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Running Scared

This Page written by: Brian Kay

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Hell on the 150th floor

Fenton Beels was a simple man. He was called that most of his adult life. His appetites, culinary or otherwise were extraordinary in their ordinariness. Fenton Beels was quite a simple man.

Simply scared shitless.

He was tethered to a maintenance catwalk on the side of the building that was in dire need of retro-fitting. The wind violently harassed him like an unwanted lover. Its invisible fingers groping, searching his entire body.

He was not the least bit aroused.

He had been on maintenance catwalks before, but most were enclosed and few were exposed to the elements like this one and even fewer were this poorly maintained. He inched his way to the communications antennae array that jutted out of the side of the building like a metallic, malformed spider. Most of the time, he was to inspect the control panel of the array, to see if the systems diagnostic was functioning properly. If the light on the panel was green, it was clean, if it was red, it was dead. This array was sure as hell dead.

And so was the poor bastard skewered on it.

Beels's testicles shriveled up into his bladder not by the sight of the twisted and battered body or the blood leaking from the multiple impalements, but the poor s.o.b.'s unnaturally brilliant black eyes. These were not the eyes that a dead man should have. He shuddered visibly and quickly scanned the array and its moorings. He deduced that it would not stay connected to the building too much longer if this damnable wind kept up its ferocious gusts. He could feel small droplets of rain pelt his face and he was glad he had on the heavy-duty mechanic overalls and gloves, because at least that would ward off the chill of the weather, but it didn't protect him from the chill that stabbed at his heart. His job was done and all he wanted to do was report back to the security officer and the Genetic engineer supervisor Joseph forthwith.

Beels had tethered himself to the catwalk rail and to the array mooring hook so he could stabilize himself more securely while he did his unpleasant bit of inspecting. He was fumbling with the clasp to the array mooring when he caught a glimpse of the dead man's eyes blink. Beels jerked suddenly, as if struck by a bolt of electricity. His heart leapt into his throat. Jesus Christ, I did not see him fucking blink. I did not see that. The dead man's head slowly turned to Beels, blood and spittle poured from his twisting mouth, as if he was trying to speak. Oh, son-of-a fuckin' bitch, I definitely did not see that. The dead man began to moan, his words garbled by the damage to his face and the blood leaking from his mouth. Beels fumbled frantically with the clasp, when a sudden gust of wind swept by him and the array groaned loudly. A metallic sensor spindle snapped in two and glanced off of Beels's left shoulder and its jagged edges cut the tether, along with three of Beels's fingers. Beels howled in pain and fell to one knee. The cut tether line snapped in the wind like an angry serpent. Beels cursed himself for his stupidity. This was a two-man job, but he was swayed by Byron Joseph's urgent insistence and confident demeanor that Beels could do the job. Plus, those hypnotic blue eyes of his, they were the most serene, tropical blue he had ever seen. He was indeed a simple man. Simply stupid. The pain from his hand and shoulder forced Beels to close his eyes so intensely that tears streaked down both cheeks. The half-dead man began to say something, his voice wailing with the wind.


Beels opened his eyes and saw Byron Joseph standing in front of him. The crazy son-of-a-bitch was out here on the precipice of Hell.

"Christ, Joseph, are you fucking insane? " What the hell are you doing out here?" Beels screamed.

"We all go a little mad sometimes, Fenton, my good man." Joseph said flatly

"What the hell is that supposed to mean, you crazy bastard? You wanted me to come out here and see if the array would hold and that we could retrieve the body. I did my fuckin' job and now I lost three of my fucking fingers, because of YOU. I'd better be Goddamned well compensated, Joseph or there's gonna be hell to pay. YOU GOTTA GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!" Beels slumped further onto the catwalk ledge. Before Joseph could reply to Beels, Michael Lee spoke one word perfectly clear. And it was directed to Byron Joseph.


A brief flicker of fear momentarily swept across Joseph's normally impassive face.
Lee spoke again; his voice was like something from beyond the grave. Beels could make out some of what Lee was saying, the other were lost upon the wind. Beels groaned and the monster that was Joseph spoke.

"Judas? What an adroitly Catholic retort, Michael, you, on your spindly Crucifix and such." Now, as for you, Beels, you shall be rewarded. I think The Great Eternal Reward shall be your compensation. Sorry you had to hear what Mr. Lee had to say, if it makes any sense to you, coming from the lips of a dead man. But, as they say, no loose ends."

The antennae began to shudder violently. The moorings exploded from the building, sending bits of metallic debris into the air. The antennae array slowly twisted downward, descending into the belching, refinery inferno below. Beels was still attached to the array as it plummeted south. He looked into Joseph's eyes and saw that they were no longer the serene tropical blue, but clear and lifeless. Beels defiantly screamed to Joseph.

"Lee had more life in his dead eyes than you, you Fucker." Beels spat out a wad of blood and spittle as he was yanked violently backwards.

Fenton Bells did not scream.

Fenton Beels simply vanished.



Option 1 - Byron Joseph makes his first play in the endgame

Option 2 - Byron Joseph has to deal with a problem

Pages in white continue the story. Pages in yellow are yet to be written. Note that the unwritten options are just suggestions for how the story might continue - you can add something completely different if you like.

Each page in the story ends in a five letter code. If you want to return to this page in the future, make a note of the page code and you will then be able to change your URL to take you straight back to that page.

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Date: 2002-05-23 17:45