's 2019 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Kirby Mongerr

I still kind of don’t believe it. Well I didn’t. By now it’s some sort of weird hope that if I don’t believe it, it’s more likely to be all fake and I’ll wake up or they’ll vanish or something. But until then, I have to deal with the hooks. We all do.

When it started it was honestly kind of funny. No-one really knew what to think or do. I mean, who the hell plans for goddamn fucking fishhooks sprouting out of the ground like fucking weeds? Just sticking out of the ground, upside down, some of the longer ones impossibly hanging from their line. Scientists argued, politicians used them to insult other politicians, religions claimed it as a miracle or a condemnation. But in general? People were a bit more careful and tended to wear long pants. The hooks weren’t that sharp or that high yet, so you’d need to basically roll down a hill for them to hurt you. Some kids did that early on. The pictures of them on the news used to make me feel ill, but I’ve seen worse.

The hooks kept getting longer. They were practically insulting. It would’ve been one thing if the hooks actually moved or were baited or reeled in or something. Then we could just pin it on fishing obsessed demons or fucking cthulhu or his shithead cousin fucking with us and moved on. But no. The hooks just hover there, swaying gently. And they only tug when they pierce something. And they don’t even tug hard. It’s not like kids are getting sucked into the earth screaming, it’s mostly shoes and the occasional animal. And the occasional drunken idiot, hooks digging into his face around his dead eyes, still gently tugging even though he’s long dead, a big puddle of dried blood finally giving the fucking hooks a liquid to emerge from.

But the hooks got longer. People had to be aware. Tougher clothes or carrying things to put on them that weren’t your skin. Some people even tried to be cute with it, putting little decorative baubles and toys and shit on them. And that worked, but still the tragedies got worse. Someone driving fast down an old road, not knowing hooks had sprouted up on it. Digging into the tires and suddenly the guy driving gets catapulted forward when the car learns those little fuckers don’t tug hard but can’t be tugged hard either. I remember hearing someone else in the bar at the time simply mumble ‘fucker shoulda worn his seatbelt’ and that was that. Someone enjoying his car became a smear on the road that was once a fucker. Because of the hooks.

All sorts of problems kept coming up just like the hooks kept coming up. Nobody could fish anymore because all they snagged were hooks sprouting up from the bottom of the lake. People complained about how gruesome it was seeing all the animals that got hooked and died, being steadily pressed into the ground. The fucking things even started worming up things like vines and then your power goes out because of hooks on the fucking lines. Someone goes to drink right from the faucet one night and doesn’t realize a hook is coming out the end, has to tear half their face off. Everyone suddenly had a story about someone who went to the bathroom with the lights off and ended up with an assload or in some versions a dickload of hooks for their trouble.

People can’t drive anymore.

It took about six months before society started losing its shit. Suddenly you hear about some crazy cult sacrifice to appease the hooks, people are demanding the government nuke the center of the earth. It all feels hollow. Ever since they dug down around a hook and couldn’t find the line, no matter how deep they went, it just came out impossibly small from the fucking bedrock. That’s what pisses me off the most even now. Where the hooks come out is never hook sized, just line sized. The impossible cherry on top of the illogical horseshit cake.

I’d be sorry about all the clear anger here but honestly, I’m past caring. I was past caring when a bunch of those little metal fucks were coming under the door of my apartment. Jammed a towel under it and I’m hoping for the best. I used to care though, I remember when about half the building came to try and help one guy who’d gotten caught in like, 20 hooks that were poking out of a pair of electrical sockets. Thank god the line didn’t carry the charge, I guess. This is back when it was easier to remove the hooks from people, when they were simple. Just a pointed silver curve. Now they’re barbed and twist and dig in so deep and the line is barbed and cuts like a razor made of fire. So there’s a pile of three rotting corpses on the fourth floor of the building because someone got hooked and the two people that tried to help got caught in the barbs and free hooks and ended up a yelling pile, then a screaming pile as the tugging kept going, then crying, then moaning, then nothing but a shitty smell no-one has the balls to try and clean up. Anyone who does is gonna get those balls hooked the fuck off.

I’m extra pissed because now I’m all outta options. I had to make a pilgrimage to get more food and water, so I just bundled up in as many tough layers as I could, grabbed a hockey stick from the closet to try and use to bat the hooks out of my path, and set off. I made it back with no pierce wounds (yippee!), down several layers of clothes, up a backpack full of canned peas and sugar free sprite, and pissed the fuck off.

There were a couple other people around, looking for supplies or help or whatever God they were hoping would bail them out of this apparent nautical themed rapture, and they had news. Turns out, a fair few rich and or important bastards had set up a couple self sustaining cruise ships and were chilling at sea above the Marianas trench. They had farming setups, livestock, the fucking works. Guess all we needed to motivate to elite to switch to a sustainable society was Satan taking a fucking fishing trip. No, I shouldn’t say that. Then I might get my hopes up and think I can beat some answers out of him in hell. No time for hopes now. Hooks are starting to get higher than buildings and more common than fucking grass, so it’s only a matter of time before I die, but on the bright side, it’s just a somewhat longer matter of time before all those rich fuckers die too, fishing line tying up the propellers on their ships, hooks emerging from the sea like some kind of ironic kraken.

Well until then, I’ll just have to use some of these cans to cover the hooks, once I’ve eaten the peas of course, grow to fucking hate the taste of sugar free sprite, and continue hoping that I still think I’m just gonna wake up at some point. Unless I pass out and fall into some hooks and die on the floor with them tugging me down and stretching my skin and slowly tearing parts off of my body until they’re just holding strips of my skin that are still barely holding onto me like what will happen to everyone else before then, I guess.