"On The Dark Side Of The Street" Project
Cult's Short Story
Zisi's Ode to Zhanna Friske
Kevin's Dark Poem
A Short Story by
*Part of the “On The Dark Side Of The Street” Project
A few hours passed as Peter splattered blood red paint all over the walls of his new work space. He had never really had his own office before and he was bound and determined to make it as gruesome as he possibly could. First he had searched and searched for the brightest, crispest white paint he could find finally settling on a shade from Sherman Williams called Extra White. Of course, that looked far too clean like a damn institution though he had asked the paint counter guy for a shade of white that would look like an angel puked up a cloud. The thought brought a smile to his face as he could only imagine the look of horror on old Mrs Silver’s face if she had heard him spout such blasphemy. He almost wanted to paint the entire house black with inverted crosses for decoration just to give the old bag a heart attack. As for the red he was using, that had turned out to be far easier to decide on. A few internet searches had turned up something called Perma-Blood paint. He had been tempted to purchase the 55 gallon drum that was offered but settled for just a gallon though it had been damn expensive. After hours spent getting the splatter effect just right he stood back to view his handiwork. It definitely looked like he had killed half a dozen people in here. Peter had gone all out even ordering a specially made black rug complete with chalk outline of a body with blood splattered on it. If this wasn’t going to be the perfect space to create nasty stories filled with blood and guts then nothing was going to do it. Again the image of an aghast widow Silver flashed in his mind which started him laughing again.
Peter began picking up the plastic sheeting from the floor and removing the masking tape and paper safeguarding the windows and ornate moldings when a thought struck him. He had never been a huge prankster, he was a writer which meant for the most part he kept to himself and away from people as much as he possibly could, but the thought that popped into his head was just too damn irresistible not to do. He tossed the paper he had used to cover the two windows in his new office down on top of the plastic but it just wasn’t enough for his prank to reach its full potential. He grabbed the roll of paper tearing off a large piece which he balled up then a few more to add to the pile. Satisfied he had enough he rolled it all up in the plastic drop cloth he had used to protect his wicked new rug. He finished off his little masterpiece with some tape to hold it all together. He laughed all the way down the stairs taking a large, deep breath before daring to open the door. He couldn’t let the widow Silver see him laughing spoiling the entire prank. He also couldn’t wait to laugh with the uniformed officers who would end up at his door in a few minutes. Thinking ahead Peter readied a pot of coffee to offer the officers for wasting their time.
Peter’s gut ached from laughing at his own prank and then the wait began. The coffee had finished brewing and Peter was now halfway through his own cup and still there had been no knock on his door. All he could think was that Ms Silver called them so many times over nothing that the police didn’t place any call from her as a top priority but still if she called 9-1-1, as he was sure she had a few seconds after he had opened his door, they should be on their way. Peter waited and waited finishing his cup of coffee, refilling it and still no knock at his front door. His heart began to sink thinking perhaps his nosy neighbor had gone out for the night making his little prank a complete waste of time. There was no real way for him to tell with whatever she drove behind her closed garage door. In fact, now that he thought about it he had never seen her go anywhere so he had no idea what she drove. After forty five minutes he finally gave up assuming there was no knock forthcoming from the boys in blue so he started up the stairs to get the carnage washed off himself. Oh well, he thought, it probably wasn’t worth all the trouble anyway. He could always write a better version later immortalizing his nosy neighbor in all of her ridiculous glory.
Peter was about halfway up the stairs when finally a knock came to his door freezing him in his tracks and putting a big grin back across his lips. Old Ms Silver had come through after all! He practically raced to the front door whipping it open with a thousand watt smile to greet the police. There he stood in front of his wide open door smiling at nothing but the black of night outside. What the hell, he thought to himself, Am I going nuts? Someone did knock, right? He stood in the doorway baffled when the knock came again. It hadn’t come from his front door but the back. This was just downright weird he thought, why would the cops come to the back door?
Peter walked slowly and cautiously toward the back door of his new home. He couldn’t imagine any reason for the police to knock on the back door so he grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen as he made his way to the door. The back door had no window so he stood with his hand on the knob for a moment to see if the knocking would come again. Nothing happened so feeling rather stupid he turned the knob slowly opening the door just a crack to peer out. He saw nothing so he opened the door a little further. Nothing just like the front door, he stood in the doorway looking out at nothing more than the dark of night.
“You kids stop fooling around and go home!” He yelled out hoping that would be enough to scare off whatever neighborhood kids were pulling a prank on the new guy on the block. He listened intently but heard no scampering of little feet or any other noise. He shook his head and closed the door. That’s when everything went black.
“Don’t bother trying to move mister writer man or should I call you murderer?” It was a woman’s voice but not one he recognized.
Another slap that felt like slamming into a brick wall made him cry out which was cut short by a bucket of ice water thrown in his face. That did the trick alright, his blurry vision cleared. What he saw only led to questions which made his head hurt even worse.
“What in the fuck do you think you’re doing? It was just a prank you nosy old bitch! You’ll set me free if you know what’s good for you! My lawyer is going to have a field day with your old wrinkled ass! You can fucking count on that!”
“Calm yourself you piece of filth.” Ms Silver’s voice did not match her exterior form sounding like a voice that should be coming from some sexy pinup model not an old haggard widow.
“Calm myself? How about this? Go Fuck Yourself!”
“Oh my, such language. Just what I expected from the likes of you. You think you’re smarter than everyone else don’t, Mr Steele? You think you can just do anything you please and there will be no consequences for it, don’t you? Well I have you now and we’ll see just how smart you are Mr Steele.” Ms Silver’s voice was cold and calculating as though she had planned all this for many months. She was the cat with her prey thoroughly grasped in her claws.
“I don’t know what in the bloody fuck you’re talking about. There was no body you stupid old cunt. It was plastic and dropcloth, nothing more! It was a prank you humorless dried up fucking cunt! Now let me go before you’re really sorry!” Peter had never been so scared or pissed off in his entire life.
Ms Silver didn’t respond to his little outburst. She looked down at him giving Peter the most wicked evil grin he had ever seen in his life. Now he was scared shitless. She turned her back on him to which he let out a deep sigh of relief only to be smacked nearly out of the chair he was tied to from behind. He couldn’t see his assailant but whoever it was had to be huge since the hand he caught out of the corner of his eye looked like the biggest Easter ham he had ever seen. It felt like the side of his head had been caved in, his ears were ringing and his vision blurred for a moment but he stayed conscious. He assumed he had taken a bat or crowbar to the back of the head back at his own house but now he imagined if the giant behind him had used a weapon he wouldn’t be alive to think about what he had been hit with right now. He could only imagine how big the wielder of that giant hand could be.
“Lots of people write, why am I here? I was just trying to pull a prank on you. I’ve never hurt anyone in my life. Why are you doing this to me?” The pain in Peter’s head made the words come out much slower than usual.
“Never? Oh, I don’t think you get it at all. Your blasphemies hurt many. You dare to think you’re all spooky and evil writing your nasty bits of trash and then you have the nerve, no, the gall to try and play some stupid prank on me? On me!? You don’t have a clue who in the fuck I am. Prank me! You are an imposter in all you do. You write of blood yet have never spilled a drop. You write about guts strewn about like so much discarded trash yet you’ve never seen a real intestine or stomach or liver or kidney or anything else, have you? You write of torture and think you’re so very clever yet you don’t know what it sounds like to hear bones pop from the pressure of a clamp or what it really sounds like when you squish an eyeball under your boot heel. You write endlessly about all manner of murder but have you ever taken a life Mr Writerman!? No, you just think you’re so fucking clever. You’ve never heard the sound of someone’s last breath. You’ve never laid next to someone to watch the last bit of life slowly fade from their eyes when their light goes out permanently. You’re nothing but a fake Mr Writerman! Nothing but one giant pussy fraud! My son and I will change that here tonight. Prank me! Fuck you Mr Clever Writerman, fuck you!”
Peter was speechless. He could see it was pointless to talk to what he had thought of as nothing more than a nosy old bitch before just now. He broke out in a cold sweat at the thought of being tortured and killed like a character in one of his many tales. The victims in his books were usually the stupid ones, the ones who were dumb enough to go lurking in back alleys, investigating strange noises late at night or not having enough common sense to not walk on the dark side of the street. He was no character in one of his books, he wasn’t stupid. He could see Ms Silver was far more than he had thought she was nor was she someone he was going to be able to reason with. The old cunt wasn’t just nosy and annoying, she was completely insane. Then there was whatever beast had hit him still lurking behind him somewhere. Best to keep his mouth shut for now he thought.
“Cat got your tongue Writerman? Junior! Bring him over here.”
The chair legs scraped across the dirty wooden floor of wherever Peter was as the beast behind him pushed him forward through the dim light of the room to where Ms Silver stood with her back still to him. Now that he was closer he could see she was doing something in front of her though he hadn’t a clue what it was. He sat there in silence refusing to speak, waiting patiently for any opportunity to escape. Dread of what would happen before he found that opportunity filled his head now.
Junior said nothing as he inched forward as if in slow motion. Peter’s jaw about hit the floor seeing the giant slab of grotesquery for the first time. It was gigantic and if there was any human in it, Peter couldn’t detect it. Junior was absolutely massive standing at least ten feet tall with the only human characteristic being the two massive tree stumps it stood on. Junior’s skin had a blue-ish green tint but that was the least odd thing about him. The ham sized hand that had slammed into Peter just a moment ago was more of a club than a hand attached to a beefy arm on Junior’s right side. There was no matching arm on the left. Junior instead had a mass of tentacles that seemed to sprout from somewhere on his back. One of the tentacles reached out slowly caressing his mother’s cheek while others squirmed and writhed in all directions. Peter cringed pushing himself as far back into the chair as he could as one of the tentacles slowly squirmed in his direction. Junior’s head was just a bulbous mass sitting atop his giant frame as though someone had scooped up a mass of mashed potatoes and slammed it in his face. Peter almost didn’t dare look up at the thing but yet couldn’t help like trying to turn away from an accident. Junior only had one eye but unlike the cyclops Peter and anyone else had ever seen in drawings, the eye was not centered. It arched oddly on the right side of Junior’s head as though someone had just made a random jagged slit and pushed an eyeball into it, one fiery red eyeball. There were a few wisps of wiry black hair sprouting out of Junior’s head but other than the eye Peter couldn’t discern much else. He assumed there was a nose and mouth in the mass somewhere but for now he couldn’t see it. Thank God for small miracles he thought.
“Don’t stare at my boy Writerman! It isn’t nice!”
The words had no more left Ms Silver’s lips than the tentacle that had been writhing near his feet reared up and smacked him across the face. There was an eruption of laughter from the old bitch but worse from Junior as well. Peter finally saw Junior’s mouth and wished he hadn’t. What Peter had thought was the line of Junior’s massive head meeting his neck was no neckline but the beast’s mouth. Peter had always been a big fan of shark week on Discovery channel and what he was staring up into looked like the mouth of a great white shark. Dozens of what looked like razor sharp teeth jutted out from Junior’s gaping maw. Junior was a true living nightmare.
“Now Junior be a dear and bring our guest over to momma’s side.”
Peter shook his head trying to escape the awful smell under his noise. He wasn’t sure that there was a worse smell other than perhaps raw sewage than smelling salts. He shook out the cobwebs but unfortunately his situation hadn’t changed in the slightest. Junior’s tentacle around his upper arms and chest felt like it was crushing the life out of him but luckily Junior had moved behind him so at the very least he didn’t have to see the monstrosity.
“Welcome back Writerman! Now let’s get started.”
It had taken him a moment to remember what had made him faint in the first place but with his vision clear once more he only wished he could forget. Ms Silver had been standing at the edge of a table but it was what was on the table that had turned his stomach. Upon the stainless steel table before him there lay a young girl of no more than fourteen years old, if that. At first look he thought old Ms Silver had carved numerous odd markings into the child’s skin but now on second look he could see that she had merely drawn the symbols on with a red marker. He had seen some of the symbols before but most were absolutely foreign to him. All the symbols seemed to emanate out from the pentagram in a circle which covered the young girl’s entire abdomen. There was some sort of tiny marking at the tip of each point of the pentagram, none of which he had ever seen before.
“What in the bloody fuck are you doing?” The words came out far weaker than he had intended.
“Me? Oh no Writerman. I think you are very much mistaken, I think you mean what are you about to do? I have prepared our little sacrifice but the grand finale is all up to you, Writerman. You’ve written it, now it’s time to finally get your little hands dirty.” The malice in the old bitch’s voice practically dripped off her tongue.
“You can’t be fucking serious! I’ll die before I touch an innocent little girl! You may as well kill me now. I won’t do it! You hear me you old cunt!?”
“Take a look around you holier than thou Mr Writerman! Do you think you have any choice?” A loud cackle burst out Ms Silver’s mouth that echoed through the room, “You can do this willingly or with Junior’s help Mr Writerman but rest assured, you’re going to do exactly what the fuck I tell you to do. Please don’t tell me I’m the first witch you’ve ever encountered. Don’t you writer assholes do any research? For shame Writerman, for shame.” She burst out in raucous laughter once more, Junior joined in with a grunt of his own.
“Pick it up voluntarily or Junior’s tentacle will crush your hand around it for you Writerman. Do it now. Three… two…”
Peter couldn’t do it. He didn’t care if his hand was crushed to dust he was not about to do anything willingly. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he closed his eyes unwilling to even watch any of this.
“Junior, cut off his eyelids. Writerman ain’t gonna miss a second of this!”
The shock of the words popped his eyes open in horror. The tentacle around his right wrist moved up to his hand wrapping it around the scalpel then slowly tightening crushing every bone in his hand. He could hear his own bones pop with sickening slowness. He opened his mouth but his scream seemed to be stuck in his throat. The tentacle raised his arm up bringing the scalpel up in front of his face.
“Please! I’ll keep them open. Don’t do this! Don’t do this!” He screamed finally.
“What do you think Junior? Should we believe him?” All Peter heard was a single grunt from behind him. “Yeah me either. Remove them!”
Peter’s screams no longer stuck in his throat. They filled the room loud enough to wake the dead though apparently not the young girl laying on the table who didn’t so much as twitch at the noise. Even through the pain Peter willed the young girl to get up and run. It was no use, the girl was obviously drugged. Red ran across his vision as his eyelids were removed with two tiny flicks from the scalpel crushed in his own grasp by Junior’s tentacle. Now he was helpless but to watch the rest through a filter of red.
“Why!?! Why are you doing this to me?” Peter was crying uncontrollably now.
“Because I don’t like you Writerman. People like you, who think you know everything of the dark arts. You write of wickedness as if you actually know what wickedness is. You know nothing! You’ve never had blood on your hands. You’ve never tasted the delightful blood of a virgin. You write of evil and hell and our dark lord Satan as if you have some fucking clue. You have none! But here tonight you’re going to get a clue Mr Writerman. You’ll see there are powers you don’t understand. Would you like to do all that you do in service to a dark power you have only dreamed about and live forever? Want fame and fortune Mr Writerman? HE can provide it but you have to become depravity, become the horror you have only imagined. Would you like to be… more, Mr Writerman?” The seductive tongue of the witch belied her appearance, it was hypnotizing.
“And if I refuse?” Peter muttered through quivering lips.
The witch smiled, “Then you’ll be like everything else Peter and everything dies.”
“Mr Steele! Mr Steele!” A reporter nearest the limo shouted out hoping to be the first to get some quote from the man being called The Living Legend of Gore.
Peter never responded to any of the shouts or posed for any of the photos. He made as few appearances as he could possibly get away with but with his work now so highly sought after it was impossible to not be in the spotlight far more often than he cared to be. Peter adored the fame and fortune but the light hurt his eyes even through his shades that were so dark he could barely see. He lived in fear that he would be found out some day. He feared the fans and reporters would see the blood on his hands, would see what he had done and intuitively know the deal he had struck. He longed every second to be just like everything else because as the witch had said, everything dies. Peter Steele wanted nothing more than to die every second of his continued existence now.
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