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Coming of the Maelstrom
The heavy drumming of rain resonated off the twisted canopy above, pounding, beating to the erratic rhythm of fear. Slivers of moonlight broke through the veil of hallow darkness, silhouetting the gnarled, twisted limbs of the trees. No animal stirred, no birds sang, there was nothing but the roar of the rain, echoing through the twilight and shadow. The stillness was alive, brought to life by the beating of falling hearts, creeping through every notch of twisted limb that hung in the dark. He ran disoriented through the haze, every fiber of being synched in fear to the pulse of the silence. His imagination tore through reality, every shadow another terror, every corner impending death. The beat drummed harder, faster. He wove through the forest, stumbling, but never stopping. He couldn’t. Run. Live. It’s all he thought, every step, every quaking breath. Run, live. Run, live. Whispers echoed in his head, creeping out, encroaching upon every though, every hope. There was no discerning reality from fantasy. Splinters flew from trees, piercing his skin. Blood ran from his cheek, his torso, and still he ran. Every whisper, closer, louder. More fragments erupted around him. Gleaming metallic crimson dotted every step now. The beating became clearer. Pounding, screaming, hating him with that open silence. Again he stumbled, falling down, down, fading to black. The dark came closer, closer, enveloping him into nothing. Nothing but a shallow pool, running red with blood and surrounded by the hellish beat of rain.
Heavy footsteps squelch through the needle laden floor below. The rain drummed down from above, and the figure ran, faster, to the rhythmic beat. The AA-12 Auto shotgun strapped to his chest clinked softly, ominously awaiting its next victim to silence. Another figure dropped in front of the man, falling from the silence of the canopy above. The filtering twili gave an eerie life to her body, shining off the black of her eyes and hair that hid them. In her hand was a bowie knife, clutched tightly in her palm. The man smirked as the rain washed the dirt off his rough face. He continued to stumble through the forest, cursing his bulk as the woman glided easily past. They walked into the clearing, to were the body lay face down, blood pooling in the mud. Shrapnel peppered his back, and a sizeable hole buried through the left of his lower torso. The air was heavy with the sweet scent of pierced entrails. A lean man stood over the body, six feet tall, with shaggy black hair that matched the woman’s behind him. Sweat dripped off his face, down into the pool of blood. The larger man pushed the carcass face up with the sole of his boot. He was caked in mud, eyes cold, alone, screaming in the silence that lived inside. His face was twisted, contorted in agony, lips snapped shut, holding back the pain once caged inside. The crew stood above him, staring cruelly, eyes burning with the ice of hatred. A voice echoed from behind the men, cutting through the rain. “Grab him and get him to the truck. We have…work to do.” She threw the knife into the ground next to the man’s head, and stalked off into the darkness.
The thick air hung low in the makeshift shack. The hum of the coolers drowned out the sound of the rain, pounding off the truck now rolling across the gravel leading up to the shore. Heavy waves roared in their grey might, crashing into the sands below. The truck growled up to the rear of the shack, settling behind the building. The smaller man stepped out of the rusted pick-up, cradling the arsenal of weaponry that still reeked of death. His hair flew wildly in the maelstrom that churned beyond the sand. There’s a storm coming, he knew. It’s coming. “Samuel, get the guns in the trunk, we have work to do.” The larger man called out, meandering to the rear door with the carcass hanging limply from his shoulder. “Coming, Jack.” he called back, tossing the weapons into a side compartment.
They dragged the body into the shack, throwing him to the floor. Samuel searched through his pockets, pulling out his wallet, id, ect. “Sam, I’m, uhh, going to get the stuff, be back in a few.” the hefty man grunted, fumbling back out the door. Samuel grunted back, reaching for a discarded license.
Name: Mathew Kruter. Age: 27. Sex: M. Eyes: Black. His hand moved to a heavy bronze badge that read: Chief Deputy, Duck Police Department, North Carolina. He threw it to the side, standing up slowly. Suddenly the door slammed open, and in strode the ghost of a woman he called boss. “Get up off your lazy a**, Samuel, and tie him up.” she threw a heavy rope to him. “Oh, right. Sorry miss.” he murmured back, iced by the cruel indifference in which she implied.
Samuel’s nostrils flared at the scent of molding rope, of which he bound to the man’s wrists above his head. 98.5, North Carolina’s alternative rock station blared from the battered radio that sat in a long forgotten corner, drowning out the sound of the waves crashing down on the shore. He sighed, and then returned to his work, tying knots to the man’s ankles, then throwing the opposite ends over the crossbeams above. With a heavy tug, the body hung suspended in the musty room, spinning slightly, back and forth, back and forth. There were no windows, only a small door in which air could escape. The rain had stopped; he couldn’t hear it. Or was it something more… Work of a madman, that’s what this is. Only for those with nothing to lose… “Nothing to lose…” Last thing that note said to him. He remembered. He remembered the silence, the creak of the door. He remembered the blood that pooled on the stairs flowing down like some sick river. He remembered the panic. Taking the stairs five at a time, yes, he remembered. He remembered the knife she still clutched in her hand. He remembered the rope tied to her neck, the same musty rope that condemned these innocent people to die. And worst of all, he remembered her eyes; cold, bitter. Empty black shells of the joy they once held. Nothing to lose… A heavy thud rang out behind him, and he jumped, startled, as the bulk of Jack lumbered through the door. “WHAT THE FU-” But was cut off.
“Uhh, Sam, what’s with you? Yer all, like, sweaty and red.” “It’s nothing.” Samuel snapped back, tense. “Oh, okay, well…” an awkward silence between the men followed, filled only by the whisper of the radio.
Then she appeared in the doorway, hair hiding her soft complexion. Those eyes… Samuel thought, staring into the cold dark pools beneath her hair. “What are you imbeciles looking at? Start cutting.” As she kicked empty tubs over to where the men stood. “I’ll be back when you’re done. Oh, and keep the blood off the floor.”
The razor glided down the forearm, leaving a trail of blood to trickle into the buckets below. Jack drew back the blade, incising again from the throat, straight down the abdomen. The new incision met the old, and the flesh tore open with a sickening slurp, like a boot being pulled from the mud. Blood poured down the emaciated corpse, coating both men’s hands and filling the air with the scent of death. Samuel gripped his knife, the same knife he pulled from her hand months before. He plunged it into the man’s exposed ribcage, tearing into the lung as blood spurted into his eyes. He dropped the knife, burying his hands into the officer’s organs, ripping and tearing. A sound like ripping cloth echoed out from inside, and he pulled out his hand, in which was clutched a heart, coated in the gore it produced. Samuel smiled, smiled, as he dug his nails into the meaty organ. The scent of blood filled him, ensnared him, infiltrating his very soul. He tore the heart in half, blood spraying outward like Hells fountain. He lifted it to his mouth, smelled it, felt it. Then he bit it, letting the blood flow into his mouth, tearing it into pieces that fell to his feet. His heart pounded, he sweat, madly feverish. And still he tore, ripping out the pale intestines, covered in gore and slime. He squeezed them, emptying bile and pieces of food unto the floor. Madly he ripped flesh from bone and bone from the body. His eyes watered, his whole being caked in the foul bile and blood of this innocent man. From beneath his hair Samuels eyes glared up, reaching for the knife that lay abandoned on the floor. He screamed, swinging the blade at whatever part of the man he could, splintering bone and tearing tendons into nothing but strips of meat. He stepped back, looking at what he had done. The meatless stump of a neck hung from the rope, dripping the last of the blood from its severed arteries. But something still lingered, a flicker of hate still burned inside him. Looking back at him were those eyes, soft and blue, condemning him to the h*** he had created. The let out a contorted scream and lunged at the head, digging his fingers into the amber pools that watched him. He pulled his arm back, and tore with it the two spheres, connected by the gory tendon that held them together. He grasped the one eye in his hand and squeezed, squeezed until he felt it pop, letting the while run down his clenched fist into the bucket. From behind he heard her say; “Well done, Samuel. Well done.”
Samuel sat on the bed in the apartment he called home, holding a cross and rolling it between his fingers. He cried; “Father, why, why am I condemned to this murder? Had what I lost driven me mad?! Heal me, save me Lord! When I smell death, whenever o sense blood, it brings alive the animal I have become. Help me escape! Save me! And Julie, save her from the business she exploits! Then he wept, wept for the ones he had lost, the ones he had killed, and the ones he was about to. And while Samuel begged for his life, Julie sold Mathew Kruter to fishermen as bait. Kill her. Kill the woman……
Samuel walked through the creaking door, returning to this h*** for his…”Night shift.”. “Suit up, Sammy, we’ve got another one.” S***. He thought. He walked through the store out the back, stepping into the cool crisp night. He paced up the gravel road, up to the rusting pick-up on its seaside perch. The night was clear, the sky was stark. The maelstrom was here.
The crew pulled up to a house, perched high on a cliff above the ocean. The waves rolled gently below, crashing into the rocky shore. The warm air blew serenely through the air, unaware of what was about to unfold beneath its lofty breath. There were few lights on as Samuel stepped out of the truck. He knew the orders. Infiltrate, disable, capture, eliminate. But he had another idea. He walked up the cobbled pathway to the doorstep and rang the bell, holstered pistol hurting his ankle. It opened, and a woman greeted him warmly. “Samuel, I assume?” “Yeah, that’s me. Can we talk inside? I have a few…questions for you.”
They walked inside, and she shut the door. Her eyes glowed green, bright under the black hair she wore down to her waist. They shined bright in the light of the sunroof above, as if in anticipation. Samuel turned, then fell with a thud to the floor, staring down the barrel of a twelve cal. pistol. “We need to talk, Sam. ” She said in a whisper. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
Hours later, Julie drove the truck back to the store, staring coldly at the dim-lit road ahead of her. Samuel sat out in the bed of the truck, foot on the limp body of the green eyed woman. The truck rumbled up the path, spraying gravel into the night. It came to a halt, and Julie jumped out, vanishing out into the shack. Jack tumbled out behind her, knocking over some pots by mistake. “D*** flowers.” he grumbled to himself.
Samuel hopped out of the bed, throwing the girl over his shoulder and walking into the hut behind Jack. They walked into the back room, where the rope lay in the corner and the radio droned on in its oblivious manner. He set her on the floor in the corner behind the door, then stood in wait for Jack. The air reeked of death, awaiting its next victim to splay out unto the floor. The usual crash of the hallway pottery alerted Samuel to the door. He reached slowly down to the floor… “Uhh, Samuel, whys she not tied up? We gotta, ya know…Samuel?” Samuels back was turned, and Jack reached out to grab his shoulder with his fat hand. Sam’s arm shot out and grabbed Jacks, and he snapped it brutally, pivoting to fire two muffled shots into his large stomach. He gasped, clutching his bleeding chest, gagging and falling to the floor. The storm is here.
Like a ghost, Julie crept into the doorway, leveling the AA-12 to his chest. “Idiot. I wanted you, Samuel. I really wanted you. I did everything to get you, I took you in when you had no were to go, I employed you…I even killed your pathetic wife for you.”
“WHAT!?!” He shouted in shock.
“You heard me. I persuaded her to believe her life was worthless, I even told her how to…escape. And like the idiot she was, she hung herself.”
“YOU PATHETIC BITC-”
“Silence! I thought you were mine. But you’ve changed. I could tell. And now, I must kill you, just like your idiot wife and…her son.” Samuels’s eyes widened and he let out a cry of pain.
Julie put her finger to the trigger, and a shot rang out. Blood splattered, and she collapsed onto the floor, clutching her throat. From behind she stood the green eyed woman, a smoking twelve cal. in her hand. He stuttered out, “Sh-she told you, di-didn’t she.” and the woman nodded back. “Thank you Liz. Thank you so much.”
“She loved you, Samuel, and she told me about you. She wanted me to protect you, but I couldn’t find you. I looked, but you were gone.”
“He stepped to where she stood, and whispered to her, “Thank you for helping me stop them. Th-” and he brushed his lips against hers, and held her in her arms. And she whispered, “I swear I’ll protect you.”
They walked outside and burned his whole world down, down into nothing. They pushed the truck into the ocean, and began anew.