Friday, June 23, 2017

new fiction; FLAYED SKIN

written by Tim Murr
Copyright 2017 St Rooster Books/Tim Murr

Abel was tied to a large stone table, hands and feet stretched to all four corners. He had been stripped nude and left in the dark for many hours. Someone had come into the room several minutes ago, but had remained in the dark and hadn’t said anything.
“Hey! Hey, mother fucker!” Abel shouted. “I’m a cop, fuck face! Untie me or your going to be in a world of shit!”
A large metal work light snapped on over his face. He shut his eyes shut tight, turning away. He peered through slitted eyelids, but couldn’t make out the figure moving around on the periphery of the darkness.
“What did I do to you, man? Huh? Did I arrest you or something?”
“It’s March,” came a voice from the dark.
“That’s why. It’s time.”
“Time for what?”
“To renew relationships with gods we have neglected.”
Abel’s captor came out of the darkness wearing skull face paint. He was nude except for a pair of boxer shorts and he’d painted symbols all over his body. The man held a long blade in his right hand and held it where Abel could see.
“Whoa, are off your meds? Guy, listen! Don’t do this! I can take care of you, ok? I can help!”
“I know you can, but I don’t think you understand how.”
“Tell me, ok? Talk to me. You don’t want to kill a cop!”
“I don’t care that you’re a cop. That doesn’t mean anything to me. I’m going to take your heart, then I’m going to wear your skin.”
Abel’s voice cracked, as he shouted, “no!”
“Be brave, man. You serve a higher purpose.”
The man plunged the knife into Abel’s chest, cracking bone. He chopped through roughly as Abel screamed and pleaded in agony. Then the man dipped his hand in and pulled Abel’s heart out and held it up to his face. Abel was speechless as he went into shock at the sight of his beating heart in the man’s hand. Darkness started to over take Abel as he slipped from this world and started to float through a dim tunnel going towards a light. There was someone approaching from the other side.
Abel couldn’t make out whom it was, as he was backlit, but he was big and lumbering. As they passed one another, Abel could see he was a hulking man with a skull like face, dressed in human flesh, and wearing gold jewelry. Abel reached out to touch him, but it was like touching smoke. Then the light enveloped Abel.
The man, who called himself a priest, spent hours carefully flaying Abel, to remove his skin in one piece. It was strenuous work that required much patience-which the priest had. Once done, he was able to hold up Abel’s skin to the light and put it on like long pajamas that were open in the back. To keep the skin suit on, the priest put on a homemade ceremonial belt, and leather cuffs on his wrists and ankles, and finally a leather choker. Once that was done, he pulled Abel’s head skin over his own and peered through Abel’s eyeholes. He opened his make up kit and started applying skull paint to Abel’s face, and drawing symbols down his chest.
He left the sacrificial chamber and climbed to the top of the buried pyramid and mounted the ladder, climbing to the hole in the basement. The windows were open in the basement and the sound of the city greeted him as he climbed out of the hole. He went into his little bedroom and admired his handiwork in the mirror.
Back in the pyramid, deep in the bowels, within the sacred chamber where the ancient deity had been left to rest, a large skeletal form adorned with dried human skins and silver and gold was bathed in light for the first time in centuries. The hulking man from the tunnel stood over the skeleton, satisfied that burial rites had been performed properly, then he departed to the sacrificial chamber to claim the meat left on the table for his use.
The priest climbed the steps to the sidewalk. His building was in the low part of town, parts of which were already being demolished for new glass and steel giants. The poor were being pressed into tighter and tighter places, as if commerce was trying to squeeze the blood right out of them. The priest pressed through the throngs of hungry, sick, exhausted, angry people. He laid hands on all he passed and promised a reckoning coming while walking toward the high town. When he came to the ten-foot tall chain link fence that kept the poor away from the rich, the priest pressed Abel’s skin against the steel, gripping it tightly.
Stretching into the clouds, the glass/steel monuments to arrogance shone brightly. Neon lights lined the bases at the street level and the roads were choked with extravagant cars from over seas, bought with blood money. The priest looked up and down and laughed. Some cops patrolling the fence took notice and came over, ready to get him off the fence with the butt of their rifles.
Then they saw all the people coming up from the alleys behind him.
The man from the tunnel dragged the skinless corpse of Able down to the burial chamber and presented the body to the dried out husk of his former body. With his last bit of strength he pushed his husk off the throne onto Abel’s body and waited.
The bloody flesh became nourishment to the husk and it began to move. The muscles started to re-grow, the beastly heart began to beat, empty sockets filled with yellow eyes. The dried skin filled out and tightened until they threatened to tear.
The people pushed against the gate and shouted profanity at the growing number of cops, who smirked from the safety of the right side of the fence.
“This fence,” the priest bellowed, “will fall! Your buildings will fall! You will be stripped of your skin and worn by the refuse of this world!”
A lieutenant came forward, wearing $200 mirrored sunglasses, despite the night. He walked right up to the priest, looking around dismissively.
“All right, buddy, get off the fence and send these people home. They’re your responsibility. If they get shot their blood is on your hands.”
“Fuuuck you, pig!” The priest spits.
The newly revived god climbed from the basement and saw the stream of people heading toward the mighty towers. Such sights he had never known, what marvels these little people have become since his imprisonment.
The lieutenant took his shades off and took a closer look at the priest, really seeing him for the first time.
“What…are you wearing..?”
The priest raised his arms and turned around so the lieutenant could really take him in, then he pulled at the left eyehole so there would be no confusion.
“I’m wearing one of you!”
The priest wagged Abel’s cock at the lieutenant.
“The skin of one of you, pig!”
The lieutenant pulled his side arm, unable to speak, his words choked with rage. The other officers raised their guns against the people behind the fence and waited for the go-ahead.
Then the people parted on either side of the priest, like the Red Sea, and something came through. The cops took an involuntary step back, half lowering their guns. It was nearly eight feet tall, covered in dried skins that flapped in the wind, jewels glimmering in the neon lights; it’s yellow eyes alive with unrestrained anger.
The priest stepped aside and bowed deeply. The old god slapped his hands on top of the fence and the cops began to fire. The god pushed the fence down on top of them and strode forward. People in designer suits were stepping out of their cars to get a better look at the commotion. A wave of fear rippled through the high town. The fence had fallen. The garbage people had come through.
 In the center of the high town, there was a square where the tallest, most beautiful and breathtaking engineering marvels reached further into the Heavens than anywhere else in the city. They were connected by a magnificent rose garden in the center, with marble pathways. It was filled with the intoxicating smells of a Brazilian steak house, a Japanese/Mexican fusion bistro, a five star French restaurant, and three award winning micro-brew bars. Between each of these were the absolute to-die-for shopping experiences, where men and women could purchase the latest fashions for all seasons, and all the glittering accessories and state of the art tech toys from Fendi, Samsung, Versace, Armani, Apple, Dior, NIKE, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci…
Twenty days since the rising, the only scent of cooked meat comes from the skinned and sacrificed residents of the high town that now feed the masses. Skinned bodies are hoisted up the sides of the skyscrapers, while others are stripped and laid on a sacrificial table from Restoration Hardware, where their heart is removed before their skins. The people gather to worship at theses sacrifices, wearing the skins of the cops that once bashed their faces in and sprayed them with mace and tear gas.
All around the high town, high rises are in flames, while burnt out BMWs, Audis, Porsches, and Lexus cars are stacked as totems and adorned with the severed heads. 
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