Oh Matt, I think I'm going to puke...
| Susan long ago gave up hope. She has hung, in the nude, suspended from the ceiling of a grimy basement, mold on the walls, for eight months now. A thick chain wraps around her hands, leaving perpetually oozing open wounds along the circumference of her delicate wrists. Her shoulders are dislocated from taking her entire body weight for so long. Shit and piss constantly running down her legs has left them filthy and crusted. Her toes hang a foot off the ground, directly above a drain, half-clogged with her excretions. This is her hell.
Susan rotates her neck to try and relieve the tightness. As she glances down she cannot see her feet due to her distended stomach, a beach-ball made of flesh. Suddenly she feels a kick within her womb. A smile creeps across her filthy face. Her baby, the one thing that has allowed her to maintain a tenuous grip on sanity. The knowledge that a life is still within her, has kept her going. It wasnít always this way.
Nine months ago Susan was a diligent postal worker. Sure she slept around a lot, but who doesnít? She had her own place, in a not too bad neighborhood, her own car and a savings account. College never worked out for her but she was lucky to get a job at the local post office. She spent her free time drinking in bars, fucking single men and on one occasion, after a tequila fueled night, a woman. She saved her money and lived her life. And so it went, until one day Susan did not get her period. She thought nothing of it. When a week passed and she still did not get her period, she went to see her doctor.
After a few tests Dr. Wilkins informed Susan that she is pregnant. The look on Susanís face when she heard the news was one of utter disbelief. In her mind it was impossible, when in reality it is surprising it didnít happen sooner. Dr. Wilkins patted her on the back, congratulated her and escorted Susan to the door. That night Susan walked home in a zombie like state.
She is not ready for a child. At only 24 years old she has a whole life ahead of her. There is no time to be changing diapers and feeding babies at 4AM. She canít raise the child herself. The father could be any of the 10 men she slept with last week And even if she knew who the father was, he is probably gone by now. Susan makes it a point to not sleep with local men, unless she finds them attractive. Is it her fault that she is attractive to other men and that she is young and loves to have sex? Decisions need to be made.
After several chats with her girlfriends and one tear filled phone conversation with her mom, Susan came to a decision. She would keep the child. Susan took to the pregnancy like a pro. She started to paint a spare room in her apartment, the first step in the conversion to a nursery. She bought a baby crib and tons of books, attended classes on parenting. Susan went about her life with new vigor and purpose. No more drinking in bars and screwing strange men. This baby was a blessing to her. She couldnít wait until she gave birth.
On occasion Susan would take walks through the neighborhood very early in the morning. She found it to be soothing and it helped relieve her morning sickness. It was on one of these walks that a blue van pulled up next to her. Two men jumped out, one clobbered her on the head with a pipe and the other dragged her unconscious body into the van. When she regained consciousness, she was hanging from the ceiling of the basement with a throbbing ache at the back of her skull.
Confusion and fear dominated her thoughts at first. She struggled to no avail, the chains holding her fast. She screamed herself hoarse, but no one came in response to her cries. Hours passed as she stared at the cold brick wall in front of her. Somehow she managed to fall asleep, probably from pure exhaustion.
A door behind Susanís suspended form opens. Light splashes across her back, leaving a shadow gently swaying against the slimy mold on the wall, moving almost life like. She awakes and tries to look behind her, but only manages to catch a fleeting glimpse of something black, a ghost of fabric, robes? Booted steps echo off the walls, accompanied by a gentle swishing sound.
ďWho is there? Let me go!!Ē Susan asks. A man or maybe a woman steps in front of her. The person is wearing black robes with a voluminous hood pulled up over their head, the face hidden in a mini-cavern of shadows. Susan began to scream and shake, saliva flying out of her mouth to speckle the robed figures hood. The person just stood there silent as if carved from black stone. Susan demanded to know what is going on. She demanded to be set free. When no response was given she screamed louder and longer until the person walked away. She heard the door slam close behind them. Susan screamed and ranted for a little longer until she grew tired, then she just let herself hang, feeling the strain on her shoulders and the chains cutting into her wrists.
Someone would find her. Someone had to find her. She would be missed at work and when her mother calls and no one picks up she will get worried. Only a matter of time, she has to hold on. Her thoughts then turn to the baby inside her. If they hurt the baby I will kill them she thinks to herself. I will kill them anyway just for kidnapping me. This thought causes her to smile. Her revenge fantasies are disrupted by the opening of the door. Susan begins to scream questions before she can even see anyone.
A robed figure steps in front of her, a sharp knife in his hand, the light glinting off the blade. ďWhatís the knife for? Help! Please help! Help! Someone please!Ē Suddenly two hands reach around the side of her face and grasp her head in a vice grip. She tries to struggle but a third person holds her body steady. A fourth figure appears, he is holding a bucket full of hot coals with a metal rod sticking out. The figure with the knife begins to chant in a bizarre language. Words, like the sound of insects dying and gravel rolling down a hill, slowly crawl out of the figures throat. As soon as he stops the two holding her take up the chant. The knife-wielder raises the blade towards Susanís chest. Her eyes bulge in terror. A big man-hand, scarred and calloused, grasps her left breast. The man uses the point of the knife to make a puncture at the tip of the nipple. He does the same on the other. Blood now flows freely from both nipples, a twisted form of lactation. The man throws back his hood revealing a shaved head and a middle aged face, a slight double chin, saggy jowls and eyes that seem dead. One can picture this man being a lawyer or maybe a doctor. The manís mouth opens, slimy strands of saliva connecting bottom lip to top. Susanís ample bosom is at face level with the man. He steps closer and places his mouth over a bleeding nipple. With eyes closed he begins to suckle on the blood flowing from her teat. The whole time the others continue the eerie chanting. Susan tries to scream but her mouth his held shut with steel trap efficiency. The man finishes with his meal and moves on to the next nipple, breast feeding on her life juices. After what to Susan felt like hours, but in actuality was only a few minutes, the man steps away from her breasts. He looks at someone behind her and nods. A second later the hands holding her head force her mouth open. Susan has reached a new point of terror. She releases her bladder and a warm piss trails down her legs to drip into the drain beneath her. The man who sucked on her blood reaches up and grasps her tongue in one hand. With the other he quickly slices off her tongue. Blinding pain, pain that she has never in her life felt before, explodes in her brain. Hot salty blood fills her mouth and she begins to gag. Quickly, the man with the bucket steps forth and pulls the metal rod out. The tip of the rod glows red-hot from the coals. At this point Susan is nearly unconscious, but she can steel feel a warmth approaching her face. She manages to open her eyes and sees the glowing tip of the rod about to enter her mouth. The hot metal cauterizes the stump that used to be her tongue and Susan passes out, engulfed by blackness.
Weeks pass and Susanís stomach begins to grow. Three times a day a robed man comes to feed her. At first Susan refused to eat but after a few days, especially with the baby inside her, she gave in to the hunger and allowed the man to feed her. The meals were always some type of gruel, full of vitamins and herbs to make the baby strong, or so her caretaker says. He is the only one that speaks to her, always about the baby. How they must make sure it strong and raised properly. The caretaker would shovel the thick mush into her mouth with a spoon talking all the while. Sometimes Susan didnít swallow in time and the gruel would run down her chin. They would never clean it. Her chin had weekís worth of crusted gruel on it. Susan was sure that her baby was the only thing keeping her alive. At least they fed her. The other things they did were not so nice.
Once a month, during the full moon they would gather. Susan was never able to get a complete count, but there were around 30 black robed figures at each meeting. They would light black candles. The candles were made of human fat, but she didnít know that. The acrid smoke would burn her nostrils while the robed men formed a circle around her. A droning chant would begin in the insect-gravel language. The first time it happened she was shocked when she felt lashes against her bare back. Hot lines of fire ripping her flash as her tongueless mouth emitted bestial screams. By the second gathering she was expecting it, but the pain still shocked her.
After her flogging the blood dripping off her back would be collected in a chalice. The man who cut off her tongue would than stand in the middle of the circle, lift the chalice into air and speak the twisted words. Blood drank, chalice placed aside, he would than take out the knife and commence to carve Susanís flesh. Not senseless slashing, but precision cuts with a purpose. Each full moon strange symbols would be carved into her skin. Across her legs, across her breasts, even her face. By the eighth month Susanís entire body, with the exception of her stomach, was covered in the cryptic symbols, which almost seemed to writhe and pulse when stared at for too long.
Unbeknownst to Susan, a mild sedative was mixed in with her daily gruel. Not enough to numb her pain, for her pain was all part of the ritual, but just enough to keep her calm. After eight months of torture Susan was dead inside. Her mind focused on living long enough to give birth. Deep down she knew she would never get to raise her child. Never get to see them grow up. But those kinds of thoughts were not good for her. So she continued to survive.
The ninth month arrived and a building anticipation could be sensed in the fetid air. The summit of these atrocities is at hand.
Susan hears the door open. Her sense of time has been distorted in this lightless word, but it has been a while since the last gathering. She prepares herself mentally. The robed figures file in, candles in hand. The circle is formed. Susan tenses in preparation for the lashes but they never come. Something is different, Susan dimly thinks in the back of her battered mind.
The leader saunters into the middle of the circle and gently places his hand on Susanís bulging stomach. He feels a kick against his hand and this causes him to smile wickedly.
ďIt is time.Ē He says with authority in his voice. Another acolyte steps out of the shadows with an ornately carved wooden box. Skulls and demon faces cover it in its entirety. The leader opens the box and its contents are revealed. A one-foot long knife, its blade curved and serrated. The handle is made from the femur bone of a sacrificed child. The grip is worn from years of unspeakable use. He takes the knife and turns to face Susan. She just stares blankly ahead.
The unearthly chanting begins; words not meant to be spoken by human mouths fill the air like a horde of bats. The chanting reaches a frantic pace, the words spoken quickly and loudly, until suddenly all the robed figures stop at once. Silence blankets the dank dungeon. The leader is poised directly in front of Susan, arms stretched out like he is crucified, his face turned up towards the sky, his eyes possessing a feral glint. All at once the chanting is started up again. This time slower and if possible, more sinister sounding.
The leader looks Susan directly into her empty eyes. Two hooded figures step forth and grasp Susan tightly, making sure she is still for what is to come. The leader places the point of the blade directly below Susanís belly button and begins to apply pressure. The tip sinks into her flesh. Susan moans in pain. With a quick maneuver, the blade slices down, stopping above her pubic patch, a textbook C-section. A shudder passes through Susan as her nerves shoot signals to the pain receptors in her brain.
Susanís head hangs down, her chin resting against her chest. She can see the robed man doing something to her stomach. She feels a tugging at her abdomen, the leader parting the muscle to get at the womb. She sees him raise the knife to her stomach again. She feels a sensation of burning when he cuts open the womb.
Hot afterbirth gushes through Susanís abdominal skin flaps, spraying onto the floor, splashing cultist boots in all directions. The chanting now has a droning, buzzing quality to it. As if thousands of flies occupied the room.
The leaders hand reaches inside Susanís cavity and grasps a wet writhing limb. He grips firmly and begins to pull the child out. With a moist sucking sound the child slides out into the world. He is born.
The leader, whose sect name is Sog-Balar, is reeling with success. 3 years ago, in a bone incense induced dream state, he received a vision. The vision showed Sog-Balar the woman who would give birth to the future conquerer of humanity. After many false starts and leads, Sog-Balar and his sect managed to find Susan and the seed within her, and just in time too, for if they caught her in a later stage of pregnancy there would not have been enough time for all the necessary rituals, and a wait of who knows how many centuries would begin again, until he returned. In the end all worked out as foreseen.
Sog-Balar cradled the slimy infant like a happy new father. And that is what he intends to be to this special child, a father, a father to teach him the dark arts and guide him to his proper place. The smile cannot be contained on his face as he raises the child and slowly turns so all present may glimpse the one foretold. His rotation complete he stops facing Susan.
ďThank you for your services in acting as a vessel for the child. We are most gratefulĒ He raises the child to her face so she may see him.
Susan did not hear the words spoken to her. She long ago stopped listening. All her attention is focused on the beautiful creature before her, so small, so innocent. She is vaguely aware that this being has come from within her, that this creature is her child.
She smiles as she watches him mewl and move his tiny fists. She was still smiling when Sog-Balar slit her throat.
The hot blood pulsed out of the jagged wound.. Sog-Balar placed the child beneath the open wound and bathed it in the crimson flow, the ritual now complete.
As the life faded from Susan all that could be seen reflected in her eyes was the face of her newborn son.
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