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Outrunning the Storm

Michele Dutcher
Hold The Anchovies

Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

Harris Tobias
The Wizard's House

Jeromy Henry

Found at the Scene

by Branden Szabo

Diary of Julia Mathews, 24 years old

Property of the Department of Defense

August 6, 2038

I finally arrived at Haywood Amphibious Base, my new life as a Seraphim Scientist starts today.

Why is it so muggy this far south?!  The hazmat suits they make us wear don’t breathe at all.  We have to wear them because of the alien bacteria we’re studying but it wouldn’t kill them to let us rock shorts after five.  With any luck, our lab should be set up by the end of the month.  The meteorite we’re going to study is supposed to be filled with new microbes, I’m really excited. 

August 8, 2038

My friend Kate had a piece of her ass chewed off for not wearing her hazmat suit today.  I’ve known her since high school, she was a fashonista then and she still is now.

August 12, 2038

The marines keep waking us up at six every morning for something called PT.  Don’t these army thugs realize we’re just scientists?!  I didn’t earn a four year degree in Biology to be treated like a pack animal.  I understand we need military training in case a meteorite lands in the Middle East or something, but come on!

August 21, 2038

I know my last entry was pretty spiteful but I think I’m finally getting used to life out here; even the early morning PT doesn’t faze me anymore.  I got to shoot a real gun today too!  Scared the lights out of me.

August 28, 2038

My team has been training with the M4 rifle for the past week.  I don’t know why I’m writing about it.  Just seems odd.

August 31, 2038

Our lab still isn’t ready yet.  We’ve got way too much free time on our hands.  Not good for a bunch of young ladies miles away from their boyfriends, God help me I masturbated for an hour last night. 

I buddy-upped with an awesome girl named Armina Harp a few days ago.  Her mother is a pilot in the Air Force so she’s used to all this military crap.  She started a volley ball team to help us kill time. 

September 3, 2038

Our lab equipment finally arrived today and we’ve begun studying the meteorite.  I’m not permitted to list classified details but it’s a sizable chondrite covered in alien bacteria just like we thought.  I can see why the EPA is so concerned, no matter how small these organisms are they can devastate our ecosystems if left unchecked.  Armina and I are working hard to make sure containment is top priority.  It feels so sublime, we’re all so young but the mysteries of outer space belong to us!

September 9, 2038

Someone got a little over-zealous with the drill last night; the meteorite was in pieces when I arrived this morning.  It did lead to a surprising discovery:  turns out the sucker was hollow on the inside.  No one knows why.

September 15, 2038

We’ve been working nonstop for days.  Not in the mood to write. 

September 17, 2038

I think the fatigue is getting to us.   Kate pulled me aside and told me something was stalking her last night while she was on fire watch.  The military thinks it was a stray dog but Kate swears it was some kind of monster.  I don’t know what to believe.  We all need to rest.     

September 18, 2038

Those army goons threatened to prosecute me if I told anyone about what happened last night but I don’t care.  At 01:00 I took over fire watch.  I heard crying outside the barracks.  When I went to investigate, I found Kate.  Her clothes were torn off and her body was covered in some kind of green slime.   

There’s obviously a rapist on the loose but the military has refused to increase security.  Quite the opposite, they’re leaving in droves.  Are we supposed to fend for ourselves now?  Armina says she sleeps with a sidearm under her pillow.  I think I’ll do the same.

September 21, 2038

I snuck into the hospital where Kate is being treated.  When I saw her, she was pregnant!  I can’t make sense of it; she was attacked only three days ago, how can she be pregnant?  Even more confusing, she had this blank look on her face and she kept muttering: “I have to be a good mother” over and over again like a zombie.

I told the girls in my team about it.  Maybe I shouldn’t have – we’re all terrified now. 

September 22, 2038

We all stopped working today as a sign of protest.

September 24, 2038

To all concerned: this is no longer a diary, it’s my testimony.  At roughly 06:00 I woke up to take a shower.  I found four girls from my team on the shower floor covered in the same green slime I saw on Kate.  Their abdomens were swollen like they were pregnant.  We tried calling the marines, no answer.  We’re abandoning the base tomorrow morning.

September 25, 2038     

God help me, I’m so scared right now.  There are these things running around everywhere!  They’re covered in black appendages that look like tentacles or something.

We’ve barricaded ourselves in our barracks.  We’re safe for now but I can hear them outside.  What are they?  Did they come from the meteorite?

September 26, 2038

I want my mom!  I [illegible] home!  Those horrible monsters [illegible] more we kill the more show up!  I saw one attack Lily; it tore off her suit and covered her [illegible] slimy tentacles.  I’m NOT going to let that happen to me!  [illegible] I’m never coming out from under this bed.  Never!


I’m okay.  I feel fine.  Wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Still hurts a bit, but I’m okay.


I have to be a good mother.  I have to be a good mother.  I have to be a good mother.


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Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
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The Wizard's House

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