Under Construction

📅 Published on June 8, 2022

“Under Construction”

Written by Micah Edwards
Edited by Craig Groshek and N.M. Brown
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 7 minutes

Rating: 8.00/10. From 2 votes.
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I thought it was just like any other construction zone.  It looked the same: same cones, same signs, same trucks.  And honestly, if people would learn how to drive, I probably never would have noticed any differently.  But people get stupid in the face of anything different, and so instead of cruising through at the recommended 45 mph, we were crawling along at about 15 mph while some idiot up ahead talked himself through his fear of orange cones.

So I was drifting slowly, drumming my fingers on the steering wheel and cursing whoever gave that moron his license, when my eye fell on one of the construction workers.  I don’t even know why he caught my eye.  He wasn’t moving, wasn’t doing anything in particular.  But something about him was wrong.  It was nothing I could exactly put my finger on, but you know that feeling you get when you look at a computer-generated image of a person that’s good, but not good enough?  It was just like that.  Sent a physical shiver down my spine.

I focused on him, trying to figure out what the problem was, what had drawn my attention.  And I realized pretty quickly: it was everything.  He was wrong, put together wrong.  Nothing major, nothing huge.  Nothing I would have seen if we weren’t driving so slowly.  But his arms and legs weren’t quite the right proportion to his body.  His neck was too long.  His feet were too short.  His clothes hung wrong, like they were connected to his skin.  He moved oddly, his motions too planned and precise.  And although his yellow helmet shadowed his face, I had the impression that his features were the worst of all.  I couldn’t make out any more than a glimpse above his nose and cheekbones, but the eyes that glittered there looked too big, too wide, and his mouth was clenched as if it was straining to contain something within.

A horn behind me snapped my attention back to the road.  I realized that the traffic ahead had cleared, and now I was the idiot holding everything up.  I stepped on the accelerator and left the bizarre worker behind.

That should have been the end of it.  I should have gone on my way and forgotten all about it.  But that night, at home, I found myself thinking about the construction worker again.  He disturbed me on a bone-deep level.  And the more I thought about it, the more I thought it wasn’t just him.  In my memory, the whole site started to take on odd imperfections.  The cones too tall, the trucks too angled.  The signs moving wrong in the wind of the passing cars.

I told myself it was nothing, that I was imagining things.  I’d seen a weird guy, and now my imagination was blowing it out of proportion.  And had he even really been that weird?  So he moved oddly.  Maybe he’d been in a construction accident.  Maybe he just had a bum leg.  It was no big deal.

No matter how much I told myself that, though, I couldn’t put the idea aside.  My mind kept circling back to the same thought: that construction zone was wrong.  Dangerously wrong.

I went to bed, resolving to forget about it.  But at one o’clock in the morning, after I’d startled myself awake from a dream where a man in an orange safety vest unfolded into a grasping flower of bloody teeth, I admitted defeat.  I got up, got dressed, and drove back to the construction zone.

I parked on the shoulder a few dozen yards before the cones started.  The scene was well lit by the full moon as I walked up, so I didn’t bother to turn on my phone’s flashlight.  I approached the first sign, a foldable plastic diamond reading “ROAD WORK AHEAD.”

It was bigger than I expected, almost as tall as I was.  I’d never actually been this close to one before, though, so I didn’t know if that was wrong.  It looked fine; the letters evenly printed and the edges machine-cut.  When I rubbed the sign between my fingers, though, it didn’t feel anything like I’d expected.  It looked like rubbery plastic, like the stuff they make outdoor tablecloths out of.  But it felt leathery, almost organic.  It was firm, and resisted my attempts to tear it or poke a hole in it.

Still, it seemed basically normal, and I didn’t know how construction signs were supposed to feel.  I walked on, moving toward a parked truck.  I glanced around, clear on the fact that if anyone came by right now, I’d look like I was planning on stealing the equipment, but the road was empty.

I reached the truck and rapped on it with my knuckles.  It made a metal sound, just like you’d expect.  I looked inside through the driver’s window, and everything appeared normal.  I was starting to feel silly, but also a bit relieved.  I began to mock myself for getting worked up enough to drive out to a construction site in the middle of the night to investigate a fantasy.

And then, passing by one of the large orange-and-white plastic barrels that separated the construction site from the road, I swung out with my foot to kick it.  Instead of the hollow plastic thump I’d expected, though, I was met with a solid thud.  It felt like kicking a telephone pole.  There was very little give; my foot took the brunt of the impact, not the presumably hollow barrel.

Confused, I put both hands on the barrel and pushed.  It shifted, tipping slightly, and something glistened beneath it.  I pushed harder, and the barrel toppled onto its side, crashing to the ground like a felled tree and revealing the opening at the base.  The barrel was filled with a thick, mucousy web, somewhere between a liquid and a gel.  I could just barely see darker shapes inside of the viscous substance, and I turned on my phone’s light to get a better view.

The fluid itself was an unhealthy phlegm-yellow, and barely translucent.  The shape it protected filled almost the entire barrel, and even with my light I could make out few details.  What I could see were mainly indistinct shapes in neon yellow and orange.  It was as if someone had stuffed a highway worker’s safety gear into the barrel and then filled the whole thing up with homemade glue before setting it down.

I wanted to see more of what was in that barrel, but I wasn’t about to risk getting any of that disgusting mass on my hands.  I looked around for a stick, and spotted one lying not far away.  I walked over to pick it up, but as I bent down, I saw another barrel rustle.

It was a slight movement, and in the moonlight, I thought I might have imagined it.  I stayed frozen in place for almost a full minute, waiting for it to happen again, but the barrel remained still.  Finally, I approached the barrel and gave it a gentle shove, leaping back as I did so.

Like the first one, this barrel barely moved when I pushed it.  After a moment of nothing happening, I gave it a firmer, two-handed shove, knocking it over.  This one, too, was filled with the gluey mess, but whatever was inside of it was much darker, and seemed larger.  And as the barrel hit the ground, it very clearly moved, shifting inside and straining to push free.

I leapt back when I saw that, and I think I shouted aloud.  I should have turned and run then, but as the barrel rocked slightly on the ground, I found myself watching with a horrified compulsion.

The rocking intensified, and after a moment a finger reached through the whitish goo.  It looked human, but as it tore free more fingers followed, attached to a hand that was too long and jointed wrong.  The hand extended far enough for me to see a rubbery white sleeve fused at its wrist before withdrawing.

A foot came next, shoving through the hole the hand had made.  It looked like a workboot at first, but it was far too flexible and the toes were articulated.  There was a spike of some sort at the heel, too, which it used to tear the hole wider.  The foot pressed through, dragging behind it a leg with the knee bent backward, looking broken.

The hand returned then, followed by another, and the creature gripped the sides of the barrel as it pulled itself free with a wet, sucking sound.  Its other leg eased free and it slowly stood, its backward knees less obvious as it locked them into place.  It had the general form and clothes of a construction worker, right down to the yellow hard hat, but as it stood there, silhouetted by the moon and glistening with goo, it could barely have looked less human.

Its yellow vest fluttered, controlled by strange muscles as it dried itself in the still night air.  Something about this action finally broke my reverie, and I resisted an impulse to just sprint for my car.  Instead, I took a quiet step backward, then another, hoping to avoid its notice.

My back bumped against the truck, and the creature turned and stared me full in the face.  Our eyes met, and its mouth unfurled in a scream.  I turned to run and found that we were far from alone.  A loose ring of the ersatz construction workers surrounded me, their eyes shining, their neon colors bright under the full moon.  They joined in the scream, the noise some impossible combination of radio static and a bat’s shriek.  Their heads were thrown back in a nightmare of mandibles and flexible teeth, and in that instant, I ran.

I sprinted between them, smacking one aside with a strength born of fear.  I heard it hiss as I struck it, and I felt a heavy thump on my back as I received a blow in return.  But though I stumbled, I kept my footing and continued my mad dash for the car.

As I yanked the door open and leaped inside, I saw them racing toward me.  I started the car and mashed the accelerator, knocking two of them to the ground with my bumper.  They rolled clear and I sped off, driving through that construction zone like demons were after me.

The construction zone was gone the next day.  I don’t know what I would have done if it had still been there.  And maybe it’s fine, and maybe it’s over now.

Lately, though, I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot of construction.  Often it’s in places where there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the road.  And the workers just seem to be standing around, as if they’re waiting for something.  I haven’t gotten a good glimpse of any of them yet, but I’m afraid that if I did, I’d see hands that were too long, knees that bent the wrong way, heavy-browed eyes glittering beneath their helmets.  And frankly, I’m not inclined to slow down to look.  I have a feeling that that’s exactly what they want.

Rating: 8.00/10. From 2 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Micah Edwards
Edited by Craig Groshek and N.M. Brown
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Micah Edwards


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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