For anyone out there who is paying attention, this is the second chapter of the story I'm working on. Progress is slow because I'm not putting a huge amount of time into it, I hope to change that. Again, remember that this is unedited stuff, strictly first draft work, so look out for the odd typo or spelling error. A prize bullock to the person who doesn't point them all out to me.
Cheap shoes will always come back to haunt a man. Fortunately the water that splashed around Gray's feet was warmer than he expected, heated by bodies, hot sticky bodies giving up their heat. In the stillness of 80 corpses, air still circulated, puffing, as the bodies bequeathed carbon dioxide. The room breathed like an animal.
As the ship bobed in the dock, the water in the container lapped higher up his trouser legs, and when Carthage dropped three steps from the bottom of the ladder he splashed water thigh-high on his commanding officer. On a cold night, that was unwanted. But the warm black water didn't chill him.
"We've sprung a leak Sarge," said Carthage, his feet sliding slighly as he landed. "I'l get the bellows shall I?
"What?" said Gray, quizzically
"The bellows. To pump... "
"No, the first thing you said. A leak?
"Yeah. A leak. This is a ship's storage container isn't it. The one thing it's supposed to be is water tight."
Gray felt his stomach roll. He whipped the torch from his coat like a revolver and aimed it at the ground. When he flicked the swich, sure enough there was blood. A lake of blood. The warm liquid lapping at their feet was black in the darkness but an unmistakable dirty crimson in the small fullmoon of the torchlight.
"Jesus," said Carthage, turning his face away from the floor, searching for a section unsaturated by blood and settling on the night sky directly up through the entry hatch.
Gray closed his eyes tight. The room blew a sinister puff of air. He steadied himself and stepped forward, barely three shoe lengths before his foot struck something heavy, but not heavy enough to float away in the water when the contact was made. Gray stiffened his grip on the torch and aimed it down. It was the colour of drownwed skin, it was the size and shape of a torso, it was eviscerated like an upturned turtle shell and limbs were entirely absent. Head too. He felt his legs buckle. A wave of woozines hit his knees and he swayed like a drunk in the wind. As he reeled his torch beam spewed light around the cavern and illuminated a swamp of heads and limbs. A human casserole with faces bobbing like potaoes in gravy. Torn flesh, ripped like paper from the gift of life. The smell suddenly overwhelmed him. Faeces. Vomit. Blood. Gray bumped backwards against Carthage who was mouthing silent words to himself, his lips twitching.
"Inspector," said Carthage, his tongue struggling with what seemed like a foreign word.
"I want you up those steps Sergeant. I want floodlights in here ASAP."
Carthage needed no second invitation. His fear-frozen limbs suddenly found their motor skills and he squeezed the rungs of the ladder tightly as he began his climb to the safety of the night.
"Peter," said Gray, halting his partner momentarily in his climb. "No-one else comes down here until I say so. No-one sees this if they don't need to."
Carthage's shoes clanged up the metal ladder, echoing around the container, the noise bouncing off the walls until he was over the top and away from earshot beyond a parting comment to someone topside.
"It's a fucking meatbath," said the voice, trailing away.
Random thought at 21.09 on MOnday July 4. I wanted to go and watch The Mist at the cinema tonight but it's no longer showing. Rubbish. With all this tv on demand malarky, and swanky new digital projectors rather than limited numbers of film reels, when will we get cinema on demand? The I could watch The Explorers on a big screen anytime I wanted.
3 months ago