A/N: A project I worked on for school. I don't believe this is actually a horror story, but it's the best I could make up. Probably a mix of supernatural, horror, and fantasy. Thanks for reading, and if you have the time, leave a review. :)
"Disaster at Sea"
Sinking lower and lower, pulled into darkness by the furious undertow, he could no longer hold his breath. He knew the end was near. Then the jangling alarm clock burst in, saving him from reliving once more that awful experience of many summers ago. He would never go near the sea again, he promised himself. But who says we can control our future? Staff Sergeant Mercer got out of his bed quickly, and left for his command center. The dream still gave him chills, but he couldn't let it make him falter. No, he had to be strong. For he was a soldier, and this was in the middle of a World War. Several days would pass, all of them starting off just the same as this one. It was a status quo, and it would never change. At least, Mercer had thought. And then that day began, that day on December 7, 1941.
Red lights flared inside Pearl Harbor, the naval base of Hawaii. It was sudden, and there was no way any soldier could have predicted this. Soldiers—Japanese soldiers, they assumed—had invaded the building, and surprisingly, they could not be tracked down until it was too late. Mercer noticed as the last of the troops gathered inside of a room that there were barely any left. There was Bradley, a sort of strong man whose ego outweighed his intellect, Trey, a younger man who had enough determination to make it in the military, and several others. But it was not normal. Actually, if Mercer's estimate was correct, only a tenth of the naval officers living in Pearl Harbor were standing. It was concerning, and most definitely, frightening.
"You're joking; we're the only people left?" Trey asked. He was the first to speak in the room, as if the surprise of just how few of them were left had severely quaked the rest of the officers. Even Bradley was quiet, which was odd considering he was so abrasive. But then, a smirk greeted the man's face, and he stepped forwards with a strut.
"Oh, well at least those Japs weeded out the weaklings here," he said, and there didn't seem to be one hint of remorse in his voice, "Hmph, I knew Jimmy couldn't aim straight." Jimmy was a 'friend' of Bradley, well, at least Jimmy had thought so when he was alive.
"How can you be so, so... So careless?"
"Don't get into an argument, you two," Mercer finally spoke up. His brown eyebrows narrowed, and the two soldiers instantly straightened out. Cries of 'Yes, Sir!' came from the both of them. While they were completely different, the two knew to respect those of higher office. "We have to look and see if there are any survivors. While the chances of that are low, we can't leave any man behind. Strip the room of weapons; we'll need as many as possible." All in the room began scrambling, grabbing the best guns they could and the needed ammo. Bradley himself grabbed a bazooka.
"Really? Are you gonna blow us all up with that?" Trey cried, nearly laughing.
"Meh, leave the big guns to the experienced soldiers, boy," Bradley fired back, grinning as a frown graced Trey's lips.
"Whatever..." Mercer just wished they would get out of this alive. For all of their sakes.
The soldiers slinked around the halls of Pearl Harbor, waving their guns in front of them. They each held flashlights, as the red light from the alarm didn't illuminate things as well as a good fluorescent bulb. It was mostly silent, the darkness seeming to suffocate them all. And then they all entered a room, and most wished they hadn't at all. It was small, but bodies packed the walls. The smell of blood entered Mercer's nostrils, and he coughed, waving his hand at his nose.
"Just what caused this?" he asked. The question was more half-hearted, as he knew exactly who to blame. Those Japs. At least, at the time, he had thought they were murdered by Japanese soldiers. While he wasn't far off, the assumption was still completely incorrect. "Search the room, see if any are breathing. And if they aren't, shoot them. Just put them out of their misery." It was better this way, at least they wouldn't have to worry about having hope. It seemed as if there wouldn't be any, anytime soon.
Bradley stumbled upon one body, shining his flashlight on it. He stared for a while, and said, "He's smiling. The bloody oaf is smiling!" Mercer paused. That wasn't right. Why would a soldier facing death, smile?
"This guy, too. They're all smiling," Trey yelled, over from his corner of the room. Mercer's eyes narrowed. Just what happened here? Just what exactly were these soldiers smiling for? "Hey! They're painted on!" That was better. At least Mercer knew the naval officers here weren't suicidal idiots. How could he believe that his soldiers would smile as they died?
"Just when I thought half our lot was filled with suicidal jerks," Bradley then said, half complaining, half not. Mercer was convinced the guy just didn't care either way. It was nice to know he had such loving soldiers... Actually, that sort of thing probably didn't even exist. Nice soldiers? Ha, fat chance. But did Mercer himself even care about these dead comrades? He didn't exactly interact with any of them beyond the general: 'Hello' or 'Evening, Sir'. He just didn't have any bonds with them.
He was rudely interrupted from his reverie when the hallway started to shake. The room seemed to grow cold, and the sound of gunfire echoed. But there was no firing weapons. Mercer looked around; yes, no one was firing anything. No one was in danger. So why is that sound happening? It made all of the soldiers on edge, as they all readied their guns. The clicks of the safety release button on the gun snapping cracked into his ear. And then it happened.
Five men were pulled by pale hands—not from someone right beside them, no, someone right under them. Soldiers started to scream, gunshots could be heard—the sound of metal against metal, and then, blood. The cold, red liquid splashed against Mercer's face, and as if it triggered something, a bright light appeared. Ghostly figures were all over the men that were captured and thoroughly panicked; Mercer fired a single bullet at the group. It phased through the ghosts, and to his horror, he could hear the squish of skin as the bullet hit its unexpected mark. He had shot one of his own men. What in the world were these things?
"Ghosts! God has sent us a test from the Heavens! We must answer it!" a soldier cried out, firing hundreds of bullets upon the pale assailants. Mercer half expected Bradley to send out some sort of rebuke towards the religious nut in their group, but he knew that the man wouldn't dare to do something like that in the middle of a battle. Bradley may be an overly cocky guy, but he certainly wasn't an idiot. Maniacal laughter seemed to come out in time with the shaking of the room, and then, Mercer knew this was not natural.
"Show yourself!" he cried out, but Mercer was only greeted with more laughter. A figure walked into the room, the ghosts swarming around him. Many of the officers positioned their guns to shoot; however, none could get a clear shot.
"Is this enough?" the person asked—a man, indicated by the masculine tone to his voice—then he let out a small chuckle, and then even more screeching laughter. It hurt his ears. Mercer could tell this man was insane, he could just feel it in his bones. Who else would cause this mess? Who else could cause so much death? "Oh, you must be wondering just how I did it!" He yelled out, but he had an accent. The mumbles of the soldiers were right, this was a Japanese attack. But what the heck did they create to attack them?
"Wouldn't you love to know of my mission? Why, yes you would!" The man's voice dripped with joy, as if he enjoyed this, enjoyed killing. "It started just a couple of days ago, this plan you see. I was hired by the Japanese military—they're rather lovely, y'know? They keep talking about honor, yet they know nothing about it! They hired me for God's sake as a distraction! As a distraction for the kamikaze planes comin' here! You'll absolutely lov—"
"Kamikaze? They're coming here?" Trey interrupted, a panicked look in his eye.
"Oi, American idiot, don't interrupt me! Do you want to know the plan or not?"
"Let him speak," Mercer told Trey. He needed to know what was going to happen, so he could prepare. He whispered, however, "As soon as we have all the information we need, we'll get out of here."
"Well, before I was rudely interrupted! So you see, I decided to raise the dead for my little mission! They didn't give me anything to work with anyway, those samurai overlords!" the man gloated heartily, "Yes, there's this little ritual—I bet you'd love to know the details!—and then boom! Ghosts, ghosts, and more ghosts are absolutely everywhere! And you know the best detail? You can't do anything about it! Ha!"
"I bet you can just feel it in the air, feel the doom and gloom emanating from this very building. Oh, they're coming, and when they do, you'll die! You'll all explode! Isn't that nice, isn't that the greatest? I'm just teeming with jealousy for you guys, getting to go out with a bang! This will mark the day, the day Kenji Yamazaki the Great crippled the United States! My name will be on the lips of my children's children for generations to come!" And then he looked at the soldiers, or to be more accurate, the complete lack of soldiers. They were gone. True to Mercer's word, they had vanished after they got all the information they could. Now, they were back in the room Mercer had first gathered them in.
Bradley and Trey were arguing again, both putting up different answers to the situation. One said that they should stay at the top of the building with the bazooka to blow up all of the planes coming; one said that they should stay below ground and give Kenji a fight worth remembering. And Mercer was tired of it all. He knew, just knew that there was no chance of them making out of this alive. If they did, well, that just wouldn't happen. No, he wouldn't pretend there were any chances. Now, it was just do and die. "We'll do both," Mercer finally said, and all heads snapped to attention, "We're dying anyway. Might as well as make everyone happy."
"That's positive," Trey and surprisingly, Bradley, said in unison. Oddly, this time they didn't argue. The two knew Mercer's input was always correct. No matter what you thought, he'd always be right. And this was both a blessing and a curse. The officers started to move like clockwork, efficient as always. It was just ten minutes later when everyone was at their posts. They were about to get involved in the fight of their lives, and just then, a banshee screamed. Mercer sighed, it had begun.
The hall starts to shake once more, and the air seemed to cool. Mercer noticed the appearances of the ghosts were repetitive, all of them starting the same way and ending just like that. In just three seconds—and he was so confident that this would happen—Kenji's laugh would travel through the halls and chill the bones of his soldiers. They were going to die. But he'd make sure that they wouldn't die without a fight. Three... Two... One. The laugh started just like clockwork. Bradley yelled out with a taunt, "Not very creative are ya, you corpse hugger!" It wasn't a question; Bradley wouldn't question it when he thought it was already true.
As insane as Kenji was, he could not come up with any ideas after a select few. Maybe they could win this, just as long as they predict everything that the man was about to do. Too bad then, that while he was stuck thinking, a piercing scream of a soldier flanked his left side. A splash of blood hit him. Mercer looked at the man's body and then quickly looked away. Focus. He must focus. "Yes, I might have ran out of ideas... But why does that matter, you're all dying anyway! Oh, drinking your blood will be a delight!"
And as much as it hurt Mercer to admit it, the man was right. He chuckled a little bit though, because he knew Kenji was wrong on one thing. If he was falling, then he'd make sure that man would fall with him. "Trey, avoid the ghosts. Dodge them, whatever. I have a feeling that as soon as Kenji dies, this thing will be a steam walk." Bradley was already at top with most of the other men, ready to defend against the airplanes. Trey just nodded, because he was not talkative when a fight was about to begin.
How they all crashed when it began, how the bullets went through the ghosts, and how clever the two soldiers actually were—dodging the ethereal creatures with utter ease, would have been impressive, if it hadn't been for naught. Kenji himself seemed to be a capable fighter, who was able to dodge bullets with luck that seemed unreal. Too unreal. And then Mercer noticed something that could have caused this all. A glowing amulet was around that Japanese man's neck, and it became obvious that it shined brightly when a bullet came close. "Trey! Rip that thing off his neck!"
"Yes, sir!" He yelled, and he did a mad dash towards the other man. Kenji didn't expect that, letting out a squeal similar to that of a pig when he was tackled. Ghosts started to stir wildly, flying towards Trey quickly. Mercer aimed, and as soon as the amulet was ripped off, he fired. He expected victory, expected the ghosts to disappear before they could touch his soldier, but instead, the exact opposite happened.
Just one spectral creature managed to reach Trey, but instead of killing him instantly, deflected the bullet incoming and...then it happened. The bullet hit Trey, and Mercer's eyes widened with rage. "Hm? What would your superiors say, dear Mercer? You just killed your own man!" Kenji taunted. The young man—no, he was a boy really—fell and all the soldier could see was red. He aimed again; there was no way he could miss, no way! And he fired. He celebrated inwardly, too, and thought Trey was avenged.
At least, that was until he smelled the scent of blood. He coughed; Mercer felt light headed, as if he was...he clutched his stomach. It was bleeding. A ghost, it had deflected his bullet just like before. And this time, it hit him. It hit Sergeant Mercer. And then the sound of explosions greeted his ears. He smiled. Bradley was succeeding, they could win. No, they would win. But...
He just felt so tired, so, so tired. There was no doubt in Mercer's mind, he was dying. It was obvious—too obvious—and he would be a fool if he didn't think otherwise. And just like so many other people before him, and as cliché as it sounds, his life seemed to flash before his eyes. There was that cruise, his daughter beside him and his wife. They were laughing; they were happy. He was happy. Oh, how much he missed those days. Those days when Mercer wasn't afraid of water, those days when it all changed because of a drunk ship captain.
Of course, all things come to an end. It just flashed into his eyes, the cruise sinking, his wife falling down to the depths, and his daughter...snatched by the rising waves. He survived, he survived somehow, and it just made him regret everything so much more. But he'd see them again. Soon. So soon, that he could almost taste it. Just like the very sea-salt he hated. And feared.
The ghosts crushed against his skin, and he felt his life essence fade with every touch. They felt cold, like water. He shivered; Mercer knew he was wasting his strength. He touched his pistol. He aimed at Kenji once more as ghosts flew towards the ceiling, phasing through the concrete. Screams entered his ears, and he almost cried. A triumphant yell then, as another plane fell—that must have been Bradley, it had to be—but then, silence. That cocky man must of died too. Probably didn't want to scream when he did it, just to save the last bit of masculinity he had. The fool; they were all fools. Fools to think they could win. They were fools to think that there was a chance. And then light greeted his eyes. Was that his...?
Yes, it was his wife. She appeared next to him, a sad look on her face. But she started to help him raise the gun; helped him aim against that insane man who summoned the ghosts. Then, her fingers intertwined with his on the trigger, and they pulled. The ghosts were too scattered to react, and Kenji was brought down. He had been brought down from his high horse forever. May his name be hated forever. May it be his last dying wish. Mercer laughed, even as he was clutched in the arms of death. Blood soaked his uniform. His wife faded as with the ghosts. But a pale white smile was painted on his face.
Planes crashed into Pearl Harbor. They had won. And he had lost. The United States were ushered into World War II, and it was all because of that day. That day on December 7, 1941.