's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"The Hungering Root - Another Perspective"

Submitted by Kevin Stanley

Where am I?
I’ve woken up now…
I feel… living things around me.
I feel their minds.
They greet me with curiosity and… fear?
They say I’m like… a… ‘root’?
What’s a root?
We must not have roots, where I come from…
Where do I come from?
Must not matter much…
I’m here, now.
But they are all afraid of me!
I must change this.
These lands around me…
I can draw from them.
I can make something for them…
A paradise, straight from their own heads.

I have learned much, now.
Of grass and trees and the sky.
My basis.
Grass… green, in short, thin… blades…
Are blades not used for hurting?
What if… they were something soft.
Something silky…
The man said that about his wife’s hair, so it must be an improvement.
Real grass must be painful, made of something so hard and sharp.
Imagine how much they’ll like it when it’s so comforting and soft…
And trees, branching and growing.
But the rough bark.
What if they were soft as well?
And they bear fruit.
What if they made food?
Food… is better when aged.
Fruit ripens.
Animals grow.
Time must be good for food.
I will make it as aged as I can.
The sky shall be it’s lovely blue.
And it stretches on…
The sea stretches on.
What if the sky had it’s soothing waves?
That would be nice, I think.
And light.
Soft light is soothing, too.
So much, I’ve learned… and so fast…
They will be very pleased!

Oh, and yet the fear grows…
What are they unhappy about?
I’ve done nothing yet!
I must reach out to them…
Invite them to what will be…
That will make them happy.
It must!

Oh, what have I done wrong…
The fear grows, but my place is complete.
I split the mountain before me…
They say that their gods lead them to paradise when they pass on.
They go to ‘shrines’ for this reason…
I make an entrance like that.
That will let them know…
They will be so happy to finally realize I give them such a place in this life!

I invite them…
They finally come.
They fear more, at first.
But my invitations were enough.
They join.
They feast.
They stay.
Having them in such a lovely place…
I feel lovely, having helped them.

One went to invite the others!
So glad he was happy enough to share!
And they come without me asking!
Wait until they see…
They are scared?
No, that can’t be!
What could they not like?
I made everything for them!
I took the very things they liked!
The things they ALL liked!!
I bring this place of my own will, and they REJECT it!?

I must stop…
I cannot be angry at them…
They have made their choice…
I can make it up to them…
If they have no paradise here…
They can still receive their paradise beyond this time.

They go forth to it easily, but resist…
Do they not realize what I’m doing?
They even flee across the desert I’ve made…
Except one.
The leader.
He returns, but… He has hidden…
I cannot find him.
Somewhere I’ve not seen yet…
But I feel him.
I can draw him out.
I can send him to that somewhere better…

Ah, there he is.
I wish you the best, kind leader.