Sunday, 6 January 2013

Inferno



Another flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig.

I rolled: 
 9            Splatterpunk
10           A nightclub in Hell
 2            Magical foodstuff
1000 words

I had to look up splatter punk and this is the definition according to Wikipedia:
Splatterpunk—a term coined in 1986 by David J. Schow at the Twelfth World Fantasy Convention in Providence, Rhode Island—refers to a movement within horror fiction distinguished by its graphic, often gory, depiction of violence and "hyperintensive horror with no limits." It is regarded as a revolt against the "traditional, meekly suggestive horror story".

Dammit. I am no good with horror. But I did my best. 964 words. And I know 'all Hell broke loose' is one of those phrases you should never use; I was being ironic.

Warning: for language and you know… gore. Splatterpunk people.

Inferno.
He stood in the doorway to Hell. Truthfully it was a nightclub called ‘Inferno’ but it was in a prime location; it was in Hell. It took a business genius to open a bar in the hottest place in the universe; people got real thirsty in Hell. There was a queue to get in.

“Invitation only,” the doorman grunted at him. He had some kind of a boar head, so a grunt was appropriate.

“Of course.” He pulled a card from his pocket and waved it at the doorman, stepping forward confidently as he did. He was relying on the grunt’s poor eyesight, the darkened venue and the push of people behind him. It worked. 

The girl grabbed his arm. “Plus one,” she muttered.

A few more steps got him inside the foyer and past the coat check girl who looked terminally bored; no coats in Hell either. She looked up eagerly as she noticed his, but he shook his head.

“Will he be here?” plus one asked.

“I hope not. A private party means it’s worse than normal.”

“Worse? How could it be worse?”

They opened the double doors and stepped into the nightclub proper. He waved a hand at the cavernous room. The music was at a volume where it almost hurt to breathe. “Don’t eat or drink anything,” he shouted in her ear.

“Why?”

He grabbed her shoulders and pushed her closer to a table. It took her a few seconds to adjust to the lights and to see in detail. A man wearing a very nice tuxedo was lolling back in the booth. He was laughing. That kind of put your head back and have a real belly laugh, laugh except that his shirt was stained with blood and his belly was sliced open. Two small demons with wings perched on his thighs. They were braiding something; his intestines.

“M-maybe it tickles,” she said.

He turned her again. Another table, another scene from Bosch. Three women sat leaning over a platter of roasted baby. One gnawed on a thigh. Another sipped from a drink and picked meat from the tiny breast with delicate manicured fingers.

“Why?” she asked.

“They drank the Kool-Aid.” Each person had a glass of rose-coloured liquid near them or in their hand.

He caught sight of the grunt out of the corner of his eye. He was pointing at them and talking to a lackey; a naked, skeletal one with half his skull missing. It sniffed towards them. A tracker demon.

He pushed her in the back. “Quick. Can you see him?”

“Yes, he’s over by the bar.” She moved hurriedly towards the young man with his back to them. The business genius they were looking for.

He went to grab her and then thought better of it; he followed.

“Zepar,” she shouted over the music.

The man spun quickly and stared at her incredulously. A quick glance over her shoulder and a muttered command, halted the tracker demon. It sniffed liquidly behind them. A hand wave and the music fell silent. The party noise continued; a hubbub of laughter and chat.

He still stared at her. Zepar, the fallen angel who made women love men, had met his match. The girl who saw only him. She had followed him into Hell to find him.

“How?” he asked her.

She jigged her head at her date. “A medium.”

He waved nervously. This had not turned out the way he had planned; like he ever planned anything properly? He lived on his wits and the older he got, the less wits he seemed to have. He should have had enough left to deny a pretty girl.

Zepar tilted his beautifully coiffed head. “He’s not a medium.”

“He isn't?”

“No.” Zepar reached over, grabbed her arm and pulled her closer to him, tucking her protectively into his side. She looked overjoyed to be there.

His attention returned to the ‘medium’. “Any last requests?”

“Oh, absolutely. I am dying to try the punch, or should that be I am trying the punch before I die?”

“As you say.”

Another hand wave and a large tumbler of the punch was placed on the bar. Zepar handed it to him graciously. “To your health.”

He chuckled and took the glass. “ Doesn't that look delicious?” he asked no one in particular.

The girl looked suddenly distraught. “I didn't know,” she whispered.

He gave her a sad smile. “It’s okay; I did.” He closed his eyes as if to scent the concoction, but what he did instead was cast a spell that neutered it; removed all its power. And not just in his glass, but in all traces of the potion in the room. As elements of the same thing, they were connected. It was magic.

The room exploded into violence. Every willing, laughing victim became a screaming maniac who fought back. Every drugged party attendee sobered up… and, well… all Hell broke loose. Literally. And because they were already dead, they couldn't be killed.

Zepar grabbed the girl and hauled her over behind the bar, pushing her down for cover.

The medium spun quickly and threw the tracker demon away from him; using the force of his attack as impetus. He reached inside his coat and withdrew a glass vial.

“You dare?” Zepar screamed at him.

He smashed the vial against his chest and the Holy Water drew him away from Hell and back to the surface.

He opened his eyes, his hand still pressed to his chest. He was alone in his bathroom; sitting on a chair in the bath with steam rising from his clothes.

“Ugh. I hate the trip back.”

He grabbed suddenly at his coat pocket and withdrew a sodden cheque. The ink had run.

“Oh Hell!” he said.

~~~~~
© AM Gray 2013