's 2013 Horror Write-off:

" The Mountain Song "

Submitted by Lasagnaface

The voice from the mountain beckons many a man, with promise of reunion, and in such a way did it entrap me. The Mother and The Father of the earth, as many see it, are the moon and the sun, though the roles of these celestial bodies remain in flux depending upon who you ask. Some say Luna is a beautiful maiden, firing arrows of dazzling moonlight down upon our world, while others debate that the moon is some great grandfather, watching contently as we slumber. So too do they say that Hermes rides his chariot of the sun, or that it is a kindly maven bathing us in warmth. I had always been of the opinion that, if we were to anthropomorphize them, they would be baleful hermaphrodites, burning and freezing the surface of this damp rock of a planet in alternating shifts of duty. I found no joy in any flora, nor did I find it in any fauna, or human mind. I found it solely in the rocks of the mountain, where I made my home.

There, with my silence, I found peace, for a time. But, as one could expect, my self-imposed solitude was crippling even to one as misanthropic as myself. That was when I began to trap the roaming caribou, and wear their skin. I do not know what first compelled me to hunt, to compose crude spears out of branches and rocks, or to build novice rope traps, and bait them with wild berries and lichens. What I do know, however, it is the first time that I felt a true, sincere joy. Where once I wore the attire of a standard man of my age, I slowly replaced my wardrobe with fur coats, robes, slippers, and painted masks, made from poorly tanned leather and skulls. No longer did I utilize radiators or hot baths. I slept in piles of furs next to open flames, burning myself on more than one occasion. I stood in the wild and ground my nude body against trees and stones each morning. I was a primal human, as we were meant to be, before true sentience, a gift we had not yet earned.

One evening, as I paced around my battered, wooden shack of a homestead, I heard a dread sound from the woods. It growled, deep and low, and electric, like a ghastly motor roaring up. I ran out, panicked, and angry that something would dare to intrude upon my territory. In the mountains, nights were black as tar. I ran as fast as my feet would take me, hurtling through the sparse, dead trees of the mountain like a man possessed. I realized I was going too far from my home, and that I was going to a part of the woods I had not seen before. The trees grew thicker, and the noise grew louder, and it grew darker. I could hear clearly now; the noise was soft, but with a heavy, rhythmic bass to it, like the whirr of a dying car motor heard from the inside. It resonated within my bones, and I felt sick. The sound had no source. It swam around me, as though it were being projected towards me from all possible angles. I fell to the ground, and vomited.

I curled on the dirt of the forest floor, fetal and petrified with fear, the noise only growing louder as something drew near. I looked up, and immediately regretted it. Standing before me was a man, clad in leather robes and a bone mask, like mine. But, where he should have had a mouth, there was a pulsing, plastic mesh, pulsing. The noise came from it, making it undulate with the heavy, humming bass. He was bloated, and damp looking, like he had grown some manner of thick abscessed infection over much of his body, with several spots of his skin peaking into small, twitching nubs of necrotized flesh, painfully squirting a watery fluid in small jets as he walked towards me. The smell was abhorrent. It was like spoiled cheese, and some kind of wet, septic waste. I looked to my right, and saw he was not alone. From all directions, even up in the tree tops, hordes of disfigured, speaker-mouthed men and women approached me.

Within moments, they had swarmed over me, and began hoisting me up, binding me in some sort of glue-coated wire netting. They all stared at me with bloodshot, glazed-over gazes, as if surprised by my resistance. The net pulled tighter, and eventually, I had lost all the fight in my already-exhausted body. I could only mumble and sob gently, as they began to rip away my clothes, leaving me nude, and vulnerable to their sharp, dirty fingernails. They continued to pull me along, carrying me like a slab of meat, taking me up the side of the mountain. The last thing I remember was being dropped onto a stone slab, as one of the figures drove some manner of ceremonial dagger into my chest.

When I came to, I was at the peak of the mountain. But I felt nothing- no cold, no warmth. Not even a breeze against my bare skin. There was no sight of my kidnappers, or of the stone slab. No longer could I hear the horrible buzzing. I cried in relief, and scrambled my way home, not giving any thought to the fact that I had been stabbed through the heart, or that I was nude at the top of the mountain. I simply wanted to get home, and scream, and prepare dinner over the fire. But when I finally reached the site where my shack once stood, I found nothing. Not a trace. No fire, no meat, no leather, no twigs, no stones. Simply flat earth, as it had been before. Night was coming.

I ran as fast as my feet would take me, trying to scrounge up enough supplies to build a small hut, or at least some semblance of shelter before the sun set again. It was no use. My hands were slippery and numb. I searched for fresh water, eventually finding a pond. I cupped handfuls of water, but spit it out again, falling backwards, and screaming at my reflection: My skin was bumpy and slimy, as though covered in mold, and wiry mesh was beginning to form at the corners of my mouth. My body leaked watery spurts of an implacable, vile-smelling substance. I cried.

Night fell, and again, I heard the whirring motor hum. I walked towards it, my mouth opening into a scream as my teeth melted away, forming a tense netting of organic mesh, that undulated and pulsed as I tried to speak, only producing more of the cacophony. But I began to understand. It was not mere a noise. It was a voice, one that sang beautiful music. I sang with them, and walked towards them. I saw them again, peering from the trees. It was so beautiful. They had been singing for me, my whole life, waiting for me here. One came out, and handed me back my leathery garments, along with my skull mask. He pointed to the top of the mountain, and indeed, at its peak, I saw my shack, glowing with an unearthly green light. He turned back to me, and I understood his words.

“Welcome home, my brother.”