It was 11 in the morning when the Terror arrived.
Jasmine Potts was in her kitchen when it occurred. She was busy cleaning dishes and preparing the house for her daughter’s 5th birthday party. It was for that reason she didn’t notice It when it passed.
The news was blaring in the background, the newscaster was busy discussing something to do with missing superheroes, but Jasmine had never really been interested in that sort of thing. That’s why she’d moved to Happy Harbour in the first place, to keep away from all the superhero shenanigans that seemed to be ripping the world in two.
Happy Harbour was a quiet place. The sun always shone there.
Something pulled Jasmine’s attention to the window. Peering through it she frowned and squinted her eyes. Something seemed to be blocking the sun. Something very large, though Jasmine could only make the silhouette of the shape from where she was stood.
She realised with dawning panic that Melanie, her daughter, was in the backyard playing and for no apparent reason she picked up the kitchen knife that she had been cleaning and went off to find her. She didn’t notice – in the moment – that the TV had gone to static.
A cool breeze followed as she stepped into her backyard.
‘Melanie?’ She called, her voice crackling slightly. ‘Melanie, are you out here?’
Any evidence of the pleasant day that Happy Harbour had been enjoying was gone, replaced instead by shadows darker than the ones on a winter’s evening. For the second time that day Jasmine squinted into the dark and found her daughter sat with her back to her at the edge of the yard.
‘Melanie?’ She called out, a sense of relief filling her.
The panic returned and grew larger than it had ever been. Jasmine took a step forward into the yard and heard a loud squelching beneath her foot as she crushed something. She looked down but the ground was so dark that she couldn’t see what it was. Choosing to ignore it she looked back up, hoping that her daughter was alright.
‘Mel, are y-‘
Her heart jumped. Melanie was stood right in front of her, but it wasn’t Melanie. Jasmine turned pale. Thanks to the lights flowing from the house she could see the creature that was attached to her younger daughter’s face.
It resembled a Starfish, but it was bright purple, quite large and was covering the entirety of Melanie’s face. Each of its five arms were wrapped tightly around the young girl’s skull and in the Starfish’s centre was a single, large black eye that stared unblinkingly into Jasmine as if it were inviting her to suffer a similar fate.
‘Oh my God!’ Jasmine yelled. ‘Melanie are… are y-‘
Her daughter seemed to bask in her fright. She stepped towards the panicking mother, in her hand was a Starfish that she’d plucked up from the dozens that lay upon the ground. It was identical to the one on Melanie’s face.
From Melanie’s lips came two words.
‘Starro… Lives…’ She groaned in a cold, dead, inhuman voice.
Jasmine screamed and in her panic fell backwards. She’d been keeping her kitchen knife in her skirt’s elastic waistband and she deeply regretted that decision as it stabbed into her back. Somehow though this was the least of her concerns.
As she looked up into the sky her brain seemed to temporarily unravel as it tried to fathom and comprehend the kilometre wide Starfish creature dangling above the town. From the underside of the giant Starfish creature came thousands upon thousands of tiny black objects, and somehow Jasmine knew they were more of the tiny Starfish creature that was wrapped around her daughter’s face and controlling her every action.
She opened her mouth and screamed, for it was the only thing she could do.
She was still screaming as the monster possessing her daughter placed its brethren upon her face. Soon her mind became joined into the Starro Collective, and like her daughter two words came from her lips: