The Monster of Ludwig City | Teen Ink

The Monster of Ludwig City

January 9, 2020
By ChriEth, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
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ChriEth, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
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Author's note:

My English teacher tasked us with writing a supernatural thriller. In hopes of getting a good grade, I was inspired to write this story.

The author's comments:

N/A

Ludwig, A city riddled with crime and home to the country's worst and largest gang, The Atom Cats. The families that live here, live in constant fear of the gang and their power. 

“When can I go outside dad?” Emma says quietly from the corner of the room.

“Soon” I lied, as I was putting on my shoes.

“That’s what you always say.” Emma whispers as she curls up next to the dim lamp.

“Things are going to change, I promise.”  I state.

I walk over to her and pick her up by her arms and do a quick spin, she smiles.

“Stay safe” she says as she runs up and gives me a quick hug before I leave.

As I wave goodbye I open up the large cracked wooden door to the cold and windy city. There is a faint smell of garbage in the dry cold air. 

“Good ol’ Ludwig” I say sarcastically as I walked down the cracked sidewalk kicking small rocks out of my path.

Buildings around me are dark and rundown, no one has lived in these apartments for years. Once in a while you see a faint source of light, a candle perhaps, or maybe it’s the bud of a cigarette being put out, but as you walk by the tall dark buildings the light seems to go out instantly, probably just my imagination. I’m counting the alleys as I walk by them. 

“One, two, three.” I whisper under my breath.

As I get to the fourth alley, I turn and walk up to an old car covered by a tarp. I reached into my pocket and grabbed a key chain that had a single key attached. 

The key was to a 1950 Porsche 356, its beat-up, paint peeling look makes it the perfect car to not draw attention. As I open the passenger door cat size rats jump out and scurry away 

Shit!” I yelled as I jumped back to stop the rats from landing on my shoes.

Goddamn rats” I whisper to myself as I get into the driver's seat and start up the car. The car takes a few seconds to start up but after a few tries you can hear the roar of the engine. I shift the car into drive and set off to the lab. The wind gently pushes the car left and right as I drive to the lab. I turn the heat up to prevent my hands from stiffening up. After driving for only ten minutes I’m to the lab, the road up to the mountain is long and strenuous with many sharp turns. The road is old and faded but left uncracked due to the lack of traffic, this place was abandoned along time ago and left to rot, lucky for us. As I reach the peak of the mountain I see the entrance to the  laboratory, a huge titanium vault door which is the only entrance and exit. As I pull up to the door I crank down the window and turn down the fan speed of the car heater, All I see in the darkness is a small red light illuminated by one of the dozen security cameras around the facility. I push my head just outside the window of my car and loudly state my name. 

“Duke Brawler” as I roll up my window and turn the heat back up to high.

“Hurry up, it's freezing out here” I whisper to myself as the loud and overwhelming sound of the vault door opening fills the city and the valley below from which I just came. After the door is fully extended I slowly press on the gas pedal and proceed down the long hallway to the indoor car park, light along the walls of the tunnel illuminate one by one making a loud humming sound as I trip each motion sensor. Hallways are seen one after another as I turn the corner and park. As I close my door I’m greeted by a few of the lower ranked members who take my keys.

“You know where they'll be.” the shortest man said as he lets out a long sigh.

I remember when that was me, doing the grunt work.

“Man those were the days” I say as I walk past the two men and proceed down the hallway to my post. My duty it to sort highly sensitive material into categories so that the higher ranks can produce new and more dangerous weapons for our cause, we can take over Ludwig once and for all. Little did I know this wouldn't be a normal day. Shortly after I started sorting, the ground started shaking, boxes started falling off of shelves  and the lights started flickering.

“This can't be good!” I streek out loud as I cover my head.

But then suddenly  everything stopped shaking and the lights goes dark. Red emergency lights start blinking and an alarm is going off.

“Must be a power failure!” I say as I uncover my neck and look around.

All I see in between flashing lights is dozens of Atom Cat gang members running down the long hallway.

“What are they running from?” It think to myself as I slowly walked to the doorway and peer out into the hallway.

Out of nowhere I hear the most blood curdling screech and realize that we finally achieve what we wanted. A weapon. I know that if I want to get back to my daughter I need to escape, and fast.

“I need help! I need to get out of here” I yell trying to be louder than the other screams, I try and grab the arms of the people passing by but I am unsuccessful. 

“I need a plan.” I think to myself as I run alongside dozens of other people. Not paying attention to where I am going I am forcefully stopped in my tracks by a crowd of silent gang members. 

“These are the first people I saw running” I think to myself as I try and see why they are all stopped in place. I manage to boast myself on top of a nearby box to see what they are all staring at. My eyes slowly widen as I began to see the outline of a large, black figure standing abnormally still. It doesn't even seem like it's breathing and its standing too still. Then all I hear is a loud disorienting scream from the silent figure and then the echo of a gunshot.

“Great! Now you've done it.” I burst out as the crowd of people frantically run back down the hallway in which they just came. I push to the front of the pack as I look back and see gang members getting picked off one by one by a huge claw covered in blood and slime of some sort. I break from the crowd and hide in a nearby hall way while the others keep running.

“Hide! You guys are running to a dead end!” I scream but no one hears me. After the crowd passed I hear footsteps, loud footsteps. This, this, this thing slowly walks pass my hallway and into the crowd of people. All I hear is screaming and with each flash of the emergency lights I see the walls just opposite of the hallway become smothered with red, I knew that this was my one and only chance for survival. I emerge from behind cover and walked slowly to the entrance of the hallway, all I hear is screaming then followed by an abrupt  silence, I knew that If I didn't hurry I would be next. I get as low to the ground as I can while still staying upright, I need to be able to move fast if I have to. I round the corner at the end of a long dark hallway, my only source of light is the flickering of the large fluorescent lights in the ceiling. I'm surprised that they are even working after everything that has happened, I guess the backup generators still has some juice, good.

 “Time is ticking” I think to myself as sweat is dripping from my short black hair. 

“I just need a bit more time,” I whisper under my breath. 

The screams have stopped, meaning, I’m the only one left, I told them they shouldn't mess with the unknown! My breath is short and uneven as I get to the end of the long hallway, I open the door next to the 30 ton titanium vault, clenching two keys that are also titanium labeled “Left” and “Right”. 

As I get into the room I see the broken glass from the one way mirror looking out on the hallway from which I came, I spot the two keyholes and insert the keys and set the door to open only two feet so I can save power while still escaping, I need this door to close again. As I turn the two keys at the same time the vault makes a loud screeching sound, the lights that were flickering are now completely off as the door opens I hear the loud and horrifying sound of the thing at the end of the hallway, all I hear is the quite taping of its feet quickly running toward me, it gets louder as it gets closer, I run to the vault door and slam my fist into the auto close button as I just through the two foot gap, as I hear the loud screeching of the vault door closing I see a large, reptile hand slip through the side of the door but its too late, the 30 ton door shuts with a loud bang and the large hand falls to the ground, still moving and clawing at the air, I walk up to it and watch as it slowly goes limp, it's then I know I’m safe. I pull out my lighter and set fire to the hand to make sure the job is finished. My head slumps as I fall to my knees, my eyes start to water and fill with tears. I watch as the sun slowly comes over the horizon and warms my face. After a few minutes I wipe my tears away and stumble to my feet. 

“No one knew about this place before and no one would ever know now” I think to myself as I stumbled down the long and winding road from atop the mountain. The wind from the night before has almost disappeared except for a slight breeze, the freshly risen sun warms my face as I continue to walk for what turns out to be hours. As I reach the city I make my way back home, back to my daughter. As I reach my house my daughter is already standing in the door frame, tears in her eyes, she runs up to me somehow knowing that it was finally safe to go outside.

“Is it safe to go outside now dad?” she says as tears form in her eyes.

“Yes dear” I wipe the tears from her eyes “Yes, yes it is.”



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