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The Influencers Threatened

“What the hell was that?” Bill jerks up from his phone and asks.

A passive, high-pitched scream fills the air, interrupting the music and fun. Clare sits up from lying on the couch and peers through the window, her eyes straining against the darkness to see what’s going on as the night befalls upon them. The road looks empty, with shadows lurking in the dark, a seemingly quiet night other than the strange cries.

There’s that sound again. Who is out there howling like a banshee at this hour? Clare presses her hand to the window above her eyes, eliminating the glare that the strobe light is causing. The music cuts out as more of the influencers rush over to peek out the window.

“What’s going on out there?”

“I don’t know.”

“Can you see anything?”

“No, what about you?”

Suddenly, a strange woman, covered in what looks like black paint, collides into the window of the old mansion, startling Clare as her heart begins to beat faster and faster. Behind the woman, she can hear car alarms blaring as both vehicles and people crash into each other, resulting in some sort of freak zombie accident.

“Help me! For the love of God, HELP ME! Don’t let it get me! Don’t let it get me! Let me in! LET ME IN!” The woman cries as she presses the palm of her bloody hands against the glass.

Turning around toward the crowd, Clare shouts, “We need to let her in! She’ll die out there!”

Brooke interjects, “No, DON’T! I’ve heard about this. I thought it was just a rumor. I didn’t actually think it would come true. I should have known better! Everyone out there is already infected. There’s nothing we can do to help. The best thing we can do is stay inside and save ourselves. Any contact with that air can be deadly.”

“Why? What’s out there? What air?” Clare asks curiously, demanding answers.

“I don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s causing people to bleed some sort of black substance from their eye sockets and then spontaneously shatter into a million pieces. However, it has been rumored that right before this happens, a cry is heard from a close distance, a cry that resembles howling wind in agony, and that anyone who comes into contact with this infected air after hearing this cry will immediately shatter. I don’t know exactly what’s going on out there, but I damn well don’t want to find out. I think that as long as we stay indoors, we should be fine. True, we heard the cry, but as long as we don’t come into contact with the air, we should be safe,” Brooke tries to reassure the crowd.

“What the FUCK is going on!? Get me out of here! Get me out of here!” Kayla begins to freak. “I’m too young to die!”

The screaming woman outside cries louder. The guests inside begin whispering. Two of the influencers huddle inside a small, cramped closet, biting their cuticles and pulling their hair out in anxiety. Clare turns toward the window again, confused, and watches as several local bystanders rush over to the window to pull the screaming woman away from the mansion. Halfway across the front lawn, they all stop dead in their tracks and remain eerily still, not a single movement in sight.

Clare sucks in her breath.

Bill gags.

Kayla screams somewhere from behind.

Brooke shrieks and buries her face into Hunter’s chest, who wraps his shaking arms around her and can only look on with wide eyes and a slack jaw.

The black substance. Copious amounts of thick, midnight liquid ooze down their pale faces. Their eyes become unrecognizable, as if they had turned to melted flesh. They scream in anguish and clutch at their eyes, writhing, trying desperately to prevent their bodies from liquefying. The substance pours thicker as their skin begins to crack like porcelain dolls. The ooze fills the cracks of their skin, taking away from them their resemblance of human beings. All at once, they collapse onto the ground, their bodies twisting and contorting as if some sort of puppet string holding them upright had snapped.

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