The Red Triangles is a scary science fiction story about a woman who is awakened in the middle of the night by a mysterious phone call. The story is told in the form of a phone conversation.
It was the middle of the night and Irene was rudely awakened by the ringing of her phone. She reached out to switch on the bedside lamp. When she looked at the phone, she saw the call was coming from a number she didn’t recognize.
Man: Oh… Hello! Thank God! Where are you?
Irene: Where am I? What? Who is this?
Man: Never mind. The main thing is that you’re still alive.
Irene: I’m sorry… What?
Man: You’re still alive. I’m desperate to find someone…
Irene: Aren’t we all? Goodnight, freak.
She hung up the phone. Less than a minute later, it began to ring again.
Man: Listen, it’s me again. For God’s sake, don’t hang up! I… I just want to warn you.
Irene: Do you have any idea what time it is? Maybe I should call the police and report you…
Man: The police can’t do anything. There probably aren’t any police to call…
Irene hung up the phone. It started ringing almost immediately and she picked it up again.
Irene: You again?
Man: Yes, it’s me.
Irene: You’re the stubborn type, aren’t you?
Man: Please, you’ve got to listen to me. Maybe I seem crazy or drunk, but I’m not. I’m just… scared to death…
Irene: What are you so scared of?
Man: Do you live alone?
Man: I mean, are you alone in the apartment… now… at this very moment?
Man: No! No! Don’t hang up! Will you listen to me if I try to explain? You promise to listen?
Man: Well then at least tell me… Is your TV on?
Irene: Why do you want to know?
Man: Just indulge me, please. I beg you!
Irene: No, my TV is off.
Man: Is your computer or laptop on?
Irene: I don’t have a computer.
Man: Good. Good move. How about your windows? Are all the windows closed?
Irene: Yes, so if you’re planning on trying to break in, you’re out of luck.
Man: Well… that’s good, but it’s no guarantee of safety…
Irene: If you don’t say something sensible, I’m going to hang up and go back to sleep.
Man: Don’t hang up! I’ll explain everything, I promise. Just give me a moment. Are you listening?
Irene: For as long as I can endure your crazed ramblings.
Man: Thank you. You know, when I went to bed last night, I had no idea there was anything wrong, just like you. I came home from work, ate my dinner, watched TV and then went to bed. I always turn off the TV before going to bed. And I always close my windows. And I don’t own a computer. Maybe that’s why I’m still alive…
Irene: Why wouldn’t you be alive?
Man: The triangles.
Irene: The triangles? What triangles?
Man: The red triangles.
Irene: What the…? What are you babbling about?
Man: That’s what I’m trying to tell you. I was woken up somewhere around midnight by the sound of screams. They were coming from the apartment next door. So I got up and went out into the corridor. My neighbor is a drunk and sometimes he makes noise at night. I wanted to tell him to shut up and go to sleep. That’s when I realized it…
Man: I realized that the screams were not only coming from my neighbor’s apartment, but all the other apartments too. Probably every apartment in the building. I could hear another sound as well. It sounded kind of like bubbling… like semolina cooking in a pot… and there was a munching sound as well… munching, munching, munching… And the cries and screams grew more and more muffled.
Irene: Get to the point.
Man: I knocked on the neighbor’s door. I knocked really loudly, but he didn’t open the door. Then I moved on to the next apartment, but they didn’t answer either. I kept going, down the corridor, knocking on all the apartments, but nobody answered. It was deathly silent, except for the bubbling and the munching. Then, I came to the apartment at the end of the hall. The door was wide open.
Man: And… it scares me even now to think about it.
Irene: What did you see?
Irene: Oh for the love of God… What triangles?
Man: The red triangles. They weren’t very large… just about the size of my fist… but there were so many of them… They were everywhere. They were swarming around the apartment, streaming out of the computer monitor and the TV screen. They were swirling around in the air and hovering over the bodies…
Irene: The bodies?
Man: They were lying on the floor. There was a man and a woman… and their children. The red triangles were swarming around them like flies, penetrating into their noses, their mouths, even their ears. I saw it with my own two eyes. The people were writhing around in pain, clutching their throats and thrashing back and forth. They were spluttering and choking and gasping for air. It was horrible. And then, right before my eyes… They turned inside out.
Man: There was a sickening snap, like when you pull off a wet rubber glove… and suddenly, they all turned inside-out. Their bodies were still twitching, but they were little more than huge chunks of meat… bloody, glistening meat… and their internal organs were all on the outside… their lungs still inflating and deflating… their hearts still pumping… the blood still flowing through their veins… just on the outside… It was the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.
Irene: What kind of nonsense are you trying to get me to believe?
Man: It’s not nonsense! I swear! If you don’t believe me, just go to the window and look. There must be millions of them out there, flying around in the air… No, wait! What am I saying? Don’t go near the window! They’ll see you! Come back! Are you there?
Irene: I’m still in bed.
Man: Clever! Well done. Well, whatever you do, don’t go near the window… or the TV. If you saw what the triangles did to those people, it would make your hair stand on end. I ran back to my apartment and I just managed to lock the door before they got to me. One solitary red triangle managed to slip through the crack before I got the door closed. It was quite large and as red as blood, but thankfully it was alone. It tried to get into my nose, but I caught it in my hand and I was able to snap it in half. It broke open and its blood spilled out. Their blood is grey… which is strange if you think about it… I can’t imagine why this could be…
Irene: You know, I’m tired of listening to this nonsense. I think maybe I really should call the police. Maybe they’ll send you to a nice psychiatric hospital where you can entertain the other patients with your stories…
Man: Go ahead and call them. Be my guest. They won’t answer! I tried to call them already. They’re all dead! Everyone in the city is probably dead. You and I may be the only ones left! Why do you think I called you? Why do you think I’m talking to you… a complete stranger? Because, I already phoned all my friends! None of them answered their phones. I called all my relatives. No answer! I called every number in my phone! Nobody is answering! Then I just started dialing random numbers and eventually I stumbled across you.
Irene: Well, what are they then… these triangles?
Man: How would I know? You listened to my story. Now you know everything I know. Maybe they came from another galaxy… or from another dimension. I told you that they come out of the television screens and computer monitors. You know what it reminded me of? There was a science fiction show on TV when I was a kid… maybe you saw it too… You know the one… where the evil aliens appeared out of the TV screen… I think it was called “The Things from Dimension X”… or something very similar… It was pretty cool… if you’re a fan of science fiction… which I am… or at least, I was… but I guess I still am…
Irene: Yes, I’m sure you are. Well, us sane people have to get up for work in the morning, so if you don’t mind… Stop calling me… Farewell.
Man: No! Please! You promised! You promised not to hang up! I don’t want to be alone! We’re the only ones left! You and me! Please…
Irene hung up the phone and put it on mute. With a sigh, she rolled over and got out of bed. Pulling back the curtains, she looked out the window and stood there for a moment, lost in thought. It was almost morning, but it was still dark outside.
She listened. The streets outside were deserted. Not a creature was stirring. It was quiet… too quiet. The apartment building was also deathly quiet. From all of the apartments, all she could hear was a deafening silence.
Then, she looked up. The sky was filled with thousands… millions… billions of tiny red things. They soared back and forth, floating and hovering over the city, scattering briefly among the clouds and then returning to formation.
Triangles… Red triangles… carrying death.
Irene gasped in terror and quickly closed the curtains. She grabbed her phone from the bedside table and crouched down on the floor. She called the first number on her contact list. There was no answer. She called the next number and the next, but nobody answered. She began to shake with fear. She kept calling every number, but they just rang and rang and the calls went unanswered.
Eventually someone answered and Irene laughed out loud with joy.
Irene: Hello! Natalie! Oh my God, I’m so glad you answered! It’s me, Irene!
Natalie: Um… Did you take a look at the clock? Do you know what time it is?
Irene: Yes. I know. I’m sorry. I just had to call you.
Natalie: What’s going on? Are you OK?
Irene: You haven’t seen the triangles?
Natalie: What triangles?
Irene: The red triangles…