Josh Sczykutowicz is one of our Halloween writing contest finalists for 2015. We’ll be publishing our contest finalists every day until Halloween, when we’ll announce our contest’s winner.
By Josh Sczykutowicz
The darkness spread out of me, something deeper than anything I had ever dreamt before. I had fallen into sleep’s jaws like that of some ancient predator searching through the blackest depths of the ocean before, something seeking anything that might sate its leviathan appetite once again, the sensation of fullness a dull memory that had faded, much like its eyes, as eons had stretched forward and backward, time eternal forevermore. But sleep had never been as deep as this, and I knew now that I was neither dreaming nor awake. There was a place between both realms, that of collective memory and that of accumulation, and in it I now stood.
Something had crawled out of my mouth, climbing up my throat, claws digging into soft red flesh within. The familiar taste of blood trickled into my stomach. It moved upward as I wrenched forward and crumpled like paper, clutching at the throat that bulged, skin stretching in directions it was never meant to go. Tears filled my eyes and I could not breathe, everything blocked as I choked and coughed and finally it came forth. It was something small; something bundled up, coated in saliva and bile like crude amniotic fluid. Warm rain fell onto the skin of neck and trickled down hair clumping in damp solidarity. The object moved, unfurled, rain drops on its head making black eyes rimmed in maroon red blink open, mouth stretching, teeth showing, soft pink mouth vulnerable, shaking around on the dark pavement of this road. The road seemed to stretch, not just backward and forward, but to my left and to my right eternal. I looked up at the bleeding moon and saw its reflection on the ground in a puddle beginning to form, potholes and cracks filling like bottles beneath faucets to be drunk by something greater than it would ever know. Continue reading