's 2017 Horror Write-off:

An event from a town in New South Wales

Submitted by Millien

I'm being hunted. Light peeks through the cavernous doorway. I sit huddled in a dark corner, praying that they don't find me.

I barely know how I got here. I had been in my home, my safe and familiar home. A place that felt as comfortable as my own body. I had left to run some errands, the little things that we do to keep living, and was caught in a terrible storm. I had felt it coming on the air, but didn't expect it to be as bad as it was. I thought that the winds and rain would rip me apart.

The storm was blinding, debris pouring down alongside the rain. I ran, and ran for my life.

I ran right into something I couldn't explain.

Just beyond the trees, an enormous, flat expanse, with deep grooves cut at intervals longer than my body. At the far end was a towering structure, extending up into the sky beyond where I could see. But I didn't have time to wait and ponder. Thunder crashed through the air loud enough that I thought it would shatter my body. I bolted to the towering wall, spying a crack large enough for me to squeeze my body through.

Through the crack was stillness. The chaos of the storm outside was held off by the enormous structure, and I had time to stop and look around. Wherever I looked were strange surfaces, patterns and colours that didn't quite register to my eyes. Strange dimples like those that covered our bodies, but large enough to sit in covered many surfaces, while others were covered with thousands of holes with sharp rides.

The surface beneath my feet consisted of strange rough hooks that ripped and tore at my feet, but I managed to scuttle my way across them without suffering any damage. With nothing better to do until the storm subsided, I chose to explore this place, my curiosity getting the better of me. What caught me the most was she sheer alien geometry - nothing in nature could produce a structure like this. It was littered with objects, some reaching off into the same distance as the rest of the structure, though some were scarcely larger than I. Like everything else, their shapes were incomprehensible to me, and their purpose arcane and unknowable. Things like piles of leaves and moss that had been twisted into a uniform mass. But I wandered too deep. Periodically surfaces would open up into holes. Enormous and bizarrely angular, I could nevertheless recognise them as doors. I had passed through a number of these, finding new surfaces that were impossibly smooth to move on rather than the grasping claws, before the comfortable darkness was shattered by an explosion of light.

I stopped dead in my tracks, unsure of what was happening. The flash of light persisted, flooding the room with radiance. Terrified, I sat and watched.

It took me some time to realise that one of the structures was moving. Despite towering into the sky, despite being so thick and solid that I thought it should be crushed under its own weight, despite being hideously stretched and monstrously proportioned, I realised that it was organic and alive. Like a tree given the monstrous power of motion. The owner of this abode.

This giant could crush me without a second thought. I tensed up, ready to run the moment they saw me.

Despite my readiness, I wasn't prepared for their exact reaction. They let out some sort of alarm, a terribly loud noise that I felt was mostly beyond my range of hearing. With slow and fluid motions they propelled themselves into the air, towering though they may be. As expected, their landing sent tremors through the ground.

But I was already running. Running as fast as my legs could carry me, quickly leaving the clawed surface again. In doing so I didn't recognise my mistake - the smooth surfaces were devoid of objects that could have hidden me. But I was given some respite - the creature had left. It thundered out of the door, and I quickly followed after. I found another room where the light had not yet invaded, and huddled into a corner, where I thought that their enormous size might prevent them from reaching.

And so I'm being hunted. Beyond the door I can hear thundering. Shadows pace back and forth, as the creature searches for me. The shifting light suggests that a second one has appeared, and I'm quickly proven correct.

The light floods this room too.

Aware that I have no chance of hiding, I hope that the corner is small enough that their enormous size prevents them from reaching me. But this is of course foolish.

I stood dead still as the titans bent down towards me. I could smell the toxic fumes that plumed from a tight cluster of orifices. I finally broke through my terror and began to run, but it was already too late.

The capture device slammed down around me, catching me on the leg and ripping it clean off in the process.

Sometimes, when things are happening fast and traumatic, you don't even notice the damage. I spent a moment scuttling around the container, finding it made of another impossibly smooth surface. There was a strange translucency to the material, something like clouded water. I could see vague shapes moving on the other side - the giants, inspecting their catch.

I've never been one to question mortality. Usually I just live and let live, knowing that sometime I'll finally end up in too deep. And I think that this is it. There's a strange peace to it, knowing that everything is out of my control. My wits, skills and strengths are useless here. I'm at the mercy of these titanic beasts.

I feel the container begin to move. I idly wonder what became of my leg, but besides an abstract understanding that I've been injured I don't seem to mind.

The world through the walls is a shining whirl of colours. I catch glimpses through the barrier - tossing and turning at unimaginable speeds through the strange facility.

The journey takes an eternity, stretched out by the mind of prey caught in a predators grasp. I am not the apex predator, none of us are. Surely it must be these creatures.

I container jerk suddenly and then stops. I hear strange noises outside - groaning, roaring, and strange clicks unlike any sound I've heard before.

And then chaos.

I'm thrown through the air. Behind me lies a doorway, and I realise that the crack I had passed through into this place was an imperfect seal of one of these doors. I catch brief glimpses of the endless plain that I crossed, see how it's all part of the same grand design.

Around me, rain still pours down. I fall forever.

But then it's over. The bushes cushion my fall, and I'm back in familiar ground. I stay very still for a moment, expecting a crushing foot at any moment.

But nothing comes.

Tentatively I took a few steps. Then I bolted.

Somehow, despite everything, I'm alive. Worse for wear, sure, but I'll be fine.

Seven legs are enough for anyone.