Sinful Wages

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Tales from beyond the shadows...

Submitted: March 28, 2017

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Submitted: March 28, 2017





Christy Higgins was in a foul humour as he trudged across the building site, then again that would be the norm for him. He was a big brawny foul mouthed man who was hated and feared in equal measures by those who had the misfortune to find themselves on his work crew. It was not Christy's intellect that had taken him to the lofty position of site foreman; instead it was his ruthless ability to drive his men on, by harassment and fear. Today found him in a particularly dark mood, the mechanical digger had broken down and work had practically come to a stop. He needed to get that machine up and running as soon as possible, if he missed his deadline then he could wave goodbye to his productivity bonus. Storming into the site office he snatched the phone from the hand of the clerk, without even bothering to find out who was on the other end of the line he terminated the call. The clerk cowered in the corner of the office as the foreman screamed down the line; he wanted the parts for the machine delivered by lunch time.


Christy swore at and harassed the mechanic until the machine was repaired, even when the digger was up and running again he continued to fume. He bawled on top of his voice that no one was leaving the site until the down time was made up; the work crew wisely made themselves busy and kept quiet. Workers’ rights came very far down the list of Christy's priorities; he would think nothing of beating a workman to a pulp with his big ham fists. To a man, all of the work crew were poor migrants and working illegally in the country, this suited him down to the ground. He was well aware that he could do as he liked with them and they had little or no avenue of complaint. When all was said and done Christy was nothing short of a festering boil on the backside of society, more than a few of his employees had wished him dead at one time or another. As evening drew in he had his men erect halogen lights around the area, it would be well dark before any of them clocked off tonight. The temperatures had plummeted and he took himself inside the office, there he sat drinking coffee by the side of the gas heater. A biting wind had risen and was buffeting against the hoardings surrounding the site, still it did not matter here, everyone worked until Christy said stop.


The old church and grounds that made up the site, were to make way for a brand new office block, the job had been delayed for months by a committee of righteous morons protesting to save the church. A place of architectural and spiritual heritage they had whined, well they could all go fuck themselves as far as Christy was concerned. If he was offered money to tear down the gates of heaven, then down those gates would come and god help anyone that tried to stop him. He even had a creepy old priest warn him off with some hocus-pocus about evil spirits imprisoned below the church, the priest beat a hasty retreat when Christy picked him up in one hand and shook him like a rag doll. Neither god nor the devil would stand in the way of his bonus; the only religion that mattered to him was the almighty dollar. Christy spread the plans out on the desk beneath the lamp and studied them again; the vast majority of the church structure had already been removed. Once they had dug out the vaults beneath, then he would be ready to start the steel fixing for the foundations. Apart from the glitch with the machine today the job was on schedule, he gave a rare smile as he thought of his bonus.


The prefabricated little office echoed with the sounds of his snoring, his muddy work boots planted firmly on the desk left black marks on the wood. How long he had been asleep he could not tell, but he awoke to a disturbing silence. It was long moments before he realized where he was, something was not right and he frantically tried to figure out what it was. Then it suddenly dawned on him, it was far too quiet for a working construction site. There should be sounds of activity and the rumble of diesel engines; something has happened, the thought screamed in his head. Christy rose quickly from the chair and rushed outside, the first thing that struck him was the complete stillness and the unbelievable cold. Wrapping his work coat tighter around him he set off at a run in the direction of the big digging machine, it sat silent and abandoned by the ruins of the church. All around the area lay tools that had been abandoned also, he must be dreaming none of them would have the courage to walk off of a job he was running. Yet everywhere he looked seemed bereft of all human presence, his mind was having difficulty coming to terms with this situation.


The he heard the droning voice coming from the shadows; he stormed forward in the direction of the sound. His temper was now reaching boiling point, whichever of the workmen was still here was about to feel his wrath. To Christy's utter dismay he found not one of his workmen but the old priest, the frail old man knelt reading from a prayer book. He was so flabbergasted by this discovery that for a moment he forgot the reason for his distress, what had brought this old nut case back around here. The last time he had man handled the old buzzard he looked terrified, the old priest continued to read from the Latin prayer book in a droning voice. Christy asked the old man if he had seen the workmen but the priest did not appear to hear him, the temper had returned now and he felt his head throb. He reached out his enormous fist and dragged the man of the cloth to his feet by his coat, shaking him violently he again demanded to know if the priest had seen his men.


The frail old man turned to look at his persecutor with glazed eyes; it was as if he only now recognized he was not alone. Christy growled the question again, the old man uttered a single word “Gone" and pointed with a trembling hand towards the shadows. Christy shook his head in frustration and dropped the priest to the ground, the priest coward and continued to point in the same direction. Swearing loudly the big man strode off in the direction he had been pointed in, he was beside himself with anger by now. When he came across the steps leading down into what had been the vaults he understood, they must be down there skiving off work. Probably playing cards, they always liked to gamble, well he would rain his righteous anger on those lazy bastards. He stumbled down the stone steps into the darkness, muttering to himself when he almost lost his footing on something wet and slippery on the stone floor. Fumbling in his pocket he found a lighter, it took him quite a while to figure out what he was seeing in the flickering flame. It was then the big hard man started to cry like a baby, the carnage was appalling and the stench of human offal made him vomit. His terror was short livid though as the entity appeared from the shadows and ripped him asunder like a rag doll. Outside on the surface the old priest continued the Latin rite in a droning voice.




© Copyright 2018 Patrick G Moloney. All rights reserved.

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