Chapter 1 - Nigel & Octavia
*Author’s note. This is an 18+ book. DO NOT CONTINUE if you are not over 18 years old. This contains MATURE CONTENT. Be warned of triggering subjects such as sexual assault, violence, horror, and gore. It is a supernatural, Lovecraftian horror story. Cosmic terror on a human scale. I write this from the darkest part of me. *
*DO NOT CONTINUE AS THE WARNING SIGN IS POSTED.*
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2021 by Michael Harper
All rights reserved. No part of this story or book may be reproduced or used in any manner without written permission of the author, except for cited quotations. For more information, contact this author.
The walkway is broken and jagged from long stretches of battering climate. Inside the grooves and close to the edge, weeds battle for space. Lurking close by was a neglected field choked with trash and food waste. Between the two-story homes, an apartment building, and a ghetto wall, the sun sways with low illumination. The air is thick with humidity, and the smell of desperation hangs in the silence. Nigel, a biracial kid around seventeen, and Octavia, a Caucasian young lady around eighteen years old, stroll across the road. Their chat is full of life and laughter. She smiled, and his cheerful looks came out. Nigel slides his hand to her ass cheek as they walk. She loves him and wants him to be as sexually aggressive as he talks. He falls deep into her sea-green eyes as he discusses a comical experience at the market store. He is smitten.
The atmosphere pauses as if the world hiccups on mute.
As Nigel steps onto the concrete from the asphalt road, his sneaker sticks. He stumbles for a moment, catches himself, and on the next stride he tumbles down. He yipes in shock, embarrassment, and irritation. His eyes flick to his shoelaces. Nothing untied. He looks back to where his feet caught. Nothing. Octavia’s eyes are filled with mirth. She reaches out to pull him to his feet, but Nigel freezes. He feels a dry mouth, and an instinctual fear punches him in the gut.
Thin, hair-like tentacles reach up from the ground, barely making a whisper on the ground. They are faint enough and diminutive enough that it would take a closer inspection to see the retractable mandibles on each stalk. A biotech company that meddled with Bobbit worm genes to weaponize them would be proud of this tentacle “fur”.
The setting sunlight catches a single, tiny drop of blood on the tips where his feet step. His eyes follow the blood trail to the soles of his feet. Carnivorous tendrils, like wisps of cotton candy, extend from within the rubber soles to the sidewalk.
Nigel’s mouth gapes as he realizes his hands are immediately immobilized on the concrete and become visibly discombobulated when he gets trapped. He yells at Octavia to stop moving. As Nigel struggles for his life, more filaments flicker with a bioluminescent bright-blue and purple color.
He twists his ankle to free himself and sees the going of armored scales on the thread. Prehensile follicles grip his fingers that blend perfectly with their environment. The ends twist into thickening braids, growing stronger by the second.
Octavia freezes. Thoughts jumble with rising fear. Her voice finds itself, and she yells for help. She scans the homes, the parked cars, and down the street, they came from. They’d been lost in their world, they had not noticed they were alone. Nobody was out on this midsummer night. No one is living. No music. No signs of life. Octavia screams as she watches Nigel’s flesh get torn off his hands and feet. His butt’s in a pool of blood.
She lets out a chilling scream as her shirt is ripped away from her and hurled into the air. Octavia YELLS as she is slammed into the side door of a car by an unseen force. Her bra is violently torn away, revealing her breasts. They are kneaded and flattened.
Hulking finger impressions sink deeply into her chest. Octavia’s hysteria heightens when her legs are spread apart, and an immense pressure over her pelvic bone crushes her deeper and deeper into the door repeatedly. She’s a limp, wet teddy bear slammed over and over again. Glass cracks at the pounding. She reaches for Nigel as they both suffer. Both fight and struggle when everything abruptly stops. Octavia stands with weakened knees against the fiberglass door, catching her breath, and Nigel flips to his side. The sudden horror has stopped. Nigel and Octavia’s fingertips brush, then... it begins again, but this time...
Octavia is pulled to her feet by her hair to stand on her tiptoes until she is DRAGGED TO THE ROOF OF THE CAR. In DEFIANCE OF EVERY KNOWN LAW OF PHYSICS.
Nigel screams for her. His mouth fills with the real stab of fear. Panic drowns his eyes. A dull, milky haze eddying over the sidewalk gives an obscene mood to the atmosphere. Otherworldly. A spectral membrane lashes forward with a whip-like speed as a flat pad with a maw with bristling black barbed teeth cut through jeans and flesh. Nigel lets out an inarticulate SCREAM of sheer horror as the tentacle flexes and pulls, jerking him flatter to the concrete.
His eyes catch Octavia’s own.
He is powerless to help her as he watches her get slammed repeatedly, her rear end pounding on the roof, her back arched, her head torn back from her shoulders, held invisibly by her hair. Her legs whip up and down like jello. She loses focus as Nigel’s bones crack INTO the concrete. The unseen horror wraps further up Nigel’s body to get a better grip... and thousands of centimeter-sized sphincter-like mandibles open and close hungrily, razor barbs gnashing. The force flips Nigel onto his stomach. These are their last moments of life.
Nigel’s mind short-circuits as he watches Octavia die from the violent assault, and his body dissolve into the furry concrete.
In the minutes that drag on, Nigel’s body is absorbed into the worn sidewalk. Octavia’s body slides off the roof of the car and lands with a wet thump. The filaments devour her body.
As the sun sets for the night, the world hiccups again. The wind blows by on the broken sidewalk.
Around the corner, a white fiat travels down the roadway. Two men and two women occupy the car, with hip-hop music emitting from the open windows and overtaking the suburban noise.
The car turns down the now-familiar street.
Curved phantom spikes with jagged edges line the road. Spores and orbs sparkle encircling and freely float above the edges. A weird sound, like bones popping, comes from the spikes as they turn into barracuda-style teeth.
As each set of tires drives over the solidified road strips, they hiss. There are cuts in the tire sidewalls. Stringy flesh-colored cartilage gripped the tires, like a hulking and muscular poltergeist with impossible strength immobilized the Fiat. Inside the car, above the music, people are yelling excitedly, pissed off at the driver for stopping so fast.