WARNING: This is a graphic horror story. Proceed at your own risk. Chapter One Mist filled the air in twisting fumes while catching the light of the moon like vaporized mercury, thickening the air of this frigid evening. With each step the man took, twigs snapped and autumn leaves crunched beneath his feet, making it exceptionally difficult to keep his footing in the dark forest.
Further hindering him were the weights of the can of kerosene hanging in his grip and the tarp-wrapped body he was dragging behind him. The alcohol in his blood and the tears streaming down his face took away what little balance he had left. Through miles of dense forest and eons of strenuous hiking, he found his way to the spot he had picked several hours earlier. Digging this grave had been like pulling teeth, with the roots of the trees knitted together like sheets of Kevlar, but he had made sure to dig a least a meter down, so as to make sure that this abomination would remain hidden forever.
At least he had the daylight back then. He had to rely on the moonlight to return to this place, as he was too afraid of being discovered to carry a flashlight or lantern.
His only relief came from the pure radiance shining down from the crescent pearl in the sky, slipping through the barren branches of the trees that stood around him like grotesque skeletons. Even though it let him see, the light played tricks on his eyes.
Every surface was covered in a mosaic of lunar beams from the spindly branches above, turning depth perception into a visual quagmire. Shaking aside his doubt and fear, the man grabbed the rolled up corpse and dropped it into the shallow grave, hoping that this nightmare would finally end. This had been a mistake; it was all a terrible mistake that should have never happened.
But here he was, burying the definition of terror and with more blood on his hands than he ever thought possible, blood that would never wash away. As the corpse hit the cold ground like an elevator with broken cables, the cries of birds began to sound out, cries of fear and anger. Looking around wildly, the man found himself surrounded by a ring of crows, scattered throughout the forest floor with many of them in the branches above.
He had not sensed them when he arrived, and they had never even made a peep at his arrival. Or… could it been that they had been screaming all this time, and he had been too disoriented to hear them? The scavengers' beaks glistened with blood, blood from the carcasses of several animals strewn about. Wait… they hadn't been there before. Rodents, deer, and even a bear were slumped over in the surrounding woods, all in the process of being stripped when the man interrupted the winged scavengers.
This pit had only been dug twelve hours ago, yet so many animals lay dead with no reason or logic in their falling. This was now a place of death, poisoned by the man because he had picked it to bear the curse he was trying to hide. Just by coming to that spot with the intention of defiance, he had invoked the wrath of the horror whispering in his ear.
The crows continued to cry out and screech, wordlessly cursing the intruder and the evil he brought with him. Their kind had always been considered ominous and associated with death and despair, but outside of the library, they were natural creatures, each of them horrified by the abomination brought to their presence.
This scene of death and bloody feasting was now darkened with the arrival of the tarp-wrapped corpse. Even with dozens of crows screaming at him like murder victims, the man hefted the can of kerosene and removed the cap. He would burn the body while using the pit to keep the flames contained and hidden, and then bury any remains of this crime against nature.
He emptied the can onto the wrapped corpse, yet this only increased the screaming of the crows. Their cries were so high in volume that the man's ears ached within his skull and he wanted desperately to cover them.
Reaching into his pocket, he drew a book of matches. "Go to Hell," he muttered, lighting the matchbook and dropping it into the pit. With explosive force, the kerosene was ignited and the grave turned into a miniature volcano.
The crows continued to scream in terror and warning while the man stared into the inferno, unable to see through the mantle of flames.
Quickly their cries stepped on his last nerve and he sought to scare them off. Picking up a stick to hurl in the direction of a nearby cluster, he stopped. Silence. Every crow had simultaneously been muzzled with fear, utterly petrified.
The forest was now so quiet that only the beating the man's heart in his ears confirmed he still had the ability to hear. Sweating so profusely that he was now steaming in the chilly night, and with shivers crawling up his spine with such intensity that they riddled his limbs with muscle spasms, the man slowly turned and looked down.
The flames had withered, having run out of fuel after consuming the tarp. With the plastic sheeting incinerated, the body was fully revealed, lacking a single spec of soot and showing no signs of even the slightest burning. The flames had been powerless against it; they could not stand against the darkness within that flesh and blood vessel.
Looking at it and again realizing what he had done, the man struggled not to vomit. The cheeks, nose, and eyelids of the face had been removed, with the jaws sewn shut and somehow fixed in a permanent grin. The entire body was shaved bare and had been inscribed with hundreds of symbols in a language no human being could read. The symbols had been carved into the flesh itself and then cauterized to prevent the victim from bleeding to death. Lengths of barbed wire had been threaded through the limbs and torso like worms through an apple and then wrapped around the body similarly to mummification, each one having been placed to avoid the organs and vital blood vessels, while inflicting endless pain onto the victim.
The fingers and toes were all broken and with the nails torn off.
All signs of a gender had been removed: the genitalia region completely destroyed, the pectoral muscles severed, and the throat cut as if to destroy the Adam's apple, though the man couldn't remember what the gender of his victim had been.
The slitting of the throat had been done at the end, but it was what had come right after that had killed this… person. Two thick nails of black iron pierced the eyes. They were what killed the victim, completing the ritual the man had been forced to perform and turning this human into a genderless Homunculus, a symbol of mankind while completely devoid of humanity.
Even with the eyes skewered, the corpse stared at the man, at its creator. Slowly, the twist knot in the corner of the mouth that held the stitches tight rotated, coming undone. With each turn of the ends of the wire, the man felt his body drop further in temperature, as if his blood was turning into a frozen slurry. At last, the twist-tie fully split, and even with the wire stitches held taught through the mouth, the jaws slowly began to open.
As if friction no longer existed, the stitches completely slackened and the jaw hung open, making it look like the corpse was laughing. Whether it was real or in his mind, the man did not know, but a whistle as sharp as a razorblade cut through the air and brought him to his knees. His vision flashed with crimson brightness as if the forest was now draped in red Christmas lights, while the symbols he had written on the corpse played in his mind over and over again like a slideshow.
Around him, the crows were all falling dead while screaming in agony, unable to stand against the malice now assailing them.
"No! I won't listen to you anymore!" the man shouted, covering his ears while digging his fingernails into the sides of his scalp. Freeing one hand, the man tried to pull a layer of dirt over the dead body with a swing of his arm.
While the mini rockslide poured over the corpse, not a single grain fell on the face. From his act of defiance, the screaming in his ears only increased in volume, while the bloody symbols in his mind flashed with greater intensity and speed. He could no longer see, the bright red incantations occupied his whole mind and seemed to smash down upon his consciousness with each flash. He could feel them delving deep into his mind, poisoning every bright light he held dear and driving him mad.
In every corner of his mind, his most cherished dreams became twisted nightmares. Friends and family in his memories transformed into grotesque creatures, were ripped apart while screaming in agony in front of Christmas trees, tortured and raped behind birthday cakes, and even went wild and began slaughtering each other on top of Thanksgiving feasts made of human flesh.
Paired with this psychological horror show, waves of physical pain swept through the man, pain so intense that he did not have the strength to scream.
Swarms of gnawing fire ants were pouring across his skin like boiling water, bony spiders were sinking their fangs into his organs and making them melt, centipedes were carving openings into his flesh and burrowing into his body, his bones were breaking apart into splinters and tearing apart the surrounding muscles, and his fingernails were being pealed off.
He slapped his body desperately, trying to kill the illusionary vermin that his mind projected. "Ok! I'll do it!" the man finally shouted. The pain receded to a dull throbbing, and with just enough strength for a single act of defiance against the whistle, the man ripped his keys from his coat pocket and stabbed himself in the jugular with all his strength.
He pulled the keys away, releasing a fountain of gore into the forest. Sprayed into the frigid night air, the hot blood steamed and shined like rubies as it caught the moonlight, before at last splashing down onto the corpse.
The man fell over, the life pouring from his body drop by drop. His death meant nothing; he had not stopped the spread of the evil. "No one should have to get up this early. This is just barbaric," Jason cursed as he got out of bed. Nineteen years old, Jason was in his second year of college, though he lived at home and commuted each day. With September ending, his room had reached that bitter chill that made him question the effort of getting up and putting on clothes when his bed was just so comfy.
Knowing that his alarm would never let him stay asleep, he stood up and put on the least-dirty clothes on his floor. Leaving his room, he passed by his younger sister Colleen in the bathroom. A senior in high school, she had auburn hair while his was a more dull brown. She got up before anyone else in the house simply to put on her makeup and get her hair perfect. As per his routine, Jason wished and cursed that he had been able to find classes that started later while he stepped down the cold stairs and made his way to the kitchen.
Always keeping his eyes pealed for omens to signal a good or bad day, he filled up a bowl of cereal and began his morning routine. With the raisin bran from breakfast sitting in his stomach with weight that would last until lunch, Jason rubbed the steering wheel of his car to try and heat it up while waiting for his girlfriend.
He and Christi were high school sweethearts, dating for years and now both going to the Southern Maine Community College to save money before transferring to the nearby university. Parked in front of her suburban house, he perked up like a cat hearing the sound of a can's unsealing as the front door opened and slammed shut. Wearing a sweatshirt that would be discarded in just a couple hours and a tight skirt, the blonde beauty rushed out of her house with a travel mug in her hand and her backpack over her shoulder.
As she approached, Jason's pants became tight from his bulging erection in anticipation of her arrival. "Hey baby," she said, climbing into his car and giving him a toothpaste and coffee-flavored kiss. "Morning," he hummed, looking in the rearview mirror before backing out of Christi's driveway.
As soon as her house was out of view, he turned to her. "Well?" he asked with an excited smirk.
In reply, she held up a finger to tell him to be patient while she emptied her travel mug. Drinking every last drop of hot coffee, she then washed it out with a mouthful of water from a bottle in her bag. "I swear you have absolutely no patience," she muttered. Putting the bottle and mug away, she turned to him and unzipped his pants. Jason's car swerved from side to side as he tried to stay focused, all the while her cold fingers opened his pants, reached into his underwear, and wrapped around his now fully-erect manhood.
Pulling it free of its cloth prison, she embraced it with her mouth. A shudder of euphoria ran through Jason's whole body the moment her lips touched the head, before proceeding to move down and take the whole thing. "Well with how well you do it, of course I may be a little over-eager," he shrugged while her blonde head started bobbing up and down like a buoy in the rough sea.
This was a deal they had made, though in a sense, much of the deal was never spoken. Every day that Christi carpooled with Jason, she would give him a hummer for the road as a way of expressing her appreciation.
As long as she sucked him off the three days a week they had classes, her car would be spared the millage and gas consumption of an hour's commute. But for the record, half of that hour was time spent waiting in traffic, maneuvering through the city of Portland, and trying to find a single motherfucking parking spot. This was a small price to pay, especially since she already blew him during sex.
Yet they both knew in the back of their minds that if they got into a fight, Jason could call her a whore for it and completely gain the upper hand. For ten minutes, Christi slathered his cock with the concoction of her saliva and his pre-cum, then slurped it off with the suction of a vacuum cleaner or licked it off with long sweeps of her soft tongue.
The whole time he was driving, Jason struggled to keep the car from swerving as shudder after shudder shook him to his core. Just the feeling of Christi's spit running down his balls nearly sent him into a stroke. At last, his self-control finally broke and a geyser of foamy semen sprayed into Christi's throat, making her cough and jerk her head back. "Sorry." "You really need to work on warning me. That is not the kind of thing I need so early in the morning," she replied while wiping her lips and drawing her water bottle.
"So what do you want to do on Friday? I'm open for anything." Before answering, Christi took a long drink of water and even gargled to remove the sticky cum from her throat. "Meh, let's just order a pizza and watch a movie. I can feel the bug that's going around inching into my body and I want to try and beat it with laziness." Good looking, kinky, lazy, and sweet as sugar.
That's what made her so perfect. "That sounds good to me.
I swear, this semester is kicking my ass. I really need to get my shit together." "Ugh, that makes two of us. I'm either at work or school all the time and it's killing me. I'm too much of a sloth for the real world." "Let's just hope that today ends quickly." Swears bounced back and forth in Jason's car as the young couple struggled to find a parking spot in the stuffed campus.
No matter how early you arrived, all of the good spots were always taken and you would have to park at the very edge of the universe, that is, if you could even find a place to park.
They had made good time getting to the university, having twenty minutes before their classes started. However, the only spot they could find was in the farthest corner of the campus, behind the local bookstore with a dumpster a few cars away. "Alright, see you at noon for lunch," Christi said with a stretch. "Not so fast…" Jason hummed while looking around. The expression on Christi's face immediately shifted, so clearly portraying her inner thoughts that she might as well have had "you have got to be fucking kidding me" written on her forehead.
Ok, so she wasn't always so sweet in the early morning. "No." "Come on, no one's around and—" "No." "We have plenty of time, plus—" "No." "You're wearing a skirt. Not to mention—" "No." "It would really help wake me up and—" "Damn it, Jason! What part of NO do you not understand?! We are not having a quickie in the school parking lot!" "No one will see us! There aren't any spots nearby for people to park in, I can't imagine a reason why someone from the book store would come out to the dumpster, and everyone else has already left their cars." "What if someone walks by?
What if they see us and decide to snap a picture?!" "They won't even know who we are! Seriously, how many people do you know at this university?
I don't have a single classmate listed as a facebook friend. What would someone possibly say? 'Some couple I've never seen before and will never recognize were getting it on without any visible nudity in a car so common that I can't even remember what color it was'?
And besides, if you ride on top, you can keep watch." "If I ride on top, I can keep watch.
Yeah, great way to ask!" "Please, just five minutes! I love you! I love you! You're the best girlfriend ever!" In reply, Christi released a deep throaty sigh, the kind of sigh that voiced unparalleled disgust and annoyance, but also of giving in.
"Fine, but if you don't make me cum or I end up late for class, you can forget about getting any more morning hummers!" "Challenge accepted!" Jason countered before throwing himself forward and kissing her. Resigning herself to the act and coercing her mind into getting into the mood, Christi leaned her seat back while continuing to make out with Jason. Short on time, Jason's hand passed right over her breasts and burrowed under the waist of her skirt.
Slipping into her panties, he began tickling the lips of Christi's slit, soaking them almost immediately in contrast to Christi's refusal only seconds ago. With their tongues swirling and dancing, Jason moved his fingers faster and faster until his hand was almost a blur.
While he used his thumb to play with her clit like the joystick of a game controller, he used his index and pinky fingers to stroke the interior, and his ring and middle fingers to delve deep into her sopping wet interior over and over with frantic speed. In just a couple minutes, Christi was fully aroused and ripped off her sweatshirt. Now it was her turn to start moving. While Jason reclined his seat back and hefted his again erect cock, Christi pulled off her wet panties and climbed onto his lap.
Facing him with her skirt hiding their nudity, she settled herself onto his manhood and gasped as she felt him fully enter her without any difficulty. Holding onto the shoulders of Jason's seat, she started grinding back and forth on his cock and panting like a dog as it stirred her pussy like a spoon in cookie dough.
Jason just lied back with a content smirk on his face, watching as she rode him like a mechanical bull. Wanting to take it further, he pulled up her skirt to reveal her round jiggling ass, as pale as vanilla but just glorious in its size and shape. Grabbing her ass cheeks, he squeezed them hard to savor the feeling of her soft naked flesh in his hands. With her blushing face showing her skyrocketing arousal, he even dared a few playful smacks to her rear end.
Soon, just shifting back and forth lost its satisfaction and Christi had to advance.
With the windows all fogged up, she began raising herself up to the point of nearly letting Jason's cock slip out of her, then slamming herself back down so that her bare ass clapped against his lap and his manhood struck the entrance to her womb. Her panting had now evolved into soft yet shrill moans, and as she bounced on his member, he helped by lifting her up with her arms, using her perfect ass as a handle.
Yet no matter how engorged with lust she became, Christi never stopped looking around, scanning the surrounding area for anyone who could see them or already be watching them. The fogging windows made good cover, but they were also a dead giveaway. Plus there was the rocking car… Pushing his luck, Jason moved his right hand onto the middle of her ass and pressed down on the ring of her anus with his middle finger.
He was just about to push the first joint in, but Christi smacked his hand away. "I told you no ass stuff!" "Sorry, I got carried away," he said guiltily, hoping he had not killed the mood. Fate was on his side, as Christi was too close to climaxing to stop now, and Jason was about to launch his second load. "Christi… I think… I'm going… to—" he grunted, only for Christi to cut him off with a yelp of fear.
Lying down on top of him, she confirmed the presence of someone outside. It seemed that one of the employees from the bookstore had come out to smoke.
The employee was on the other side of the nearby dumpster with a cigarette in hand and the ear buds of his iphone pumping music into his head.
They were well out of his peripheral vision and his music would probably drown out the sound of any creaking of the car, but if Christi sat up, he would be able to see her if he looked in their direction, and if she moaned, she would likely be heard. But while the fear of discovery had pushed back Jason's bubbling orgasm, it had not removed it. If he didn't fire it soon at full blast, he would be steadily leaking semen for the rest of the morning. He had to empty it all into Christi or stuff tissues into his underwear to keep from creaming his pants every time he stood up.
Aware of the thin ice he was on, he moved his hands to her thighs and lifted her up. "What are you doing?" she whispered. "It's too late for me to stop now and I still haven't gotten you off," he replied before suddenly bucking his hips and forcing himself back into her. "Ah! Cut it out, you jackass! He'll hear!" "Not it you're quiet. I just need to finish." Ignoring her response, he continued bucking his hips and forcing his cock up into her pussy.
Cursing him with a mix of "you idiot", "we'll get caught", "stop it", and eventually "oh god, keeping going", she bit down on his collar to contain her moans and even began bouncing her lower body on his lap. She made sure her body was kept low enough to not be seen, but as her falls and his rises dropped out of sync, her peachy ass would bounce up into the view of the outside world.
In the corner of his eye, Jason looked to the clock of his sedan. They had just ten minutes to get to their classes, and Christi still had not climaxed. This called for drastic measures. Knowing this could blow up in his face, he put his hand back on the middle of her ass and pressed down on her anus. Before she could stop him, she forced his middle finger deep into her ass, feeling the hot tender flesh of her rectum. Immediately, Christi gave a gagged cry of both unfamiliar pain and undeniable sexual pleasure.
She had never done any ass play, even when she was alone, so this was a completely alien experience and even a bit painful, but she also found herself hornier than ever in her life, confronted with both the possibility of getting caught and having her ass fingered.
Moving the digit in and out of her like he was digging a hole, he fingered her asshole while using it as a hold to lift her up higher and give him more room to maneuver. Continuing to force his cock up into her pussy while fingering her ass, Jason struggled to think of a way that this could get any better. "Ah! I'm cumming!" Christi hissed, stuffing her mouth with Jason's collar to keep from being heard. The sudden tightening around Jason's cock and finger confirmed her announcement as she experienced a thunderous climax, one so powerful that she could barely contain her scream of ecstasy.
Feeling his own body reaching the breaking point, Jason put all of his strength into fingering her asshole and pumping her hot cunt as if his cock were the head of a jackhammer. Just as he was about to cum, her waist completely dropped down onto his and she became limp, with Jason emptying jet after jet of semen into her dripping wet snatch. Jason's finger was pushed out of Christi's asshole and she slowly moved over back to the passenger seat with foamy cum running down her thigh.
"God, you are such as asshole.
I can't believe you did that," she muttered, grabbing a handful of tissues from her bag and cleaning herself off. "Oh come on, it's always good to try new things. And besides, you know you like it," he replied, teasingly sucking his finger clean. "That's not the point. I told you not to and you just—oh forget it," she groaned, angrily pulling her panties back on and storming out of his car with her stuff.
"Damn it," Jason cursed, knowing that he had gone too far this time. Jason's head swung lazily like a tetherball in the breeze, with his eyes feeling like they were as dry as attic dust and holding up the steel shutters that were his eyelids.
'Ugh, why did I think this would wake me up? I'm even more tired than usual,' he thought to himself while the history teacher recanted information on the Indus Valley.
World History to 1500, he couldn't believe his luck when he saw it on the add/drop list. However, the only class he could find was at 9 in the goddamn morning. With an hour to drive to school and his morning routine being far from rapid, he got up at the same time as he did every morning back in high school.
He had tried coffee and even 5 Hour Energy, but nothing worked the way he wanted it to. By all accounts, the history teacher was pretty good at his job. Professor Nelson was a man who appeared to be caught within several ages at once. His hair was bright gray, but in contrast to his unwrinkled face, it was as if his hair had suddenly changed color from stress of some kind. His personality was of someone who had just given up on life… no, like someone who had been beaten by life. He was never mean nor happy, enthusiastic nor uncaring, slow nor energetic.
The only problem was that he reeked of menthols. "Mr. Stevens, if you're going to sleep in my class, at least do so in the back of the room where I don't have to see you," the professor sighed, causing Jason to bolt awake after deciding to put his head down for a minute. "Sorry, late night." The rest of the day passed with similar exhaustion, and Jason eventually found himself eating lunch alone. It seemed that it would take time for Christi to forgive him, if she did forgive him at least.
Her anger was evident, when instead of riding with Jason back home, she took the bus to her dad's office in the city to get a ride with him. He would have to make things right with her tomorrow or the relationship would be over. Getting out of his car with a stretch, Jason groaned in happiness to be back home. He didn't live in the suburbs like Christi; the surrounding land was much more rural, but the houses were close enough together for everyone to know each other.
As he retrieved his backpack, he glanced over to his next-door neighbor's house. Tim Jones lived alone, having lost his wife to cancer a few years back. After his daughter left Maine to attend Harvard University, he hit the bottle hard in his loneliness and Jason's parents had decided to sever their ties with him due to his ensuing behavior. There was a time when Tim and the Stevens family had been on good terms with each other.
Jason had even gone out with Tim's daughter once, but Jason's parents had warned him and his sister to stay away from the neighbor now that he seemed drunk 24/7. But for almost a week, Tim's driveway had been vacant, his gray pick-up truck nowhere to be seen. Never in the morning, evening, or afternoon had Jason heard it swerve and thunder up Tim's driveway, and Tim had completely disappeared from sight.
With the pile of newspapers and bills overflowing from his mailbox and stacked up by his door, it seemed that Tim really was gone. Come to think of it, Jason did recall hearing a lot of one-sided yelling in the house before Tim's disappearance.
Had he just driven off and abandoned his home? No, no matter how depressed he was, his daughter still came and visited for the holidays, so he would never just run off and leave it behind.
CRASH! Making Jason momentarily tense up and crouch, a bird swooped down and slammed into the bay window by the front door, smashing through one of the small panes. Jason stood still, wondering if he should do anything.
A living bird would wreck havoc in the house and a dead one would stink it up. Plus a broken window was just begging for someone to sneak in and rob the place. On the off-chance Tim was going to come back, it wouldn't hurt Jason to at least cover the hole with the plywood.
Besides, after what he did to Christi, he needed some good karma. Taking a hammer, nails, and sheet of plywood from his basement, Jason walked through the river of tall grass and onto Tim's property. Looking through the window, he could see the lifeless bird sprawled out on the living room carpet.
It had to be removed. "Mr. Jones? Mr. Jones, are you there?" he hollered, knocking on the door. With no answer, he slowly turned the nob and let the slab of pine swing open. A putrid bloody odor washed over Jason, nearly making him gag. That was no dead bird. Hammer in hand in which to defend himself, Jason slowly stepped into the house.
Every movement of his feet, every inch he traversed, was like gripping hot metal as fear pumped through his veins like blood.
He had seen this situation a thousand times in movies and it always ended bad. His heart was beating wildly in his chest, threatening to break open his ribcage, his body trembled to the point where it was nearly impossible to control, and his stomach felt like it had a noose around it and was bound to the doorframe.
While doing so made him want to throw up, he forced his body to overcome the instinct to flee and moved towards the living room and dining room, glancing inside to make sure there was nothing dangerous hidden around each corner.
While there were no dead bodies, the walls were covered in mysterious symbols that he did not understand, as well as graphic phrases that only consisted of a few words but sent shivers down his spine. "ACHIEVE DEATH" "DROWN IN BURNING BLOOD" "SUFFOCATE IN DARKNESS" "ENDLESS SCREAMS" "FEAST UPON THEIR FLESH" "EUPHORIA OF ETERNAL SUFFERING AWAITS US" "LET GORE RAIN FOREVER".
These were but some of the horrible things Jason read, and if they weren't carved into the drywall, they were written in blood. He should have left right then and there, he should have run as fast as he could and called the police, but while he was more terrified than ever in his life, something was drawing him deeper into the house, almost like he was walking downhill. The air seemed thinner in front of him, while weighing heavy on his back and shoulders, as if the air itself would not let him turn back.
He felt sick to his stomach, like liquid fear would start streaming from his pores instead of sweat, but he could not leave. At last, he reached the kitchen, but he did not feel the hammer slip from his hand or hear it hit the floor with a dull thud. His entire mind was focused on the view before him. The island table that stood in the center of the kitchen was caked in blood, with streams of the hard red crust running down the cabinets underneath like wax from a candle.
Ropes had been tied to the four corners of the table, forming makeshift restraints with the table lined with fingernail marks. Coin-sized bits of human flesh covered the ground as if a piñata full of confetti made from skin had been ripped open in the kitchen. There were hundreds, no, THOUSANDS of half-dried peels covering the floor! On the surface of the table, on top of the layer of blood, there were also countless pieces of skin that looked like they had been burned.
On the floor at the end of the table was a pile of hair, shaved off of whoever had clearly died in this room, and sitting atop the mound was a chewed-up dishrag with a sheet of duct tape clinging to it. Most likely it was some kind of gag. On the surrounding counters, various instruments lay strewn about, each one painted with a rusty layer of gore.
Butcher knives, pliers, wire, a box cutter, a blowtorch, and even a soldering gun were in full view. Leaning over, Jason released the contents of his stomach onto the floor, just adding to the gruesome mess. He couldn't believe what he was seeing, this was beyond horrifying, this was soul-scarring! He had eaten in this very kitchen, he had sat at that island table! He had walked where chunks of human flesh now lay scattered like packing peanuts! But as he raised himself up, something caught his eye.
Sitting on one of the stools for the table was a spike of metal. Measuring about four inches long and with four flat sides, the thick nail of black iron stood upright with its point aiming upwards like an Egyptian obelisk. Staring at the nail, Jason nearly staggered as he felt its image enter his mind, not from looking at it, but as if he were a computer and a picture of the nail had been emailed straight into his brain.
The image… it was so vast. He felt like he was standing at the base of the Washington Monument, trying to comprehend the spire's size while being unable to see anything around it. In his mind, his memories were pushed back to the very fringe of his consciousness as the nail took his full attention and thought. In seconds, he could not look away or think of anything but the nail. With every attempt to shift his mind to another topic or draw up a memory, the image of the nail would appear, foreboding and ominous in ways he could not describe.
Suddenly, a flash popped in his mind and the image disappeared. He shook himself back to reality and looked around. That's right, he had to call the police. Jason sat on Tim's porch with his parents on either side of him. He was shaking like a leaf while forensic investigators streamed in an out, entering with cameras or leaving with filled evidence bags.
He had been questioned over and over by the police, grilled on everything he knew about Tim, his daughter, and even his dead wife. "Alright, you folks can go, but we'll be in touch," one of the police officers said as the sun approached the horizon. "Ok, come on, honey," Jason's mom said softly, pulling him to his feet and leading him back home.
As they walked through the moat of tall grass that separated the two properties, Jason reached into his pocket and rested his hand on the nail. He did not know why he had taken it; it was as if a voice had whispered in his ear.