's 2015 Horror Write-off:

" Cue Card "

Submitted by Streicher Hennessy


    The unholy noise pervaded the neighborhood, setting off every dog within a mile radius barking madly. Car alarms went off. As it was three AM in the morning I was a little surprised that no other lights were snapping on in the darkness. Lucky me, I was the only person to slide open a bedroom window in order to locate what was sounding like a entire school band being upended into a blender and then chucked off a cliff.

    I leaned out the second story window, the wet dew of night coating my arms. SOMETHING loomed in the darkness. When I say loomed, I mean loomed. Towering over my three story house was a thing out of a bad acid trip, or perhaps the result of a violent head injury to a chronic shroom user. The first impression was that of legs, and then I realized with growing certainty and then terror that it literally was just legs. A pair of massive, flayed extremities that stood bowed out in the damp grass. While it would have been horrifying enough to look up further and find a grotesque torso and further on some sort of flabby face, the legs ended right at the waist, the rest of the thing looking as if it had been shorn off.

    What I first mistook to be a belt of squirming tendrils around the top of the thing started to resolve itself in the moonlight to be countless bodies and parts of bodies, all scrabbling among each other. Each one was attached in someway to the greater mass of flesh beneath it, and each one was rotten with putrescence. Many of the wriggling corpses also were mutilated in interesting ways, limbs twisted into clubs, bellies distended with bacterial gas, and necks stretched out like pipes. The beast braced itself on its inhumanly jointed legs and bent low, bringing the twisted band of ghouls right up to my window.thin hands reaching out pleadingly like jointed anthropoid limbs from some dark depths of a horrific ocean.

    I'm sure you're wondering right about now why I hadn't already slammed the window shut, screamed, or shown some sort of reaction more seeming to the situation. The reason was that my mind had simply shut down, choosing to believe this was some sort of fever dream. And although a throbbing feeling of wrongness filled my soul, It felt more to me like the horror of being trapped in a nitemare that one is soon to wake up from then a real thing. Nothing in any facet of normality could be like this, so no matter how otherworldly or weird it was, it had no real power over me. And so it was that I stood up to the abomination, letting the wind whip my hair as with a cacophony of noise the entire conglomerated fiend started to play.

    Thickened and calloused limbs beat out a tempo on hardened bones beneath them. Warbling piping burst forth from rotten windpipes, and rhythmic and flatulent chords belched forth from bloated corpse guts, shaped into discordant tunes by reed like necks and withered lips. Husks of metal and trash stabbed into the teeming mass provided a counterpoint of rusty percussion and from some horrid depths of the thing I thought I could even hear the sad melody of a grand piano.

Not one note was in tune with another, nor was there rhyme or reason to whatever kind of song the thing was playing, if it could even be called such. This then was the source of the noise I had heard earlier, a one monster band from some hellish orchestral pit. The noise rose in volume, the feverish sounds mixing together for what seemed like hours.

    The thing eventually revved up to a crescendo, the random noises and frantic sawing motions of the various limbs frantically belting out an end to the music. With a final tweaking of intestinal harp noises and the bagpipe sound of an over inflated corpse bursting in a spray of gore, the monster stood stock still. It stood there, unmoving, for at least five minutes before I realized I could see through it, like it was translucent. a few minutes more, and the entire gigantic mass was gone, as it had never existed. Still sure this was a dream, I collapsed back into my bed.

 I did my best to ignore the sunken depressions in my lawn when I woke up in the morning, groggy from lack of sleep.

    It was three AM the next night when a tuba serenade interspersed with drum back up started to shake my bedroom. A picture dropped off the wall, and I did my best to cram a pillow over my head. The noise just continued to rise in volume, sending a bass thump through the house and vibrating every board and loose piece of furniture. I was both angry and horrified when I ripped open my window again to see the beast back again, standing in my yard, like it owned the place. The massive legs once again stood there, bracing the rest of the thing up. I was surprised to see the thing was different looking today though.

    Rents in the skinless red flesh of the legs were open now, cracks of diseased tissue exposed to the night air. Each one held a massive jellylike eye, and not a two were alike. Milky orbs of rotting ocular jelly, shifting darting eyes with diamond shaped pupils, even a glassy, translucent sphere with some kind of ribbon like-worm twisting and writhing inside it. Each eye was lit up with a different color of glowing light. As the creature played its horrible music, it would shut and open various eyes, changing the colors and patterns along with the beat. It would have been quite impressive had it not been horrible to look at, and three AM in the fucking morning.

    I had more then enough of this. Horrific monstrosity or not, I was not going to spend all night listening to this thing's idea of music. I frantically ran my finger of the books in my room, resting at last on a heavy phone book, before hurling the full weight of the useless paperback at the heart of the monster. All I got for my troubles was a sound like a accordion  being pulled apart by wild horses. I spent the rest of the night hurling garbage at the noisy beast, trying to hit a weak spot. I did manage to get a flung steak knife into one of the eyes, popping it open like a swollen abyss, the jellylike mung inside dripping down the thing's right leg. It didn't do zilch for stopping the noise sadly. As before, the beast played till dawn, paused for several minutes, and then faded away.

    The third night I was ready for it. Its surprisingly easy to get a shotgun in this day and age. I was pacing in my room practicing loading shells when the first discordant notes reached my ears. I slid back the window and aimed. The monster seemed to look a little surprised, even without facial features. I figured it must be the lack of sleep starting to make me loopy. I managed to get in three blasts of the gun, shearing off bits and pieces of arms, flesh, and tissue before the monster surprised me. Shaking like it was going into a seizure, the waist of the thing tore apart, long crablike limbs rising out of the top of the pillar-like legs.

    The jointed anthropoid legs ended not in pointed claw tips, but sucker-like holes surrounded by a series of drooling mouth parts like some sort of insect. Each one twitched and dribbled mucus before vomiting up some sort of fleshy mass. The blobs of tissue fell from the jointed limbs, still attached by strands of slime and drool before impacting on the lawn. The crablike limbs jerked and pulled, using the mucal strands like rope, pulling up the sodden balls of flesh and

revealing each one to be an acid scarred body. As the music of the creature continued, it jerked the bodies in time with the beat, the mouth parts of the limbs yanking different strands of goo to move the limbs of the gyrating corpses. More importantly for me, every time I tried to fire another blast of the shotgun, the monster would deftly fling up a limb, pulling one of the dancing bodies across the sights, protecting itself with it's own back up dancers. Another night was spent

sleepless, until the noisy creature paused and vanished at dawn.

    Sleeplessness wears hard on the body. I barely managed to keep myself awake during the day, dreading the night and the coming return of the creature. Like clockwork it was back again, bleating out more horrible noises. The crab-limbs were back again, and the shining eyes. This night somehow the thing had even managed to collect more loose wood and metal around itself to hold even more fleshy instruments. I was beyond fighting by now. I listened bleary eyed to the thing do its usual routine. More noise. More dancing. More lack of sleep for me. Why was I the one chosen for this hell? "Why won't you go away already!" I yelled at the thing,

getting only more catastrophic noises in response.

    Morning light was streaming over the lats of my fence when the monstrosity finished. As at had every time, it paused silently. Whether it was the lack of sleep, or some benevolent deity granting me insight, I chose to do something different then I had every night before. Just one little thing.

I clapped.

It hasn't been back since.