Short fiction

Works of fiction by Ignatius

Black mold

I just woke up. I've been in this house for a week now. Something is extraordinarily wrong here. I don't just mean the black mold marks on the wall, but strange things keep happening. I feel like I should leave.

One of the mold marks is changing. It now looks like a warped target, an oval around a circle. It starts to move on its own, as if it is some demonic eye in the wall trying to search for some unknown boon. It slowly starts moving in and out, adding a third dimension to its bizarre and insane wanderings. Finally the decrepit peeper stops wondering an a hole appears at the center. I can see fur moving around in it, and for a second the wandering mold has been replaced with a pulsing, black fur. It looks moist and greasy, like something has crawled out of something damp and has now pierced the wall across from me.

I stare. I know that I can look away. I know that I should. But I don't. I am fascinated by this unearthly motion and I sit and stare at the wound in my wall.

Finally I see teeth, jaws, snout, and whiskers. A small head forces its way in. The mouth opens and shuts. It opens and shuts, making the noise of an old hinge which hasn't been looked at in a while. There is an amusing irony about this oily creature making this sound along with the tap tap tap of its jaw.

The head is followed by forepaws and the creature's body manages to snake out of the hole. It drops to the ground and looks around. It's clear that this creature is only a scout and another invader soon starts to follow.

Now there are three of them on my floor. Six eyes replace the one from before. They scan the room as if they were a small squad in enemy territory. I know that they can see me. They must know that I am here, but they must not see me as a threat. Behind them a trickle of black sludge follows them out of their portal. It pools underneath the rodents as they take stock of their surroundings. Finally, as if following some command inaudible, they strike off into the den, pitter pattering away, looking for another room to conquer. I can see their paw tracks bringing the smallest drops of the black sludge with them.

I don't want these creatures in my house, so I grab my knife and follow. Maybe I will be able to corner them. Maybe I can banish them. Maybe I can stop those little hearts by draining their bodies.

I try to stay quiet. Tip-toeing in this house is often a lost cause. So many of the boards creek and groan at the very thought of a foot passing on them. But somehow I was able to get all the way to the den. I peered into the door and saw my three enemies. I was fortunate that they had their gaze elsewhere and not on the door. Instead of cowering in some corner or looking for food, they were all in the center of the room. Each had in front of it a book. I could see their faces move across the page as if they were studying these ancient tomes. Their snouts crossing the pages like old typewriters.

I stood and watched. These filth were pretending to knowledge and that made them all the more repugnant. I cannot guess at the machinations of rodentia, but their disposition made them all the more disturbing. It made me shiver, but it doubled my resolve. Whatever these creatures were, or whatever they wanted, I simply could not let them continue breathing.

I took a step into the room and the floor finally groaned. The three rodents stopped their studies and snapped their faces towards me. They stared and I shook. The center rat then opened his mouth. He spoke with a voice far too deep for a creature so small, "Behold, the occupier. He has come to evict us but he must be destroyed". Then all three screamed. They screamed and ran towards me, and it was clear that they intended to attack.

The otherworldliness of the situation caused such a profound terror that I closed my eyes and tried to make myself smaller. I heard their feet rushing towards me, I heard myself drop the knife, and then I heard nothing. I waited, still nothing.

I opened my eyes and I saw only my knife on the ground. None of my books were off the shelves. There was no goo on the floor. The hole in the wall was just another mold mark.

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