The Storage Unit Auction
Glen felt pretty good after outbidding everyone else and winning the contents of the abandoned storage unit. Sure, he’d spent a little more than he wanted to (actually a lot more) and his wife was going to be beyond pissed when she found out exactly how much money he’d spent, but he had a good feeling about his win. He didn’t know exactly why but he just knew in his heart that there was something tucked away inside of storage unit C-14 that was going to change his life forever.
He’d heard many tales of people finding amazing items left behind by previous owners inside abandoned storage units, such as old baseball cards, first edition novels by famous writers, and expensive jewelry. Some guy supposedly came across copies of Amazing Fantasy # 15 and Action Comics #1 (neither of them in mint condition unfortunately, but both of them were in pretty damn good shape considering how old they were). That guy made a pretty good chunk of change when he sold them to some completely loaded comic book collector who just had to have them.
As Glen and the other bidders (most of them pissed off because he had won) watched the owner of all the storage units, who looked like a live action version of Mr. Peanut, and conducted the auctions each Saturday have his lackey (an obese red-headed fellow named Clarence that was barely literate and always smelled like chicken noodle soup for some strange reason) unlock unit C-14; he couldn’t help but think of the whole “Big money! Big money! No Whammys…Stop!” thing from Press Your Luck. He envisioned a mountain of cash inside cascading out on top of Clarence like a water fall as he opened the unit and smiled. Surely his wife wouldn’t be too mad by the amount of money he had to spend to win the unit if what was inside would make them millionaires. His imagination started running away with him and as Clarence fumbled around with the key in the lock, for a bit, as he struggled to open up the unit, Glen pictured himself swimming in a huge amount of money in a vault just like Scrooge McDuck always did (with a couple of hotties in string bikinis on each arm cheering him on as he would no doubt eventually tell his bitch of a wife to hit the bricks).
A few of the people in attendance who actually managed to survive later told authorities that they heard a low growl coming from inside unit C-14 a few seconds after Clarence opened the door. Glen didn’t hear it of course as he was too preoccupied with a number of thoughts as to what was waiting inside for him and how rich he was going to be as a result. However, he did hear the skinny, white trash woman wearing the faded Metallica shirt from the 1980’s (that proudly proclaimed “Metal up your ass!”) that was two times too small for her and smelled liked a combination of stale smoke, piss, and cheap bourbon scream as the thing lunged out of the storage unit and separated Clarence’s head from his body with a single swipe of its clawed hand.
From that moment on chaos reigned supreme among the crowd. The creature emerged from the storage unit and started attacking anyone unfortunate enough to be in its general vicinity, tearing them to shreds with glee. Initially it didn’t quite register with Glen that what was taking place all around him was real until he felt the warm blood splash on his face as the elderly man standing a few feet away from him had his chest ripped open and his heart violently removed by the monster (who promptly ate it before it even stopped beating).
The beast was a grotesque mismatch of several different animals. It had the head of an alligator, the body of a black bear, and a protective turtle-like shell on its back. It had razor-sharp claws on the end of its paws and a mouthful of long, protruding teeth designed to shred skin, bone, and muscle alike with relative ease. It had red eyes (with black pupils) and a long forked tongue that was dripping with some sort of strange substance that resembled the ink that an octopus or squid would emit as a defensive measure to drive away any would-be attackers.
The alligator monster cut a path through the crowd of screaming, panicked people, leaving several mutilated and broken bodies in its wake. It grabbed a little boy who was screaming at the top of his lungs and bit off the top half of his body with a quick snap of its powerful jaws. A tall, stocky guy who looked like he was a member of Hell’s Angels or some other biker club took it upon himself to play hero and made the unwise decision to attempt to punch it in the face as it approached him. He ended up having his arm bitten off at the elbow before the creature swatted him aside as if he was just an annoying fly or gnat, shattering his spine (and most of the other bones in his body) in the process.
Like everyone else in attendance, who were either still alive or in control of their mental functions, Glen ran for his life, not caring who he mowed over or knocked down on the way. Some of the people who weren’t mauled by the beast were trampled to death by the others desperately fleeing to safety. Glen pushed an old lady with a walker, who was in front of him, to the ground and seconds later heard her anguished cries as well as the grisly sound of several of her bones being broken as the people behind him ran over her.
As he ran toward the parking lot to the safety of his Jeep Cherokee he made the mistake of taking a moment to look behind him. He saw the horrible creature closing in on him as if it was singling him out from the rest of the crowd (perhaps it was aware of the fact that Glen had won him?) just a split second before he tripped over some bloody and battered middle-aged Latino man’s body that was on the ground in front of him.
He fell face-first on the ground and hit his head hard enough to make him see stars. He saw the huge shadow appear behind him but before he could get up and make a run for it the thing from unit C-14 pounced on him and tore into him with its claws, tearing away strips of skin from his back, neck, shoulders, and even his head. It was right around the time that its teeth sunk into his right shoulder that he started to black out, but before he went he heard the sound of multiple guns being fired at once nearby.
When Glen woke up several hours later the first thing he saw was the worried look on the nurse’s face. She was hovering over him looking down at him and when he opened his eyes quickly and without warning it startled her to the point that she took a step back and nearly tripped over her own feet.
He sat up in bed (ignoring the nurse as she ordered him to just stay still) and regretted it immediately as a wave of agony washed over his entire body and nearly made him scream. His back felt like it was on fire and his shoulder throbbed like a really bad toothache. His head hurt, he was nauseous, and he just felt like shit in general. At first he thought that he must have been hit by a truck (the pain medication that was being pumped through his body made him groggy and as a result he was more than a little out of it) but when he came to his senses and remembered the attack that had taken place at the auction, he felt a cold shiver run down his spine.
Despite the fact that he felt like ten pounds of shit crammed in a five pound bag and thrown out of a moving vehicle, the nurse assured him that he was lucky and that he was going to be just fine in time. He found it hard to believe since every single move that he made caused him nothing but mind-numbing agony, but he just nodded in response since he didn’t have the strength to question her diagnosis. She checked her watch and then gave him a shot to help ease the pain (it didn’t help but he was grateful for the effort and he knew that eventually it would give him a nice buzz if nothing else) before writing something on his chart and leaving the room.
She walked down the hallway and poked her head into Dr. Nason’s office to update him on Glen’s condition since he had been the attending ER physician who had treated his wounds when he initially arrived at the hospital. Since he’d been the victim of such a bizarre attack and the details were still sketchy (Nason refused to believe the eye witness accounts that some sort of monster was responsible) he made it clear to the nurses and other staff members to keep an eye on Glen and to report back to him on a regular basis.
Nason spoke to the nurse and after she left to carry on with her rounds he turned his attention to his computer. He searched the web for a while, looking for reports on any similar attacks anywhere else in the world but didn’t find anything. He wasn’t surprised as he assumed that the whole “monster attacks a crowd of people” thing was either just a mass hallucination on the part of all the survivors or they’d conspired together to fabricate the story in hopes of getting on the nightly news and trending on Yahoo! for ten minutes or so if they were lucky. He didn’t know what had happened to Glen and the others but was pretty sure that some fight had broken out among the fat slobs bidding on the abandoned storage units and things got out of control.
He was in the middle of reading over (and chuckling while he did so) an article on a website that argued the existence of werewolves when his phone started ringing. When he picked it up he barely had enough time to speak when the person on the other end started talking immediately in a low whisper that he had to strain to hear.
“Dr. Nason, it isn’t over. You have to evacuate the hospital right now!” the caller said.
“Excuse me?” He asked, not sure if the person was male or female.
“You have to get everyone out of there immediately! If you don’t countless people are going to die!”
“What is this, a bomb threat? If so I’ll have you know it’s illegal to make-“
“It’s not a bomb! I wish it was though, you’d probably be a lot safer!”
“What are you talking about?”
“The man who was brought in earlier this evening, the one attacked at the storage auction. What’s his current condition?”
“I’m afraid that’s confidential and I’m not at liberty to say over the phone. Now if you’re a family member then we can-“
“If he’s still alive he’s infected and you are all in terrible danger! I know for a fact that the virus is contagious and spreads through bites and scratches!”
“I think you’ve seen too many horror movies. Good bye!” Nason snarled, not wanting to waste his time with such a ludicrous conversation any longer.
The person continued to plead with him to evacuate the hospital but he just slammed the phone receiver back down in its cradle in response. A full two seconds later it started ringing again but he just ignored it, hoping that whoever it was would get it through his or her head (he never was able to figure out the person’s gender) that he wasn’t interested in hearing what he or she had to say and would just give up and leave him alone (or go bother someone else).
It was around the ninth or tenth ring that he decided that he couldn’t stand it any longer. He reached over to grab the phone, preparing to give the person a piece of his mind when he heard all of the screams coming from around the corner and down the hall. He jumped up from his chair and darted down the hallway toward the direction that all of the commotion was coming from to investigate. When he rounded the corner he saw all of the broken, mutilated bodies of various patients, nurses, doctors, and other staff members that were strewn about everywhere.
After spending a few terrifying moments standing there gaping at everything, self-preservation took over and he ran away without even checking to see if any of the people were still alive (and if he could help any of them that were since he had, in fact made an oath to do so as a doctor). He immediately thought of the phone call that he’d just received mere minutes earlier as he ran for his life and wondered if he could have done something to help all those poor people if he’d actually listened and done what the person wanted him to do. Part of his brain was telling him that the caller was a delusional whack job who had no clue what he or she was rambling on about while the other half just hoped and prayed that he didn’t run into whatever it was that had caused such bloody carnage in such a relatively short span of time.
He was almost to the elevator (and to safety) when the thing that had once been Glen emerged from a patient’s room in front of him gnawing on a severed leg and cutting off his escape (and looking like he was ready for dessert).
Glen looked a little different from the thing that had attacked him. He had red, scaly skin and a sharp squid-like beak in the center of his face. He had a large simian’s body and his hands had transformed into a pair of lobster claws. There was a series of sharp, pointed spines jutting out of his back (that reminded Nason of the ones that ran down Godzilla’s back) and his eyes were pitch black and soul-less.
Glen grabbed him by the waist with one claw and started pulling him closer and closer to his beak that was snapping up and down in a frantic motion. Before he felt it tear into the side of his neck Nason thought he heard the phone in his office ringing again and again as he prayed that he just died as opposed to suffering the same fate as Glen and having the live out the rest of his days as some sort of twisted, hideous beast.
His prayers were answered, but Glen made sure that he suffered the most agonizing death possible in the process before throwing his limp and broken body to the side and heading down the hallway to find his next victim.