's 2014 Horror Write-off:

" A Welcome Intrusion "

Submitted by thecuttlefishking

The third stranger leaves, and all it leaves is a faint odor of ammonia, but even that is gone within a year. The air is thick and leaden once again. I turn my rubbed and raw wrists against their tight bonds, and grimace. It is more than not-at-all painful, and I take a sharp breath inward. I cough immediately. The air is dust, the floor is dust, my clothes are dust, my lungs are dust.

Time seems to draw out, to stretch, to lengthen. It is pulled and looped and pulled again like taffy, and the only sensations to draw my mind from this fractal aeon are the feel of cast iron on a blister and the smell of the sound of a granite piano. I do not know how long I was asleep upon stones in the dark, but I do know that it was far too long. There were footsteps shortly afterward.

‘You are in the legends.”

A fleeting shadow of a grin runs in rivulets across my face- we share a language, give or take the quirks. This would be the one.


A sudden hunger fills the seven eyes I watch, though it cannot possibly match the hunger filling mine.

“My daughter-”

Only two kinds of people find this place. This one is the second.

“I’m assuming she’s dead? Anything else?”

The bony plates of the fourth stranger’s jaws chitter with uncertainty, and mine clack with amusement. Perhaps I was moving too fast.

“No specifications, then? Shall she return right here, right now, and die in the ground with us?”

A mild annoyance colours the seven eyes I watch, though it only just dwarfs the mild desperation flavouring mine.

“No. She must be wealthy- and immortal. Royalty, perhaps”

“Remove these from me, and it is sure. The word will be undone, and none will be the wiser.”

I hold my shackled hands out, and above my head- I am hunched with age and solitude, while the courth stranger stands a perfect spire. The shackles are soon undone, soon redone, and the other is soon in my place. I fall to dust.