The Gory Hole

This was written as part of a writing challenge on another website, but since it’s horror, I’m posting it here too. 

Three lads. Early twenties. All perpetually horny and testosterone fuelled.

One text message, so easily led.

A Whatsapp group several seconds later.

“I just got a text from Mike saying the weirdest shit.”
“Yeah me too.”
“WTF i just got one!”

Various screenshots loaded in the chat, proving the same message thrice over.

Rumours of a gory hole in the old abandoned library toilets. gonna drive over if you’re coming, my place at 10-ish.

As you might imagine, the three assumed he meant glory hole, and didn’t have to be asked twice. Each one made their way to their mutual friend’s place, but when they got there, it was dark and nobody was to be found.

“Fucking wanker. He’s full of shit, it’s a wind-up”, Jack blurted out.
Noah just stood there looking dejected.
“Fuck it, let’s just walk to the library anyway, it’s not far”, Liam said, dropping his most recent rollup on the ground and stubbing it out with his boot.

It was raining lightly, and nobody had prepared for rain so their shirts and hoodies got damp pretty quickly, but they weren’t letting wet weather ruin the potential for getting a no strings blow job, plus they wanted to see what kind of other people might turn up. They were absolutely going to take photos and clips and upload them to facebook in an effort to shame any freaks they found.

These boys were not the smartest, especially when they were thinking with their testicles.

The library was on the other side of town, zero lighting and heavily dilapidated. The architecture was something out of the seventies, and the old decor was never updated. The glass doors were shattered and buckled, and the once bright orange foam filled seating inside was now ripped apart and covered in mould and dust. The bookcases had been dismantled in parts, and tipped over in others. They had to use the light from their phones to see where they were going, lest they walked into a fallen case or a broken beam. Any beams that had fallen were rusted and sharp in places, so they had to take care to avoid injury.

Noah was mashing a text message into his phone back to Mike, who was the original sender, telling him he was a fucking bell-end for the wind up and could fuck off. He didn’t get a response right away.

The lads were climbing over piles of abandoned books, their phone lights waving about in the darkness, and curtains of dust flying up the further they went in. A lot of coughing and sneezing happened, but nobody seemed to realise that aside from the noise they were making, the place was deathly silent for somewhere that supposedly held a glory hole in the depths of the basement toilets. They hadn’t noticed in the dark that there were no other footprints in the dust, no new pathways made by scattering those old dishevelled books, and no signs of anyone else being in the building for a very long time.

The reached the stairway, the large brown double doors held open by old bricks. Jack shined his phone light down to reveal they would have to go down three flights to reach the toilets. They weren’t even talking to one another at that point, they just scuffled down the steps, knocking any fallen books or debris out of their way.

Noah’s phone beeped loudly which made them all jump slightly and Liam swear under his breath. Mike had finally responded to his jabs, and said he didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about. He wasn’t at home, but he was in the middle of nowhere with his girlfriend and hasn’t sent any texts to anyone because he couldn’t keep a decent signal.

Noah shrugged it off as part of the wind-up and called him a fucking wanker out loud, and didn’t bother to respond.

They were finally down in the basement. The toilets were behind two huge grubby double doors, much like the ones at the top of the stairs but these were heavier and were painted a dark green colour. They had been damaged by folks using keys to scratch their names and various pieces of lewd commentary on them, and people using marker pens to sign their names as is tradition on entry to a public access toilet.

The two handles in the middle were held shut by a heavy chain, that upon inspection looked untouched for a very long time.

“Fucking Mike”, Noah spat. “It’s all been a fucking wind-up to get us in here, he was taking the piss. There’s nobody here, it’s a waste of time.”

The heavy chain unravelled and fell to the floor with a horrific clanging slam that echoed off the walls, sending fresh dust crumbling from the tiled ceiling. Jack covered his nose and mouth and coughed into the sleeve of his hoodie. A singular light flashed through the glass of the now unchained doors, and a faint giggle rang out from behind them.

“There’s someone in there!” Liam said excitedly, barreling through the doors with his full weight. The other two followed suit, but Noah was a little less enthusiastic. He knew something wasn’t right about this, but his boner cancelled out a lot of the apprehension and he carried on anyway. The same light that flashed through the window was jiggling about in the toilet cubicle right at the end. The door to the cubicle next to it was wide open, and the boys hurried over, ignoring their surroundings that if they had paid close attention to, they would have run out of there faster than they went in, but it was dark and all they could focus on was getting to the feminine giggling and flashing light.

It didn’t matter that nobody else was there.
It didn’t matter that the heavy double doors closed slowly behind them, and that the chains snaked up and coiled themselves around the metal handles, locking shut.
It didn’t matter that they’d missed the dessicated corpses in the dark corners of the toilet, piled up in the other cubicles out of sight behind their locked doors.
It didn’t matter that it wasn’t actually Mike that had sent the message.

A strangely soft light illuminated the cubicle, and compelled the boys to enter. It seemed larger somehow, that all of them would be able to go inside with no issues, when in reality a single cubicle would barely hold an adult and a child. They moved in slowly, silently but completely of their own accord. The same soft light above them also shone through a hole in the cubicle wall, and the softest of whispers and giggles wafted through it.

“I’m hungry”, it said. “I’m SO hungry and I’ve been alone here all night with nobody to play with. Play with me.”

The soft giggling turned into a more sinister cackle, and suddenly multiple whispers crept out around them, filled with harsh edges and sharp tongues. The voice turned into a wall rattling roar, an angry snarling brimming with hatred and ravenous hunger.

“PLAY WITH ME”, It demanded, turning into a shriek that made the boys cover their ears in terror.

They all tried to fight their way out of the cubicle yelling for help, but nobody was listening. The door was solid and no amount of battering it would open it. Jack was the first to be taken. He was grabbed and flattened against the side with the hole, and his clothes ripped and shredded, flying away from his body leaving him naked. He started to scream as the whispers around them grew louder, and stabbed at his skin, flaying him until he was a mass of dripping muscle and sinew. When his ability to scream was suppressed, all he could manage was a dull rasping noise as his organs were ripped from his skeleton, his eyes exploding with the pressure. He was consumed, sucked through the hole in the cubicle wall, whilst the whispers grew louder and groaned in satisfaction. His skinless bones collapsed to the floor just as Liam was pinned on the other side, his clothes tearing from his body, his phone flying out of his hand and smashing against the floor. Noah watched in wide eyed horror as his best friend’s flesh was ripped from him and whirled through the air and into the gaping maw that was significantly wider.

He tried to dial for help, but his phone was yanked away and flew down into the toilet bowl with a loud clatter, smashed to float in the water. The fingers on both of his hands were wrenched open from his palms, and broke simultaneously in wrong directions, leaving them looking like they’d been through a grinder. His screams previously high pitched, turned hoarse as an unseen grip circled itself around his throat. The last thing he saw was the slippery mess of Liam’s defleshed skeleton hunched over on the floor, as his own eyes exploded from the pressure of the hand around his throat.

Everything went dark. The pressure in his head was relentless, and then suddenly there was nothing as it exploded in much the same way a ketchup sachet would if you squeezed it hard enough.

Nobody was there to see the flesh rend from his body, or witness the pools of blood seeping across the cubicle floor, only to be sucked up through the hole in the wall. Nobody saw the harsh whispers suck the marrow out of their bones, or the way their sharp tongues licked the blood from them. Nobody was there to watch them dessicate and age, and crumble into the corner, dead to the world.
The library had closed down many years ago, before the boys had even been born. It was afflicted with a high staff turnover, dangerous conditions on the lower floors, and increasing levels of staff illness. People were often seen leaving the town as it seemed grim and miserable with no real prospects for anyone. The truth is that nobody ever left the area, and the staff were still very much there. It’s just they were piles of rotten old bones and forgotten memories.

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OAK

She was broken with shame in a way that was irreparable.

Wandering into the woodlands over the moors near home, she found a gigantic Oak tree set deep in the Earth, surrounded by thick moss that hadn’t felt human touch for a long time. The air was thick and heavy with the scent of it, and her bare feet sank and left imprints in the soft green. She clawed her way through, ripping huge clomps away, upsetting the life underneath; worms and beetles flew as she clawed deeper, her fingernails filled with dirt that felt strangely warm for such a cold place. She didn’t want to feel anything anymore.

The Earth grew warmer and seemed to pull itself apart to let her in, almost as if it knew she felt such profound loss that it didn’t want to make this harder. She found a root that uncoiled slightly, and put her hand through it, feeling it tighten around her wrist but not so it hurt. The Earth opened a little more, sinking and rising softly as it breathed. She closed her eyes and slowly one by one, heavier roots reached out and coiled around her arms, around her body and finally around her thighs. She didn’t have to dig anymore, the Oak pulled her down into the warm soil, and closed around her like she was back in the womb.

The Earth above her settled again, worms and beetles as they were, the moss unbroken and untrodden.

Her eyes were the first to go. Tiny shoots from the roots that coiled around her wound themselves through her flesh. Her hair twisted into the ground, and held her head in place as the Oak took her. Two sharp branches shot through her eyes, piercing them until they found their way through her ears. Blood trickled from the jellied mess that used to be her eyes, and she screamed soundlessly as her mouth filled with soil.

Hundreds of barbarous shoots bore through her skin and into her bones, her entire body burning with pain. It had changed much in the last week, she was paler then usual, her frame felt weaker, merely something for her skin to hang from which felt heavy and oversized. She had been reduced to a barely breathing husk. The shoots settled into her body and left intricate twine on the surface of her skin.

The roots pulled huge armfuls of mossy Earth to pack her deeply into the ground, and wrapped themselves around her like a Mother would for a sick child.

The Oak drank her slowly, draining the life from her organs, the blood from her veins and the life from her skin. It took her heart next, gnarled and ruined as it was, hollowing it out before filling its shell with a viscous sap. One by one, it changed the configuration of her organs into a myriad of vines, moss, and worts, her skin replaced with a canvas of soft bark that would release spores as she ripened. Her hair twisted and coiled into hundreds of thin vines tipped with tiny red flowers that would burn to the touch.

The verdant moss and Oak grew slowly richer as they fed on her; she stayed buried there down in the warm Earth, nourishing it until she was dead to the world.

Whatever surfaced later wouldn’t come for a very long time.

Text Me When You’re Dead

The first message came through at 00:42. I wasn’t one of those people who put their phone on silent or vibrate only at night. I was so accustomed to the various chimes and notifications that I could sleep through the majority of them. Most of the time folks used stuff like Signal or Telegram to reach me, or that fucking awful Facebook messenger with the annoying games and complete lack of privacy. Nobody really used SMS aside from my mother, and so when the default SMS notification shrieked off around an hour after I fell asleep, it cut straight through and startled me. I’d assumed the worst through bleary eyed panic, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes with one hand whilst unlocking the phone with the other.

 

It wasn’t my mother.

 

There was no number attached to the message, and it simply read “I NEED HELP PLEASE RESPOND.”

 

I was confused, but fired off a “WHO IS THIS?” in return. Before I’d even had chance to blink, another message pinged through. Rather than explain each message, you can see the conversation for yourself:

 

HER: IT’S DARK AND I DON’T KNOW WHERE I AM. I NEED HELP PLEASE. I’M PREGNANT.

ME: WHO ARE YOU?

HER: I DON’T KNOW WHERE I AM AND YOUR NUMBER IS THE ONLY ONE IN THIS PHONE.

ME: WHO ARE YOU? WHO’S PHONE?

HER: HELP ME!

 

Given the way that people scam and extort people via the internet and smart-phones now, my mind SCREAMED at me to ignore the situation as someone fucking about, turn my phone off and go back to sleep, but I didn’t, because that would make for a shit story, and you’re not here for a shit story.

 

ME: CAN YOU MOVE?

HER: YES I CAN MOVE BUT I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING.

ME: I CAN’T HELP YOU UNLESS I KNOW WHERE YOU ARE. HOW DO I KNOW THIS ISN’T A STUNT BY SOME TWISTED PRICK WITH AN OFFENSIVE WEAPON?

 

No I wasn’t fucking stupid, of course I called the police, for all the good that did. When I mentioned weird text messages asking for help from a hidden number after midnight? Block and ignore was all they gave me. How the fuck do you block a hidden number? They told me if they really needed help they’d have called the cops themselves. Fuck the police. I guess they were having a worse than usual night, but still, fuck the police.

 

It continued.

 

HER:  HELLO ARE YOU STILL THERE?

ME: YES I’M STILL HERE. I CALLED THE POLICE.

HER: IT’S TOO LATE FOR THAT. THEY WON’T HELP YOU.

ME: YOU’RE THE ONE WHO NEEDS HELP HERE NOT ME. FEEL AROUND, FIND A LIGHT SWITCH, ANYTHING?

HER: IT’S SO COLD. I CAN’T FEEL MY FEET.

ME: STICK WITH ME, FIND A WALL AND START FEELING AROUND FOR A LIGHT SOURCE.

 

I stumbled around in the dark to pull clothes on like some madwoman, as if I was actually prepared to go out looking for this person. It wasn’t my finest moment, fuck I wish I hadn’t.

 

HER: I FOUND A SWITCH BUT IT’S ONLY A TINY LIGHT IN THE CORNER OF THE ROOM AND THERE IS A BROKEN WINDOW, AND EVERYTHING IS BRICK WALLS AND COLD CONCRETE.

ME: IS THERE A DOOR?

HER: YES BUT IT’S LOCKED. I TRIED IT.

ME: LOOK OUT THE BROKEN WINDOW AND TELL ME WHAT YOU CAN SEE.

HER: IT’S TOO DARK TO SEE MUCH AND THE LIGHT IN THE ROOM IS MAKING IT HARD TO FOCUS BEYOND THE GLASS. I’M TURNING IT OFF FOR A SECOND. IT’S SO COLD AND EVERYTHING IS DEAD SILENT.

 

Curiosity killed the cat, right?

 

ME: I NEED YOU TO LOOK FOR LIGHTS. CAN YOU CALL ME?

HER: NO

ME: WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER I COULD CALL YOU?

HER: YOU CAN’T CALL ME.

ME: WHY?

HER: HE MIGHT HEAR US.

ME: HE?

HER: YES. HE’S NOT FAR.

ME: HAS HE HURT YOU?

HER: NOT YET.

ME: OKAY. LOOK OUT OF THE WINDOW. TELL ME IF YOU CAN SEE ANY LIGHTS, STREET LIGHTS, ANYTHING. WHAT SHOULD I CALL YOU?

 

She responded all too quickly for someone who should have spent a few minutes looking for any lights that might tell me where she was.

 

HER: I THINK I CAN SEE A CLOCK TOWER LIGHT. TWO STREET LIGHTS NEXT TO IT.

ME: IS THE WINDOW BIG ENOUGH TO CLIMB OUT OF IF YOU BROKE IT SOME MORE?

HER: NO. REMEMBER I’M PREGNANT I DON’T WANT TO RISK MY BABY.

ME: TURN THE LIGHT BACK ON AND TELL ME WHAT’S IN THE ROOM. I WANT TO KNOW IF THERE’S ANY WAY YOU CAN BREAK THE DOOR OPEN. I’M GETTING IN MY CAR NOW.

HER: PLEASE HURRY.

 

I was fairly certain she could see the clock tower light in the town square, surrounded by four shorter lights, seeing only two from her position. I could drive out to the clock tower without any problem, I mean the area was well lit and if I could find out where she was from there, maybe I could get the police to listen to me this time. As it turned out, she WAS local and yeah, I’m the idiot who went out in the small hours of the morning on her own with a half charged phone and a couple of maglites, but that’s because the police weren’t going to do a damned thing, and I wasn’t about to leave someone to freeze to death overnight when they needed help. It took me ten minutes to drive to the town square. I used voice to text to respond to her so she knew I was still there.

 

ME: I’M IN THE CAR. I KNOW YOU CAN SEE THE CLOCK TOWER, SO I’M GOING TO DRIVE THERE AND THEN SEE IF I CAN FIND YOU ON FOOT.

HER: PLEASE HURRY I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS. IT’S SO COLD. THE LIGHT IS DIMMING, AND I’M SO TIRED.

ME: I’M COMING. HOLD ON.

 

You’re not supposed to park in the square, hell you’re not supposed to drive anywhere close to it, but this was a scenario I wasn’t fucking about with. I launched the car onto the cobbles and screeched to a halt by the lamp-posts. Everything was silent save for the occasional screech of an owl from the town’s edge. I stupidly lost my footing on the wet cobbles from the untied laces on my boots, managing to land flat on the palms of my hands saving myself from broken teeth, but felt that horrible jarring sensation ricochet through my body with the impact. The heels of my hands were grazed with tiny pricks of oozing blood, but they weren’t that bad.

 

HER: HURRY. I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS. I’M SO COLD.

ME: I NEED YOU TO LOOK OUT OF THE WINDOW AGAIN.

HER: I’M STRUGGLING

ME: I’M GOING TO PUT MY LOADING LIGHTS ON AND I WANT YOU TO TELL ME IF YOU CAN SEE THEM FLASHING FROM THE WINDOW. I NEED TO KNOW WHICH DIRECTION YOU’RE IN.

 

I knew there were a couple of fields in either direction on the edges of town. If she was in a building in one of those, I could easily find her and get help. Sure my car lights might piss off some of the townsfolk, but if anyone came out to complain it would be extra sets of hands right? If only.

 

No fucker came out.

 

I let my lights flash in pulse, and I texted her again.

 

ME: CAN YOU SEE THE FLASHING?

HER: I THINK SO.

ME: WHICH DIRECTION ARE YOU SEEING THIS FROM?

HER: I’M LOOKING OUT OF MY WINDOW AND THE CLOCK TOWER IS TO MY LEFT. PLEASE HURRY.

 

Her left. My right.

 

ME: I THINK YOU’RE IN ONE OF THE FIELDS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN.

HER: PLEASE GET HERE SOON, I CAN’T STAND UP FOR MUCH LONGER, IT’S SO COLD. I CAN’T FEEL MY FACE NOW. PLEASE..

ME: I’M COMING.

 

I kept some emergency gear in my car, so I yanked open the boot and pulled out my tool box and the axe I kept underneath it. Yes I kept a fucking axe in the boot of my car, sometimes a knife isn’t going to cut it, not that the axe really cut it this time. I didn’t drag the entire toolbox with me, it was heavy as fuck but it had stuff inside it that I could use to get past a locked door if needs be, so I took some of that stuff with me. I might have been an idiot who went out on her own like that, but I was a moderately prepared idiot.

 

ME: TRY TO KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN, I’M CARRYING MAGLITES AND THEY’RE BRIGHT. YOU SHOULD SEE ME COMING THE CLOSER TO YOU I GET OVER THE FIELD.

HER: DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME

 

My ankle screamed at me with every step, pain shooting up my leg to my knee as I limped as fast I could go over the road, and towards the stile at the field gates. As my memory served me correctly, one of the fields had a small brick shed at the far end, and the other had a metal box enclosure. She mentioned seeing bricks earlier on, but I couldn’t recall which building was in which field, I was tired and in pain, and it was COLD, wind biting, hair whipping in your face kind of cold. I stopped for a moment to text her again, expecting to hear her call out or something, but there was nothing.

 

ME: ARE YOU STILL WITH ME

 

Nothing.

 

ME: CAN YOU SHOUT SOMETHING TO ME SO I CAN HEAR YOU.

 

Nothing.

 

My immediate worry was that she’d passed out and that she was in danger of not waking up again, so I crammed the phone in my pocket and moved as fast my burning ankle would let me, the pain ripping further and further up my leg to my hips to make me think I’d done something worse than twist it. I remember my hands being so cold that it made it hard to keep hold of the axe and my other gear, but I had to keep going, and I did until I saw a flash of red brick through the beam of my biggest maglite, and an open metal door.

 

The door was open. She said it was locked, she said she couldn’t open it. Where was she? Other questions flew around in my head, ones she’d never answered even when prompted. That was when a thick rancid stench pricked at my nostrils, making me fall back and retch violently. I grabbed the door-frame to steady myself, clamping my sleeve over my mouth and nose with my other hand, my larger maglite clattering to the floor in the process. The beam shone into the corner, where a maggot riddled decomposing bloated corpse was sprawled on its side. I lost my stomach then, heaving gobs of bile all over my boots until all that came was dry rasping and sobbing. I stooped to grab the maglite, edging closer to look at the corpse’s face, mangled and puffed up beyond recognition. Its head was almost completely severed from the neck, the spine visibly cut in a clean fashion. There were no hands or feet on the corpse, only burned stumps where they used to sit. One of its eyes was missing, the other one puffed up and swollen like the rest of its body. I couldn’t look away, it was putrid and foul, but I couldn’t look away. Getting in closer despite being overwhelmed by the stink, I could see its lips were gone, and its mouth was a mass of toothless rotting pulp.

 

When you’re clawing around for your phone in your pocket and can’t quite grasp it, you start to panic and THEN you start breathing heavily, but that rotting pile in the corner made me feel so physically ill that I couldn’t concentrate. All I could do was retch and claw, needing to breathe but not being able to because of the stench. I changed tack and looked for the light switch but the bulb was long since blown. I was shaking horribly, turning around on myself, pointing with my maglite wildly until something else caught my eye. I’d finally been able to get a hold on my OWN phone, but there was another one right there on the floor.

 

I tried to slide MY phone back in my pocket, but it didn’t connect and it tumbled to the floor, the screen cracking despite the supposedly protective case. Shining the light on the second phone, showed me it was identical to mine down to the same high gloss black case. The screen was cracked in the same way, and I turned it over to find the N7 logo in the centre. God, my head was REELING, everything was swimming with confusion, fear and revulsion. Of course I bloody tried to switch it on, why wouldn’t I? It was dead, OBVIOUSLY it was dead, why would it still work now? I wasn’t thinking straight remember? NOTHING about me was calm OR composed.

 

I groped around for my newly cracked phone, pressing the home button to try and bring it to life, but the screen only lit up and wouldn’t respond. I wished I still had my old fucking Blackberry with an ACTUAL keyboard so I might have stood a chance, but I didn’t because fuck my love of tech and a need for a touch-screen smart-phone. Even after turning back outside into the cold air, the rot still hung around me. I’d dropped all my gear outside the door before going in, which really wasn’t very clever in hindsight. I remember the way the damp ground felt when it seeped through the fabric of my cargo pants as I sank to my knees. I was doubled over, sobbing and not caring about the searing pain in my ankle.

 

It was cold, So fucking COLD.

 

I was so consumed with grief and fear that I didn’t hear him coming. The field was soft and damp you see, even despite the chilled air. He was slow and careful with the way he moved,  and naturally I didn’t hear him over the sound of my own wailing. If you’ve ever wondered what it might take to separate someone’s head from their spine, it would be as simple as a modified bolt cutter to the back of the neck. I think that’s how he did it anyway. He cut the life out of me, and left me to rot in the corner of that building in the field, with the cracked window and the locked metal door.

 

I’ve been watching myself decompose slowly over the last week or so. It’s weird seeing your own body bloat and change over time. Sometimes my touch-screen lights up and even lets me send texts, but only to one person. I’ve been reaching out for help, but all that happens is I watch myself come to find what’s left of me and the baby inside me. I have to watch as he brutalises me all over again. The way he cut my hands and feet from my body and took them away, and seared the stumps. The way he bit the lips from my face and spat them into a bag. The way he used pliers on my teeth to wrench them out one at a time, bagging them along with my lips, and the way he took one of my eyes, and swallowed it whole.  

 

Maybe eventually someone else will find me here, and do something with my bones. I didn’t realise I was pregnant until I died. I wonder if he knew. I wonder how long it took for that life to fade away inside me after I died.

 

It’s so cold. I can’t feel my face. I can’t feel anything, I can only text with my missing fingers and broken phone, and watch.