The Grin

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Five Months Later

The bald cop stood over David’s corpse. When they found it, hundreds of flies were swarmed around it, the flesh black from decomposition with only a few strands of hair left. By now, a lot of David’s bones were exposed, the flesh of the wound being rotted the worst, and his clothes were ripped and filled with holes. They could barely recognize the corpse at the time, only recently realizing it was him after having moved his corpse to the lab and performing an autopsy.

“So you’re telling me some kids were playing around inside of the abandoned mental asylum and found the dead bodies....” He asked, his nose wrinkling up behind his surgical mask from the rotten stench of death.

A short, female with short black hair and slim figure prodded at the corpse with a pair of tweezers, she was dressed in lab gear with protective goggles and a doctors mask as well, “Mental Hospital, Taylor,” She retorted.

“Same difference,” He replied.

She rolled her eyes at his ignorance, “Well, apparently a group of six kids broke into the place to play some haunted hide and go seek and ran across ’em,” she looked up from the corpse at him, putting down the tweezers and removing the white gloves she was wearing. She went over to the sink behind her, “One kid found this one up in the room, the other was hiding in the tailgate and peered in to see the other one,” She pointed across the room to Chris’s corpse on the operation table.

When they found his corpse, his flesh was grey and had welts from the burns. Some of his skin had rotted revealing bone, particularly on his face, where there was a huge gash in both of his cheeks that was now surrounded by black flesh. Black lines crept all over his face where flesh remained and his clothes were ripped and filled with holes like David’s except slightly worse.

“Why can’t the youth remain out of trouble?” The bald cop questioned out loud.

“What’s that supposed to mean, Taylor?” The girl asked, “I’m only twenty six you know, I’m still part of the youth.”

“Nah, you left that when you turned twenty, Diaz,” Taylor joked.

Diaz scoffed, “I’m gonna act like you didn’t just say that,” She picked up a clip board that was lying next to the sink, “Anyways, it appears the victim was penetrated by a knife in the back. His spine was chipped and bruised and there was also a break in the rib cage. Both wounds were rather large in size, meaning the weapon, A.K.A the knife, must’ve been big.”

“Okay,” Taylor said as he walked to Chris’s corpse, “What about the other one?”

“We assume he ingested some kind of lethal acid, but we don’t know what kind of acid though....”

“Hmmm,” Taylor slipped on a pair of white gloves and uncovered Chris’ body. He gagged as the stench of death overtook his nostrils. Once he felt his stomach settle slightly he looked down and saw the huge gaping hole where his stomach would have been, “Jesus Christ, what is this?”

“We have no clue,” Diaz answered.

“This ain’t no normal acid,” Taylor said aloud.

“Well, from what we know about him, he was a former scientist and a psychiatrist. He was said to have been working on groundbreaking advances among the science world, but before he did, he resigned and turned to the psychiatric field. We believe if you go into his office, you will find something about his work, hopefully dealing with the acid,” Diaz said, “But, you’re also gonna need to collect anything dealing with his scientific works.”

“Alright,” Taylor replied pulling off the gloves. He opened the door and headed out of the lab, entering the hall. He passed by a bunch of lab doors, “What is it with this city? There’s millions of autopsies happening every second of everyday and ninety percent of them come out unclassifiable or supernatural.” He thought to himself. He was so glad he was gonna be relocated to a different investigative bureau. This would mean no more infamous “Rockport mysteries” for him. He smiled to himself and walked outside and into his car, “Just one more day and I’ll be relocated to the much more tame, Bermuda,”

He had cranked up his car when he heard a tapping at his window.

“You might need this?” He glanced at the window and saw Diaz holding up his badge to the window.

Taylor laughed and rolled down his window, “Maybe,” he replied.

Diaz shook her head and headed back inside.

Taylor put his car in reverse and backed out of his parking spot, then switched into drive and drove off.

After a short drive, he pulled the police car into the parking garage at the mental institute. He parked his car into the virtually empty lot, the only other cars there being Chris’s and David’s. They were both surrounded by yellow police tape and had all four doors left open. An odor of rotting flesh and sulfur filled the air, sweeping over him in a wave and causing his nose to wrinkle itself. He turned his head in the direction it was coming from and saw it was emitting from Chris’s car.

He shook his head, “Is this whole place gonna smell like piss?” He muttered then quickly shook his head, “Focus on your job, Taylor. The quicker you complete it, the faster you can get out of this place,” He turned toward the brick structure, a weird vibe immediately settling over him, “I wonder if they still have power in this hellhole, or did they shut of all the facilities?”

He walked up to the elevator and hovered his finger over the button hesitantly. Before he could press the up button, he heard rusted grinding as it came down, causing him to cautiously step back. He watched as the door slowly squeaked open, observing the empty elevator skeptically but eventually walking inside. A chill ran down his spine as he entered, but he shrugged it off and pressed the number seven and rode it up. The elevator slowed to a stop on the seventh floor and opened with the same squeaking, grinding sound.

He was met with an ominous scene. The lights on the floor flickered on an off, a low buzz emitting from them as they struggled in an attempt to stay on. All the doors were open from the last time him and his fellow investigators searched the hospital for bodies, evidence, or a culprit. The doors slowly creaked, moving ever so slightly as if caused by some draft. However, to Taylor, the air felt mysteriously still.

He slowly made his way down the hall, cautiously observing his surroundings. The closer he got to his destination the more the hair on the back of his neck stood on edge. When he finally reached the doctors door he tried the knob.

“Jammed, gah,” he muttered unable to open it. He rammed his shoulder hard on the door, it nudged a slight bit. He rammed his shoulder in it again, and again, and again until it eventually busted open. He stumbled into the tiny space. When he gathered his feet, he observed the space around him. It was just as junky as Chris had left it. The only thing that had changed was the dust that filled the air with the movements of the cop and the cobwebs filling every empty nook and cranny.

He observed the room, “How am I going to find anything in this trashcan?” He muttered. He started heading to the bookshelves at the back of the room when he saw two folders sitting on Chris’s desk atop the piles of paper that cluttered it. He strolled over to the desk and picked one up. On the cover, he saw a picture of a little girl with curly red hair and stormy grey eyes. The expression of the girl in the picture was a look of utter depression.

“Avita Theresa Leigh...” He read, he then opened the folder and read the first page, “Schizophrenia and Paranoia...I remember her case, it was big news. I wonder where they sent her off to...”

He sat the folder down and saw the other one. This folder looked similar to the first, except it was way thicker and didn’t have a photo on it. In place of the picture, scribbled in bold, black sharpie read “Life’s Work”. He picked up the dense folder and examined it for a moment. He opened it slowly and was greeted with a small list of seven items:

. An incubator

. “The Bacteria”

. One gallon of non-purified water

. Two handfuls of dust

. A vial of blood

. One unfertilized egg

. My DNA

“Is this....” Taylor mumbled, “A list...a list to make what?” Taylor received an eerie feeling. He reread the list, “Why is ‘the bacteria’ in quotations?” He flipped the sheet over to the back trying to find more information but saw nothing except a sticky note on the top right of the list that read, “The God Project”. He pulled the sticky off and looked on the back of it, but once again nothing. He moved the list and the sticky note to the side momentarily and looked at the other sheet of paper behind it, a note. He began to read:

This is Dr. Hullisworth, if you’re reading this, I am most likely dead or soon to be. Inside the same folder you got this from is my whole life’s work. However, none of that compares to my greatest life’s work, “The God Project”. I got the ingenious idea from my lifelong wish of having a child of my own. If you’re reading this and wondering why I didn’t just have kids the obvious way, well my deceased wife was infertile and, therefore, could not conceive a child. So, under the circumstances, I resorted to to research in an attempt to create one myself.

I spent a decade of my life researching and working through trial and error to create life without having to impregnate a female. And, after the tragic death of my wife, I finally managed it, I finally played God. I finally managed to create life on my own with the aid of science. The process was relatively simple, I cracked an egg and mixed it with my DNA. Then, just like in the bible, I took dust and, along with some blood and purified water, I mixed the concoction together and placed it all in an incubator.

After three anxious months of waiting. Nothing. It was all a bust. However, I was determined, I couldn’t give up, I was close. So, I tried again, all the same. However, I tried with a certain bacteria I had previously created by breeding two existing bacteria, for another experiment you’ll find later in these files.

But, in short, It was a building bacteria that helped to build up and protect certain parts of living organisms, a super antibody of sorts. With its purpose of building and breaking down, I figured it would help produce a child, and I was right. Icarus was to be his name, but half a month into the project, he died.

“How...how?” I asked myself, “How could they have mysteriously died without warning?“. Then I thought to myself, they didn’t have the necessary nutrients to survive. They feast off of chemicals and other bacteria that were non-existent in the purified water. So on the third try, I placed non-purified water into the mixture instead. In this environment, the bacteria thrived and began to help build and form the child. I saw progress after three months and, over the course of the seven month period, I watched as a baby grew inside the incubator, growing limbs and features as if it was growing inside a womb. After I saw that it was fully grown in two months quicker than a normal baby I was astonished. I removed it out of the incubator and into the cold fresh air for the first time on September 4, 2013.

When the cold air hit its skin, it cried and, as I heard it utter the whines and saw tears stream down its cheeks, I felt like a proud father. I named him Oriah.

Over the course of four years I watched and recorded the milestones of his life. Two months after “birth” he said his first word. Three months after “birth” he could swim. Four months after “birth” he crawled and at six months he walked. He had a full set of teeth at one year and two months and at a year and a half he could run. He knew how to write simple words at two years, he was a lefty unlike his old man. At two years two months, he could do simple math. He began to draw dark, elaborate pictures at two and a half and at the age of three, I would walk in to find him writing short stories with related drawings. One of his favorites to write about was this one character called The Grin, he had this really simple mask that was all white and had two dark holes for eyes and a grin with curls at the end. At three years four months he also figured out how to make his own food.

However at three and a half he began to run out of breath often and would collapse from oxygen deprivation. At three years eight months he became depressed and would be too weak to do simple tasks like feed himself. Three years nine months he couldn’t move anymore. A month before his actual death, I had to put him on an IV and heart monitor.

I watched him die, and as I looked over his lifeless corpse, I saw the tan color drain from his thin cheeks and elvish ears. His thick lips were down turned in an eternal, depressed frown. He died with his milky white eyes and pitch black contrasting pupils open.Then I looked at his long, slim body and realized that I should’ve seen this coming. His outside body was growing so rapidly that his insides couldn’t keep up. His veins weren’t long enough to reach his limbs and even if they were, his heart was just so small. I placed The Grin mask I planned to give him for his fourth birthday on his face so I wouldn’t have to look at his lifeless face any longer. I stroked his short, straight dark brown hair and I cried. I cried more than I cried when my wife died, I cried more than I ever cried in my entire life. I cried so hard my body began to shake and my nose began to run. I cried for what felt like ages, I felt empty, useless. For the first time, I actually felt useful again and upon the death of my creation, I felt like an absolute waste once more.

I felt like I cried for an eternity before I heard a deep demonic chuckle, “What’s the matter little Junebug?”

I was so depressed I ignored its question and continued sobbing. The voice put a cold hand on my shoulder and slowly turned me around to face him. I cowered in fear as I met its gaze. Its skin was pitch black, it’s face was completely covered in a white paint. A contrasting black paint patterned over it in such a way that together it designed a skull. His eyes were as black as coal, and resembled a snake like appearance. His hands were long and scaly and ended in sharp, pointed dagger like nails. He was dressed in a blood red pimp suit, the top of the blazer was unbuttoned revealing his shirtless chest and abs. His chest and abs were shiny in appearance reflecting any light that met it. He had a blood red top hat and was wearing a pair of black shiny dress shoes. In his right hand was a large deck of cards. On the back of the cards was a large black square almost filling up the whole card, but it stopped just enough to have a small white outline. In the center of the card was a red heart, the red heart had a long silver knife. Coiled around the heart and knife was a white snake.

The being saw me analyzing his cards, “Are you a fan of cards?” The being had a heavy Cajun accent and had such an airy way of speaking that every time he spoke a heavy aroma overtook me. The aroma smelled like that of fresh blood, but it had a sweet after smell that I can’t describe in words. I backed away hastily as he spoke, he quickly but his thin fingers on my shoulder, “Oh pardon me, I understand your caution, because I have yet to introduce myself. I am the Angel of Death. But you may call me Death,” He said and smiled revealing his horrid, sharp fangs, “But I highly doubt you’d like to call me Angel,” He gave me a toothy grin revealing a set of pointed teeth.

“W-what are you doing here?” I remember asking him.

“Someone died didn’t they?” The wicked smile remained on his face and sent a chill down my spine, “And I came to whisk them away with me,” He slowly began to make his way towards Oriah’s body.

“No!” I called after him putting a hand on his shoulder, but quickly removing it upon the cold touch.

He slowly turned toward’ me, and gave me a smirk, “No? Do I smell a proposition on the table....?”

“I’ll do anything, I just want my boy,” I pleaded.

“I’d give your boy life.....but that’ll be hard because he doesn’t have a soul,” A twinkle was in his dark eyes, “But I could put something else there.”

“What would that be?”

He lifted his two hands, a black smoke emitting from them, “A soul of my own.....”

I swallowed deeply, hesitant to accept his offer. I had a deep longing for my baby boy, but I couldn’t shake the unease that was deep within. I looked from him to Oriah and back before finally sighing heavily. I looked into his pitch black eyes and nodded.

Death stuck out a thin hand for me to shake it.

Doubt began to etch itself throughout me, but before common sense could stop me, I shook his hand, a chill running down my spine from the coldness of it. He gripped my hand back tightly and firmly shook, looking deep into my eyes. Once he let me go he walked over to my boy and stood over him. I stayed put, scared of what was about to happen.

He pulled off my son’s mask and laid it down next to his corpse. He placed his hands on my boys chest and stared straight ahead. Black mist began to emit from his hands and slowly encase my son’s corpse. Once the mist fully surrounded the corpse, his head tilted back and he began to shout in what I can only describe as tongues. The lights inside the lab began to flicker quickly on and off, the room beginning to shake violently. Some of my vials and test tubes rolled off of the tables from the earthquake like vibrations, breaking upon impact with the stone floor. The shaking soon became so violent, I had to cover my head in case the roof collapsed. Then the black mist slowly made its way into my son’s open mouth, disappearing inside him.

Once all the mist went inside him, there was a moment of absolute silence. Everything stood still, Death lifted his hands off my son and walked over beside me, placing his hands behind his back. I looked at him, desperately trying to find some sort of signal as to what was next. He had a satisfied smirk over his face, but he never acknowledged me. That’s when the corpse jerked and flailed violently, Oriah’s body contorting weirdly into different positions before abruptly stopping. He then turned his head towards me and slowly rose into a seated position, “Daddy,” he said to me.

Death chuckled softly, “Go to him,” he said giving me a nudge in the back.

I should’ve known something was up when Death encouraged me. But I was to overcome with joy and excitement to listen to reason and I slowly made my way to the operation table.

“My boy,” I said a tear coming from my eye as I quickly made my way to him. Once I reached the side of the table, I opened my arms to embrace him in a hug.

Oriah gave me a small smile and leaned towards me weakly. I saw a silver piece in his left hand and tried to react but it was too late. He quickly jabbed a scalpel inside my stomach, penetrating my flesh and twisting it sharply. I winced from the pain and lurched over, to shocked to try to fight back. He then stabbed me again and again until I collapsed to the ground. The room around me began to spin as everything seemingly froze before fading to black.

I awoke with white light shining in my face, “Where am I?” I mumbled to nobody in particular.

A deep smooth, voice answered me, “Don’t strain yourself,”

I thought it was a deity and began to panic, “Chris don’t worry,” a familiar voice said, “Do as the doctor instructed and relax.”

“Dr. Nathaniel?” I asked turning my head slightly to find my old partner, Dr. Nathaniel standing next to a doctor. I appeared to be in some sort of emergency room.

Dr. Nathaniel gave me his goofy smile, easing my nerves slightly

“What happened?” I asked.

“I came over to ask how you and your son were doing and I found you in your lab bleeding out, I immediately called for some help,” he answered me, “I couldn’t find your boy though.”

I then overheard the TV in the background.

“The dead bodies of a family of three were found today, adding to the worrying seven previous corpses found over the past two days.”

“Oh no...” I muttered, “What have I done...”

That’s where the note ended.

“What the....” Taylor said flipping the sheet back and forth looking for more. He quickly stuffed it in his pocket, “This guy was absolutely psychotic,” He muttered, “He should be the one in a mental institute not running one,” he flipped through more pages and scribbled notes along with a stack of pictures. He felt a chill run down his spine and quickly closed the folder, “This’ll do. I’ll just look at the rest of this back at the station.” He turned and began to leave the office when something caught his eye, “What the?” He bent down and grabbed a folder out of the trash. It was a folder similar to other to, but there was a picture of a little boy on the cover. He had short, messy brown hair and freckles. His eyes were a greenish-gray color and had a look of fear in them. Other than his eyes, he had a lack of expression plastered across his face, “Sean Halo Jackson Jr.,” Taylor read aloud, “Hmph, there was a suicide by a Sean Jackson several months ago. Guess this must’ve been his boy. Must’ve been heartbroken to hear of the death of his old man, that is if they ever even told him.”

That’s when the collective power of the entire building instantaneously turned off, “Oh great,” he said and reached for his flashlight but swiped at nothing but air, “You have got to be kidding....” He groped around trying to find the doorway for a while until he finally grabbed the knob and turned it, opening the door. He cautiously made his way out into the hall and looked around the darkness, trying to figure which way he had come. He finally decided it was left with feigned assurance and slowly started making his way down. There was utter silence as he ever so slowly made his way. He had a feeling of anxiety sweep over him heavier and heavier the longer he walked, the fear of what could happen loomed over him. Just then, in the darkness, he heard a distant giggle. He snapped around and looked around him seeing nothing but pure darkness, “What’s with this place....” He muttered and continued on.

When he reached the end of the hallway to the elevator he pressed the button and heard nothing, “Oh well I’m an idiot aren’t I?” He cursed himself, “The darn powers off, now how am I gonna use the elevator?” He laughed nervously, “Now where are the stairs?” He turned around and saw a little flair of light rolling along the floor.

He squinted, “Is that my flashlight?” He slowly began walking towards it and the closer he got he began to make out the silhouette of a male, child-like figure, “Sean?” He called out to the figure.

It giggled and began running in the opposite direction of where he was.

“Stop!” He called after him and began running blindly after it. As he was running, something tripped him up and he fell hard on the ground. He rolled over onto his back, “Little boy!” He called again attempting to scramble back to his feet.

A face popped up right in front of his, illuminated by the flashlight on the ground next to them, “Hello there officer,” The officer screamed, terror pumping throughout him like blood. He attempted to squirm and get away but he couldn’t move a muscle. The twisted grin on the masked figure sent a feeling of utter terror and dread throughout him, “How’d you like my story?”

“Get off of me!” He yelled.

“I’ve hurt people officer,” Oriah hissed at him, “I’ve hurt good, innocent people.”

“Get away Satan!”

“Were you even reading? Or where you just going through the motions and moving your eyeballs? Because if you read, you wouldn’t even call me such an inferior figment of your imagination,” Oriah giggled, “The devil isn’t real, it’s just a creation of mere mortals to explain why evil is or maybe just to keep their little kiddies in line,” he leaned in close to the cops ear, “But I’m much worse than anything you or any of your other religious saps could create with your tiny little minds.” He giggled, “The mere mention of my name will soon make even the strongest of men wet their pants. I’d tell you to just watch but you’ll already be dead when that time comes.” Oriah straightened up pulled out his knife.

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