(A little bit of back ground....months ago a group of us on The Library of the Living Dead forum played a Murder Mystery game when I was the murderer! I tore my friends from the board into tiny wet pieces one by one while they tried to figure out who was behind the killings. Since I'm the nice guy I am I offered those I killed a chance to do the same to me and I would post it up here on the Monkey Faced Demon. Tim Long killed the hell outta me on my birthday. Zombie Zak is supposedly killing me soon. Mrs. Kincaid took it upon her self to kill me this morning...and she does a damn fine, if not personally terrifying job!)
Mr. Moon let forth a flood of expletives so venomous that his features seemed to melt away in the face of his vicious cursing, leaving only an overflowing potty mouth with nary a plunger in sight. There were curses that boomed and curses that tiptoed, curses that shone with demonic light, and curses so foul that a scent of sulfur floated in their wake. Small animals cowered in terror at the blasphemous filth pouring from his lips, and flowers wilted and blackened, blighted by the unholy pestilence of his utterances.
Borne on the torrent of filth was one word, one little syllable that warranted repeating in decent company.
But let’s back up a little, shall we?
It had been a pleasant evening for Moon. He’d been reviewing the latest edits for the re-release of his most deliciously foul work ever: Heinous, the story of a sadistic demon and the unfortunate boy he possesses. This version was longer, more brutal, and far more disturbing than the original. Sometimes, when he worked on the book into the wee hours, he even gave himself nightmares. Those were his favorite nights.
Tonight, however, would be an early night. Once he wrapped up the edits, he felt sure he’d rest in peace. He had no idea how right he was.
Moon clicked through the document, accepting the last few changes with a grin. He’d done it! Heinous was ready to go. He opened his email, all set to send a victorious message to his editor, only to discover that she was way ahead of him.
“From: Stephanie Kincaid,” he read. “Subject: CONGRATULATORY TENTACLES.”
Chuckling, he opened the message.
“Congrats on finishing Heinous,” it said. “Click here to retrieve your bouquet of a dozen writhing tentacles. Talk too you soon, Stephanie.”
“Weird,” muttered Moon. “Talk too you soon?” He’d never known Stephanie to make grammatical errors. Maybe she’d just made a typo in her excitement about the book. It was possible. But something about it didn’t sit well with him. Still … he could worry about his editor later. There were tentacles to be retrieved, damn it!
Moon was not one to pass up a single tentacle, let alone a dozen!
Especially when they were writhing.
The graphic to which he was redirected was adorable. Twelve chubby purple tentacles with lime-green suction cups, tied into a bouquet with a sweet pink bow, wiggled and waved in a merry little dance from the screen. In the background, a saccharine version of “If You’re Happy and You Know it” played nonstop, sung by a chorus of what might have been kindergarteners but might also have been elves on speed; Moon couldn’t quite tell—and wasn’t sure there was that much of a difference. It was at once the most grotesque email he’d ever received and the cutest. Even as he considered how very nauseating the song was—particularly this squeaky, smarmy incarnation of it—he found himself bobbing his head to what passed for a beat.
“Stephanie, you are one sick lady,” he said to his computer screen.
“You have no idea,” growled a voice from within the machine.
“What the hell?” Moon made a mental catalog of all the substances he’d ingested that day, but failed to turn up anything that would produce hallucinations of a gravelly-voiced computer-dwelling creature. It had been a slow day.
As he sat there, gaping at the computer, the image of the waving tentacles flickered, and the screen cracked—just a little at first, but a small crack in one corner soon became a spider web that covered the screen. All at once, the screen fell away with a horrible rasping sound, and a dozen slimy, sinewy tentacles—not nearly so cute now—burst from the machine and wrapped themselves around Moon’s torso, hoisting him into the air. The more he struggled, the tighter the tentacles gripped him, crushing him from all sides. He was sure he could feel his organs turning to pulp.
“Look on the bright side,” said a woman’s voice. “Your innards will make a lovely smoothie. High in protein, low in fat. Healthy and tasty.”
Beneath the desk on which the shattered remains of his computer lay, the floor seemed to fall away, exposing a pit that, from his airborne vantage point, looked forbiddingly deep. And from this pit crawled none other than the woman who had sent the email that started this nightmare.
“Stephanie?” Moon gasped. “Help me, please!” To his brain, scrambled as it was by panic and pain, the woman who had just climbed up into his home from the bowels of the earth … the woman whose appearance had been heralded by a dozen tentacles doing an excellent boa constrictor impersonation … the woman who wielded a red pen more vicious than a wolverine with PMS … this woman still looked like a friend.
Until, that is, she hoisted a wicked gleaming hook into the air. The short brunette had looked much less threatening on Facebook.
She waved the hook like a conductor’s baton, and five of the twelve tentacles released their hold on Moon. The other seven squeezed even tighter to compensate, and Moon had a sudden empathy for every stress toy ever manufactured. The five tentacles plunged into the pit and emerged bearing hooks just like Stephanie’s. She continued to weave her hook in intricate patterns, directing a balletic masterpiece in fear. The tentacles that held him turned him so that he dangled upside down and rearranged themselves to leave his head and torso exposed. Several tentacles held him by the legs; the rest bound his arms to limit his flailing. The tentacles with the hooks danced and swerved, ultimately poising themselves before Moon’s poor abused body. One waited right before his forehead, one before each eye, one over his heart, and one in front of his stomach.
Stephanie grinned with manic glee. “Any last words?” she asked, her tone mocking.
That was when the flood of expletives began. It ran its course until the lone sad syllable hung on the fear-charged air.
“Because you created me. And there’s only one way to be stronger than the one who made you.” The words came from Stephanie’s mouth, but the voice was not hers. And all at once, Moon knew. He knew the voice, recognized it from his own mind, from his nightmares. It was the voice of Heinous, the demon he himself had created.
In one fluid move, Stephanie swung her hook up and brained herself, the hook entering through one nostril and exiting through the top of her head. The crazy grin stayed plastered on her face. It was an unnerving sight made even more so by the fact that he was viewing it upside down.
“But … but …” stammered Moon, “you just killed your host.”
“Bitch kept correcting my grammar,” growled Heinous through Stephanie’s lips.
“But you need a living host!” Moon cried, spotting his opportunity. “You can’t survive in our plane of existence without a human to possess. I can save you!”
Heinous laughed, a sound more terrifying than the screams of all the souls in Hell. “Yeah, and I can’t travel via computer either, right? Or open a pit to Hell in the middle of your house, huh?”
The hooks before Moon’s eyes looked especially pointy. This wasn’t going well.
“You wanted an upgraded Heinous, right, Moon? Well, you got it. Meet Heinous 2.0,” the demon growled.
And the hooks struck home.
AWESOME! Uh, thanks for the slaughter, Steph! You can catch her chatting with Lori Titus and Tonia Brown right here.