's 2015 Horror Write-off:

" Glass and Velvet "

Submitted by Everbound Venvel

 I was awakened by diesel backfire not too far away. “Oh shit, no;” I knew what that meant. I groggily slid off my bed and grunted as my feet touched the filthy hardwood floor. The sheer amount of mud present in late September made trying to keep the Civil War era farmhouse tidy rather pointless. The most I’d bothered to do was mop up the water that formed stinking puddles under the window bangers. I yanked aside the dusty blue curtain over one such unit and gazed out the window of my attic bedroom.

Sure enough, the ass hats had left me another present in the glen! A blood-splattered tarp concealed a large form laid near some deep tire tracks. The tracks trailed off towards the nearest asphalt road a mile away. My property was well concealed by woods, and I had a good-sized stone building equipped for gaffing. This made me an ideal candidate for the poachers to dump the desiccated corpses of whitetails bagged over the limit. It wasn’t like I could’ve reported them to the police or demanded compensation! There were at least five of them, judging by the different sized boot prints they left in my lawn. They had guns and they knew about the hothouse.

I never spoke with them or even saw their faces, but they made it all too plain that they knew about the hothouse. I winced at the thought of the Haze mother plants that were stolen.

I pulled on my muck boots and headed outside to throw the thing into the furnace. At least I knew bone ash produced some beautiful pieces when melted with the molten glass in the crucible.

As I neared the body, it became obvious that the tarp was covering a huge buck with a massive rack. “Who the ever-loving shit wouldn’t keep that head?” Confused and anxious, I tore the tarp away. I was violently thrown backwards and skidded several painful feet through the muck on my ass!

What I witnessed next…

“Mother of fuck.”

The buck was still alive and was he damned ever horrifying! He was massive – at least five feet tall at the shoulders, and built more like a draft horse than any deer I’d ever seen. His pale hooves were as wide as dinner plates, cracked and partially concealed by the angry and horrendously swollen flesh of his feet. Varicose veins twisted around his muscle-bound limbs and pillar-like neck, dark under his thin patches of lusterless white hair and dander. I was frozen with shock as he snorted and looked me dead in the eye; or maybe not, seeing as his crusted, oozing eyes were sealed under thick blue-gray cataracts.

His antlers - if you could even call them that? - Were his most repulsive feature. They were more a mass of huge, semi-spherical cysts piled up into a rough semblance of fungus stricken branches that spanned eight feet from tip to tip. Chunky masses of thick velvet rotted off of them, dripping with pints of thick white goop and inky congealed blood. I retched at the revolting stench it gave off. The dead velvet remained anchored to the antlers by withered black vessels, and the luxuriously plush, reddish-brown living swaths were webbed with visibly pulsating veins, pulsating with the gluey pus being forced through them.

I gagged and upchucked forcefully. The disgusting beast spooked at my loud projectile vomit. He launched from his heel and galloped away into the trees with a ludicrous turn of speed and grace that should have been impossible for such a diseased animal.

I scrambled to my feet, quivering. It was a good three minutes before I was able to compose myself and process what I’d seen. “What in the fuck was this; a sick joke!?” Why had those douchebags drugged some old inbred mutant caribou and left him for me to find? That thing had to be owned by someone; did they own him? What kinds of twisted shit did they do to that reindeer that put him in such a state? Had I just received another threat? I needed a long, cold shower.

Even after that incident, there was no way I could’ve ever fathomed what awaited me in my master bathroom.

The outer doorknob was the same large pink, lavender, and blue Latticinio Core marble I purpose-made myself years before. The door, however, was no longer birch. A single slab of rough bone bearing countless nodules and thorny protrusions had replaced the wood. My jaw dropped as I ran my hand over it in disbelief. What in the name of hell!? Curiosity superseded caution and I opened the door to look inside my bathroom.

I found myself cold and laid out with shock on rich velvet carpet. I didn’t have carpeting in my bathroom. I didn’t have carpeting anywhere! I lifted my head to take in the sight that had triggered my fainting.

Virtually the entire bathroom was sealed under a layer of dark chestnut velvet. The clawed tub, the porcelain sink, the chain-flush toilet were all shrink-wrapped by plush hide. Only the glass in the room remained untouched. Sunlight blazed through the ancient bottom-heavy panes of the south window. The brilliantly colored water pipes, hookahs and bottles decorating the high shelves on all four walls were unbroken and undisturbed.

I tried to stand up but lost my balance when the velvet started throbbing. “What the fuck!? WHAT THE FUCK!?!?” Thousands of root-like veins swelled up beneath the velvet and drew it taught as they pulsed! I screamed. I screamed and numb-mindedly scrambled up the furred sink, grabbed every piece of glass I could and hurled it against the alien surface! Where the velvet was cut, viscous white liquid welled out. I dashed for the door and strained desperately to tear it open, but it was fused shut beneath the antler skin! I started to gray out. No! I shook myself out of shock and snatched up the broken neck of a bong. I slashed wildly at the lock stile with the jagged edges. A wave of putrid pus engulfed my torso.

It turned out not to be pus. The illusion of stench faded from my nostrils. The translucence of the liquid and the way it flowed smoothly were all too familiar to me. It was molten glass, white molten glass that didn’t give off any heat! It wrapped my body like a cage of soft thorny branches. I struggled for what felt like forever, but I was as weak as a kitten as it swayed like a hammock with me inside.

Utterly exhausted by terror, my body was lax. I figured I was going to be killed, but fighting further was impossible. Oddly calm, I consigned myself to death. The slow rocking of the glass that cradled me along with the deep, rhythmic throbbing of the velvet gradually lulled me into a trance. The morning sunlight was pleasantly warm on my skin.

I felt like I was there for hours. The surface of the velvet undulated in fluid ripples towards the center of the room, where glass swelled beneath it like a boil. I was lowered slowly by the glass thorns and placed on the floor. It was like a waterbed, and the sun-warmed velvet itself was by far the softest, most plush thing I’d ever touched.

The waves swelled to the point where I was flopped about in them. With every ripple, my strength returned and fresh anxiety seized my chest. I considered bolting and smashing through the window to escape. However, what occurred in the center of the bathroom transfixed me.

The gigantic swelling came to a head and the velvet burst open. Thousands upon thousands of shimmering milk glass tendrils erupted up and outwards in a seething plume. At that same instant the waves stopped. I found my footing, but not for long. All around me, the veins peeled free of the velvet; they were made of dark, smoky gray glass and stood up like saplings. I tripped backwards and a few of them broke my fall. They molded into a makeshift seat for me.

I stared in stunned silence as the white glass threads curled and convened on themselves. The glass bunched and twisted together into rapidly extending opalescent spikes the leaped and collided with one another. Layer upon layer of the flowing milk glass ropes weaved and smoothed together. It bulged and stretched to the will of an unseen blower who used no heat!

Crouched down, a herculean male body was formed from the milk glass; every glimmering sinew was perfectly contoured. His back glowed sky blue where the sun hit him, casting soft orange refraction through his translucent form. He stood up slowly, and as he straightened himself a large glob swelled from his shoulders. It stretched into a long, thick neck and a wedge, which quickly took on the noble facial features of a bull caribou. Thin fibers extruded from his head and neck and became twinkling fur.

Without warning, the glass veins that weren’t supporting me abruptly animated and rushed the creature like countless living quills! They pierced his surface and wound through his body until they formed what could only be described as a circulatory system of spun glass suspended within him. Hypnotized, I watched how his veins twitched and quivered; they glittered and cast a dusky crimson and purple glow into the cloudy glass flesh.

With a sudden bass crescendo the deep throbbing returned. The glass creature exploded into motion as his dark vessels vigorously pulsated within his bright opalescent muscles. He tensed his entire body with stupendous strength and loosed a ringing bellow that shook the house. More smoky gray glass tines spouted from his head, which branched, flattened and spiked out into glorious antlers that spanned virtually wall to wall. They gleamed so brilliantly in the sun, I was almost blinded and had to cover my eyes.

When I lowered my arms, his cloud-swirled blue marble eyes locked with mine. A warm tingling surge rushed down my spine and washed through my chest as his deep steady pulse beckoned me. I grinned, leaned back in the supple glass chair and pushed some broken bottles aside with my boot. Fucking finally, I was getting compensated for those poached deer I burned.