Crutch was about to hit stop to fast forward through all of the mundane bullshit more quickly when the woman jolted towards the camera. He let it play.
The van had come to a stop and Popov was talking again. A hand extended into view from behind the camera and gestured with energy towards the sliding door of the van. The skinny guy nodded his head like a chicken and opened the van door. The woman looked out of the van with sudden concern, as if she was just beginning to realize that this deal she had worked out was not quite what she had anticipated. She looked at the camera, suddenly distraught and fearful, shaking her head from side to side as she spoke in Ukrainian. She pushed the money towards someone off camera and then - apparently being rebuked - held it towards Popov behind the camera. His hand reached out again and pushed the wad of money away. He then reached down and grabbed the wrist of her other hand.
The camera swung wildly but it was clear that both Popov and the girl were exiting the van. When it was steadied once again Popov was standing behind the woman, coaxing her in Ukrainian towards the skinny guy. The skinny guy was leaning against the door of a ramshackle garishly pink house roofed with corrugated tin. The windows were smudged opaque with grease but it was apparent that there was light emerging from within.
They reached the door and the woman had another bout of reluctance. This time Popov raised his voice and shouted at her roughly, then shoved her through the open door into the small house. It took several seconds for the camera's shitty auto-light adjustment to compensate for the minimal increase in lighting. When it did the woman was perfectly framed for the first time, staring in abject terror at something directly in front of her. Her chin quivered slightly, but she was otherwise paralyzed with fear over whatever she was looking at. The skinny man entered the frame and placed his hands on her shoulders, whispering something to her. She nodded dumbly and - though Crutch could not be sure given the low quality of the video - a few tears slid down her cheeks.
Suddenly the woman bolted, making a run for the door behind her. She pushed aside the skinny man's hands and the camera spun madly around the room providing disconcerting glimpses of whatever it was she had been looking at. Crutch thought he saw something large, dark with a hint of green and glistening wet. Like a military olive drab tarp covered with moisture. But the way it seemed to move in…was it wind? As the camera continued to whirl around, showing mostly floor, Crutch considered pausing the capture and looking at it frame by frame.
Things came back to a shaky normalcy and the woman was held firmly by the birdlike man, his knuckles white as he gripped her upper arms and pushed her back into the house. The woman stared down at the floor, refusing to look up at the camera or the tarp-thing. She was mumbling the same thing repeatedly and a thin line of sobbing drool oozed from the corner of her mouth. There was a shuffling dragging sound mixed with a sticky wetness that was vaguely disconcerting. A shadow fell over her.
Crutch's cigarette burned his lip and he cried out, flinging it to the carpet. He stomped absently at it with his foot to extinguish the burning embers but his eyes never left the primary monitor.
Several ropey tendrils as thick as a human leg extended into the frame quickly and nimbly, thick skeins of translucent mucus playing between them. The narrow tips slid beneath the woman's denim jacket and pulled it easily off of her body. A voice like gas bubbling to the surface of a primordial swamp gurgled from out of frame in a language totally alien to Crutch. Mucus was coating the woman's face, bubbling at her nostrils and tightly clenched lips. The thick tendrils were making quick work of undressing her, pulling her faded blue jeans roughly over her chunky black boots. Then the camera panned directly towards the source of the tendrils and Crutch gasped silently.
The thing was roughly conical and immense, extending to within an inch of the ceiling. Its body was dark green and writhing as if hands were pressing out from within. The tendrils - tentacles - rimmed the base of the cone in all directions. A trio of arm-sized organs roughly a foot above the base of the cone represented what Crutch thought might be the thing's genitalia. They waved expectantly as the tentacles drew the now-naked Ukrainian girl closer. Strangest of all was the creature's face. There was obviously a mouth moving and gibbering, and what looked like several eyes on short stalks, but it was all hidden beneath a blue cloth.
Crutch just stared with disbelief as the creature began to violate the now-catatonic woman. He had seen porn with vague similarities to this tape before, but they had all been extremely obvious fakes. This tape was different. With the tentacles slamming the woman limply and loudly up and down on the creature's genitalia Crutch ignored the sex and inspected the beast itself. There was no computer, no team of artists, that could render something that lifelike, complete with a variety of format and environmental defects. The more he watched the more he was convinced that he held the first ever recorded footage of an alien life form. It was an alien life form having sex with a human and being assisted by humans no less.
The tape continued in shockingly formulaic fashion. The alien restrained itself from the sex and lifted the woman's groin up to the blue cloth. A dinner plate sized black tongue emerged from beneath the blue cloth and lapped clumsily at her. This continued for so long that Crutch actually felt the urge to fast forward some. Then the alien tried to coerce the woman into reciprocating but one of its enormous genitals would have barely fit inside her mouth had she been cooperative. She was not dead but she might as well have been for all she moved during the encounter.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Featured articles and columns that don't fit anywhere else on Something Awful.