Tag: horror


They came without warning, without provocation, and without mercy. I was spared, but not left unscarred. They came for my neighbors and my kin, all of whom were taken without a word of protest. We couldn’t understand what was happening—not at first.

The first few fell flat on their back and just lay there, disbelieving, not wanting to believe what was happening. Then came the butchering. I watched my brethren be systematically dismembered. Their limbs were chopped off with a sickening crack and fed into some abominable machine that ground them into infinitesimal pieces. Their bodies were skinned, and what remained was sliced into thin strips. I could see their hearts at the center. Some of these pieces were simply set aside, others were fed into the grinder and reduced to a pulp.

I looked upon countless stacks of atrocities no one was meant to see. My cries emerged as mere whispers, I couldn’t scream for the horror. Why were they doing this? They were indiscriminate, taking husband from wife and child from father. They decimated entire households without passion, without remorse. Corpses were stacked in full view of the rest of us, who wondered who would be next. I would have jumped to defend my people, but I was rooted to the spot. I could only flail helplessly.

As quickly as they had arrived, they were gone, and night fell upon the dead. I couldn’t leave them, so I simply stood over their bodies and mourned. Weeks passed, and they returned to stack the skinned limbs of my brethren, fashioning a kind of structure with them, some grotesque sculpture with sharp corners and harsh edges, a stark contrast to the roundness of the bodies they had defiled. They brought our infants with them and half-buried them in neat rows. They were alive, but I didn’t recognize them as belonging to anyone I knew. Who could imagine why they were buried here?

A foul stench rose over their heads from the structure behind them, the smell of burning flesh. My people had occupied this place for centuries. Some of those who were killed had been here since the very beginning, but it only took a day to halve our population, replaced by these poor half-buried children. It was a long time before I learned their purpose, but eventually I came to understand that the bones of my people were being used to build domiciles, or burned for fuel. Limbs were cut and shaped to make chairs and tables. Their appendages were ground down to a pulp that was then watered, stretched, and dried to make thin translucent sheets. These were bound together and marked with the blood of flowers that used to grow beneath my branches.

So much slaughter, so much torture, so many of our lives lost for the sake of houses, furniture, and books.


A tickle on your nostril makes you subconsciously snort and sniffle, rousing you from your unconscious slumber, but just enough for you to reach for your blanket, or the black satin sheet, anything to cozy yourself back to sleep. Another tickle, you wipe your nose, you reach again.

Your fingers close, but not on down, nor pillow, nor sheet. Your fingers close on a clump of cold beads, smaller than ball bearings, the size of rounded grains of sand.

What? What is this? You pick up the pile, but it holds its shape in your hand, conforming slowly to the curvature of your grip. You drop a few, tighten your grasp, but lose more through your fingers.

With your other hand, you grope for the lamp. Some beads roll down your wrist and remind you of the way an insect crawls, pinballing between the hairs on your arm that are now standing on end, pulled taught between rippling goosebumps.

Where is that lamp? You look. There’s the light. You hit the switch. You look back.

What IS it?

In your hand you hold a black pile of tiny glittering jewels that are trickling down your arm, like sap from a tree. The trails leading from your palm to your elbow look wet, but your arm feels dry. You pull your hand close for inspection (no need to find the glasses just yet.)

You’re holding ants.

You lunge for your glasses. Now you can see that your hand is a black sequined glove, teeming with the psychedelic undulations of thousands of ants. The glove reaches halfway up your forearm like bejeweled formalwear, then splinters into sickening black veins, snaking toward your bicep.

Expletives fly as you smack the flat of your hand against your mattress, flicking your wrist on the upswing before low-fiving the bed again, *crunch*. Some of the ants fall off and the glove starts to deteriorate.

Oh God, I can feel them everywhere! But you know you’re overreacting. It’s understandable, you have a handful of ants. Now less. A few more whacks and your hand is clean, excepting a few stragglers that you can brush off with the other hand.

Better make sure they’re out of the bed.

You reach for the black satin sheet that has slipped down to your hips, but when you grab it a part breaks free, crumbling like moist sand between your fingertips, tickling your belly as it falls.

The bedsheet is ants.

This time you scream, no words to express the terror of being trapped under a blanket of ants. You scramble to your knees, slapping your legs. The ants are everywhere, fat tendrils creeping up your thighs.

Thank God I wore underwear, but you didn’t, you went to bed naked tonight because the low was only 79 and it was fucking scorching all day and your fucking box fan stopped working. It was a temporary solution, but the weather was supposed to break tomorrow, so you thought fuck it, I’ll live a little.

You’re not wearing underwear, it’s more ants, they’re traversing your genitals through the crevice of your buttocks.

All composure is now a long-forgotten dream. You’re stamping your feet, smacking your knees into your chest and rubbing every inch you can reach with your hands, but every pass just sweeps ants with more ants. You’re making progress, but it’s slow, and the ants keep finding interesting places to tickle you.

An ant crawls into your ear so you send a finger in after it, but your finger is covered with more ants so they’re going in too.

You stamp your feet on the bed, hoping to crush the ants you’ve thus far divested, but retch when you see the bed is ants.

You jump down onto the floor, but the floor is ants.

The room is ants.

Everything is ants.