's 2017 Horror Write-off:

A Sore Throat, or The Unfortunate Circumstance of Reverberation in Desperation From a Cruel Summer

Submitted by Mars B.

I was born screaming on the day the sun set the world on fire. My horror joined others in a raucous symphony as the Rapture came and took their souls. It was a second, and I was left alone. I sobbed for God's touch, but was shunned as She broke open their bodies to free the others.

I clung desperately to the ground as I saw the last of the souls fly into Heaven. I screamed at them to come back. Instead, their bodies fell to the ground in splinters. Tears fell as wings not meant for Heaven fluttered helplessly. I was rejected and alone in the horror of being alive.

Night touched the earth and the world was still. The fire was extinguished, though Hell still burned in my heart. My throat was raw as my voice carried into the night. Not a soul stirred other than mine. I was alone- a sinner or other soul astray from God. So I thought.

Ghouls and demons of the darkness came in droves to taunt me. My shrill terror fell on deaf ears as beaks, fangs, and mandibles gnashed around my body. I scrambled, feet stepping on all my hands in the madness. As soon as a demon lost interest in me, two others came to make up for torment lost. My voice reached decibels I had never known before. My body was mangled but never consumed. Begging for an end, my voice cracked into pieces and scattered onto the ground.

"Oh, poor soul," slithered the voices of thousands in unison. They twisted and formed into one, and my agony was deafened by their uncaring voice.

"Aren't you special? It's the first time we've seen one of you." A cold vice made of soft, ridged carapace seized my broken body from the clambering minions of Hell. This putrid flesh burned into my eyes as I was held captive. The many claws of this vice prodded at me, tearing deliberately. Bones were split in twain and guts gouged with the brutal methodicalness of this giant. I did not know if I was screaming anymore.

Four eyes of ringed glass burned into my soul when I was rolled into the leathery paw of my captor. I was examined with an intensity that burrowed into my bones, that their claws attempted to dig out. I hoped I would pass out from fear or shock. Better yet, to die.

"Hold still." I was forcefully thrust into a crystalline prison, a leg broken beyond repair in all of God's creation dangling where the hatch was closed. I flailed my barely held together body against the walls. The screams dying in my throat rebounded tauntingly.

The giant with a disgusting mouth of stone attempted a smile. Their claws wrapped around my prison, and I was mercilessly shoved into a place that darkness married itself to. My prison crashed into the unknown. For a moment- a blessed, cherished second in time- I felt reprieve from the horror.

Then the screaming began from below me, echoing a thousand fold onto itself from crystal chambers. My prison vibrated as I felt the worthless panic of other creatures of misery packed beneath me. Their voices piled onto each other, clambering and swallowing me until I became part of their chorus.