As I walked down the alley, my eyes and ears were attentive to anything that didn't fit. I could hear the slow, almost rhythmic drip of the gutters that lined the backs of the buildings, each drop echoing as it fell into the steadily growing puddles. There were the constant sounds of scrabbling scratches that seemed to haunt the space around me. The quiet squeaks were cut short as a long, ear-piercing shriek rang out. My heart skipped a beat as I swung around, but it settled when I saw it was only a cat who had found his midnight snack. Letting out the breath I had held in, I shakily continued on.
There wasn't much light, and the little that managed to creep in illuminated the wet bricks, making them look all the worse as it showed the black mold and mildew that clung so dearly to the walls. I could see almost nothing beneath my feet, having to try quite earnestly not to trip, as far too many potholes had broken their way into the asphalt, each clouded by the shallow river flowing over them.
Suddenly there was a loud splashing from behind me. I jumped, stumbling to the side, and though I saw no one, there was now an eerie glow that had spilled over the ground. A deep scarlet was showing itself at the edge, seeping its way towards where I stood. At first I thought it was the source of the halo itself that was shaded so strangely, but I was soon corrected.
A bright flash gave me a split-second view of my surroundings, my fear pulsing as powerfully as the crack that followed.
Scattered all around me.
What I had thought was water coursing through my crosscut path was now revealed to be thick, crimson life, coming from every direction.
Another bolt showed me the carcasses carelessly cast into this thoughtless, back-door grave. They were barely recognisable as human. Their faces were twisted, contorted in pain; their flesh was shredded, pulled from the bones; mangled limbs were hung at unnatural angles or strewn aside after having been torn off.
I tried to get away, but my lungs seized tight in my chest, and I fell to my knees.
My body betrayed me, knowing someone was closing in, and it refused to rise and run.
I couldn't move and he knew it, his deep, cruel laugh lashing out as I struggled.
With the next angry roll of thunder, the blood-curdling howl that tore its way out of my throat was swallowed up. And when I could scream no more, for he had stripped me of my voice, I fell limp to the earth. My lifeless shell was dragged through the doorway at the end that had been waiting for me all along.