With the descending of the autumn sun, the neighborhood of ruin and neglect sank into an asphyxiated darkness, sliding down the unhinged jaws of the night. The glow of the neighborhood’s street lights barely kept the shroud of dusk at bay when it finally veiled the heavens.
In one foreclosed home, amongst a community of foreclosed homes, something terrible stirred in the suffocating dust beneath the floorboards. The parched earth trembled, slowly escalating into constant undulations as if the ground were laboring to breathe. This increased until the ground was heaved and split, pushing the damp soil to the surface, disturbing the legions of small lives that devoured and gorged themselves upon carrion. Hundreds of spindly-legged diggers and slithering burrowers fled in all directions from their fetid utopia as the grim secret tore free of the tarps and dirt of an unmarked grave.
With unnatural strength and fury she clawed and struck at the underside of the floorboards until the planks relented, allowing her corpse to drag itself out of the gaping womb where life simultaneously ended, and was now beginning. An inhuman howl of hunger and rage swelled out of a hallowed mouth that had been stilled for nearly three years. It was a birth cry of an abomination.
Staggering to her feet, insects and dirt rained all over the polished floor from a body that was a cobbled together ruin of rotting flesh and rags. Her head anxiously turned on a neck that cracked nosily, and her vacant eye sockets left her blind. However she could smell. She could smell like never before, and the instant the faint scent of a warm body alerted her senses, she was moving swiftly out the room, down the hall, across the living room. She smashed through the front window in mere seconds.
Unbearable hunger was a furnace barely containing the inferno that fueled her towards the scent. No other thoughts existed. No emotion but rage. Nothing else mattered as she charged through the night. Every step made the scent stronger and the hunger worse…
Walter Mason wanted to be an astronaut as a child. He told everyone and anyone who would listen about his big dreams. He often drew colorful pictures of rocket ships, read books about outer space, and went outside to the surrounding, local creeks to pretend he was a heroic spaceman exploring strange new worlds, all while managing to never miss an episode of Star Trek. Becoming a part of NASA was not a fantasy for Walter; it was a truth he just needed to be a little older to make happen.
The first signs of schizophrenia revealed themselves a couple of years after he began puberty. The symptoms were cracks in the foundation of his life that first marred his pristine academic performance. The damage spread of course, as it is prone to doing. These cracks deepened and ran through his life until only ruin remained for the bright boy with dreams of going to the stars.
The only family Walter had to rely on was his parents. However, despite their greatest efforts, they could not stop aging, and each year it became exceedingly more difficult to care for their troubled son. It broke their hearts but both parents had to eventually acknowledge that Walter needed more help than either of them could provide. It was His father who drove him to the institution to commit him. His mother did not accompany them on that first trip. She could not bear to see such happen to her only child.
Walter was supervised and medicated. His Father and Mother visited him often until each inevitably passed away. By then it was the selfish 80’s and the president decided some of the most vulnerable members of society were no longer worth protecting. So many facilities were unceremoniously closed. Thousands of mentally ill were released to whatever fates awaited them out on the streets. Walter Mason was one of these unfortunate souls.
Tonight he was wandering as he has been for many years as a weary nomad whose journey would never end as long as he drew breath. He was pushing a rusty shopping cart filled with all the things he had ever owned as an adult, and the cans he collected to purchase meager previsions. The chilly night had brought him to this community of foreclosures in search of temporary shelter amongst the empty homes that now stood as mausoleums of the ‘American Dream’.
There was a strange sound several blocks away but Walter mostly ignored it, just as he ignored the church bell and baying dog somewhere in the distance. Occasionally he turned his eyes towards the sky where the cold glimmer of stars dwell. Walter mumbled aloud to no one, mixing and blurring his extensive knowledge of astronomy with a great deal of spiritual astrology.
His walking only slowed when he came to the end of the cul-de-sac. He dug through an old gray backpack until he found his bottle of water, unscrewed the top and took a long drink before putting it back. Walter gave the white and pastel green trimmed home a cursory glance. Momentarily leaving his shopping cart behind on the sidewalk, he hurried up the walkway, climbed the steps leading to the porch, and peered through the darkness past one of the naked windows.
It took a few seconds of peeking into the home to satisfy Walter’s inquiry as to its vacancy. He turned and hurried down the steps to retrieve his shopping cart. He never saw his attacker coming until she was atop him. The fall broke several ribs and expelled the air from his lungs in one great gush. He opened his mouth to scream but only a pained wheeze hissed forth. For the briefest moment stretching on beneath the faded despair of a street light, Walter caught sight of the terrible apparition atop of him even as the smell of rot and damp earth filled his nostrils. Hollow eye sockets stared down on him from a mummified face full of monstrous teeth.
The first vicious swipe caught him across the right side of his face before he raised his arms in defense. A merciless flurry of strikes swiftly followed. In no time his arms were dripping with blood and burning with pain. Walter finally managed to scream. Those same razor-sharp claws tore through the multiple layers of clothing keeping him warm and began ripping into his torso with each consecutive blow.
Pleading for mercy with the snarling thing a top of him, he thrashed about in a hopeless struggle to break free. Desperately, he shoved at her face causing her jaws to instinctively snap down on the ring and middle fingers of his left hand, severing the digits with an audible surrender of bone, then biting viciously at his right forearm. Walter struck her head, and yanked at the ragged hair, only worsening her fury as she continued cleaving and shredding him. His screams were violently choked off when she lunged forward with a shrill howl and suddenly bit into his throat, causing him to convulse beneath her.
Walter’s struggling began to cease as he released the rags hanging off the corpse, his arms fell outstretched onto the cold cement. Above, the night was infinite and the stars continued glittering as he stared at them in wonder. The world began growing faint as he felt himself being called to his beloved celestial patterns. He was at first fearful upon hearing voices whispering in his head. Then for the first time in what felt like forever, he somehow knew he could justifiably trust these voices as they grew a clearer. Releasing one last bloody breath that bubbled past his lips, Walter Mason died.
She did not notice any of this of course. Her mind was feral and empty of all but the instinct to satisfy the tormenting hunger within. She continued to relentlessly gorge herself on the hot blood pouring from the yawning wound in her prey’s throat. Satisfying that urge was beyond any ecstasy she had ever known. Intense orgasm after orgasm exploded within her core. At the same time a terrible agony raked over her entire frame of rapidly reviving, decayed flesh, decrepit organs, and rotten muscle. Euphoria and misery, agony and desire, torment and pleasure all poured through a screaming nervous system until carnality and suffering fused together to become something beautifully grotesque. It was impossible to know if she would cry or cum.
She rolled off him with the life blood she stole burning through her reconstructed veins, repairing the ruin of her once dead body. Her ravenous need was mostly sated and that internal screaming for substance was released. Her higher conscience returned, vague memories, thoughts and emotions rapidly ignited like hundreds of candles through her mind until it all became the light of self-awareness banishing the feral shadow.
Polly opened her newly reformed eyes to discover she was kneeling outside of a strange home in the dead of night. At once she came to multiple realizations. The first was that she had managed to escape and was now free. However, before the euphoria of such a discovery could wash over her, she glanced down to discover the mutilated remains on the walkway.Then she noted her dripping hands and realized she was the murderer.