's 2016 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Albatoonoe

The rusted walkway teetered and swayed as the wind cut past it.  Save for the two hanging towers at each end, nothing but open air surround it.  Visibility was cut by clouds of brownish-red, preventing sight of anything else.  Cautiously, I proceeded across the walkway, careful to test each step.  The journey was nerve wracking as each shift threatened to hurl me over the edge.  The railings were barely connected to the walkway, offering little in the way of comfort.

When I was almost halfway across, the sound of rumbling and scraping came from above.  I slowly kneeled and kept my eye upward, ready to move.  Two massive, black spikes slowly descended above, churning and bending at multiple joints.  They were well clear of the walkway as they stretched down on both sides, so I remained still.  They continued on down into the clouds, crashing and scraping on something unseen before coming to a stop.

I rose my eyes to my destination to find something new.  A tall being with long, spindly arms reached out from the door way at the end.  It groped around blindly before pulling itself forward.  It's torso stretched down onto four, stumpy legs that skittered clumsily about.  Ratty straps and plates covered its body and a strange breathing apparatus was strapped to its face.  I had never seen something like this and I was certainly not keen to meet it now.  Its pace was slow, but steady, allowing me to carefully take action.  I slowly eased myself off the edge of the walkway and waited for the thing to cross.  It drew near and I held firm to the edge.

One of its legs stomped down on my feet, slipping off clumsily but making me loose my grip regardless.  Reflexively, I grabbed and touched the same leg, startling the creature.  One of its arms instantly swung down off the bridge, nearly striking me in the head.  No longer being hidden, I dispensed with the stealth and swung my leg noisily up on the walkway.  The creatures raspy breathing quickened as it frantically shifted around to attack.  Its other arm swung and struck me in the face before latching its worm-like fingers around my head.

My mind swarmed with frantic, aggressive babbling.  The topic jumped back and forth from focusing on me to something incoherent and unrelated.  For a few moments, all my other senses faded and only its thoughts were heard.  For a brief moment, it's mind focused and it clearly spoke 'What is that sound?', allowing the moment I needed to break free.

My senses rushed back to me just in time for me to see the black arms bringing something up from the below.  It was another section of building, covered in rust like all the rest.  In an effort to avoid being crushed, I pushed away and smashed into an outstretched balcony, staying conscious just long enough to see my attacker get crushed.

I'm not sure how long I was out, but my environment had changed significantly.  The open sky above the balcony was replaced by shiny, curved black plates of a similar appearance to the spikes.  Inside the building was a curious sight.  The curved black plays stretched back downward, but had a curious bisection.  With no other clear path, I moved forward, staying low to the ground.  As if sensing my presence, the bisection opened up, revealing a strange passage with webbed, illuminated walls.

Seeing no other choice, I entered the passage quietly.  Almost immediately it turned and rose, leading in a spiral for sometime.  I warily proceeded forward into a small room at the top.  At the center of its roof was a sphere made wavering silver.  The floor appeared to be made of shapeless flesh.

"Come forward.  Don't be afraid."

I stepped back at hearing the voice in my head.  Though it wasn't a physical sound, I could feel that it was coming from the sphere.

"You have journeyed hard, but now you can rest.  This can be your home.

My apprehension melted away at the soothing voice.  Any tension I had was gone, and I was at peace.  I believed it.

"Here, you will never be alone.  We are more beautiful together."

I took a step forward.

"I am love.  I am happiness.  There will be no more pain.  No more sadness."

The flesh arched open and opened, releasing several wiry tentacles.  There touch was gentle and kind.  It pulled me forward into the flesh and I did not resist.

"All things gathered here are beautiful."

I began to feel at peace.  This was the home I always wanted.  We are stronger now.  We are safe.  We are beautiful.