He strode proudly in his thick heavy trench coat and admired his art. The rain from the blood-stained sky illuminated the piece with deplorable delight. For as far as he could see, the texture, the colour, the geometry, the use of the space was harrowingly perfect.
With large boots he stamped through the mud, the shit, and the entrails and looked around at his display of hideous beauty. Towering structures surrounded him. He paused for a moment and turned to the building made entirely of severed limbs.
The little fondness that existed in his blackened heart was reserved for this place – his city of the dead. The feeling of achievement gained by walking through his insane infrastructure was the only thing he knew that brought greater pleasure than the actual creating of it. The butcherings, the bludgeonings, the blasphemous crimes, all re-lived together and made whole.
He continued past the grotesque architecture and into, what he imagined when he constructed it, a bustling marketplace made of human body parts and devoid of any life. He saw greengrocers with lines of fresh produce including brains, lungs, kidneys, hearts, and appendices: the butcher’s shop where rows upon rows of aged torsos hung in the window, attracting hoards of gluttonous flies: the wine merchants with bottles of the finest vintages on display, the finest blood and rotten human waste from all over the world. This purulent stench of decay excited his nostrils.
Along from this market square he came to another structure, a primitive tower block. This one composed of fleshless femurs with hundreds, maybe thousands of dried-out tongues portraying the windows and doors. Adjacent to this was a small cottage of eyeballs with a thatched roof that was made from human hair that had been forcibly extracted while the victims had still been alive.
He rounded a corner to the left and stared on at a something that echoed a large warehouse or factory, with a slate-effect roof of thousands of hands, palms-up with curled fingers. This was one of his favourites. He particularly enjoyed the scarlet rain tricking down from the fingertips, reminding him of the way they looked when he had murdered their keepers.
He continued on and approached another monolith of human suffering. A wry smile crossed his face as he remembered the slow process of removing the heads, eyes, and throats before skinning them to make his precise skulls that would act as the bricks for the structure.
He turned many corners and passed many depraved mountains of mutilation, each of the carcasses carefully and meticulously treated to create the perfect buildings. The mounds of dismembered parts were tightly fixed, with post-mortal discharge acting as a strong mortar. The rain continued to hammer down like kamikaze fireflies in the moonlight around him. The route that he was taking was flooding with a fast-paced stream of blood.
The temple on the hill that overlooked the city had always been of wonder to him. It was what the place had been modelled on and the only thing that had stood before his construction of this city, although he had never been permitted to approach it. There was something terrible in the air around that thing, as if guarded by some unknown and shapeless entity. It was a place his subconscious had always warned him to stay away from.
His mission was simple, to continue his fine artistry in the name of the Old Ones. They had chosen him to act as their hands in matters too trivial to be carried out by themselves, and he had delivered their wishes well. Many years he had spent here with the dead, and he had hoped, deep down in the recesses of what could be called a soul, to continue this work until the day he died.
As he walked out of the place through the large gates of bones and teeth and into the endless killing fields scattered with both fresh and decaying corpses beyond, he approached his master. The bodies here had not yet been constructed into his rows of evil obelisks, but lay strewn with their limbs contorted and their faces preserved with the pained and anguished expressions of their last moments, evidence of how they had agonised until the very end. This was the way They had demanded.
Kneeling upon the floor he muttered the words to summon the Great One, to ask for his next task. As he heard the terrible thunder rumbling a great tremor disturbed the earth underneath him. The distant sounds from the skies were forced into his mind. A language unknown to most mortals but one he had come to understand well, sounded unnervingly different tonight.
The ancient voice spoke unto him, advising him that his work here was now complete and that his time had come to an end. The artist felt fear for the first time. His muscles were weakened as his Lord of destruction spoke and he fell to the ground. A large crater in the sodden dirt suddenly opened up before his eyes like a giant gaping jaw. The bodies in front of him were eaten up by its ravenous intent and he gazed inside it at a blackened and hideous nothingness. The vast chasm was racing viciously towards him. Before he could scream out, the thing had devoured him, the rain stopped and silence filled the fetid air.
This metropolis of the macabre stood disdainfully as a warning to all mankind, and the creator of this abhorrent art would be its grand centrepiece. His featureless corpse hung rotting from its own necrotic intestines, inverted, alone in the Great Temple forever.
First published in The Stray Branch Oct 2016. In case you missed it (you probably did) here it is for all you gore-loving crazies!!
Photo credit: Stuck in Customs via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Categories: flash fiction
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