The streets are silent, save for your footsteps. And of course the sounds from the fog. You can’t be entirely sure that it isn’t your imagination playing tricks on you. It’s out there, low, nearly imperceptable, but it’s there. There’s a noise, and it’s coming from the fog itself, as soft as it may be. The sound of wind blowing gently, even though the air is still and the smoky mist turns of it’s own accord.
At first you don’t even notice the sound. Too focused on your footsteps. And your heartbeat. The panting of your breath. It’s not until you slow to a standstill that you realize you were running. The awkward weight of the copper piping in your hand is uncomfortable, and you’ve grasped it so tightly your whitened knuckles ache. That’s when you finally notice the sound. You think, hope, that it’s just a cat, scrounging for scraps. You’ve seen glimpses of things in the mists that you wouldn’t want to meet this close.That’s when you see it, crawling from the underside of a boxy old car. It crawls across it’s belly, a sort of grey, tannish thing covering it. On it’s back are two pieces of bone jutting out from the shoulders. Flayed skin and feathers still hanging in tatters from the broken skeletal arms. It struggles to it’s feet, awkward and grotesque. That’s when you realize what it’s wearing.
The… thing… is bound in strips of human flesh, sewn together with wire, arms pressed tightly, and at odd, uncomfortable angles, to the chest. It might have been a woman, at one time. You can see the outline of hips and breasts as it writhes up to a standing position. The horrid monstrosity’s eyes are sewn shut, and it’s once full lips are tied loosely in the same manner. The eyeless thing looks at you, the light of your pocket torch shinning on the taut flesh of it’s bindings. You catch a glimpse of a navel, and nipples and shudder. The metal strings that shut the mouth stretch tightly as the thing opens it’s mouth and gives out a deafening shriek that leaves you clutching your temples and falling to your knees.
You hear the sickening slurping noises before you see the cause. You should have turned around. But no, you had to give in. Such a human trait, curiosity and the temptation to give into it. You turn the corner slowly, the sound getting louder, like meat caught in a grinder and being sucked through. That’s when you see it. An emaciated man with a swollen, distended belly, eating as if it hadn’t ever done so before. He wasn’t wearing clothes, and was covered in blood and dirt and grim, his skin looking like something from a garbage can. It’s not until the man lifts his head to let the rotted, festering meat he’s ravenously tearing into slide down his throat that you notice he’s not exactly what you thought he was. His neck is long and sinuous, and ends in a blunt face. There are tiny little beads that might be eyes next to it, and they’re almost covered in blood and blinking against the thin light of a streetlamp.
At the end of the fleshy tube that makes up it’s head is a razor lined tunnel. Three sharp teeth still chew at the still night air. It goes back to it’s fetid meal, large talons tearing chunks off and stuffing them down the throat. It doesn’t even care when it’s own hand gets too close, and snaps at it before digging it back into the corpse. When it runs out of large chunks of meat, it reaches it’s cylindrical head down and starts to clean the flesh from the bone. All this takes place in the span of only a few minutes, and the thing is soon nothing more than a skeleton. It couldn’t have weighed more than a small child, and yet it’s still as sickly thin as before, it’s belly no heavier even after devouring a corpse. It snorts out, digging into any crevice it can for a missed morsel, but finds none and throws back it’s head in anguish, still sniffing all the while. The head flops back, twists. The thing falls over and quickly scrabbles to it’s feat, long arms dragging across the ground as it hobbles with it’s bloated, gassy stomach toward your corner.
The building is quiet. It used to be a school, but… well, now the walls are peeling, and paint is flecked all over the wapred tiles. As if the whole building had just been pulled up from the ocean. Thick, black mold clung tightly in some places, making sickly patterns on the walls. The smell is thick, pungent, earthy, but also diseased, with the air of rotting meat or a dying tree. Childlike crayon drawings decorate the walls. They’re ugly and simple, and yet you can already tell what they are. They’re large sctions of black and white, with streaks of red and brown and grey and beige. You’ve seen the things represented before. A reminder of what waits for you. Out there. A bound figure screaming in agony. A pack of horrid dogs chewing at each other. A disgusting tube of flesh and teeth. And a large, red man with his face covered by white. You see more and more of him as you go on. A cartoonish stitching around the man’s shoulder. And a downturned mouth and eyebrows made by running several lines of black crayon over one another.
You learn to ignore the drawings, and only focus on the sound of your footsteps. Which is when you start to wonder where that rumbling came from. It’s deep, but low. Easy to miss. It’s like breathing. Soft, deep, breaths. Curiosity gets the best of you. You go to the source of the sound. It’s the principles office. You take a look in, and see it. HIM. The creature from the drawings. He lies on the floor. Sleeping, it would seem. The snoring stops. His arms push out and lift his massive body from the ground. He’s almost twice as tall as you are standing up, and still he slouches. His body is muscle, from head to toe. He wears a robe drapped about his waist made up of bandages and chains and half latched belts. His arms look sewn on, a stichting running all the way around his shoulder. As he leans back, stretching, his bones give a sickening crack. His head slowly rolls along his shoulders, twitching, as he cracks his neck.His body is badly burned, knotted scars covering one side of him, waves and roots and tangles of singed flesh. He’s covered in bandages. As if he was patched up and tossed out of the OR. They’re bloody, and wrapped about his waist, and another seam goes up from his kidney. They’re wrapped around his forearms as well, soiled and bloodied. They’re mostly on his face. Long strips of once-white cloth, now dirtied and soiled with blood and other things. With another roll of his head he stops and looks at the window on the office door. One eye is left uncovered, downturned and yellow, with a slit like a cat’s. It burns as much as his flesh once did and it pierces through the glass.
You stumble over yourself trying to get away, and can’t help but take a look over your shoulder in time to see the door splinter outwards as the thing follows you, dragging a large weapon behind it. The chains and belts around his waist clink together with each step, and he swings his weapon wildly, carving gashes in the walls and cracking the tile. A roaring moan of pain and fury escapes his bound lips and you move your legs as fast as you can, anything to get away from the behemoth you leave behind.
The “California Hotel”. You can’t speak for what it used to be like, but it’s now just a wreck, you think to yourself, as you close the door on one more room that holds no answers. A storm rages outside, and forced you to seek shelter here. It’s a surprise that the lights still work, or at least, that the ones that do work still work. There’s no point in leaving things unexplored, though. That’s something you’ve learned well. One more room. Then you might as well lock yourself in and try to sleep. Maybe this nightmare will be over when you wake back up. You can dream, at least. The room is empty. They all are, for the most part. A few of them are filled with interesting things, but no answers. This room is a wreck, as well. Not the best place to sleep. The bed is covered with blood, as well as other things. The scent of cum and sweat hangs in the air. Tears. You can feel them welling up in your eyes, and you don’t know why. You hold yourself, shaking. What’s wrong with you? You turn to leave. To get away from whatever these emotions are.
As you turn for the door, you’re taken off guard, and with a flurry of chains and leather you’re knocked backwards, onto the bed with a beaten cheek.Before you stands an old man, skinny and greasy and dirty. His eyes are covered in a leather blindfold, and his chest is in the same black leather so tightly that he weezes with every breath. His crotch is left unbound by the leather, and instead is bound in thin, rusted barbed wire, wrapped around his groin and waist like a freakish metal thong. The wire tears into and runs through the flesh of his genitals, leaving his member scarred and twisted. One testicle threatens to drop out of the torn sack of flesh as he crawls up the bed. His sickly ashen skin is almost transperent. You fight, trying to get away, but he presses you down. The room catches fire around you, and the monster grabs you by the throat and runs a long, sticky tongue along your cheek. He lets out a ragged moan of exstacy. He tears at your blouse and skirt, and youn can feel his flesh and leather against yours, every touch burning.
"I remember this taste." the thing says, flames dancing along it’s back. Every word is strained and gravelly, as if it hadn’t used it’s mouth before. "A little older than I usually like. But then again, I don’t often get these with little girls," he says, roughly fondling at your breasts. He smiles, and you shudder. "Let’s rekindle an old flame." he chuckles.
As he climbs on top of you, you struggle, but to no avail. He holds your arms down with one hand as he runs that disgusting tongue over your body. With just… a little… more… you get a hand free, and take the lamp on the nighstand and bring it down on the pervert’s head. You run to the door, now covered in flames and held fast by chains. You can hear him behind you. He gets up, rubbing his bald head with a wizend hand. Chains reach out to the leather bindings on his wrist and unceremoniously heft him off the now burning bed. There’s no way out, and you collapse to your knees. You hit one of them on something metal, and wrap your hands around the copper pipe. Chains and flames block the exit, and there’s only one way out.
A man who’s shut himself off from the world. There’s no way to give into temptation if your mouth is sewn shut, your eyes are removed, your ears pierced and bleeding, your genitals cut off and sewn up, your fingers singed until they can’t feel anything. A lack of temptation has driven him mad. He seeks to rid himself of any temptations by cutting them off. Cutting away any temptation, big or small.
You’re cold, you’re tired. You’re sick. You’re in pain. A long smile, a warm embrace. Food and comfort. She gives them all to you, blind to anything but giving of herself. She feeds you with her rotting flesh. She quenches your thirst with her blood. She keeps you where she can give you all you want. Everything except your freedom.
Never give up. That’s what the thing says. The thing that pushes you. It crawls along you, worming it’s way into your skin. You can never give up. You can always continue. Continue forever. Keep pressing forward. The thing inside of you, burrowed into your skin, pulsing on your flesh, it drives you. You don’t need sleep or food or anything. You can accomplish anything. You can keep going until you die.
Love is subservience. The way to be who your partner wants you to be. She gives. She wants to be held. To be killed. To be ravaged. To be cuddled. Anything her lover desires, no matter the depravity, for she is love. Unconditional. Little by little, she takes whatever she’s given, feeding on scraps of affection, no matter how twisted, her body changing to be what her lover wants it to be.
The angel knows there is more. It knows there is a plan. And so it makes people into the pawns and queens and rooks because they are part of the plan. The angel is part of the plan as well. He knows it doesn’t matter if he’s a pawn or a bishop. He follows the plan that comes to him. He follows without sleep or rest. The plan doesn’t make sense, but he follows it. Carving himself up when it’s his turn to move along the black and white squares of his reality, his body twisted and broken if that’s the move he needs to make. Sometimes he helps the other pieces move along.
Life will be better. The thing was frightening at first. A blue rash. Dead flesh. Itching, burning. Numbness. It spread across your body, but it wasn’t scary. No, it was different. It made you feel better. You can do anything now, because it always feels better. You never stop smiling, even when your lips broke. It’s always sunny. You know it will all be better. It feels so good to know.
Don’t touch that, it’s dangerous. Don’t go there, it’s dangerous. It spreads like a virus, but it keeps you from the viruses. It keeps you from the germs. It keeps you from the sharp objects and the trips and the falls and the animals and their teeth. It tells you when to put a knife into something to keep it from hurting you. It always knows when the best time to act is. It knows when not to act. You can’t act a lot. But if you did, you know it would be dangerous. Never act unless it tells you. Perfectly still until the moment it tells you.