Short Stories

In the Flesh Part Two

A tale from Magpie Stories, what would happen if you found a book and helped to tell its story? The Second part of In the Flesh

So, thanks for coming back! I’ve done a little more of the transcribing and things have taken a weird turn, there really is something unsettling in this story. And there was me thinking, at the start, it was a diary 😊. The guy or girl that wrote this had a really fucked up sense of, well you will see.

Anyway, I think that is nearly enough from me, except to say I think that I might well try my own hand at writing! Exciting I know!

So where had we gotten to last time, oh yes, the hotel and waiting to fly home, I think the monster thing was a little farfetched but what do I know?

So, let’s get on with it shall we? Okay, here we are PART 2 of. . . do you know what? I don’t know what to call it. (I think this will be the last bit as the diary, sorry notebook, I found ends at this point, I might try to finish it off myself when I have the time or the inclination.)

I hoped that there would be a finality to leaving that strange country. The one with its strong booze; with its odd language and creatures of death. I am net religious but I pray I never have to return to that cursed land.

I am here on the plane, a disgrace, cowering, drunk. I stay drunk for most of my waking hours now. The stewardess and other attendants turn their noses up at me. I sleep only to wake hurting and always start with a scream. The ordeal is fresh, even at thirty thousand feet I do not feel safe from that thing. The thing that I wish was only in my nightmares, at least then it would only surround me we when I was asleep, I hate it. It has ruined me. At least that woman I saw, its dead victims are that dead.

Now l find myself at home, l don’t remember the journey in the taxi. It is not even a blur. My only memory was stopping at a shop for strong booze and cigarettes. I plan to make my way through the majority of both before I go to sleep again. The whole time I can recollect I heard something, a dry scratching that appeared to inhabit the back of my brain. It was an ache of recollection of feeding. I wept in the aisles and was uncomfortably ignored by shoppers and staff. Even security. Pathetic and hollow and I do not care. The looks don’t bother me at all anymore to be quite honest, they are nothing.

It cannot be there. It must not be. I am going mad. It hides away in my head, shiny and vibrant. I need to dull this edge. There is no way that I can carry on like this. So, I continue drinking.

God, my head aches so much, it is not normal for someone to feel this way? Silent silver horror inhabits all my thoughts, the thing on the screen, its array of arms and legs, its dripping maw. The fear has not gone. It sticks to me like shit on a shoe. The dreams have kept on coming and been so vivid. Vivid in their greys and blacks and the reds.

I woke in a sweat and cold. The sheets have stuck to me and wrapped me, swaddling me in bestial smells and the sound of damp cotton clinging to flesh. I have reached for stronger things than alcohol. I cannot escape the thing that I saw. I wait and tremble. The phone seems to be ringing and I cannot remember the voice at the end of it. There must have been a conversation as the number said I had been on it for over two hours. The nagging ticking began at the base of my brain and I felt inundated with calmness that had eluded me for months, since seeing the face and maw of the thing on the subway.

There was a hollow knock at the door. A tapping, inquisitive but direct. Wanting to come into the house. I sat, realising that this whole time I had been cross legged on the floor watching the motes play in the slashes of weak sunlight that barely made it in from the windows.

I cannot remember the conversation, all that plays from my mind was the simple thing of a hand at the door, another knock and there was the thing that always freaked me out the dirty fingernails. My face was pale I knew and I felt the cold sweat tingle down my spine. Whoever it was I slammed the door in their face. They did not knock again.

I grow agitated as the sky blackens into night again. I run my hand through my hair. It felt different. I think I can hear the sound of something that should not be there, I cannot tell anymore, so I drink and wait and hope that it does not find me.

The morning came, I noticed nothing out of the ordinary, until on closer inspection I found something in the garden, a human tooth a molar, one cracked as if it had been put under great pressure, there were prints in the dewy grass, a scrap of bloody material and the raking marks of some kind of creature. On the glass of the French windows, thin needle like marks etched into the transparent material, carved and there for the rest of eternity. I broke down and sat, rocking on the steps leading back up to the house. The view I had long ago so craved for its woodland privacy becoming dark and menacing.

I could begin to see a pale face in the shadows in every shadow of the forest. I returned to the house, shaking and in need of something that would be stiff and alcoholic, more to numb the pain. I ran fingers through my hair, feeling it unkempt. I drew them across my face feeling the stubble, nearly a beard covering my neck to my cheeks, and then a strange tickling, like that of several feathers moving down my face. I stared at my hands, not fully taking in what was in front of my eyes. I stared hard for some time.

It did nothing, except sit burning, not giving any comfort or relief.

It was then a strange mix of adrenaline and fear kicked in. I looked and realised, the sensation came from long white and brittle hairs that had come loose from my own head, the roots dark but the tips frosted white. I did not panic, just raked again and again, each handful taking more and more until no more came. I felt the wet oozing of something thick and warm trace my scalp. Rather than look in a mirror I settled into a chair, one that happened to be near a bottle and downed the contents, two thirds of fiery amber liquid in six gulps. It did nothing, except sit burning, not giving any comfort or relief.

I am no longer scared of the thing that I once saw. I hope it comes for me puts me out of my misery.

It came, God help me it came. That evening, I could not sleep, but a noise from outside made me look at the conservatory. The automatic lights had flicked on and there it was, in white light, as horrible as I remember it. Jaws opening wide, swallowing something large, something moving weakly. Its eyes rolled and it lolloped towards the house. I did not even flinch.

It tapped with one long finger on the glass. Running a sharp nail in exquisite cacophony across the glass, the lines from the previous night intersecting, looking like the framework for some gallows. It vomited ichor on the glass seemed to smile and point directly at me and left.

For minutes I waited to come out into the garden, hoping something would happen. I looked down where it had been standing, something raw had been left, muscle and sinew in a familiar form. I looked and looked, my jaw ached and cracked as I salivated. There in the night. I knew things had changed. My thought come slower and thicker now. A tooth has come loose, I spit it out as another, longer and sharper takes its place.

I wish I knew what was happening, I cannot face the reflection in anything, all the mirrors are down and smash, I was able to pick up shards of the reflective spears and not one punctured the pale skin, it seems thicker now.

A television hummed into life, on the screen I watched as my sister knocked on a door, my door. In the night, this cannot be. Almost spider like a familiar figure dissolved into being through the dark, pale and wide eyed. In Silver Screen perfect silence, I saw the scream, could imagine the sound of wet tearing like a too full paper bag dropped onto something hard splitting and yawning open. That maw opening.

I watch fascinated, as before all is consumed. I feel nothing, for a moment my own reflection in the glass conforms perfectly to the figure.

I know.

That is, it in terms of what was in the book. I suppose it has given me some ideas and I might even pen a few of them down.

Thomas noted the last sentence with a frown, he was not happy with it. Never mind, that book had been an interesting find and he pretty much copied that down. After hitting the post button, he did not think too much about it. The old house, the cupboard under the stairs, all of it.

He stretched his arms and put the mug to his lips, cold remnants of tea splashed against his lips. It was time for bed he thought as he noticed the time in the bottom right hand corner of the computer screen.

What he did not notice was the outline of something in the window, naked and pale. It watched Thomas intently, coking its head to an impossible angle, legs taught and ready to spring. It waited, even as it started to rain.

By magpiestories

An English teacher by trade, an author at heart, it only took a global pandemic for me to start writing my first novel. Along the way, I found a love for creating shorter fiction which I share on this site along with some updates and (hopefully) useful writing tips.

I hope you have a... pleasant time reading.

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