All The Dead Things

My eyes are open. I’m in a cabin, lying on a bed, on a bare, ancient mattress, surrounded by old, wooden crates nailed to the walls. The crates are stacked on top of each other, crammed with packages and jars and disintegrating, rusted cans with faded labels that read, “corn flour”, “wholemeal biscuits, and “cabbage”. At my left there is a large, wooden crate with “SYRUP” printed on it in all caps. An ancient iron stove is crouched at the foot of my bed, its metal chimney rising up from its oven and poking through the roof. Ruined clothes hang from the ceiling on lines suspended by narrow, iron hooks.

I know this place. I totally know this place. But I have no business being here. This is Ernest Shackleton’s hut.

What the actual fuck.

A face ebbs into view. A gray, oblong face with a thick, bulbous nose, and nasty, ragged teeth. And those eyes. Those, giant, dumb eyes.

Of course.

“Hello, Chikushou.”

Fucking Spegg.

I try to grab him. Try to grab him and do all kinds of horrible, violent things to him and that face of his…. but nothing… nothing happens.

“Don’t try to move,” Spegg says. “You’re not whole yet.” He passes by the window, momentarily casting a shadow over the room, then gestures at my body. Or what remains of it.

I look like fucking road kill. Like the butcher had a go at me, but toddled off halfway through the job. Almost nothing is recognizable. Unless you count head cheese and ground chuck as recognizable. Okay, a bit of my leg is sticking out of the mess. And my right hip. That’s there. I spy a heel, and that little bony nub that sticks out on the side of the foot? What is it? It’s like your foot’s elbow. I dunno. But I still have one of those. Everything else is missing, though. Missing, or just meat.

But there is something else down there. Something else mingling with what’s left, something that makes no sense whatsoever. Something filling the gaps between the bits of meat and hip parts and foot elbows; something thick and black and shiny and syrupy. And it’s moving. Like, undulating. Like it’s doing some kind of work. And there I am, just checking it out… as fucking Spegg looks on with his big, fat eyes.

What the fucking shit is this shit?!

“I saved what I could,” Spegg says. “But I had to cut away all the dead things.”