Empress of Flies

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Ron has walked the same path for years. What happens when travels off the beaten path?

It was a cloudy and dreary day. It had been raining but that didn’t bother Ron. Sprinkles of rain splattered against his face and clung to his large camo jacket. His worn boots trudged through mud, The holes on the soles soaking his socks. He clung to nearby trees pulling himself up the steep path.

Ron had been walking the same path for what felt like years. The jobs were gone and the economy nonexistent. He had nothing better to do than hike. He could have been like all the others and spent his days in the small, cramped living quarters the government had sanctioned for him. But he had to escape. Nature seems to be the only place he could feel truly alone.

The path led him to an old cornfield that hadn’t yielded a crop in many years. He walked beside it, the forest to his other side. Despite his familiarity with the path it looked different. The rain had a way of adding texture, like a new coat of paint.

Ron noticed a darilek sign he’d never seen before. It lay on the edge of the forest surrounded by a large thorn bush. The rain had washed away the dirt revealing of the words: KEEP OUT

Ron peaked behind the thorn bush to see a winding path leading into the forest. During any other time of year he wouldn’t have seen it. The sprawling foliage would have hid it from sight. At this time of year it was all dead.

Taking a deep breath Ron read the sign again. It seemed like a dare. A challenge. There was no way around the thorn bush so Ron pressed through it. He kept his head down as thorns tore at his clothing and into his flesh. By the time he made it through even his face was covered in thorns. The rain had picked up mixing with the blood and sweat that stung his eyes. He smiled, his breaths heavy.

The path was long and winding leading deep into the forest. Ron walked it, time seeming to disappear as he did so. His boots became tatters on his feet, blood seeping through his socks as blisters grew and popped. The trees grew longer and thinner, reaching forever into the sky. The ground was scorched as if a fire had burned it only moments ago.

Ron could feel eyes on him. Creatures hid on his peripheral, stocking him through the forest. And yet he didn’t feel fear. He didn’t feel the blood seeping from his feet or the trickling of rain cascading down his torso. He simply looked at the path ahead of him and walked.

Even being as strong willed as he was Ron couldn’t walk forever. His knees began to buckle and he fell. Unfazed he crawled. Something told him it was only a little further. The creatures in the forest kept up, always on his peripheral.

The skin on Ron’s fingers began wearing away but finally he reached the end. A gargantuan citadel made of twigs and branches sat before him extending upwards into eternity. He reached his bony fingers out, blood dripping onto the scorched ground.

The creatures on his peripheral finally showed themselves. They were apelike with hunched backs and gray skin that clung tightly to their spiky bones. The flesh stopped at their neck leaving their elongated skulls exposed. Their bulbous eyes could barely be contained within their sockets. Those unblinking eyes gazed at Ron with un-perceivable emotion.

From within the citadel a hum echoed. It grew louder as a swarm of flies emerged from within, carrying a corpse. The corpse was that of a pretty young woman adorned in gold robes. Her jaw was missing but her dead eyes shifted, focusing on Ron. Two disembodied hands covered in silver rings floated among the swarm of flies. The bony fingers moved pointing at Ron.

“A visitor.“ The Voice came from nowhere and everywhere. It was sweet and calming like the sound of waves lapping over one’s feet. “What brings you to my domain?”

“Escape.” Ron’s voice was no longer attached to his body, instead floating among the trees.

“From what?”

“Everything.”

“You came to the right Place my child.“ The disembodied Hands reached out caressing Ron’s face. They lifted him up and brought him close. He lay on top of the corpse staring into the dead eyes.

“look deep and you shall come with me.“

The eyes became black orbs that encompassed all the stars. All of existence raced before Ron. Creatures of unspeakable might and events on a scale incomprehensible past before him only to reveal more wonders beyond even them. And at the end of all that a blinding light so fierce it shook the foundation of creation itself.

A single tear dripped down Ron’s cheek. “It’s Beautiful.”

His brains were blown out the back of his skull.

 

***

 

“Ron? Ron Rivers?

The search party had been going on for two days now. It hadn’t been said publicly yet but Officer Randall knew they were looking for a body. He held his flashlight out, the beam extending deep into the forest. A shiver went up his spine as the sensation of being watched flooded over him. He shook it off.

A wretched stench suddenly hit Officer Randall’s nose. He swung his flashlight to a nearby tree. The site of the body nearly made him gag.

“Jesus…”

The boy's entire head was blown clear off, fragments of skull and brain matter scattered across the ground. It was hard to believe the boy had accomplished such a thing with the small handgun that lay next to his limp body. Officer Randall had seen some unpleasant things in his time but this took the cake.

“Sheriff, I have something you need to see.” Randall didn’t want to give the grizzly details over the walkie-talkie.

“Headed your way. Should I bring anyone else?“

Randall knew he meant the boys sister. “Negative.”

The same shiver from earlier went up Randall‘s spine. He swung his flashlight around. He swore he saw a lumbering creature Dash behind a tree. The buzzing of flies sounded in the distance.

“Get a hold of yourself.” Randall looked back at the body, wondering why an animal hadn't eaten it in the last two days.

 


Submitted: April 17, 2020

© Copyright 2023 Conrad Hueston. All rights reserved.

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hullabaloo22

Excellent descriptions of both the need to escape, and of the creature. Very enjoyable.

Fri, April 17th, 2020 6:42pm

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