03 Feb Don’t Touch the Disks, Don’t Look at the Disks
They just…came from nowhere. It seemed like it was going to be an ordinary thunderstorm; the sky appeared bleak and dismal,the clouds were creeping in on the horizon, and the air shifted into an eerie stillness. But instead of rain, thunder and lightening, it was a heavy mist and the blue disks appeared.
Roughly 9×12” (22x30cm), they hovered at various heights and were spread sporadically from each other across the town. Positioned at various angles in the sky; thin, flat disks just floating in the air. There had to be thousands though, it was nearly impossible to look in any direction outside without seeing one. The disks seemed to pulsate and glow, loudly. Yes, loudly. The closer one stood to one of these strange objects, the heavier it pulsated and the more it would glow which would increase the depth of the hum that seemed to emanate from it. An excited hum that triggered a cautionary reaction in most, but not all.
Obviously, these bright blue disks caused mass panic and chaos. Traffic stopped in its tracks, businesses shut down immediately, and the storm sirens blared for what seemed like hours as people were scrambling to figure out what was going on.
And just as soon as they appeared, they were swept away by a method similar to how they arrived. But that was not the end.
Local news reports covered the storm but no other towns thought the strange event had actually taken place. Despite videos, pictures, and multiple eye witness accounts, it was brushed off as a hoax. A town all in on the same joke, or delusion, or whatever they wanted to write it off as because it made them feel safe. And for a while, it made my town feel safe too. Maybe it had all been some giant hoax and people simply jumped on the bandwagon due to mass panic or mob mentality. It only took a few days before we moved on. It was as if the incident never happened, these blue disks never once appeared and shut down an entire town of 18,000 people in the span of minutes.
But then it happened again. And again. These storms would come and go at random times over the course of weeks, bringing with a seemingly similar amount of disks each time. Same dimensions, same color, same nerve wracking hum. We soon became the town that cried wolf, due to any inability to prove this strange event kept happening. Outsiders who visited were convinced but only assumed to have become apart of the joke. Any live video that was streamed was frustratingly considered edited or faked.
It was stressful, but eventually, much like the disks being around, we all got used to it. It was an odd event with an odd reaction but it was now our norm.
“Don’t go outside, kids. I think there’s a disk storm on the way.”
“God damn blue showing up in the middle of rush hour, I was stuck in my car for 2 hours!”
“Did you hear? One appeared right next to Terry when he was heading inside! Poor guy almost ran into it, I couldn’t imagine how loud it must have been buzzing!”
“Think those blue things are coming today? I gotta cover a shift but reeeeeeally don’t want to.”
Don’t touch the disks, don’t look at the disks. The only rules we would live by. Some speculated they were condensed orbs of lightning, some assumed they had something to do with light particles bouncing off of the dome that covered the electrical plant right outside of the city. No matter the theory, no one could explain the hum.
That is until Susan Bernard decided to reach her hand inside during a storm one late summer afternoon. Little Susan Bernard was five years old, the youngest of three siblings and easily labeled the most curious, bravest, and stupidest person in town.
According to accounts retold through several others, Susan had been tired of being told she could not touch the disks. It was on that particularly day that a storm hit while her mother and siblings were at a park not too far from their home. Susan’s mother had been busy gathering up her older sister and brother, when a one appeared right in front of Susan as she stood at the top of a slide.
With very little hesitation, Susan reached out and placed her hand through the disk. But her hand did not come out the other side. Instead, it disappeared into the piercing blue light that now pulsated and hummed with immense satisfaction. Her mother screamed, her siblings screamed, but Susan did not. With great calmness, Susan retracted her hand from the portal and in it she held a doll. Supposedly, the doll was one that Susan had been begging her mother for weeks to buy for her but it had simply been too much to spend for the family at that time.
Her mother and siblings stood aghast as Susan proudly held the doll in the air, calling out for her mother to look at what she had retrieved. Soon after, the disk slowly faded away.
It wasn’t long before news spread and Susan was taken in for questioning along side her mother. While the young girl’s answers were helpful, they did raise more questions than were present before…
Officer Michael Harris conducted the interview with the presence of Susan’s mother and several local scientists and geographers. Below is part of the transcript taken from the DA’s office on the day in question.
“ M.H: Okay, sweetie. I know it’s been a long day, but we’re going-
S.B: When do I get my doll?
M.H: I’m sorry, Susan, but we’re going to be keeping the doll for a little while in order to run some tests.
S.B: But it’s my doll! No fair!
M.H: Finding the doll is not the same thing…
S.B: It’s mine! Mommy bought it!
M.H: Your mommy did not buy the doll, you found it in one of…
S.B: She did! In the place where we had money! She did!
[Officer Harris moves to discuss matters with Sharon Bernard who denies ever purchasing the toy, Officer Harris returns to Susan Bernard]
M.H: Susan, your mother says she never bought the doll. Do you understand? The doll is not yours.
S.B: Yes it is! She got me it in the blue place! I’m sad there but I’m happy! “
When word got out about what had happened, others began testing their luck by sticking their hands in the blue disks. Similar to Susan Bernard, people would pull out toys, gadgets, and even odd amounts of cash that they had been hoping for. Several objects had been screened through various testings and yielded no concerning results. No poisoning, radioactive, or anything else that would cause calls for alarm. Soon, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of objects being pulled from these portals without a single thought of any possible repercussions. The rush of joy upon receiving what one had been seeking mixed with a brief sting of loss. But no one really focused on the negative.
The storms soon became a joyous occasion. People would rush to find an unused orb to retrieve what they had been wanting. It became an aggressive event all together, people fighting and shoving for their chance to get close to a portal so they might reach in an dig something out. Crime rose drastically on the day of a storm; assault, battery, and just once, manslaughter.
People no longer tried to convince others of the storms, they played up the hoax aspect and ‘admitted’ to the ruse to any outsiders who may have questioned it. It was an odd combination of rise and decline for the societal setting of the town. People were happier and somehow more short and bitter towards one another.
A lot of people didn’t show it until the very end either, not the shortness and bitterness, but repercussion of the blue portals. Susan Bernard was the first. After her third use of the portal, she began pulling out her hair and showed signs of a major anxiety disorder. She had claimed that she would see herself, everywhere. In dark rooms, at the bottom of stair cases, the end of hallways. Soon she’d hear herself crying and asked her mother why she was so sad, speaking not only for herself but for the other Susan she saw. This did not stop Susan from using the portals from the storms that came more and more frequently. She, like many others, believed that the happiness brought to her from receiving the gifts the portals brought would end the emotional suffering. But it didn’t.
The process of taking from the portals continued to have its affects on peoples mentally. A major rise in depression occurred throughout the city, claims from people seeing their saddened doppelgängers increased tenfold, and soon the physical changes began. Those who abused the use of portals began noticing an extension of their fingers, and then their hands. Their skin pulled so tight over their newly formed bones that it was nearly impossible for them to bend. Whatever pigment they had was gone, the color of their hands now a pasty grey, with bright blue veins pulsing at the very edge. This new appearance caused an outcry of drastic measures. There were some who condemned the use of portals and chastised its users, others who took drastic approaches to get rid of their arms and hands…
And those who continued to use the portals despite all of it.
These people no longer resembled humans, but strange aliens with sunken faces, no hair, and arms extending past their legs. Their arms dragged on the ground behind them as they moved along in their new life of scavenging during storms. With a similar appearance to the white branches of a sycamore tree, they would slowly extend their arms towards the portals and retrieve whatever sustenance was needed. Some still pulled out trinkets of money, a remnant of the pass life they lived. They’d stop, examine, and toss it aside before moving on. It may be just the lights of the blue portals playing even more tricks, but some could swear that they see a figure following those who have been deeply affected. Those people who see the figure go on to swear that it looks just like the person the creatures used to be.
Perhaps the doppelgänger was a warning to those who were eager to use the portals despite the feeling of loss that popped up, or maybe it was a manifestation of the emotional pain trying to stop the user. Either way, not everyone could be saved.
From what I understand, the town has been abandoned. Those who could leave did leave and all the rest are either gone or still wandering. There’s a rumor going around that as more people left, fewer and fewer amounts of portals showed up during each storm. Some of the last to leave who viewed themselves as ‘caring’ burned down what they could, including the living creatures, that were once their neighbors, who still roamed aimlessly.
I like to think that the storms still happen and that some people, or those who were, are still there living the new life they’ve made for themselves. But I wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone.