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II. The Not Empty Room

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

A scream came down a half-soaked mold-filled hall that sent him leaping over the desk near the bloodied mass. He heard a muffled, “Mother…fucka,” and a pair of sprinting feet, presumably fleeing at the sight of the... sacrifice?

Yes, sacrifice felt like the right word.

Though he could not say why, sitting in the dark, the only sound he heard was the banging of flesh against bone as his heart did its very best to bore through his ribcage and erupt out onto the stained tiled flooring.

After what seemed like hours, but was probably only half of one, he moved out from his hidey hole and took the first proper look at the mess that lay before him.

It was a body... well, bodies.

Only one appeared human, not that anyone of his generation shirked at the sight of a dead body. Big Pharma had failed big time, impossible medical costs and a failing supply chain saw millions die from what would have been common ailments twenty years ago.

This, however, was a death of some violence he imagined. Not that the body, or parts of the body... would be able to attest to much else except for the dismemberment that happened post mortem.

People of his streets were also not strangers to deaths by violent means, but this, this was something like in a storybook about cannibals or flesh eating zombies. Not normal human shit.

He looked more closely to try and identify some of the other meat in the pile before him. Definitely part of a dog, maybe a couple opossums. As he nudged an ear from the conglomerate, he heard a small squeak in the pile of meat and saw something move.

God help him, as he screamed a shrill wail of terror and launched himself backwards over the small desk divider and landed with a clatter on the cold floor. The screeching continued, though now he couldn't see what moved in the dark.

What was born of the abomination he had seen on the floor of this abandoned building was so far from anyone and anything he knew or had loved.

Whatever it was, evil has a way of taking you from any comfort before it snuffs you out. 'Seasoning the meat,' is what he had heard it called somewhere in his distant childhood.

His abuela had told him stories of the skinwalkers of the southwestern United States. They were seen as witches or monsters that could change from man to beast and sometimes something in between. She had said they loved to play with their prey and would slowly pick someone off of a group and drive them mad.

Once they broke, they would eat their physical body as well as their everlasting soul.

He didn't believe in souls. Or God. But he did believe in evil, and for the first time in his life, he honestly felt like it was there in that room with him and that it was circling him. His whole life he had been nothing but a piece of shit spinning for the drain, and now the drain was going to be a bigger bitch than the spin.

A sloshing gurgle sound emanated from where the meat pile should be and all he could do was close his eyes and wait.

He heard the click of nail and bone and knew that a beast had been born. A beast born of blood and ritual on the floor of this old video game studio. Who would believe it? He clenched his eyes shut, not wanting to see what cruel joke the world was going to throw at him. He only hoped it would end quickly. Tears began to soak his cheeks as he coughed out muffled sobs mixed with sick, blood, and bile.

Then he felt...

He felt something tickling his face?

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