Heller ran through the dark city street, feet slashing in puddles. His heart pound as he desperately tried to escape. He yanked on every door handle, but nothing gave and no one came to help him.
The shutter of groaning metal echoed overhead.
He whispered a prayer to the Christ God. He hadn’t prayed since he was a child. Funny how desperation and terror brings the godless to the chapel. It was pointless.
If there was a God, it wouldn’t have created that.
That horrible monstrosity.
He had seen something he wasn’t supposed to in the catacombs. He had run. He had seen the collection of robed men. Their dark faces lost in blasphemous tribute.
He ran harder. The night sky flashed with lightning. A shadow dashed over the alley.
The rain hit hard.
Water pattered against Heller’s face. The cobblestone alley grew slick.
Of course he had.
The rain slicked alleyway was frightfully dangerous.
He hit the cobblestone hard, sliding on its wet surface. He groaned, feeling pain web across his body. He clutched his bruised elbow, feeling numbness climb up his arm.
In the catacombs, we saw the men in robes, illuminated by only candle light. Similar to the city’s cathedrals, but gave none of the warmth or mercy. This was the opposite. This was wrong.
Between the robed figures was a dead girl. Her face covered in bruises and scars. He shabby clothes and scabs told Heller she had been a street addict. Someone easily lost and forgotten, easily taken for nefarious purposes.
Heller clambered to his feet, but it was too late. A flurry of groaning metal echoed behind him, like the creak of an old door.
He looked back, but was struck in the head. In his lingering consciousness, he felt himself picked up by the throat. He could smell harsh metal and sour rotten flesh. He gasped, the putrid smell flooding his mouth.
He felt the hand, hard and skeletal, like mechanical brass fingers, but covered in something cold and fleshy. He opened his eyes and screamed in horror to see a face of writhing interlaced hands before it swallowed his whole world.
(Inspired by David Altmejd’s The Eye, outside the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts)