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Grinder

one month ago
Commended by TharaApples on 3/4/2021 10:21:42 PM
The kid was a few hundred miles and three years gone from where he was supposed to be. His eyes ran up and down the immense industrial complex, taking in the overgrowth and desecration that now decorated its once harshly sterile facade. Captain told him to meet him here to join up with his militia of beast hunters, but the kid wasn't too sure if this was the place. He spit onto the concrete and wiped his brow as he made his way to the entrance. As he did so, he pulled out his beat up revolver to check the chamber and make sure it was loaded, just in case any trouble came around. Six in the chamber. Six shots will have to do. The groaning of abandoned machinery settling was the only sound that could be heard. He felt a chill crawl up his spine as he shut the door behind him. The sunlight faded out of the room leaving behind an almost impenetrable darkness in its absence. He swung his pack around to his front and dug through it until he found his flashlight, old and beat up with cracked lenses, but it was better than nothing. He switched it on and the beam of yellow light faltered. It took a couple of shakes to get it to work properly and even then he didn't have much faith in it. He walked deeper into the complex. His hand trailed along the rusted metal machinery and crumbling concrete walls. He felt as though something was watching him with a primal hunger, a hunger so intense that no civilized being could ever comprehend it. Somewhere further into the complex a harsh screeching cried out. The kid stopped because he wasn't sure what could have made it. Was it an old machine starting up again or a beast that had found its way through the compound? Maybe something worse? Maybe. A sound a few feet away. The kid swiveled his body to the source of the sound and shined his flashlight on it. What he saw was a pile of cardboard sheets and damp, torn up blankets. The pile shifted and shuffled around and the kid's hand made its way closer to the gun at his side. Slowly the pile rose up and as the blankets and cardboard fell off the kid saw that beneath it all was a strange old man with unkempt gray hair and a long beard. The strange man wiped his mouth. Slimy rags soaked with sweat clung to his body and just barely covered up his private parts. Looking the strange man over, the kid couldn't help but notice the vicious red scabs and jagged scars marring the strange man's scrawny figure. He peered behind the strange man and noticed what looked to be a makeshift distillery behind him. The strange man hacked up phlegm and cleared his throat before staring right into the kid's soul, his bloodshot eyes belying a violent and desolate past. The kid stared back and kept a hand near his gun. "Who are you supposed to be?" asked the strange man. "I'm not anyone," the kid told him. "Not anyone?" "Not anyone." "You must be somebody or I wouldn't be talkin' to ye." "Maybe you're just starting to lose it." "If I was losin' it I ain't sure if my huh-loo-kin-ay-shuns would tell me I was." "Hallucinations." "Say again?" "You said it wrong. Hallucinations." "Ah shut up with yer fancy words, you know what I meant," the strange man said as he waved a hand at the kid dismissively. He dug through his little abode until he found a half empty bottle filled with some thick yellow liquid that the kid didn't recognize. The strange man took a long swig out of the bottle before belching and offering the bottle to the kid. "No thanks," the kid said, slightly disgusted. "You live here?" "Yeah, goin' on twenty years or so. Why you ask?" "I'm looking for somebody. They told me to come here." "Who did? Sure as shit wouldn't me." "Said his name was Captain." "Captain?" "Captain." "I ain't heard 'bout no Captain. Especially not here." "I wasn't expecting anyone else to be here." "Maybe Captain went and steered you wrong." "Maybe it's a test of some kind." "Mmhm." The kid looked past the man and further into the darkness of the complex. "I'm going to keep going deeper," the kid said. "Watch yerself," the strange man said. "Huh?" "Watch yourself. There's some sorta thing made its home in there." "I have a gun." "Guns won't do. Ain't no beasties you can put down with a bullet in here." "There's beasts all over. I'm sure whatever's in here wouldn't stop them from swarming it." "Not here. They scared of here. Scared of that thing." "Well I'm not." The kid turned his back to the strange man and continued deeper. The strange man shrugged before crawling back into his little home. The kid continued on into the complex. With every step it seemed that the darkness became more and more omnipresent. He smacked his flashlight a few good times, just to make sure it wasn't the problem, but the thick black void remained. He couldn't see ten feet in front of him anymore and that range was slowly shrinking down more and more. He knew that just a few steps ahead, he would be surrounded by nothing but pitch black on all sides. He handed the flashlight off to his left hand and, using his right, unholstered his revolver. He cocked the hammer just in case before pressing on. The abyss is consuming everything here. The darkness doesn't let up as he continues onwards. He feels some sort of misery clawing through his brain the longer he spends here. His gun is starting to seem less and less useful. With every step his will is broken down and stripped away from him like his fingernails are being peeled off with a rusty screwdriver and the sky has turned to hellfire raining down upon him and it melts his flesh and sears his bones and he screams but no one can help him. He stops for a moment to take a breather. In and out and in and Hand grips him by the neck and pulls him back and flashlight falls as he throws a fist. Knuckle meets nothing and darkness consumes and becomes all. He's slipping away but he still has the gun and he fires. A flash of light and a cacophony of noise. Crack of thunder and bullet flying through the air and richocheting off the walls and the machines. An ungodly amalgamation of a baby's cries and a man's shouting and a whore's moans and a woman's wails and an engine's roar. The hand lets him go and he falls to the ground in a heap. Hunger hides and watches and waits. The kid picks himself up on his hands and knees and he feels bile building up in his throat. He vomits but instead of half digested food and stomach acid he finds a pile of squirming worms and hot black tar. He wipes the tar away from his lips with a sleeve and shudders. Whatever thing the strange man warned him of had just attacked him and violated him. There was no reason to keep going deeper because he knew that Captain wouldn't knowingly send him into this place. Or maybe his test was finding a way through it and out the other side to find the real militia headquarters. Maybe. He has to keep going deeper. It seemed that the darkness had retreated a bit and his flashlight was back in working order or at least somewhat. His brain was a fish flopping around in his head, flip flop flip flop flip flopping around inside of his skull and trying to find a way back into the black sea it came from. The kid reached up a hand to massage his temples but it didn't seem to help and his fish kept slapping itself against the skull trying to break free of its cage to find a way back home. He needed to go back home and cradle himself up against his mother's bosom because he had lost his way and there was no going back because he was damned for all the things he had done. Oh god, what has he done? Father used to tell him that the only future he had was doing jackshit with his life but farming mushrooms like he had done and his father had done and his father had done and so on so forth as far back as the First Cleansing. The kid couldn't do that because he was a stubborn little ankle biter determined to do something meaningful in his life. He set out from home at the age of fourteen with his father's revolver a box of bullets and twenty-two dollars and didn't look back because back was a place he didn't want to be. It hurts it hurts it hurts not until now when the weight of his sins was beating down on him and gods hand reached through from the heavens and wrung the life out of him like it had just done forgive me father i have sinned the kids he had orphaned and widows he had made and crimes he had committed just to keep alive another day had finally found pushed their way into his conscience father mother please come save me the darkness had returned and it felt welcoming with its endless expanse of comforting nothingness in a world full of so much sin you couldnt even tell what was right anymore help me help help me help he felt himself welcoming it despite its abrasiveness and it took the form of a girl he had once loved but left behind to chase foolish dreams of a life worth living sick and demented and vile and his hands ran up and down smooth curves black as a moonless starless midnight and she ran her hands through his hair while positioning herself closer to his YOU CAN'T HURT ME NOTHING CAN HURT ME NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW NOTHING CAN STOP The metallic screech of the grinders came to a stop. Beneath the flesh and blood and bone powder, a flower broke through a crack in the concrete and bloomed.

Grinder

one month ago

I liked how things kept progressing on the 'tense chart' until the conclusion. 

Grinder

one month ago

I liked this a lot, pretty fucking spooky!

Grinder

one month ago

Unfortunately the horror aspects of the story were lost on me after Enter's tastes in food wrre brought to light in more despicable detail. But on the bright side, reading this story after the heinous revelations last night at least restored my will to live.

Grinder

one month ago

And here I was expecting a short story about gay men finding love over dating apps. :p

Grinder

one month ago
The disappointment is real

Grinder

one month ago
Oh, I never did comment on this. I had a little trouble following what exactly happened to him or why he was sent there, buy I liked it a lot in the moment to moment sense. The steady racheting up of tension and the fragmented internal dialogue as the dude starts to crack was really well done.

Can't believe the Captain stood him up on their date like that.