's 2013 Horror Write-off:

" Heroic Fantasies "

Submitted by Pyro Gibberish

I've always despised these tunnels. They're long and cramped, and swimming with degenerate and evil folk. They always reek of some unidentifiable pungent odor. A rat skittered over my feet once, so I stomped on it.

What I hate most about these tunnels, of course, is the worm.

That ultimate predator of man fills me with contempt whenever I see it pass, my human brethren sitting, dying, in its loathsome belly. I hate it with every fiber of my being, it and its unnatural influence which causes its prey to willingly enter its mouths.

I can see the abhorrent worm slithering and roaring through the dim tunnels from the west, now. The stiff, grey monster disgusts me, and I can hardly bear to look into its glassy eyes, to see its victims sitting, dull and listless, waiting to be digested.

It begins to slow to a halt before me, no doubt to devour more human beings. I steel myself now, preparing my mind and body for the heroic deed I must commit.

The worm's toothless, vertical maws open and I enter, free of its detestable influence. I hoist my rifle upwards and fire on the nearest of its victims.

Sweet liberation. How it must feel to be free from the worm's horrendous grasp.

The creature's victims seem to have more life in them now; wide eyes, shrieks of what can only be joy. Some of them are aware enough now to try and escape the monster on their own, trying fruitlessly to force open its mouths. It is not working, however, so I must free them myself. I fire once and again and again, liberating them all with my rifle. Valor surges through me and I think to myself how they would thank me if they could.

Very soon they are all dead, all free, and I am the only being inside of the worm's terrible stomach. Yes, I have done my job. I stay now and taunt the worm. How could it have thought it could devour mankind without evoking their wrath? How could it not have predicted that a hero would come to free its victims?

There is rage, now, that has replaced valor. My mind is consumed again by my intense hate for the worm.

Without thinking, I fire upon this ungodly aberration, breaking its eyes, jamming the butt of my rifle into its clamped-shut mouths. I revel in retribution as I shoot and kick and smash the innards of the worm. Everything feels perfect.

Finally the worm stops moving and its now-misshapen mouths open. I smugly set my rifle on my shoulder and exit the belly of my nemesis. This time, nobody enters, nobody is fooled by the worm's trickery. They all sit far away from the worm, trembling, perhaps because they now see the truth.

I nod to them as I pass. I nod as a liberator, and a slayer of beasts, and a hero. I have finished my quest. The worm is dead and now I can leave the tunnels with the knowledge that those inside are safe.

I can hear them now. Already they are telling tales of their victory.

"Police? A man with a gun just got off the train. I think he shot some people. Yes, the 52nd street station. Come quickly."