's 2014 Horror Write-off:

" Hollowhead "

Submitted by Thomas F. Johnson

I've had a nightmare. Again.

My lungs feel tight as I cough, loudly, wetly. I open my eyes. For a moment I think I see something skitter away in the dark. Those boneless limbs, that eyeless face out of the corner of my eye. My breasts feel like crushed hell. I cough again, harder this time. I look back. Jesus my lungs hurt.

I push myself up on aching joints and walk to the bathroom. I feel something gummy and wet in the carpet as I walk. I pull the rusty doorhandle and turn on the light. The dim yellow compliments the stained walls.

I walk in to look in the mirror. I see its face beside me in the mirror. Her eyeless face. I rub the sleep out of my eyes. She's gone. I cough again. This time it's worse, like knives stabbing into my chest.

I hack up something like phlegm into the sink. My chest feels hot and sticky. I look down. It's a sickly sticky purple, blue-ish slimy fluid. I look down on my chest. There, between my tits, freshly made, wet with red, crusted with brown, is a smoothly cut scar.


The doctor in grey returns to me in my backless teal hospital gown. His face is white as a sheet.

"I know of no other way I can state this," He says to me, "Your lungs are gone."

I pause, looking into his sleepless eyes. "You're joking right."

"No, I'm afraid I'm not. They're gone. You shouldn't even technically be alive right now."

I pause.

"There appears to be a large mass of an unknown fuild," he continues, almost half as shaken as I am, "in the place where your lungs should be, absorbing oxygen. But it's at a stunted efficiency, nowhere near enough for a healthy-"

I zone out and cough again. A wad of the purple-blue mucous lands on the tile floor as I hack and choke. I pass out.


I lie in an oxygen tent in the middle of the hospital. Alone, I shut my eyes. I try to pretend everything is fine.

I feel a weight pushing on my chest. It grows heavier and heavier, choking me, like a heavy stone. I open my eyes.

It is her.

She wears a hooded sweater and jeans, without eyes, teeth, bones, guts. She is bent bonelessly over me on my chest, holding me down. She retracts a razor tongue into her toothless lips.

I see her blurrily through one of my eyes, what I think is one of my eyes anyway. The vision is fuzzy as she sits atop me, like a scrambled tv. She holds my limbs down with boneless arms.

She brings out her tongue again. It holds a wad of the the blue-purple fluid inside it. She shovels it in to my socket. It does not hurt. I can see slightly better now. Not by much.

An eyebal moves within her empty socket. It is my eye. It is covered in chunks of the mucous. And as she moves her head it moves back and forth. Back and forth.

When she is finished, she retracts her tongue into her hollow head. She smiles toothlessly at me. It is the most sincere smile I have ever seen.