First Draft

Page 6


He didn’t bother looking in the mirror. There’d be plenty of time to deal with that later. He simply brushed his teeth, picked up his shorts and t-shirt, and tightened the towel around his waist. Before opening the bathroom door, with his hand on the door knob, he inhaled deeply through his mouth, and exhaled. Time to begin.

No sooner than he opened the door did his grandfather’s grandfather clock let out its first strike of the day, 7 am. “Shit. SHIT!” He must have fallen asleep in the shower after all. How hadn’t the water gotten cold? What time did he get in the shower to begin with? There was no time to spare, he was a whole half-hour late. He might have to skip breakfast, and then he’d be hungry all day until lunch.

Clip-clop. The sound came from behind him this time. Benjamin turned to look over his shoulder, and could see the shape of an amorphous blob standing behind him, jiggling up and down. He turned his head back in front of him and looked up at the ceiling in exasperation, preparing himself. Thump-thump-thump went the sound of heavy soles on the tile floor. Ben winced.

The digital alarm clock that had awoken him this morning was bad. But it’s sound paled in comparison to that which suddenly emanated from the thing standing behind him. Really, it was quite similar to the alarm clock, except that each rhythmic, electronic screech was replaced by the sound of a man screaming in rage – or agony. The screaming differed with each pulse. At times it sounded more angry, and at other times more wounded. At this particular moment, it was a bit on the angry side. The sound radiated out from within the heaping pile of gelatinous sludge, which mindlessly stomped in place in perfect rhythm with its abbreviated screams.

Well, it wasn’t stomping in place anymore. The thumping sound grew in intensity, and before Benjamin could move or resist, he was struck in the back by a sticky, bouncy mass of jelly, which threw him forward onto the floor. He smacked his chin when he hit. “Fuck!” he shrieked, touching his hand to chin and checking for blood. He looked up to see the screaming blob bounding its way towards his bedroom door on a pair of long, stilt-like legs, which terminated in heavy black military boots. With each step, the blog bounced grotesquely, and with each violent, screaming pulse, its translucent skin would vibrate – the obvious source of the sound.

Atop the strange creature’s pustule-like…body? Atop its body was a flaccid, bulbous protrusion that flopped freely back and forth as it ran. Like an oversized, see-through skin tag, or an ill-defined phallus. And free-floating within this protrusion was a red, human heart that would flash a short flicker of red bioluminescence, again, in perfect time with each stomp and each scream. “Ah!-Argh!-Ahh!-Oh!”

Benjamin was filled with a sudden rage as he watched it clumsily burst through the half-closed bedroom door, with a blatant disregard for anything but the beating of its own heart…brain? He could hear the door knob slam against the wall. Benjamin shrieked again. “Fuck!” He slammed his palm against the floor, and then scrambled to his feet and stormed the length of the hallway, into his room.