's 2013 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Angela Shaver

There is no Outside

The haul is slick. It is not as shiny as it was new though. The opaque film of soap obscures the total beauty of the pure black shell. You are too cheap to go to the carwash obviously. A slightly clean rag will do just fine. The craft is your tiny home away from home. Well, actually… it is your only home. Yet you don’t usually mind the cramped space you share with your buddy.
Your stocky friend is an obnoxious bruiser. He is a funny fellow in that sort of low-brow way. A pal through thick and thin he is. Although he does not like to admit it, you two are inseparable. It really cheeses him off when you tell him he needs you. Not in a romantic sort of way, mind you. You two are orphans traversing the great expanse together.
The ship just came back from the shop. The mechanic had installed something new. An ingenious upgrade, you wanted to get a lot farther away after all. You wanted a change of scenery. It felt as though you had seen it all. Every place mapped and uncharted, you had been to each at least once. Every single chunk of rock, ice-balls, forests, mars, near all the visible stars, the pair of you had been. Albeit neither of you are any the wiser for it. It was time to get a BRB.
BRB or the Big Red Button, something that was created to impress you the instant you rashly chose to tango with it. Oddly enough this BRB was actually a big red round button in the center of the dash. Should you leave your plain bagel of a universe? Your friend could be ripped to shreds. He is only mildly intrigued anyways. Why leave the perfectly good places you know? The bars are usually adequate and the fights fairly satisfactory. TV is almost entertaining and sleeping when it’s not is always an option. That black glove containing four fingers total, hovers shakily over the BRB.
You are sweating and your snub rabbit-like nose is twitching madly. Your whole body begins to vibrate. Then without the slightest warning, your friend leans right past you. “For peats sakes!” he says and with that he slams his hooves down. The BRB activates instantly, throwing the two of you back with such force you think your skulls will crack. The smooth ship shoots off like a robust dart, its associated bull’s-eye unknown.

Everything is black. Or rather the view outside is black. The generic cloak of outer-outer space seems to be what meets your eyes. Hmmm… boring. Even more boring than before! Ha ha ha ha, it figures. The universe is cruel isn’t it? Actually, crueler than you would have even given it credit for. Well really, you are not sure this is the universe anymore. There is a distinct strangeness that seems too much. Too unreal. It is not void that surrounds you. Your pal is whimpering and then starts shouting in his rough language at you. He is not really hurt. He wants out of here!

Every possible horizon is filled with people. Just floating in the void these doppelgangers with gray and blue flesh, wiggle, “walk” and babble. They all look like you. You can’t hear them. Do any of them actually say anything? They pay your ship no mind. None react at all to your presence except for the occasional glance and thumbs up. Even though none of them react at all it seems with each other. There is another jolt!

Your friend could not take any more of this. Whatever this was anyways. Now there are four giant yellow eyes looking at the ship. Maybe these eyes are about the size of gas-giant planets. It is like a gray cat with two heads adorned with baseball caps. And it is a bipedal being. A truly baffling beast this certainly is. Oh, and you two have been screaming. You have not stopped screaming either. “Jellybeans!” says someone.

Who said that? It was the two headed cat-boy beast! How is that even possible? How come you can understand this creature when it clearly takes up the volume of several solar systems? The BRB launches you into a giant coat pocket. This time there will be no escape. This is the universe, your universe. “Jellybeans where did you go!” it hollers. Another beast opens the door and walks in. It is a gray cat-like thing too. However, this one has one head only and has golden curly hair like a wig on its head. It also brandishes a giant rolling pin. “No jellybeans for you!” it says. “But maaaa… I want them!” says two headed cat-boy. “No,” says the cat-mother. “Well, at least let me go outside to play!” says the cat-boy. “You know there is no outside,” she says and then walks out the door. She vanishes and the door shuts.

You are in a boy’s room. It is a totally normal boy’s room, except that it is giant and inhabited by an abomination. Your ship gets close to the crack in the door frame. There is nothing out there. Nothing your ship can detect or you can see that is. It is black with bizarre rolling boil motions. The BRB is still not bringing you anywhere outside of this room. There is no outside after all.