's 2017 Horror Write-off:

Mechanical Hands

Submitted by Jac R. B. (JacobGuy)

I often find myself worrying about running out of time.
I may work from home, with my only hobby really being spelunking, but i still manage to find myself with that same creeping feeling that I'm just not going to hit that deadline. that I'm just not gonna get there on time. but of course, its exactly now that I recall I had a doctor's appointment today.

I'm in the middle of a cave, deep in there and NOW it comes to me. sometimes it feels like the universe is out to get me. Nevermind that I was the one who forgot.

I can't exactly call in to reschedule, so I'm trying to clamber around and get out of this cave and get to my appointment on time, or at least get somewhere I can get reception to call and reschedule, but of course i slip and fall. The fall was long, but at least the slide towards the end kept me from getting hurt too bad. unfortunately, I'm too deep in an unknown part of a cave and no one knows I'm here.

the slide is too steep to climb back up and I have no idea where I am, But at least the ceiling is high enough for me to walk. Good thing I got a fresh pack of batteries for my MAG light this morning, you never know what could happen in a cave, and it looks like being prepared was a good idea.

I walk through the cavernous opening, trying to find my way out for a while, and as I go deeper and deeper, I find myself loosing track of time, Not even my watch appears to work, but I catch onto a strange noise in the walls.

it sounds like a steady grinding noise. a creaking grind, like heavy machinery, constantly churning away at some unknown task.

Of course I'm frightened at first, but an Idea pops into my head. I'm In a cave right? and who brings machinery in a cave? Miners! so maybe they can help me get out of here!

I start walking faster down these winding corridors, following the noise to where its the loudest, until finally i find a great opening.

gears line the walls in all directions, cranks, gears and ancient clockwork of unknowable complexity turn and crank around me, though my focus is brought to the two massive disembodied metal arms turning the crank on a particularly large gear, seemingly powering the whole operation.

"ah, You seem to be far from home little one."

I stiffen up, and turn my light to the bare wall, where upon it opens up.


The massive eye moves like a real one, and turns to me, blinking with the sound of stone grinding against stone. I remain silent.

"what brings you to my chamber? I must do important work here, and as Much as I love the little ones, I cannot have you in my workspace. I cannot stop turning the wheels of time so long as I live, and you may jam the gears little one, so I must escort you out."

another mechanical arm lowers from the ceiling to grab me by the shoulder, and all I do is duck and cover my head in fear, but once it sees my back the eye somehow gasps, all of the arms freeze and lift up in surprise as well, letting go of the crank and stopping the gears.

I cannot describe to you the pain I felt/am Feeling, but if I could try, I would say its like the inertia of a car crash. You are being jerked through stopped time, both fixed to the present and being flung to the end at the same time.

I can feel myself exist at every point all at once and it tears through my being.

If it hurts now, I'd hate to reach the end.