As soon as I saw their cars I panicked. I went out the back door and started running as fast as I could. It’s 10 o’ clock and there is still sunlight outside, I can’t even hide in the shadows. My only hope is that the snow covers my tracks quickly.
I jump over the back fence and keep running, hoping they haven’t seen me. There are only a dozen houses on this hill and nothing else for miles. In a country this small, there’s nowhere to hide, I know they will find me.
My eyelashes are starting to freeze and I’m beginning to lose feeling on my toes. I have to find shelter quick. There are a couple houses down the road but I can’t risk knocking on any door, my American accent is impossible to hide. Still, there’s nothing else I can do so I run to one of them, looking behind my back every few seconds.
I reach the fence and I hesitate to even touch it. I look around cautiously and decide to go around to the back. Almost every house here has a barn, and I let a sigh of relief when I see the wooden structure behind the house. I approach it slowly, open the door, and get inside.
Once inside, I see a small tractor to my right, some hay to my left and not much else inside, but at least it’s warmer than outside. I know I’m out of options, this is the end.
I get my phone out, open my email, and start typing.
from: Mark Watson
to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, +7
date: November 17, 2021, 10:16 PM
Subject: (No subject)
My name is Mark Watson, 52, American. For the last 9 months I’ve been living in Iceland. I was hired by a company named Hvalur Biotech, located in Vik, in the South of Iceland. My direct superiors are Viktor Birgisson and Harald Árnason.
The company is supposed to study whales and I thought I was hired to study the language of whales but that’s not what the company’s real objective is, there’s something terrible going on.
Whales have the biggest brains of any creature on earth, and this company has been experimenting plugging things into their brains. We have some orcas that have been held captive for over 6 years as part of this program. Isolation can alter physiology in ways that we are only beginning to understand and these animals are incredibly intelligent. They don’t like what we are doing to them, it’s beyond barbaric and it sickens me. They are suffering, becoming violent, descending into madness.
For the past month I’ve been taking photos, and trying to document as much as I could, but last night I saw something horrific I shouldn’t have seen. They can’t control it anymore. We were arrogant to think we knew what we were doing.
They are after me now. I know I can’t escape. There are only a handful of airports that can get me out of the country, and I’m nowhere near one. That’s one of the reasons they have the base here, they WILL find me. I don’t think I’m going to get out of here alive, I saw what they did to the others.
I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The world needs to know.
Please tell everyone,
**** This story was written for the NYC Flash Fiction Challenge, in which writers from all over the world are challenged to create short stories (1,000 words max.) based on genre, location, and object assignments in 48 hours. This was my second assignment: Mystery / Barn / Whale. Wish me luck!!