The taste of mud seeped into my mouth. Icy torrential rain beat down upon my bare skin. I awoke, naked as the day I was born, in the middle of a field. In the middle of a downpour. Of course.
The earth was soft. Becoming like oatmeal in the rain. Swallowing up my feet just past the ankles. Some places swallowed much more. Even if I had been wearing my boots, they’d be ruined.
Save for the city lights in the distance, I was surrounded in pitch black darkness. Lightning burned across the sky lighting the night in a sudden strobe of blue-white light. I caught a momentary glance of the abandoned mill. Rather it’s silhouette. A towering frightful thing.
“Shit.” I said.
Shivering. Teeth chattering. Covered in goosebumps with nipples hard enough to cut glass, and my boys drawn so far up my body I could feel them in my throat, I had to make a damning decision – to walk clear across town to my apartment, or to walk a mile and a half to take shelter in the creepy ass mill.
Another arc of lightning ripped across the sky followed by a deafening thunderclap. The roaring sky rocked me to my bones. I could feel the electricity teeming in the air, the smell of ozone thick. I knew I had to get out of the storm as quickly as possible.
“Fuck.” I said, walking hesitantly toward the mill.
The rain had washed the mud from my body by the time I entered the mill. Unbelievable as it might be, it was darker inside the mill than out in the storm. As if the mill had been hoarding the darkest nights since its abandonment.
All the better to hide its monsters with, my dear. I thought.
Foolishly, stupidly, in typical white-guy-in-a-horror-film fashion, I wandered deeper into the abyssal dark. I had hoped the darkness would conceal me as it concealed its secrets. What was I thinking? Everyone knows in order to hide from the Boogie Man you had to be in a bed completely covered by a blanket. Unless there was a bed with a blanket in the mill, I was fucked.
Arms outstretched like antennae on an insect I traversed the inner dark by braille. Feeling for support beams and god-knows-what-else I might otherwise collide into. I wracked my brain trying to remember how I had ended up naked in a field on the outskirts of town.
I remembered the funeral. My father’s wake. That was it. Everything else – a blur. Dream like images and lingering anxiety over missing fingers. What had happened? Something about being chased?
Odd the memory lapse might have been, important the missing moments might be, my attention was drawn to the task at hand. Not freezing to death in the rain, and not being rip to shreds by some imaginary serial killer.
I nearly pissed myself at the sound of wings flapping overhead. I stood still. Held my breath. Waited.
The fluttering overhead scared the shit out of me. My hands instinctively closed into tightly clenched fists. My knees bent slightly in anticipation to hit-and-run-like-hell.
“Who’s there?” I called. “I’m naked, and I will hit you with my dick!”
Nothing. No reply. Only an agonizing silence.
The cawing crow was the last straw. I ran through the darkness as fast as my hefty build would allow. Hands outstretched thinking somehow they’d protect me from – I bounced off a wall and rounded a corner.
I could hear the crow cackling in the distance. A light shined somewhere down what I could only assume was a hallway with offices on either side. The light was bright, but focused like that of a flashlight laying on the ground.
To be Continued…