creature

VERY DARK THINGS…

©Tanya Grout

What everyone saw was a shining, articulate woman holding it all together – living her dream: the talk shows, the brilliant performances, the book release. She’d made millions. She was beautiful and smart. She made people laugh; yet behind that glossy image, a nightmare was beginning to unfold.

It was the fast insanity of it all, the dragging of her mind into a quicksand of Hell-bound thoughts. How could this happen: laughing one minute, desperate and lost in the next?

This thing that had crawled into her in the middle of the night was sucking on her soul, draining her life force, and was taking her down, fast! It had burrowed a hole inside that nothing could fill, had manufactured a terrifying emptiness, a darkness, an excruciating migraine of madness.

Was it a demon, a creature, a ghost?

Who could she ask? They would think her crazy. She’d become tabloid fodder, a joke. She would lose her reputation – lose it all. She knew she was sick, but she felt so alone.

Lee looked at the bottle of pills in her hand. It would be so easy: one snap decision to stop the suffering and just like that she’d be gone. Another celebrity overdose – an addict they’d call her, just like they did with all the others. But they’d be wrong and this thing would just move into someone else…

 

©kym darkly

FANTOM…

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It had come again in the middle of the night, undulating under the sheets like a flat fish might swim at the bottom of the ocean.

Petrified, Bobby jumped out of bed. He watched the creature, with its wave-like motion, slink under the covers heading down to where his feet would always be, the place where it would wriggle before slipping off and away.

In his mind he thought he would catch it and maybe even cook it, if it was a fish, although his mother had said that ghosts couldn’t be eaten or cooked.

You’re not escaping this time, Bobby thought, ripping the sheet right off in an attempt to expose the mystery. But he didn’t see anything. It was invisible as ghosts tended to be.

Bobby got closer, bravely holding out his hand in the terrified hopes that he might touch it. He padded around until finally his delicate fingers landed on top of the slippery creature. Bobby yelped, but kept his hand there on the invisible eeewy fish, desperate to make sense of this thing that haunted him night after night.

The wires from his head sent out crazed signals to computers and machines that measured his brain for activity. Suddenly the sleep lab was full of personnel, but Bobby was oblivious. He was trying to hold onto the cold ghoul that kept escaping his grasp.

Suddenly angered, Bobby grew violent. He threw the sheet back on the thing to see where it was and grabbed his heavy Bible to kill it with. Slam, Slam!

“Ughh, it’s already dead,” said Dr. Rupert from behind the lab’s glass. Doesn’t he get it?

“No, he doesn’t get it. He’s just a kid,” said Rebecca – his striking sidekick.

“I know darling, but we need a kid who can catch one, so we can study it,” replied Rupert.

Bobby’s vital signs were in trouble. The beeps jolted them back to the computer screens.

“Its attacking him. This always happens,” Rebecca said, “Just stop it right now! We dont want to lose him.”

Ignoring her, Dr. Rupert gave a go-ahead signal with his hand through the glass.

The crew did what they were instructed to: sprayed the phantom with a new liquid that had been developed by the brilliant grad student: Rebecca McCauley.

This new variation worked and the crew grew excited as they could finally see a true ghost, albeit a vicious orange jelly that had planted its entire sticky being over Bobby’s face and torso.

Their own faces turned to horror quickly as they witnessed it sucking his brains, blood, tongue and other tissue out of his eyes, ears and mouth with a vicious pumping cycle, ultimately sending out a huge splat of blood back up at the glass of the lab.

 A flat line, and the ghost released its obliterated victim. There was no more live tissue to refuel its dependency needs and so it slipped back into invisibility and disappeared before it could be captured.

Dr. Rupert sighed – annoyance. “Call the parents, our condolences, he went mad, congenital defect and we couldn’t save him.”

“You fucking do it. I’m done,” Rebecca snapped. On her way out she slammed the door, torn over why she still loved this cold-hearted man…

In the blood splattered lab, Dr. Rupert reconsidered. “I’m not sure that’s a ghost…”

© kym darkly

SLUGS ‘N SNAILS

©Tanya Grout

The finger broken, snapped open. A gasp. A fear escaping her startled eyes. His heavy hand cracking the digit further back at the knuckle, with rage. This was just the beginning for Marshall Shaw – leader of “the movement.”

He dragged her up by the hair to the open stage, onto the village platform and yelled out, “She just ain’t human!” There was terror in his voice.

The crowd’s eyes moved like marbles on sloped surfaces, searching for answers. They stirred. How could he treat her so violently? She was his wife!

“Come look at her,” Marshall cried. “Bring your vision, and your mind, and your judgment!”

The bravest went first towards the wretched woman, now on her knees, hair twisted in his fist. Marshall held out her hand for all to see: inside the skin was a strange machinery. It wasn’t bones and blood. It looked like cogs and wires and screws… but upon closer inspection they saw that the stuff inside was made up of other creatures, tiny ones they had never seen before – wriggling and writhing, each in tune with the other.

“She ain’t one of us,” Marshall yelled.
“Maybe she’s from the future,” Old Woman Wise snarled.
“’Nother planet is more like it,” came the preacher’s reply.
“A Witch!” Yelled Marshall, “with all them critters inside.”
“Let her be,” cried the woman’s sister.
“Are ya gonna meet yer maker tonight too, little sister” he snapped back.
She had children. She would be quiet.

“Friends,” Marshall addressed the crowd, “help me to break her open!”

Ten or more men rushed to the stage. They wrestled and fought with the screaming woman until they pulled her arms from their sockets, her torso in two and her head right off.

Big greasy sluggish ropes of flesh and detailed scuttle-spiders with cog-like qualities issued from her core. Fish-like entities and jumping eels flopped and flipped. Her face melted as creatures crawled from her head, out her eyes, nose and mouth.

When the last jellyfish of a miniature monster oozed from her bloated abdomen, the human body casing was dry. In the desert heat it sparked alight and flew up into the air like a balloon; then it blew right up, sending the men scuttling towards their wives.

“Whatever they are, they’re spying on us,” Marshall asserted. “And each and every one of you’s has got to prove that your wife ain’t one of ‘em.”
“How do we do that?” One of the youngest men asked.
“By lining ‘em up and breaking their fingers open…”

©kym darkly

THE DAMNED…

©Tanya Grout

It didn’t come with horns or cloven feet. It had come with a briefcase and in a crisp suit – with sublime sayings it had learned as would a psychopath, a predator. The creature had deceived with gifts, charm, and a moonlit swim, yet it had transformed while I slept over night, back into what it was…

Eighteen feet tall and burning alive with awesome anger, just that one hand clasped and thrust my cracking thorax twenty feet into the air. I instantly knew this beast was him: “the suit.” It had the same cold, ice eyes. The ones I should have fled from, ones I had seen before in others.

Its nails dug in deep like a clamp: how much blood could issue from a desire to break free, to wriggle from its grasp, away from that endless inner darkness?

Exquisite pain ripped through my chest, just a beat before the Devil that it was pierced this Teflon cage of ribs and flesh to freshly break my heart.

Would I ever again have the chance to run before it all got started, to detect the sickness of the monster before it mainlined poison into my soul? Or was I destined to live this eternity sweet-talked through an endless cycle of Hell… and more Hell?

© kym darkly

THE FLAPPING…

Whoosh! The big black wing hit the phone out of her hand and the candles blew out. Complete darkness…

Alone and afraid, the wings flapped around her, their waxy membranes clumsily slapping her face and arms so strong, she couldn’t breathe. They pummelled her from one wing to another with a harsh bristle that cut Billie’s skin. She felt blood run down her face and arms. She tried to shield herself, but this thing was relentless.

“Hello? This is the police department…” Billy could hear her cell somewhere. She started to scream, “Help, help me…”

But the piercing, through her open mouth stopped all that, the sharp object that impaled her tongue and crept harshly, staggeringly painful up into her brain arrested her in the moment… Then came the sucking… of her insides – out!

And then the dial tone…

© kym darkly

PARASITE…

“There’s something growing inside of you,” the doctor said as calmly as she could.

“Oh God, another baby!” Kay said.

“No,” Dr. Zylich replied, “A baby would have been a blessing. This is more like a curse.”

Kay wriggled in her seat. She’d grown skeletally skinny in the last two months. Her sit bones hurt and her stomach had bloated unnaturally large. “Well, what is it?” She asked.

“They,” the Doctor corrected her, “They are a kind of worm.”

“What?” Kay stood up and walked to the MRI images posted on the wall.

Dr. Zylich pointed to the one that showed Kay’s abdominal area. “The largest ones are here, absorbing all the food you eat. That’s why you’re tired all the time and bloated.”

“So it’s like a Tape Worm? Fucking disgusting, but there’s drugs right?”

“Yes,” replied Dr. Zylich, “But they won’t work on these. These are not Tape Worms. These are something we have never seen before. Their teeth…

Kay gasped.

“They have teeth. Um, they’re unusual in behaviour. They disconnect, move around…”

Kay shivered remembering the “baby” kick in her stomach.

The doctor pointed to another MRI result. “See here in your arm, they have set up legions of smaller worms and infected the entire vascular system. They are hooked into each vessel and sucking the blood out of you into them. That is why your arm is swollen and blue and also why you are weak.”

“How can this be? From that stupid jungle trip?” Kay mumbled.

“They have also penetrated your brain, hence the neurological problems. One worm could easily eat through an average brain in four hours, judging by our results.” Dr. Zylich preferred to keep to facts as she knew the feelings were coming.

“Well don’t just talk. Get them the fuck outta my body.”

Dr. Zylich shook her head, no.

Kay was trembling. Lost. Tears washed over her cheeks, “What does this all mean?”

The doctor took a long pause. She looked kindly into Kay’s eyes.
“At this rate of multiplication and infestation, you could be dead by morning. You must go home and get your things in order… unless…”

“Unless?”

“Unless you want to be a test subject…”

© kym darkly

THE POWER…

As soon as she got home and closed the door, it took control. She couldn’t speak or move. She was simply rotated off the floor and raised horizontally on a pillow of air, four feet above the tiles in the hall. An invisible force, soft but strong pulled her arms out from her body. Her lips trembled, blue from shock. Her eyes peeled open far beyond their capacity, pinned back – a clockwork orange nightmare.

A shoe flew off ripping her foot and breaking a toe before smashing through the front door window – it’s shattered glass a violent explosion, throwing shrapnel back that cut into her hands and face.

Her coat melted at the seams and floated away in pieces gently bobbing beside as if afloat in a zero gravity capsule, but this was earth. This was her home.

She’d grown accustomed to the doors rattling, the boards creaking and the taps turning on and off, but now that she was suspended, now that a razor sharp energy ripped up her spine busting the discs from each vertebrae, she fully understood its power and she clawed for an idea of how to escape what might happen next…

© kym darkly

LOST SOULS…

Why was he wearing a helmet made of tin foil? I thought. Maybe he’s one of those UFO freaks.

“Lotta lost souls in them cities,” he said, a plume of rancid garbage wafting over. I noticed that his lips didn’t move. I looked around. There was no other on the train.

“The Lost Ones, thems you gotta look out for.” Still his lips didn’t move.

Train stopped. Lights out! Even emergencies. Pitch black.
An echo-scream flared from the bowels of the endless winding underground.

“Sound like animals trapped in time, don’t they? The Lost Ones are comin’
to rip yous apart.”

“What the fuck?” I blurted, not sounding at all like a Partner in Law at Burns and Badden. “They’re just coming for me? What the fuck about you?”

“I’m wearing a helmet,” he whispered. “They can’t hear me think.”

“Well I can!” I said angered by another scream, this time closer.

“Yeah, but you ain’t them,” he replied.

The next scream was in the car. Panic time. Whatever these things were, one was scampering right for me. I lunged across, grappled around for the old guy, grabbed his helmet and crashed it onto my own head. I stumbled back, completely blind in the dark.

His yelling was crushed by crunching, spitting, and slurping. Whatever it was, was enjoying him as a meal and I, though morally bankrupt, was safe – for now…

© kym darkly

VIRGIN VISITATION…

Her body twirled slowly through the air like a pig on a spit. She had the haunted look of a girl whose soul had been stolen, but the peace of one bombed on cosmic drugs – paralyzed. Over the farm, a radiant beam cut the resident cow clean in two from head to hoof; one half fell heavy to the grass. The fog was thick, warm, but passing through on this lullaby of trance and mist she hit the other side: harsh light in the sky, blinding.

Wrinkled long fingers, eight to a hand, reached out like endless branches from the hovering craft, grasped her soft skin violently and fed her into a pod that shut down on her like a coffin.

Darkness. Fear. Peace and paralysis gone.

A gel crept up from below, moved into the small of her back, then over her hips. It hovered a thick rim around her face threatening to flow over and in. She kicked and screamed: an animal aware of the tortures of an abattoir. Then the sharp long knives stabbed up right through her, thin enough to barely damage an organ, but thick enough to terrify their victim. The creatures with the fingers were watching, their sight penetrating the capsule. They would observe their screeching specimen drown first and then the fun would begin…

© kym darkly

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KILLER CONTROL…

The creature that slid through his mind was sorting his thoughts – separating the “Hi how are you’s?” from the dagger stabs and blood mayhem that slashed the walls at night – a new apartment, another victim. He didn’t get it. He knew he was a good guy, but this thing had gotten in there and had been controlling him for days, maybe weeks. He felt so alone, now that he was a killer…

© kym darkly