's 2017 Horror Write-off:

The Foul

Submitted by Jac R. B. (JacobGuy)


I shout out in frustration, Lying on my bare mattress. I'm only just shy of loosing my job at the factory. Goddamn outsourcing man. I understand that Factories may not be the most environmentally friendly things but like.. I got medical bills man. ugh. I need to take a walk to clear my mind.

everyone in town knows about the factory's shutting down, hundreds of people are being put out of the job just so some bloated corporation can pay someone in china less to do the same job and with less saftey restrictions. Its god awful.

"Hey, Hey you"

I stop for a moment, and back up.
the voice had come from a small... man. they wore a huge, tattered, yet somehow oddly thick pancho that covered their entire body, and a huge, filthy wide-brimmed hat.
I couldn't see their face, let alone a single speck of flesh anywhere, even through the many holes in their clothing.

"So I heard about the Factory Closin' down. Damn Shame huh?"

"sure is, pal"

"Judging by your gloves you seem to have forgotten to take off, You might be out of the Job soon eh?"

"...whats it to you?"

"well.. let an old man toot his own horn for a moment and let me say that I might be able to help you."

"oh yeah? How?" "Oh Trust me lad, I got friends in high places.."

"...ok. Sure, Buddy."

"its true. and all I Need from you is a little something. something Soooo small you wont even notice. a favor even..."

"uuh, that sounds reeeaaally suspicious."

"hahah! boy what do you take me for? some sort of fiend out prowling the streets for their next victim?"


"I get it, I Get it. suspicious old man in the alleyway, hes offering you something you want. classic cautionary tale right?"

"yeah, almost to the letter"

"ah, you're a good kid, a smart one... tell ya what, I'll go ahead and work my magic, and if you're satisfied, then I'll get my payment, deal?"

the old man extends a strangely clean, gloved hand out to me. I roll my eyes.

"Sure, Deal"

the old man simply chuckles softly and seems to melt away into the night.
I don't think much on it, just as long as that guy leaves me alone. I go home and try to get some sleep for the last few days of my job.

Sleep Did not come easy to me that night. I was plagued by nightmares all throughout the night.
I saw the old man, and the factory. His hands gripped the foundation and sewed it into the earth, hundreds of faceless workers flooded in, taking me with them and nearly drowing me in the hustle and bustle.
They Grab me, and I am powerless to stop them as they throw me into a pit of swirling darkness before the old man, who only sits and stares silently.
they throw me in, and I fall, forever, before waking up.

"Everyone, there's an announcement to make."

a small crowd of workers accumulates around the manager.

"Due to some...Legal troubles, our parent company cannot close down this plant, so we shall be continuing operations here indefinitely."

everyone starts mumbling excitedly among each other before heading back to work, and I can only sit and wonder If that old man was right.
I put the thought out of mind and went back to work. But on my way home, I could swear i could see his shape peering from within the shadows cast by the machines. I feel a heavy weight on my shoulders.

I spend what little free time I have the next few days wondering to myself about the whole situation. I shouldn't have to do anything for some old man just because of a coincidence right? or... was it a coincidence? all I know is that I haven't been able to shake this feeling of being watched lately.

five days later, nothing from the old man. No indication of his existence anywhere. I haven't exactly been looking for him anyway, me and just about everyone else at the plant have been worrying about each other's saftey. It started out the day after the announcement, bobby was working the grinder when it caught his sleeve. This really shouldn't be a problem, except the emergency shut-off switch didn't work, and it was just similar incidents like that ever since.
Maybe the factory moving somewhere else would have been a good thing. I just watch myself for the day and head home.

on the way back I'm met with a grisly sight.

its the manager's car, smashed through a telephone pole. God its as if it were a tin can against rebar. I... I don't think they made it.

As I sit and mourn my boss for a moment, I catch something out of the corner of my eye.

The Old Man!

he's walking away from the scene and into an alley. Its like he's got something to do with this, and It's about time I find out.

I follow him into the alley and call out to him. I call him out it, How I think he had something to do with the crash, and how, now that I think about it, he must've had something to do with all of the malfunctions at the factory.

he chuckles and turns to me.

"only Half of it, After all, You've already Paid your price."

before I could ask what they meant, the old man grabs my arm and throws off his clothes.

I Gave You Something You Can Never Loose.


I scream and shake as hard as My little body could muster, all as my world grows dark.

"See you soon... Old friend..."