“Have you guys heard the Yanny Laurel thing?” Johanna slurred. She was four beers in and desperate to add some levity to the dying party.
“No,” was the chorus of replies. None of them had. None of them cared much, either. Freida and Joe were independently thinking up excuses to make their escape, while Robert, who wanted the others to leave so he could try to fuck Johanna, just shrugged.
Johanna watched the others with disappointment. She didn’t want the group to disperse yet.
Freida noticed her friend’s mopey expression, so she obliged. “So what’s Yanny Laurel?”
“Oh my God, it’s so weird.” She fumbled her phone out of her jeans, then tapped its cracked screen a few times. “Check this out!”
An audio file began to play.
“Okay?” Joe replied. “So?”
“So what did you hear?” Johanna asked.
Freida and Joe, in unison, replied “Yanny.”
Robert didn’t say anything. He stared at the floor.
“Rob?” Johanna prodded. “Did you hear ‘Yanny’ too? Or ‘Laurel?’”
“Wait, you heard ‘Laurel?’” interjected Joe.
“Yeah, wait — what?” added Freida.
Johanna laughed. “See! I told you it would be cool.”
I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the area, but the people who live over here have been talking about it for the last couple weeks. No one can agree on what it is, but the one thing they know is a lot of pets have gone missing. Birds, too. The power plant’s on Long Island Sound, and there used to be seagulls and herons all over the place. Not anymore.
The Connecticut Post’s main office is only a few blocks away on State Street, but they haven’t published stories about anything out of the ordinary. Same with News 12. That doesn’t mean they haven’t heard rumors, though. A guy I work with, Dion Hargrove, called up the Post last week to tell them about something he saw over by the old Remington building.
The Remington building is right across from a walking park that runs parallel to the University of Bridgeport campus. The park’s beautiful during the day, but at night, like the rest of the area, it’s sketchy as all hell. If what Dion saw was after dark, he wouldn’t have thought much of it. He wouldn’t have stayed to watch. But at 11am on a sunny day, he knew what he was seeing was very out of place.
While Dion walked, he noticed a person crouching by the front door of the Remington building. He wasn’t too close, but it was a clear shot across the street through the chainlink fence. The person was wearing a heavy, green NY Jets coat, despite it being almost 80 degrees out and humid. In his hands was a cat. And he was eating it. Now, Bridgeport has its share of homeless people, many of whom are mentally ill. If you remember that story from Florida about the homeless guy who ate his friend’s face, well, he was originally from Bridgeport. But I digress.
As Dion watched, the guy buried his face into the poor cat’s belly and gnawed away. Then he looked up and saw Dion watching him. He dropped the cat and ran, but not before Dion could see something was very wrong with him. First off, he looked extremely overweight. That alone isn’t worthy of mention, of course, but there was something deeply unsettling about his bulk. It shifted under the heavy coat as he ran, but not with his steps. It moved on its own.
Right before the man turned the corner into the rear of the building, something fell from his coat. It was like a reddish-gray slab of skin. It trailed behind him as he turned, but then lifted on its own and disappeared behind the building.
Dion didn’t know what the hell he’d just seen, but he figured he probably had to call the cops. Bridgeport cops have an unpleasant reputation, but considering the guy was so close to the University, Dion was worried the he might try to hurt a student. The cops came and took his statement, but he never heard anything back. His call didn’t show up in the Post’s police log.
Dion’s report is the most detailed, but it’s not the only one. Not by a long shot. Boaters in Long Island Sound have complained about their motors getting snagged and ruined as they passed by the power plant. Nearby residents, aside from losing their pets, have made noise complaints about a low, screaming howl coming primarily from the area surrounding the plant, but sometimes as close as the street outside. And then there’s David Chung.
David was a student at the University of Bridgeport. He’d just moved into his dorm in August, and the security cameras showed him walking around the campus and heading off down the street to the beach.
The next morning, David’s body was found in the water near the power plant’s dock. There was a brief investigation, and it was determined he drowned while swimming and the damage to his body was the result of being struck by a barge delivering coal to the plant.
My friend in the police department, though, told me he’d seen floaters hit by those barges. David didn’t look anything them. To make matters worse, the official report didn’t mention the kid’s wounds. The holes. Holes all over his body that looked like they’d been sucked out, rather than punctured. And the report also neglected to mention the fact that David had been found wrapped in a heavy, green, NY Jets coat. The same one Dion Hargrove had described to the police.
To anyone who thinks this warrants more of an investigation, I implore you to spread this around. I want people to see what’s happening here and not let the violence get swept under the rug like in every other urban community. Because I know something very wrong is living near that power plant. Something that’s now moved on from birds and cats to people. And every night, as I shiver behind locked doors with my rifle, I can hear it howling.