Cold, so,
So unbearably frigid,
You can feel the chill penetrating
Deep past layers of muscle tissue
Straight into thy bones, bitter frost
Enveloping you in its embrace; you
May try to avoid the blistering frigidity,
But there is no escape. None at all.

All around, as far as the eyes can see, is a blanket of
Thick, white, endless snow, obscuring the ground
Under its smothering, vast presence. One could concur,
Indeed, all is dead and lost…this be a land
Of no hope,
No future,
Visual representation of that numerical value

But the ancient trees still stand, bare, but proudly tall, and critters
Still find time to frolic with gaiety, while others
Have tucked themselves away to endure
What may appear to be the end times
In the eyes of the unfamiliar, the uninitiated.

Life hath not been vanquished.


Donned new appearances, new forms.

Pity to those who couldn’t
Make it; woe unto the unfortunate
Unable to withstand the mad howls of
A fading year’s rushing winds.

No way out, is all thy mind
Can seem to tell itself
On repeat.

Where, o’ where,
Doth the exit reside, in these
Harsh, cruel lands?

Trudging forth, it all seems so
Futile, as your body does its best to
Spread heat into every square inch of
Your being, eyes growing weary and blurred as a
Result of the vicious assault
Committed upon thee with
Great fervor, for Nature is
Often cruel, even when it’s so
Strikingly gorgeous and
Awe inspiring. Exhausted, tired, every
Bit of exposed skin stung by the burning
Pain of thousands of pointed, invisible needles,
Morphing into a deep crimson hue. Every step
Feels weighed down,
Unbearably heavy,
Senses turning numb
Whilst a blankness of
The mind overtakes.

Yes, this is all such a wondrous sight to
Behold, bear witness to…

Glory be to the picture-esque scenery,
A true monument to the
Sheer artistry Nature is capable of
With its brushstrokes and molding hands…

Preposterous, it would be, to not take
Note of the way the full moon
Bestows the only constant source
Of illumination; one
Mustn’t be hopeful
In regards to the
False hope given off by the
Rays of already dead stars that are
Impossibly far from our little abode.

Crawling still towards a
Non-existent path
That leads out of this

It begins to
Dawn on you…

What you hope for is not there.

Subsist? Survive? And how?

Via the lethally icy substance
You tread through?

Or the bits of food you were not
Programmed to detect…least of
All, here?

With no recourse left,
The snow is the last thing you
Feel as your body plummets
Right into the ground, unable to
Keep mindlessly wandering through this
Place, of which you cannot recall
How you wound up in.

Heart rate slows to stand still
As you let your heavy eyelids
Begin to fall shut, breathing becoming
More labored, more…difficult,
Lungs and throat singed, lacking moisture,
Only dry bitterness remaining, but the
Energy to cough and wheeze is
Dissipating fast.

Curious shadows begin to approach
From the edges of your field of vision.

Noises of a most disconcerting
Variety fill your ears, and you wonder
What will take you first.

It’s close…

The reaper’s scythe…

Departure is inevitably; tis coming soon.

But it will wait…

As the cessation of your life
Begins to take place, where being alive
Slowly turns to being a corpse, the
Puncture of Death’s eternal blade
Makes itself known in your back.

Jaws of what had been following
You since you entered into this space
Now indulge in the reward for their patience…

O’ it hurts, but the ability to scream
Left you long ago…



Their diseased, choked, stifled breathing sounds haunt your ears, letting you know that they are all around, out there in the thick, crimson fog. Where? One cannot say, for only the strange sounds they make alert you to their presence. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of them, obscured slightly by the mist. Lurking, skulking, jerking, howling…watching. Eyes as green as the noxious fumes given off by the ancient reactors, the ominous noises emanating from them reminiscent of…cackling. As if they were mocking you. Knowing you were trapped, without a way out.

Perhaps there were cruel smirks hidden under their hoods and masks, toying with you agonizingly as you tried to navigate the dark, confusing layout of this old villa. But they were, truthfully, empty husks devoid of expression and feeling. Your brain wanted to humanize them…yet they were not such. Were they ever? A menacing grin or a hardened glare would’ve less horrific than that ceaseless, many mile gaze. Piercing right through the crimson fog. And perhaps that was worst of all. The utterly mechanical, otherworldly way in which these…things…moved about. Just pure, relentless instinct. Operating on nothing else but the faint, dim remnants of neurological signals. What propelled them forth? No one could say. Certainly not them, for they’d lost any and all ability ages ago.

Creaks and groans reminded you that centuries had weathered this place, in addition to the already poor design barely holding this nightmare town together. Doing your best to not alert them, footsteps as light as could be. The gas liable to suffocate you and take you as another victim. Wise to its presence, avoiding thick concentrations of the blood-colored hue. How its oppressive presence ruled the villa with an iron fist. And the watch dogs that came with it…thrived in it, lived in it, reveled in it…only seemed to reinforce how it maliciously smothered and choked the area. Forever waiting for the chance to strike. Knowing them being here kept you from going so far.

A battle of attrition. One in which you’d cave.

Leaning your head out of openings rewarded your eyes with the far away silhouette of some grand monument to opulence, arrogance, and ignorance. Its very shape, both shadowy and clear, beckoned all towards it. Daring would-be adventurers into its cold, dead embrace. Standing proud atop the hill. A fetid body propped up as a symbol of a bygone era. Oddly enough, it wasn’t hidden away by the pervasive, rancid toxin that made your skin itch and nostrils burn. Huh.

How long had you been here?

Would you ever leave?

Leaving…that was impossible, wasn’t it? You were going to die here. Trapped. Forgotten. Alone, with the exceptions of an eerie recording of a woman singing the same mournful melody on repeat echoing in certain parts, and the indecipherable ramblings of some old, isolated kook. Who somehow realized…

You were here.

Noise rouses them. Riles them up.

Food was scarce here…



Probably the best way to put it.

Empty and barren. Not a drop to drink in sight; not for the body, not for the mind, not for the soul. Just a patchy, arid, place that resembled the word…”cough”. Actually, not even that. Because that would imply a place like this had lungs to begin with, that air could leave its windpipe, and it could take oxygen in. No, no. This place stopped being able to breathe a long time ago.

Could get some gas at the gas station. Except it’s been boarded up. Pumps were shut off long go and the well underneath it has long since dried up or turned putrid, sticky, and just plain unusable. Whatever’s inside, well…probably went bad ages ago. Maybe some tramp has made it their hovel, or perhaps some wild critters are nesting in there; you don’t know, and a part of you tells you to not care. Answers aren’t always meant to be sought out. Sometimes you’re better off…not knowing.

On the way here, you saw farms. Bleak patches of parched grass and infertile dirt that seem to roll endlessly through the town. You wondered if they were still inhabited in any capacity. Sure, there were houses out on the edge of these many, many acres, with various buildings that stored animals, grain, hay, vehicles, tools, etc. However, there was a distinct lack of a human presence. There was the presence of animals, however. Yet…they looked…like they were rotting. Ribs showing, eyes hollow and sunken in, clumsy and stumbling movements, a weariness about that made them seem intoxicated, when it appeared, in all actuality, that they were in a state of neglect, looking off in the distance…either towards nothing at all, or something the human eye could not perceive.

So you kept trekking along. Driving down cracked roads that haven’t been maintained in…probably years. Every little crack, every sharp pothole, every chipped piece of asphalt, every section where there’s only dirt left…you can feel it in the very movements of your car. From the suspension translating it to your ass and feet, to the steering wheel communicating it to your arms and hands.

Most of the buildings you come across seem to belong to the aforementioned farms. And you see gas stations and little convenience stores here and there. But they’re, as you figured out very quick, boarded up, usually with generic names hung at the top of the building to indicate what this and that place was called (even though they looked painfully similar and just as decrepit as the last). Shoddy conditions aplenty, with some of them in such a state of disarray, they looked as though they may fall over and collapse at any second. You had to wonder…why were they all like this?

However…one spot in particular gained your interest.

Looming further on down the road, like a castle in a Bram Stoker novel, was a house. A rather large house, probably three stories tall, no doubt containing a large basement. Fences were around it, with a large amount of land surrounding the entire property. Didn’t seem like anyone owned the property. It appeared to be abandoned, given the state of disarray the structure appeared to be in. Rust forming all over, windows either smashed in or boarded up, doors halfway attached to their hinges, part of the roof caved in, shingles and bricks and wooden panels strewn about haphazardly, paint peeling off like potato skins. Who could be living here? What derelict individuals were nestled up in this kind of hellhole? What even was the story of this place? How did it get like this? Before…all of this, what had the town looked like? The people that lived here before…what were they like; who were they?

Didn’t matter. All that pondering came to a stop when you rolled up in front of the home.

Carefully, you opened the door of your car…and slowly step out. The car was already shut off, so there was little need to worry about that. So far, no signs of life. Really, there didn’t seem to be any vehicles. None that were in your field of vision, anyway. If there were, they were kept out of sight. Likely left in a garage somewhere and doomed to rot away, breaking down into unusable status after being subjected to the elements.

Keeping your knife and gun holstered for the time being, you climb over the flimsy fence and approach the front door, hand reaching out to grasp the door handle. Chills ran down your spine in heavy waves, and the urge to turn back grew stronger and stronger; you shouldn’t be here. Nevertheless, after steadying your breath and closing your eyes, your fingers wrapped around the knob, pushing open slowly…

Eyes met with the sight of…

Pitch black.

Oh well.

Can’t say anything, can’t hear anything…

The air in the place is stuffy, able to feel it pressing on you. And the dust…you sneezed a few times, shaking your head, waving your arm, trying not to trigger your allergies too much. But the most unbearable part…was the smell. It smelled as though something had died. Scratch that; not just something, but plural…somethings. Oh, the odor was overwhelming. Made your head hurt, and your mouth taste strange. Left an odd feeling in your nostrils. As well as make your pulse race. What the fuck was the source of that smell?

Gagging and almost puking…you wondered if you even wished to know at all.

Bringing out your flashlight, you turn it on.

Rusty tools and sharp objects of all kinds, covered in bloodstains, are littered everywhere. Even bits of flesh and bone adorn the blades. Speaking of flesh, blood, nd bone…internal organs are piled up upon what appears to be a kitchen counter, or sloppily placed upon plates. Torsos, some of which are dug into and some of which that have yet to be ravaged (aside from being limbless and headless), are also everywhere. Arms and legs decorate the room, some nailed to the wall…others piled up into a refrigerator that has long since ceased to be operational at all. Occasionally, there’s a head. A few are left intact. A few others show signs of having the interior scooped out. Likely devoured, as a meal. Hunks of meat are stashed in various corners, collected into big fishing nets. And, naturally, all of this had become old and expired long ago.

Frozen in place, pure horror and panic overtaking your entire being, eyes threatening to spill out of their sockets…you wonder to yourself: what should you do? What can you do? How do you proceed? Did you want to go further? Or escape, and never return to this accursed place ever again?

All you could manage to do for the time being was simply…stand there.

Swallowing hard, blinking hard and slow (this was not a dream), you pointed your flashlight at the open basement. Methodically stepping towards the crimson-colored stairs that descended into what could only be described as total darkness. You began to pray to whatever may be out there that you could leave this place alive…

Of course, whoever or whatever may be out there didn’t hear your prayers. That was confirmed by the door slamming shut behind you. Now…now you were locked in here with…with something. Stuck in an unlit nightmare. Shaking and unable to move a single muscle.

When slaughtering an animal, the first step is to cut its throat, and drain it of any and all blood…


Knock, knock…

You hear the faint
Rapping on a door,
Don’t you?

Oh, it is there.

No one else
Can detect that
Maddening sound
But you, and even then,
It is only within your
Interior; obscured away
From all others.

That sound, that
Continuous collision
Of bone against wood…

For the first time
In your brief span
Upon this dying world,
You are presented with
What it is like to
Be truly, and utterly

There it is,
Fear and trembling.

Part of you
Vainly clings to the
Notion of facing that old
Cloaked reaper with a stoic dignity.

But who would you impress?

Certainly not it, for
Greater men have
Withered in its presence.

Your eyes dart around,
And the knocking keeps
Reminding you that there’s
No one else.

Just you…

So, you give in
To the inevitable loss
Of you, yourself,
Deciding that,
Since the void, eternity,
Is staring so intensely at you
With two vacant eyes,
It’d be best to give in to the inevitable chaos,
A most intense negation and madness.

What else could you have done?


Always was there, always will be.

Omnipotent, omniscient,
Stretching as far as thy eyes
Can see.

Everywhere and nowhere.

From whence hath it descended?

Out of what depths, did it crawl?

The formless, somehow manifested
In the guise of a form. Ceaselessly gnawing,
A mouth that goes for light years,
Monstrous and yawning. Pray tell,
What came first? The hate which spawned it,
Or that it manifested out of its endless scorn?

Such answers, are lost to us.

Mysteries of a kind man
Was not meant to know.

Unless he craved his utter ruin.

And thus, the folly
Of man. Craving
Even what is
Detrimental to his existence.

Lacking in care and foresight,
Blissfully unaware there would be
Opportunistic horrors ready,
Salivating at the opening of
The floodgate,
Welcoming whatever
Comes through with open

Man, o’, man,
Arrogant and idiotic,
You unknowingly opened thy wrists,
Holding it up eagerly
For thirsty mouths,
Presenting thy blood, precious
Liquid spilling down their throats.

Too late…

You let it enter; let go of your hope…

It walks amidst us,
Stalking, always in the shadows,
Peering from the corners
Of our vision.
The blurred outer regions
Where reality and fantasy
Start to meld together into an unrecognizable mess.

That sound you heard…


Was it the wind?

You tell yourself it is,
And yet, you’re not so sure…

Hairs stand up
Along thy spine. Uncertainty pervades your mind,
Feeling uncountable eyes staring.
The gaze refuses to avert. It makes you
Whimper and whine.

Enchanted whispers caress the outer
Recesses of your ears.

A wide, mad grin promises
Endless delights
(To itself),
Whilst the uncanny sight
Confirms your worst fears.

Still, standing, waiting…

Yet, there is a less
Aspect of it.

More shadowy than when
It stays hidden away, cloaked in a
Shroud of pitch black,
Observing as we rush
Eagerly to our doom.

Dressed so dapper,
Seeming to be the type
That chomps thick cigars
And rents out struggling flappers,
Having made a home
Of his fancy new roller,
Debauchery behind closed doors,
Smiles and kind words
For the ignorant public all over.

Did I say less nefarious?

A charming grin,
Coupled with a
Deranged look
In his eyes. Hear him
Whisper the words you want
To hear as the world
Slowly dies. Surely, he shall
Reward thou, graciously,
With what thy asked for,
In all manner of exactness. Of course,
Costing a fair price. Little do we
Realize how expensive it is,
And it becomes too late; we must
Now roll the dice.

Innocuous at first,
But then the whole
Thing becomes boring,
So he starts to…spice things up.

Can’t help but seek amusement from the
Primitive apes squabbling beneath his gaze.

For you see, the world is his altar.

And he is the idol that shall be praised for all time.

Yes, their god, their…savior.

More and more insane he starts to become.

He’s at the helm now, oh yes,
But he’s not intending to
Pilot the train responsibly
Along its course.

Nay, his desire is to crash it,
Then watch it burn away whatever was left.

Brother against brother,
Son against father,
Daughter against mother.

Loud bangs ring out in the night
Out of the barrels of firearms,
Yells erupt from throats,
Frigid steel piercing warm flesh,
Wrists and throats ripped wide open
So that walls may be painted a decrepit crimson color,
Lines of sight falling
Upon what should’ve never
Been bared witness to, thus
Responsible untold amounts
Of synapses breaking,
Manic laughter bursting out in
Erratic, unnerving bursts, causing witnesses
To gaze in horror,
Canines and molars sinking into the
Skin of their neighbors, friends, and family,
Relishing in the taste of the most
Forbidden of delicacies, and
In the background, there are
Those overtaken by
Perverse desires and strange lusts,
Captained by twisted souls
Stuck within rotten bodies,
Rutting against whatever and whoever
Happens to be available, grunts and
Growls of a most inhuman variety
Leaving their lips.

There he is, standing there,
With that same wicked grin,
Sporting that unmistakable gleam
In his void-like eyes.

Hadn’t took any effort at all.

For something like him, it was…child’s play.

Smiling as he thought of his all-encompassing, blind-idiot father.

Wouldn’t be the first time, nor the last.

Look at it; so wonderful.

Quite pleased by the sight of gore
Messily strewn all about.

Price, price, he kept mentioning that word.

Continuously mentioning that it’d get higher,
That the toll would increase.

Kooky, they must’ve
Perceived his warnings to
Be, craving their wants
More and more.

Such passionate givers they were.

Gave everything,



No matter; their blood, their souls,
Yes, they’d all be his in the end…

Pieces of a decorative nature for this altar of his…

Alas, the seeds of decay and ruin have been planted.

Go ahead, let go of any and all hope.


Doe-eyed prey, swimming in a sea of sharks, fangs abound, clearly unwanted guests. What’s to stop anyone? There’s no justice out here. It’s the wild west. But even those people had a certain sense of honor. Not these, no. They’re animals, look at them. Zombies, reduced to only carnal instincts. I bet they salivate as we walk by.

Don’t look at them, maybe they won’t look at you. Don’t acknowledge them. They might not acknowledge you.

It’s not by choice, no. We certainly wouldn’t have picked this route. But you have to do what you have to do. Seniority means you’re the last line of defense. Especially when the ones who really can make an actual difference aren’t there.

Scribbles underneath bridges, indecipherable words and drawings from madmen with poison in their veins and broken thoughts in their minds. What brought them here? I don’t know. I don’t care. Best to keep walking. All you’ll be met with is slurs. First confused. Then angry.

Once you get to the gas stations and liquor stores, they swarm like flies. Cluster like hornets. Poke the nest. See what happens. I wouldn’t be here if I did, nor would my sister.

Cars on stands on the side of the road, windows barred or boarded up, broken glass, the stench of regrets too numerous to even be cared about, the appearance of the word “decay”. It’s not an ideal place for the youth to grow up. Not to me. But beggars can’t be choosers, and I hold no malice for being put here. I owe it much, as much as I resent it.

Growing up, I’d hear of a place called Hell, in holy books. A place where the wretched are sent, and the worst of the worst congregate, doomed to rot there, drowning in the cesspool of their own failures. They said it was somewhere else. I’d disagree. I can point out to you where Hell was. I saw it when some freak without teeth looked in my direction. When some degenerate hobbled into view, breaking out of a drugged stupor. I experienced Hell when we crossed the street early, and when we quickened our pace a bit, and my heart would pound like a rogue jackhammer on stubborn cement.

I’m not going to Hell. I already went. I have no desire to go back.

Three miles. Three measly miles. And then, after 8 hours, you do it again. Reverse. Back home.

The parents can’t help you. They’d like to. But duty calls. But come straight home. Wouldn’t want to worry them any more than this already does. The wrath of a desperate father, frustrated by his shortcomings, and an incompetent mother, and two unruly children, well, I’d hate to see that.

You get used to it after a while. An unconscious man lying in the streets, an empty bottle lying next to him. A woman offering herself up to any and all takers. A gathering of strange characters, conversing about potentially violent hijinks.

Avoid saying “hello” to anyone. No one’s friendly here. Strangers aren’t to be trusted. Eye contact will lead to lethal consequences, I think. Just keep walking, sis.

Rinse, wash, repeat. It becomes second nature. And you start to blend in after a while. It becomes robotic.

The shock wears off.

But don’t get comfortable.