. Below me, the little girl still smiles down at her dog. Her green dress still bleeds onto the concrete pedestal still holding her up. Her red shoes, still faded, still do not move, and I am still here. Birds call green shimmers. The man walks around us, adjusting his black baseball cap and stepping on leaves, hazel crunches. I follow him, weaving tree-trunk to tree-trunk, and wonder how he missed me. He stops. I wait for him to look over his shoulder and scream like the jogger the night before. Instead, he keeps walking, following the sidewalk towards the playground, wooden castle towers and wooden battlements, metal rings hanging from a wooden block.
I fly away.
I found myself here in the year I learned to call 2020. I thought I was an alien, then a monster, but now know that I am a stain marking the terrible things happening to these people. There are more every day, and I have learned all I can do is watch. I do not want to watch anymore, and do not want to encounter anyone or anything when all I do is make them scream. but this world has never heard me.
When the sunlight hurts most, teenagers stream from the high school and cover Oz Park’s grass fields, their laughter burning pink. I choose the tree farthest from them, closest to their school, to hide behind and pretend I do not hear.
I think were going to war with russia
Can we talk about something else
Like what the new variant
There's always a new variant
Night is the closest place to being mine. When the sky is a deep, almost black blue, the streetlights come on. I float towards the playground. When it is almost dark and I can drift away beneath its largest turret, which almost blocks the streetlight over the structure, I always have the same dream. On a riverbank at night, something that looks like a man straddles a waterlogged body with blonde hair, soft skin, and torn transparent clothes. The thing’s open mouth is suckered to the body’s neck and the body shakes as it is drained. The thing’s eyes are pits of a perceive-less color. A line of face-up, shriveled bodies lies single file on both sides of it. Beneath them searchlights slide over a strip of black water, reflected on themselves from below.
The voice is behind me. I turn.
They stand on the sidewalk, between me and the school.
They are dark and their voice is too. Nobody has ever spoken to me before. I fly away fast.
I hear their feet on concrete, chasing me, flying faster, winding around streetlight circles on the pavement, and hiding beneath the turret. I think maybe it’s the thing from my dreams, the thing that looks like a man.
They stand in a streetlight circle. I only see their black feet in the space between the turret wall and the soft ground.
I know you cant speak just listen
I think I’m scared. I think maybe this is what they feel like when they see me–– even though I can’t hurt them. Maybe they can’t hurt me. I listen. I only catch some of their words, and even these I do not fully understand.
I knew you in point pleasant, i watched you
And you watched me
You watched all of it
Luke and mary all those people the bridge
Its been like this my entire life even before you ive lost everyone
Except you you came back
Im so lonely
I think they are crying.
Is it ever going to stop
Can you save us
Maybe you can only watch
I cant imagine
Watching everything and not being able to make a sound
What is it like
If I could speak I still would not have the words. But their words–– they are almost an understanding. The closest to an understanding I will ever get. I float out from under the turret, into the shadow of a tall tree, its fingers reaching through the dark, and see her in the light. Her skin is wrinkled, her bones sharp, her body bent. Her hair is short and gray. She wears black.
I float into the hot, white ellipse on the pavement. I watch her, and she watches me.
About the Author Andrew Warrick currently resides in Chicago and in his second year at Columbia College Chicago's MFA in Writing Program. He writes weird, speculative literary fiction and have been published in the Cafe Shapiro Review and The University of Michigan Residential College's Alumni Journal. About the Artist Viggo Krejberg is a 21 Year Old Chicago based Artist. While having worked with several art mediums throughout the years, he's recently found a passion for both digital art and animation. He attributes the influences in his art through his love of Horror, Fantasy, and the Macabre.
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