The Pinchers

The Pinchers
Christina Leigh Pritchard


John Meyers grasped the steering wheel of his pre-owned Volkswagen Jetta with one hand. The other rummaged through his briefcase. “Melissa-” He mumbled. Where was his notebook? “Blond hair and blue eyes.” He grabbed a paper and turned his wheel sharply.

He sped down the dirt road, almost lost among all the trees. “Submitted a report to the police that she saw ‘pinchers’.”

John Meyers, Jr. had the worst job. He worked for the evaluation department of mental health in Northern Florida. “No local reports of wild Dobermans visual… Constant fits of rage from Melissa.”

He blinked. “She’s a whack job.” John decided. He slammed on his breaks. A thick forest surrounded him. In an open field was a little red shack with a porch. In a rocker sat a woman with long blonde hair. She rocked back and forth. He pushed up his plastic frame glasses.

John climbed out of his car and wiped the sweat from off his freckly forehead. He took a deep breath. This was his first field assignment. Before today, he’d always sat in a small little cubicle compiling paperwork on new patients and making new files for them. On his review, he said something stupid…I’d like some field experience. Yeah, he offered himself up for this.

His palms twitched and his knees shook. How would he ask this lady to get into his vehicle? He didn’t have his analytical data or his inhaler. He needed it right now, or at least he felt like it. The doctor claimed he was perfectly healthy.

Melissa sat on her porch and rocked back and forth slowly. “Who is there?” She called out. “Get out of here. They’re coming back tonight!”

“W-who is coming back, dear?” John asked. He stood at the bottom step. “The Dobermans?”

“The what?” She stuttered. “No, the Pinchers.” John gasped. He stood in front of the young girl. Her eyes were solid white not blue-she was blind and her arms were full of bloody gashes.

“Have you been cutting yourself?”

“Of course not. That is from the pinchers. They took away my sight too. They say we’re killing them and they’re going to kill us.” Melissa rocked faster now. “I don’t want to die. I don’t.”

“You’re not going to die. I’ve come to take you away from here.” John told her.
“Okay,” Melissa whispered. She stood on her feet. John took her arm and guided her down the steps.

A loud horn blared. It belonged to a long semi truck. “They’re coming!” Melissa screamed. She took off running but because of her blindness she ran straight into John’s car. She fell to the ground with a thud. That didn’t stop her. “Into the forest; We must run away now!” She crawled up off the ground and felt her way around the Jetta.

“Melissa, it’s just a truck horn.” John reasoned. “Nothing-” He looked up. The sky grew black and the wheels of the truck were lifting off the dirt road. He heard a noise like a thousand hungry crickets; louder and louder.

“It’s them!” She screamed. “Save yourself Mister!” Melissa, in her combat boots and house dress ran towards the forest. John stood in the middle of her yard and watched with amazement. The Semi Truck lifted high into the air. He saw a man in the driver’s seat. He banged on the window and screamed. The truck smashed into his Jetta and the two vehicles slid into the little wooden house.

“What the-” John exclaimed. His feet were frozen. He couldn’t believe his eyes. A million little pink lights in a horde just like crickets swarmed above him.

“RUN!” Melissa hollered from the forest. John obeyed and caught up with the blind girl who stumbled over branches and knocked into trees. She didn’t seem to care. He took her hand and dragged her through. The noise grew loud behind them. John turned around and spotted high above the trees, the Pink things carrying the truck driver and then, they dropped him.

“Oh my goodness,” John swallowed. “Hurry up.” He pulled Melissa’s arm hard.

“They’re going to kill me.” Melissa whimpered. “They said they’d be back.”

“Why are they doing this?” John asked.

“They say we’re killing their habitat.”

“Where do they live?”

“Over by the pond.”

“Something is in the water then. I have a kit in my briefcase that can check their water source. Will they listen? What if I can fix the problem?”

“I don’t know.” Melissa’s combat boots clomped against the hard ground. “They’re getting closer. I can hear them.” Her hands shook.

John pulled her through the woods as fast as he could. He tried to block out the noise behind him. It was getting closer and closer with every step that he took.

Behind him, he saw the pink cloud. “Wait!” He yelled. “I can help!” He shouted. The pinchers crept even closer. He could see them now. They looked like glow bugs but with large pinchers like a scorpion and small red eyes.

“No!” Melissa wailed. They surrounded her and put their little pinchers into her flesh.

“Stop!” John yelled. “It’s not her fault. There is something in your water! I can run a test and find the problem. Please, put her down.”

A single pincher flew over to him. His wings fluttered so fast, just like a bumblebee or maybe a hummingbird. “Just show me your pond and I-I will take some samples with my kit.” John tapped his brief case.

The Pincher joined the others and they lifted Melissa high in the air. “Make them stop!” Melissa cried. “They’re going to drop me.”

They flew off. John followed. “Stop, please, just give me a chance.” He begged. He gagged and bent over. His chest heaved. The Pinchers held Melissa above a medium sized pond. John dropped to the ground. His fingers shook as he opened his case and pulled out his aquatic test kit. He’d never thought he’d ever have to use it. And could he even read it? He only read the instructional prior to taking his test. He never watched the video that was provided at his seminar. Oh, he’d better do this right. He dragged his feet over to the pond and dipped the water tube into the pond water.

John pulled out his instructions and read the them carefully. “One drop…” A pincher flew close. John stared up at the bug like thing. “This will take an hour to analyze. “Please, put the girl down. She can‘t run far, she‘s blind now.”

The pincher flew back to his horde and the pinchers dropped her right in the middle of the pond.

“Melissa!” John screamed.

“I can’t see.” She shouted.

“Swim forward.” John ordered. “Keep coming. I am right over here.” The pinchers encircled the pond as if they were an army. “They’re not going to let you out of the pond. Just stay in the shallow water, I am running a test on their water. We will figure out what’s wrong soon. Just stay right where you are.”

He added the different drops into each tube along with pond water. His hand shook so fiercely that water spilled onto the ground. “I-I need to get more water.” John told the lone pincher. He slowly walked underneath the buzzing creatures. Their red eyes and snapping pinchers pointed towards him. John lowered his body to the water’s edge. When he was finished he took hurried steps back to his testing equipment. Their eyes stayed glued on him.

After the hour was up, John observed each tube carefully and held up his color chart to analyze. “There appears to be biohazard waste in your pond.” John said. “Someone is dumping here illegally. I need to call the police right away.” The Pincher came closer. It flew next to the chart and tube. “Do you have a name?” John questioned. The Pincher’s wings stopped beating and it sat on the paper quietly. His pink illumination dimmed and he was white just like Melissa’s eyes. “My name is John. I have a cell phone in my pocket. I will call the police and get help to clean up your pond.” He slowly pulled out his phone and dialed 911.

The Pincher’s eyes turned black and he pulled in his pinchers. “What’s going on out there?” Melissa yelled.

“I’m waiting for the police and the crime scene investigation unit to arrive.” John answered. He turned his attention to the little creature. “Are you sick?”

The Pincher turned his back to John. “It may take some time to clean up your pond. But I am sure we can find you a new pond while yours is being cleaned up.” John whispered. “I have a pond in my backyard even. You can stay there as long as you like. And we will do everything in our power to punish those responsible for this contamination.”

The Pinchers backed away from the pond and allowed Melissa to climb out. She fell into John’s arms and cried. “Thank you so much.”

When the police and the CSI unit arrived, the pinchers were no where to be found. John showed them the test readings and notified them of the crashed semi. Melissa clung to John’s arm the whole time. “Why didn’t you tell them about the Pinchers?” Melissa whispered.

“If I hadn’t seen them with my own eyes I’d never believe it.” John admitted. “I came here today to take you to a mental institution.”

Melissa laughed. “How are you going to explain this to your boss?”
“I’ll think of something.” John grinned.

It turned out, the semi truck belonged to a chemical plant a few miles away and he was the one responsible for dumping barrels into the pond. The company was shut down and ordered to clean up the waters.

John stood next to his crushed Volkswagen and sighed. Melissa sat in her partially broken rocking chair. “I do have one question for you still.” John said.

“Oh, and what’s that?” Melissa rubbed her eyes. Tiny white scales fell from her pupils. She saw a blurry image in front of her. A man with curly red hair. Melissa looked over at the ambulance. On a stretcher was the truck driver. Her eyes widened. “It’s him!” She yelled.

“Who?” John inquired. “How do you know him?”

“I was swimming in the pond, I am on the swim team at school and use the pond for exercise and well that man right there dumped barrels into the lake. That was when the Pinchers first appeared. He ran back into his truck and raced away and that was when they blinded me.”

John’s cab appeared. “Well, that man is going to be behind bars for a very, very long time.” He smiled at the girl.

She ran after his cab, all the way down the dirt road.

“Good bye John Meyers!” She waved.

She wasn’t the only one to follow him. Melissa saw translucent pinchers chase after his cab.

“Good luck.” She chortled.

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