Chapter 2: Horrid

Chapter 2 - Horrid Sounds

Devil May Cry Soundtrack – “Genocide”

Chapter 2 – Horrid Sounds
by Rock Kitaro

Florence gets an uneasy four hours of sleep before waking up in a cold sweat. It’s just a few minutes past midnight. Her throat is parched but it’s the discomfort from her drenched blue nightgown that prompts her to open her weary eyes. She doesn’t get up right away. She’s too tired. The AC is set to 70 degrees on an already frigid November evening but her bedroom feels moist and warm. So she lies there, contemplating if she should try and sleep through it.

It isn’t until she raises her knee that her heel drags along the bed. She feels an alarming puddle of fluids as if her foot was sinking into a soggy sponge mattress. She sits up, whipping off her sheets with a frantic gasp before the cracking bones in her back reminds her of her age. Shadow stripes from the window blinds line across her face as she sits on the edge of the bed, planting her balmy feet to the wooden floor.

She wipes the bangs from her forehead with a puzzled look. The beads of perspiration once there was now gone. She reaches over and slides a hand across the sand colored bed sheets. It’s dry. She checks the dent in her pillow. It too is dry.

After a soft confusing chuckle, a relieved Florence lies back down and pulls the sheets over her body. As soon as she does, a thousand fingers rush up from the mattress desperately trying to grip at her flesh from her shoulders down to her ankles in a straight line like a tidal wave approaching the shores of her body. The fingers stay submerged under the bed sheets but violate her with the unnerving strength of a groping maniac trying to peel at her wrinkled skin.

Florence gapes open with a groaning shriek. Entire hands jolt through the sheets to wrap around her legs, slithering, grabbing, closer and closer up her thighs like a determined molester on a mission. In a frantic struggle, Florence’s thrashes herself off the bed.

She lands in a hard thud before crawling to the wall. Her heart’s racing. She’s crazy-eyed and panting like a jarhead in boot camp. The patio light goes dim. She reaches for the lamp on the nightstand. It’s not working. The digital clock says zeros in all slots.

Suddenly, the entire house begins to tremor. Rocks grind with the loud tenacity of a jackhammer on cement. The wooden floorboards crack and splinter as they shift and bend upward of their own volition. The walls contract, popping streams of chalky white plaster like water bursting from a pool. A web of cracks stretch across the windows and the bed sheets bulge as if a monstrous anaconda was emerging, slithering from one corner of her bed to the other, slowly approaching Florence.

“AAAAAAAAACK! NO!”

The defiant shout comes from the other side of the closed bedroom door. It was a deep bass-heavy voice, hollow and it echoes. Splintering bangs boomed one after another. As if someone was pounding a nail gun into the floor.

“NO! NO! AAHAAYAK!!! OW-HOW-HOW-HOW!!!”

Florence’s imagination takes her to a dark place where murky death invaded and demanded her attention. All of her worst fears consume her at once.

The screams get louder, more desperate, more dire. The hard mechanical pumps of the nail gun were driving sharp metal into someone’s flesh. She hears it, the tearing of tendons, the wet patter of blood splattering on the floor. The harsh guttural cry was from her husband… Her husband! Florence recognized the voice to be that of James Leach crying out in agony.

“JAMES!!!” She screams.

“RUN” James screams back.

The anaconda slithering under her bed sheet had arrived. Florence’s horror focused on the sheets. What emerged was no anaconda, but a pair of long white slender arms with six elbows and thick blue veins wrapped around them like vines on a tree.

Florence unleashes a scream as she struggles to stand on shaky ground. She bolts for the door. The doorknob turns, but it doesn’t open. She keeps turning and turning, but its like a loose wheel on a swivel with no mechanism attached. The bed sheets erect, bumping into the ceiling with such mass and madness like sheets over a grizzly bear snarling with furious aggravating to free itself.

The sheets start to turn black from the top and permeate down as if someone spilled a bucket of ink on it. That ink didn’t just stop after soaking up the sheets. It spill onto the floor and pools out to envelop the area rug.

“Oh my god!?” Florence gasps as she watches the puddle of ink spread out in quick erratic spurts like a sentient being looking to smother all it touched.

“GOD!” she shouts.

The doorknob finally lets her out and she stumbles into the hallway. Her bedroom door slams shuts behind her. Her eyes scan the dark corridor looking for James. There’s no sign of him. The vibration from the house rumbles louder than before. Through the banister, she can see trinkets falling off of the chandelier. The only light source comes from the front porch and its unusual. The white light coming through the front door window is blown out as if someone’s beaming a spotlight at the front of the house.

The light was her salvation. She needs to get downstairs but a large black mass takes up the entire frame of the hallway. It’s slugging its way towards her in a slow methodical scrape.

From the mass, the top of a head bulges out with long slimy black hair. The head tilts up, revealing the white scabby face of a female with wet black stones for eyes and a bewildered tortured expression. Thick mucous secretes from every orifice. Florence drops her jaw, her gaze raked with terror. The head and its demented face juts forth from the black mass stretching out towards Florence.

Its mouth doesn’t move but Florence can hear this face asking for help. It emanates in a soft angelic chime. “Help.” The enunciation is long and drawn out. She asks for help again and again before voices start to overlap into a rabble.

No. It’s not the only one asking for help. Florence looks down to see hundreds of black shiny faces the size of quarters. Oozing globs plop from the woman’s elongated neck and when they hit the floor, they form tormented faces. They cringe and writhe as if the rest of their body is getting boiled beneath the floor. Tiny beads scurry within these black tormented faces like swarming ants. The bubbling beads escape out from their eyelids and the small faces scream in agony, hundreds of faces screaming for help.

Florence’s teeth rattle as she takes a step back. She was so fixated on the floor faces that she didn’t realize the white scabby face was now close enough to kiss. And as soon as their eyes locked… “HELP ME!”

Startled, Florence falls back onto her ass. A sharp shooting pain rushes up. She just broke her hip and doesn’t know it. The rest of the black mass picks up its pace. It’s after her.

Adrenaline kicks in. Florence wills herself to get away, crawling, kicking. At one point, she even rolls onto her damaged hip with surprising agility. The white scabby woman gets angry. She convulses and snarls, gradually growing into a vindictive banshee screaming with belting vibrato. It’s so loud that it ruptures Florence’s eardrum. Everyone and everything is screaming.

Long white arms with six elbows discharge from the black mass with the force and flow of water spouting from a fire hose. A howling Florence drops to the floor just in time for the long white arms to smash into a bookcase above her, knocking books off the shelves before tearing up the wooden frame with the sound and destructive power of a tornado. The arms whip from the busted bookcase to the other side of the hallway tearing through wallpaper with insane aggression.

Florence reaches another door. It’s the bathroom. She opens it, but for some reason she can only push to enough space for someone to set their foot through and keep it from shutting. She tries shouldering it open further but it won’t budge. She looks up past the doorknob, and there, Florence sees another girl. My girl.

This is Maggie, a petite nineteen-year-old girl in a wrinkled black school uniform with a pleated skirt that came down past her knees. A small bow covered up her chest to her neck, resonant of that modest 1950s schoolgirl look. Her skin pigment had a pale white powdery complexion, which sharply contrasted with her shoulder length hair and bangs that covered her forehead. She had a small v-lined face and a button nose. Both of her eyes were entirely dark and solid like marbles.

She stands over Florence with a vindictive smirk. Maggie looks so human, so tangible and real that for a second, Florence believes Maggie’s alive. Just as Florence’s quivering lips moved to ask her a question, Maggie abruptly jolts forward and screams over her like a defiant teenager fed up with her mother’s tyranny.

Maggie’s scream is so violent, so vigorous. Her jaw completely detaches and falls on the floor. Her skin turns dark as if a black dye was rupturing from within her pale visage. As she discharged this monstrous shout in all its passion, a shower of ink and black maggots sprays all over Florence’s face, blinding her, causing her to shake and whine in a seizure.

Florence scurries away as she claws at her own eyes trying to scrape off the ink and insects. So consumed in panic, Florence ends up digging into her own flesh, ripping off her eyelids and gouging out her right eye. The pain and misery is complete. She no longer fears the black mass but welcomes a swift end to everything.

Weeping with blood streaking down her face, Florence hobbles along the wooden banister of the hallway. The long arms lash out and rips the chandelier from the ceiling. It falls with a thunderous crash. As Florence turns to see it, her damaged left eye detects movement. Maggie whips open the bathroom door and comes racing towards her, dragging her jaw along on the ground like an infected hound.

Florence turns to run but she’s out of strength in her cracked hip. She loses her footing and tumbles down the staircase. Her neck gets broken on the way down.

Everything stops moving. No more screams. No more cracks and bangs or hard pounding footsteps. Its as if it was all a just a nightmare.

Florence’s mouth is gaping open. Her body is lying just feet away from the front door she was trying to reach. She croaks and groans, desperately trying to draw breath as shutter flashes in the light. Her bloodshot left eye is drawn to the window flanking the front door.

A religious feeling washes over her. She thinks an angel’s come to help her but I’m no angel. I’m staring down at her with righteous indignation. The dramatic flare is unintentional. I just needed to see her perish. I confess, her mangled body paralyzed and left in such a state is a bit much. Yet, my only regret is that she would never know why? Perhaps that’s her only regret as well.

Light-Yagami-or-Kira-Death-Note

I let myself in with a key I stole and turn off the alarm. It’s in the living room where I left the pearl heart necklace. Again, I’m careful not to leave any fingerprints, this time using a silk handkerchief to reach behind the picture frame and pick up the necklace.

“Satisfied?” I say out loud.

“Not for decades.” Maggie whispers.

I elevate my sights to the mirror, at the laundry room. Mr. James Leach is no longer in sight. Instead, there stands Maggie in her modest black schoolgirl dress and that signature scowl that I’ve grown so fond of. She watches as I put on the necklace and tuck it under my collar. I did this for her, but as per usual, she just stares at me as if I’m the one wasting her time. Classic Maggie.

I walk back the way I came, stepping over Florence’s now jerking body as it desperately tries to retain oxygen. Maggie’s right behind me. We should tell her who we are and why we did this to her. It’s the decent thing to do. Yet, for some reason I don’t. It isn’t because Maggie’s there and she might be disappointed in me.

It’s more due to the fact that nothing would piss me off more than to have me explain, only for her to curse me out and say something stupid like Maggie deserved it. I’ve dealt with those types before. The attitude has a way of diminishing the triumph. Thus, I take my leave.

…Florence, the strong woman she was, lasted two days before her soul finally departed…Another one off the list.

Continue on to Chapter 3: Meritocracy

Go Back to Chapter 1: Old Smiles