Nest: Letter Six
It’s Sara. Yes, I’m writing you a letter, no need to look so shocked.
First off, I want to say that I haven’t been ghosting you, it’s just that mother has taken my phone and I can’t find it anywhere. She’s decided to leave dad for good and I’ve been trying to find out why, but she won’t tell me anything. I know she found The Egg though – she said it hatched but refused to let me in the room – and I’m thinking that was the final straw. She wants us to stay here until she figures her stuff out. I am… I can’t even tell you how I feel. But you know, don’t you? You get it.
The only concrete thing she’s told me is that we’re somewhere in Cornwall. Don’t ask me where, I couldn’t say; there’s no WiFi here, just cows that never stop mooing. They’ve woken me up every night so far, so I haven’t been sleeping well. We’ve got a farmer for a neighbour – the cows are his – and he said there’s no reason they should be acting up like this. They’re disturbed by something.
It’s why I’m writing you this letter, actually. Other than because I miss you.
The cows were especially wild last night, and in my half-awake state it sounded almost like they were screaming. I got out of bed at around 3am, so I wrapped myself in a blanket and left the barn to find out what was going on. The farmer was already looking around with one of those white-light torches, so I walked up to him.
‘Can you get these cows to shut up or should I give up on sleep forever?’
‘Just go home, kid.’
Barely a look in my direction. I was about to say, ‘Do you think I’d be stood here talking to you if I could go home?’, but then something started tapping behind us. With each tap, something dropped in my chest, like my organs were being pushed downwards. It wasn’t the nerves. We both turned around slowly, like we were expecting some sort of murderer/ghost/monster to be standing behind us. I know it’s stupid, but the cows were so loud and my chest was doing that weird thing and I had been thinking about The Egg all day, so please. Let me live.
We both tried to make out shapes in the dark, past the reach of his torch, but there was nothing there. The tapping became louder, clearer. I recognised the rhythm. It went like this:
You recognise it too, right? It’s in the same sequence as The Egg’s tapping. That same rank smell was spreading in the air too, and all I could think of was that you were right, that it was a bloody alien all along and that we should have crushed it while we still could. It was too late though, so I was debating whether I should fight it. I had no weapons, but you know I can throw a mean punch when I need to.
It didn’t matter in the end because the farmer’s wife stepped out too. She flashed a yellow light torch at us, shouting ‘What’s going on?’
I don’t know if it was the extra light or the raspy sound of her voice, but the tapping stopped. Just like that. The cows became quieter in the distance, and it felt like the organs in my chest were beginning to rise back up. I know it sounds weird. I almost believed that maybe I’d made it all up, that I’d been hearing things and feeling sick because of sleep deprivation. But then I caught the farmer’s eyes, and I saw it, the unease. A look that said, don’t bring this up, just go home.
It’s 16:30 right now, the sun’s going down. I’ve been trying to convince myself that it was nothing, but I can’t. Not after what we figured out last week.
Do you think you could get someone to check on my dad? I haven’t seen him in weeks and I know he’s been to the hospital a few times, but no one is telling me anything. I’m starting to wonder if he touched The Egg before it hatched, and if that’s the case, he needs immediate help. I would question mother again, but she shuts all dad questions down. I don’t feel good about any of this.
Please wait for me to come back. I can’t wait to hold you again.
by Melissa Saryazdi