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Ghosts Of Pripyat

Thomas brought the truck to a stop in front of a large sign that told him that the area he was approaching was dangerous and that they would require permission to enter. He turned the car off and he and his friend Dmitri climbed out. They would go on foot from here. The darkened woods waved like unearthly dancers in the light wind. Above them the moon, seeming larger than normal, cast its unearthly shine upon the ground. The grasses around them swayed, promising to hide something dangerous within them, but there was none that could be seen. Thomas waved the device in his hand over the grass and smiled, there was no danger that could not be seen either. They then walked quietly deeper into the night.


Dark winds whispered around the trees and through the grasses, memories of voices that once echoed around this place. The chill of the night air caused their breath to become like ghosts and rise into the air, only adding to the number already there. The two walked through the deserted streets where no light shone out of the windows of the buildings around. This city was dead. Dead to the point where trees grew unencumbered on top of and even within buildings. Occasionally the sound of what appeared to be laughter reached their ears. They moved to walk down a street. The device in Thomas’s hand crackled. The unseen danger was near. They would have to find a way around it.


The door of the building they entered was long gone. It had disappeared at some indeterminate time in the past. The building’s interior was dark and decayed. It appeared as if it had been abandoned in a few minutes. Which it in fact, had. Pots still remained on a stove, toys lay on the floor, and a poster of a balding with a strange mustache man hung on the wall. The name below the head had been obscured but Thomas could guess who it was. There were no objects of value to be seen. The building was in an extreme state of disrepair so they left it quickly.


They walked for hours through the dark wasteland, street after empty, street, Across cracked asphalt and past crumbling buildings until they finally arrived at their destination. The crumbling concrete shone pale gray in the moonlight. They walked toward and as far into the building area as they could possibly go. Then the already cool night air seemed to increase. Above them a blue ring of light hung low in the sky. They walked and soon found themselves surrounded by specters, not of this world, and not that of the next. The forms were both beautiful and terrible. The distant sounds of men yelling and screaming easily rang through the cold air of the night. On the building phantom fires raged and arcs of water rose from the hoses of silvery blue specters that had the form of firefighters. The water disappeared into nothingness when it hit the flames. Helicopters flew overhead and dropped material on the building. Tiny sparkles of light fell around Thomas and Dmitri, and the device in Thomas’s hand crackled. Soon the two found themselves viewing the unearthly scene from a different perspective as they walked through the city streets now filled with unearthly life. People were pulled from their homes by soldiers and loaded onto trucks. Looters ran about sneaking into abandoned apartments and running out with the possessions of another. More often than not these looters met their demise at the receiving ends of the soldier’s rifles.

Again Thomas and Dmitri entered the abandoned buildings and saw the scenes of what had happened in them. In fact the buildings were the same as they were when they were first abandoned. At a public hall children were pulled from their beds and only were allowed to bring the clothes on their backs, boxes of gas masks were dumped on the floor, and people did all they could to keep from completely panicking. The very air was thick with emotions of fear and confusion from so many different people. The events of two days took place only in a matter of minutes. Though it seemed like days to the two them. They followed the processions of thousands of people and a thousand buses and trucks into and out of the city. Many of the soldiers wore HAZMAT suits now. Calmly they took the inhabitants away, and some of the elders were kicking and screaming.


The two, mystified by this, followed the last group of vehicles out of the once again dead city. They followed them for quite a while before the vehicles finally disappeared. The two continued to walk forward but the Geiger counter in Thomas’s hand began clicking madly. Several hours later just as the first rays of dawn spilled over the horizon, as the two arrived at their truck. Pulling off their respirators they climbed in. Before leaving though, they each gave the wasteland of Cherynobol one long, mystified, last look.





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