Felt like – instead of trying to get a decent amount of sleep for once – writing a short piece about a Brand New Monster, or Make Some Shit Up, as ordained by Chuck the Wingading. Thousand words or less, monster story. Took about two hours. Blah.
Enjoy, or ignore;
Deep under the city, the dirt, the rock, the metal and the pipes was an long forgotten and abandoned tunnel. Nearly abandoned at least; there were three miners in it, sitting by a makeshift camp fire.
“Oh yeah? Pull the oth’ one an’ see what comes out, eh! Tha’s only a stoory!” said one of them dismissively.
The one accused of pulling the other one shook his head and leaned forward conspiratorially; the fire casting deep shadows on his scruffy face.
“Nah lad, it’s the truth. My grandfather saw it once! Big as a horse it was, my Big Gran said.” He said looking around, building tension for the story to come.
“With a body like a centipede I heard! Only, like, more compact, you know!” said the third man, getting slightly antsy.
He was the youngest of the trio and therefore the first nominee for the ‘Most Agitated And Gullible Miner of the Year’ award, as these things go.
In the far distance, far from the reach of hearing, was a skitter.
“Don’t forget the slicers lad. Four of them. Long and curving blades, sharp like a razor and dripping with the blood of thousand sons!” the storyteller said and the youngest whimpered slightly.
He never liked the descriptions. The first one scoffed and continued chewing his food. He couldn’t be bothered.
Far away, and slightly above the group, no one heard the screech of something razor sharp against copper pipes.
“They say it has the face and shape of a wasp with no skin – like something had it ripped off! When the moon turns red they say it skulks around the tunnels underground in search for food and… victims.” He said and added the last word as he poked a stick into the fire.
“Tunnels… like these?” the youngest said, getting into the spirit of being very afraid.
“Tunnels like these, my lad! With its clawed feet’s it crawls in the pipes, clicking with its grotesque and hungry mouth!”
Somewhere out of hearing there was a click.
“’Old on ‘old on, just a minute!” said the thick one and the storyteller sighed.
“If wha’ ye say is true, eh, ow’ come it knows when th’ moon is red, eh? Cant see th’ moon from ‘ere can ye, eh? Under ground, see.” he explained and looked smug, as far as he was capable of being smug that is.
There was a moment of silence. Then the storyteller rubbed his forehead.
“It can sense it you daft bugger! It has, like, antennas and feelers for that. Bi-o-logy. They say it can sense anything for miles away!”
At the entrance of a tunnel no one saw the twitch of an appendage.
“It can run as fast as one of those skinny cats and some say…” the story teller leaned forward even more, risking burning his beard on the fire. “Some say that it can talk, sucking in the soul of a man with each word. Some even say it was once human before it was cursed by the gods!” the story teller exasperated with wide eyes and dramatic hand gestures.
“Or muh-tated! Old man Skibbins told me that it had been muh-tated by the government! To control the pop-ul-ace.” interrupted the young one, struggling with the foreign words.
Close by, hungry eyes saw the fire.
The thick one scoffed again.
“Skibbins is dumb an’ slow. They say, some say, eh! Maybe is a al-ien, eh? Heh! Fools. There nuthin’ called a Grizand!” he said with a tone of finality.
“I prefer Griss” something responded, from behind the story teller.
The trio screamed and the youngest one was the first on his feet to run in the opposite direction of the voice. But there was a problem, it was a dead end.
Panic sank in like a needle from a doctor as the story teller and the youngest one stood by the wall and tried to sink into it, with wide eyes. The thick one was still sitting down, paralysed by fear.
The voice materialised as it walked into the circle of light. Or rather, it skittered. A large and grotesque body with ridges and with six tiny legs ending in claws. Two of the arms, or blades, was curving out in angular fashion. The last two was at its sides, resting by the carapace. The face was that of a skinned fly, with large, egg shaped eyes. The pupils burned.
“It’s the monster!” the youth screamed panicky. It was a wonder he hadn’t fainted.
“Oh; so just because I look like a bit different I am a monster, is that it?” the so called monster said; breaking the laws of biology by pronouncing words without lips.
This stunned the frightened trio. There was a long moment of silence. The silence was thick with silence.
“Wh-what?” the soiled one stammered out. That is; the one still sitting, not the other two.
“I mean, I might look different from you but that is hardly reason for you to start screaming monster here and spawn of demon there, is it? Have you no respect for other species?” it said with a odd tone of someone, or something, who had not evolved the ability to feel bored but had once heard about the concept and had taken to it.
Another stunned silence. The two hugging the wall eased up slightly and the story teller took just a few cautionary steps forward.
“We a, err, we’re sorry.” He said, not entirely sure of anything. The creature sighed.
“I’m sorry too.” It said with the same impossible bored tone.
“What for?” the young one asked temporarily forgetting his own chronic fright. The creature sighed again, clicking its mouth, flexing its slicers.
Up above – above the tunnels, the pipes, the metal, the stones and the dirt – no one heard the screams. But much later, they found the blood.
And that’s that. Don’t forget to tip the waitress on your way out.