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Running Scared

This Page written by: Brian Kay

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Chamber of Horrors

Black rain. That was what it looked liked to Grimes as he stood, shoulders slightly hunched inside the cramped vid-phone booth. He just finished his conversation with an unusually distracted Byron Joseph when he glanced up at the plastiglass ceiling of the booth. The rain fell at a leisurely pace, impacting softly on the clear, domed roof. Thuk-thuk-thuk. Grimes blinked. Something was different about the rain. Something in the way it streaked down the scarred plastiglass. 'Not streaking…bouncing.' He thought absently to himself.

Not black rain at all.

Black nails.

'Coffin nails. That's what those little pieces of rusted metal are.'

The voice was distant, yet immediate. Clear, but somewhat garbled, like a thousand whispering susurrations of an eerily sotto voce choir.

Grimes slowly turned to his right. His eyes widened. He could feel his pupils constricting, shrinking away from the thing that stood outside of the booth.

Milky-white orbs stared back at him from a face of decayed, mottled gray flesh. Its mouth was split open into a grotesque grin, displaying rows of broken and jagged yellow teeth. It was naked. Long black, matted and twisted hair covered one rotting breast and a brutal, blue black hole glared at him, accusingly, where the other breast should have been. It scratched at the booth with a horribly diseased, filth encrusted fingernail.

'Remember, me Albert? I've come back. Come back to collect my pound of flesh, the flesh that hangs between your legs.'

Grimes backed away from the corpse, his large frame shrinking against the plastiglass walls, as if the vid-phone booth was growing.

'We've come to collect as well, Albert.'

Grimes looked to his left, his mind reeling from the images before him. Men clad in tattered, blood soaked uniforms. Their savaged bodies dotted with ugly bullet holes. Gray-black entrails worm their way out of dead flesh. Women, their feminine attributes lost in a mosaic of hideous bruises and lacerations.


A small cluster of children, their flesh burned and flayed, hold their skeletal hands out before them.

Grimes could feel the synapses in his brain begin to sputter and misfire.

'So this is what it must feel like to go mad.' Grimes thought to himself.

'Time to collect. Time to collect. Time to collect'


Albert Grimes screamed. A high-pitched shriek that would have been laughable under any other circumstance.

The corpses move forward, hands outstretched, fingers ripping apart the walls of the booth. Wanting in.


The dead woman smiles.

'Payback is such a bitch, eh Albert?'

Kneeling. Grimes squints. The room is dark. The dancing, hypnotic flickering of candlelight creates living shadows on the walls. It is warm here. Safe. Grimes looks forward. An altar. For a moment he thinks he has been delivered from his gruesome fate. Not an altar, but a bed. A rather grand, beautifully crafted four-poster bed. Grimes leans closer. His eyes fix upon the shriveled man in the bed. His body is twisted, broken. Limbs bent at painfully horrific angles. The dead man's head is cocked at an inhuman angle. Deep, black holes stare at Grimes. The stench of urine, excrement fills his nostrils. Cold fingers caress his neck.

Grimes looks up.

Byron Joseph smiles, his eyes an unnaturally brilliant blue.

"What ..I.. What the hell is going on?" Grimes stammers. Shaking.

'I don't know, pal, you tell me. Seems like you had some kind of cerebral incident. You off your meds again?" Joseph replies, his voice flat. Indifferent.

"I…I Remember talking to you on the pay-vid-phone..then..then those horrible visions." Grimes hold his head with both hands. He begins to sob softly.

'Now, Now, Albert, no need for a crying jag. It's just your past coming back to haunt you. Ghosts of your mind, old man. Can't hurt you."

Joseph kneels next to Grimes. Grimes' face inches from his.

"Questions, Albert? Well, let's just say that we had a nice conversation about our friend Mironova. You took care of him. Set him up in his shabby little conapt. Pumped him full of drugs.. Making it look like an overdose.. A drug deal gone bad. Ahh, well, my friend, you look terrible, so we can discuss this another time, but most importantly, do you have my pound of flesh?"

Joseph fishes his hand into Grimes' coat pocket and produces a small bundle of wax paper. Joseph delicately unwraps the paper and holds Mironova's tongue, admiring the dark red bit of flesh in his hand.

"Oh, Albert, you are indeed a skilled surgeon with that terrible knife of yours."

Grimes looks at Joseph. His black eyes fix on Joseph's blue bits of colored ice.

"You know what happened to me, Byron. You fucking did something to me. Some kind of subliminal message shit. That's why you have me go to the damn Eldon Wellness Centers. Taking medication. It's not to help me get over my past, but to control me."

Joseph rises slowly. He looks down at Grimes. His naked body reflects the writhing shadows from the candles on his glistening skin. He drops Mironova's tongue in front of Grimes.

"Yes, Albert. You are quite right. I do control you. I gave you life. I saved you from yourself. I picked you, to be in my inner circle, not for your looks, but for your loyalty. I know what you are and I accept you for it. That wasted piece of flesh on the bed created me, but did not accept me for who I was. I need the Red Dragon inside of you and call upon it when I must, but in return, I give you those moments in your life when you feel at peace with yourself. Like when you come home to your small, but impeccably neat conapt. Greeted by your animoid cat, Wheezer, an ancient type to be sure, but curls around your feet and laps at its milky lubricant just the same. You then settle in your comfortable chair, an old CD disc in the retro DVD player, a Black and White horror classic from Universal, you root for the monster, hoping it gets away from the angry mob this time. Identifying with the creature's doomed plight."

Grimes stares blankly ahead. Tears run shamelessly down his pocked-marked face. Joseph leads Grimes to a corner of the room, cloaked in shadows. An Asian woman, clad in a white lab coat and short skirt lies moaning on the floor. Joseph whispers into Grimes' ear. Grimes straightens up. His black eyes begin to glaze over. Sharks eyes now gaze at the prostate woman.

"Albert, meet Dr. Kino. I had her tend to Eldon Tyrell, our now deceased benefactor. She surprised me when I released Eldon from this mortal coil, and well, I indulged myself, albeit forcefully, upon her womanly charms. I now need you to finish the task, Albert. Release yourself from the constraints of your restrictive humanity. I accept my inhumanity, and I will accept you, for what you are and will become." Grimes inches his way to the woman. He stops and looks over his shoulder at Joseph.

"Albert, go on, my friend, this woman would have mocked you, called you grotesque, been repulsed by the mere sight of you. Indulge yourself. Indulge me."

Joseph walks back to the bed, stopping to retrieve a small metal object from the pocket of his robe. He strikes the flint from the ancient lighter and sets the bedding aflame. The fire licks hungrily at the thin cloth and soon all of the bed is consumed by flames.

Joseph backs away from the conflagration and turns to Grimes, smiling as he speaks.

"This is the end of the Tyrell Corporation as we know it. Brandt and his unauthorized RAD inspections and our corporate adversaries want to see the end of us, and they shall, but on my terms and from the ashes a new Tyrell dynasty will be born."

Grimes towers over the groaning woman and reaches into his jacket, pulling the pistol from its holster.

"NO….NO, Albert. The knife. Use your knife." Joseph commands.

Grimes obeys and the glint of steel quickly appears in his meaty hands.

"Oh yes, Albert, Much better." Joseph murmurs as his hand slides past his taut stomach.



Option 1 - Joseph and Grimes.

Option 2 - Something else.

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: 2002-10-29 22:20