Thursday, 19 May 2011

Story excerpt: The creature

Its dendroid frame reached out to me. The sanguine hues of its skin morphing before my eyes, leaping from one horrific shape to another, unbound by any and all laws of sense and reality as I knew them. I was captivated, in awe at the sight of this gruesome creature; its skeletal form seeming to speak to a subconscious part of my mind. My body was no longer mine to control, I had long since given into the dominating cacophony of shudders and creaks that emanated from the approaching spectre; it roused within me a primal fear that struck my very core, I was at the mercy of my baser instincts in its presence.

Before it had me within its grasp, I used the remnants of my slipping grip on reality to snap myself out of its mesmerising gaze. “Move. Goddamnit move!” I shouted, willing my legs to take my orders once again. When no such return of control arrived, a sudden panic hit me as I realised my fleeting existence was about to come to a rather juddering halt.

Scrambling along a nearby surface, I managed to find something of use. Turning for a split second to gaze upon my last life line, a sudden movement from the corner of my eye grabbed my attention. In the moment I had averted my gaze, this denizen of planes unknown had managed to close the already uncomfortably short gap to a point where I got a clear look into the empty void of its eyes.

Time stood still, or more accurately, it seemed to stop applying. In the single glance I managed to steal, the seconds felt like days, the days felt like aeons but at the same time, fully aware of the absurdity of that thought pattern, yet I had no way of snapping out of it. All the while, I could hear it talking to me. This was no beast. It was sentient, it knew what it was doing and it had done so before. I knew not of what foul language it spoke to me in, what ethereal means of communication it employed but like a rabbit faced with the gaze of a hawk, it spoke to me in the way only a predator could; fear. Primal, passionate, unabridged and most hauntingly, pure fear.

Flailing in the last throws of prey verging on death, I somehow managed to unnerve the creature. Maybe it wasn’t used to resistance, maybe I got lucky, maybe it was all part of the creatures plan but whatever the reason, I used the precious seconds gained to jab my leg, with what was now revealed in the dank gloom of the candle to be a broken piece of wood. The sudden jolt of pain kick started my synapses once again; I was free of its control.

Falling backwards with incredible force, I scrambled for the nearby exit. The bare, wooden floor boards groaned under my weight as I crawled but in spite of their aged discrepancy, they held with surprising strength. Daring not to face the creature again, I ripped the door open with my last reserves of strength, slamming it closed as I passed through.  Greeted by the dusty smog of the passageway beyond, the stifling air caught me off guard; it had obviously been undisturbed for many years and was not too accustomed to the frantic limping of a middle aged man.

With little choice as to my escape route, I shambled as fast as my self-inflicted wound would allow to the only visible exit, a single, un-adorned door at the end of the room. Upon reaching it, I quickly spun about to make sure my pursuer was not within reach and thankfully, it seemed like the figure had not yet made it through the door... the oddly familiar door I had just walked through. Turning to face the escape, I was stricken by an overwhelmingly ominous sense of foreboding; this door was exactly the same as the other, down to the frayed edges and worn, plain panelling.

Breaking out into a cold sweat, I slowly bent forwards towards the door. The sound of my heart beat was deafening, lub-dub......lub-dub.....lub-dub.... lub-dub. Upon reaching the door, I held my breath in anticipation of what I would hear...

Joke to lighten the mood

Q.What is brown, red and sticky?
A. That bloody stick again

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