Monday, October 20, 2014

Coffin Hop Prequel

One eye rolling, he slumped up from his tattered coffin, the wooden edges of the box cracked and rotten. Looking down, he sneered (as best he could) at the plank barely held together on a hinge that had once been the cover of his resting place. Sliding out of the box, he hopped down from the slab onto the stone floor, snorting back a stray maggot and hacking out a mixture of frothy pus and worms.

Looking with his one good eye, he moved over to his cracked mirror and checked over himself. Patches of skin had worn thin over his joints, revealing the bone and wire thin lines of muscle holding him together, his paper-thin skin doing little to hide the twisting maggots beneath his flesh, nor the roaches freely moving about his body. As one crawled up his neck and through a hole in his cheek, he chomped, splitting the creature in two, before chewing slowly, savoring the fluids spilling forth from the crunchy exterior.
“I look like hell…” he rasped, raising a hand to pull back the thin wisps of hair hanging from his head. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had any visitors… best do what I can to make the old crypt as appealing as possible.”
Moving on rickety bones over into another room, the ghoul lit the red wax candles, casting a pale glow over the room, revealing a long wooden table that had obviously been built inside the tomb, as it was too big to move through the narrow passages. The ghoul pulled up a chair and sat down, resting his head in his hands wearily as he contemplated what to do.
“So many stories to prepare, and not enough time.” The creature bemoaned. “I still have the story of the Undead Hunters, as well as the tale of the Hung spirit; Not to mention the continued tales of Professor Nickels. And I always have the Atheist’s Nightmare to continue… what to do, what to do…?”
A muffled cry came from the stone passageway leading to a darkened room. Slowly, with the speed of the enfeebled, the creature stood and limped into the room, carrying the candelabra of lit candles so as to shed light. The light that was shed revealed four bodies, three of which were unconscious. One was a woman, with frizzy brown hair and mocha colored skin, bound at her ankles and wrists, lying on her side.
“Oh,” he said simply, staring at her. “Just you. I thought maybe a hopper had come by early to see what I’d cooked up for them so far.”
The woman screamed into her gag, her eyes wild as she stared at the rotting corpse before her.
“I know, I look horrible. I’ve been relaxing too much, allowing my bones to grow stiff and my flesh to wither.” He said, walking up next to her, sliding a cleaver from a block on the wall. “I just need to supplement my diet a little and get some fresh air. Maybe dig through the archives and work on something I haven’t touched in a while.”
The woman nodded her head shakily, tears streaming down her cheeks. He stopped over one of the unconscious bodies, a thick older man with muscles, bringing the cleaver up and down several times, hacking into his arm to remove a portion of fresh, bloody meat. Squatting down to scoop up some dirt, he rubbed it into the gaping wound before patting the man’s face, smiling as he watched the man’s eyes roll into the back of his head.
“Shock and awe… has to work somewhere.” The creature muttered, pulling the flesh up to his lips and taking a solid bite out of the meat, pulling with rancid teeth a section of red flesh away for him to idly chew on. Looking at the woman, he nodded at her. “So what do you think? Should I just stock up on some bodies for when the others come to see my crypt, or should I work on some fresh and original art for them to appreciate. As it is four bodies will be enough to rejuvenate me. I really must thank Lori for dropping the bodies off so promptly to me every year.”
The woman stared wide-eyed, quivering all over as she stared at the ghoul eating a section of shoulder torn free from another human. The ghoul chewed thoughtfully, blood dribbling down his chin as he ate. Perhaps another Vampire story?
Dead and Loving it was a big hit, and I have a few gruesome tales that are standalone terrors that could work well. Maybe I’ll just add to my body of work by continuing my existing stories.”
The woman nodded slowly, unsure of what she was agreeing to. The ghoul licked his chapped lips before sucking on each finger, licking the blood free from his phalanges. The cleaver still in hand, he walked over to the woman and grabbed a shock full of hair, lifting her up with a shriek.
He held the cleaver close to her throat. “You’ve been a good source to bounce ideas off of, despite your inability to talk. I like that.”
Pulling back his arm, he whacked into her throat once, a spray of searing hot arterial blood dancing from her neck as another chop shook her body. Slowly, the ghoul hacked off the woman’s head with the dull cleaver before placing the tool back on the wall. Spattered in gore and foul-smelling remnants of the woman, he held up her head and looked into the blank, brown eyes.
“Y’know, I think you’ll be a fine addition to the staff here at the Nickronomicon. Maybe an editor position. I can just hang you over the scrolls and you can read. I think I have a hand around here that can act as your pen when you need to edit. What do you say?”
The ghoul reached up and ungagged the head, letting the cloth drop from around her shredded neck. Blinking slowly, the head worked its jaw up and down for a few moments before words began to spill forth.
“Sounds like I won’t have anything better to do,” she said grimly, earning a dry chuckle from the ghoul. “You say you have visitors when?”
“At the end of the week, for an entire week.”
“So we have to get your work as ready as we can for readers and writers alike.” The severed head said. “Turn me around so I can look at what we have to work with.”
He turned her slowly to show off the larder of human bodies.
“And this is enough to get you into showroom condition?” She asked somewhat doubtfully.
“More than enough,” the ghoul assured her.
“Then let’s get to work,” she said with a tone of resigned finality.

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