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Incapacitated (standard:horror, 862 words)
Author: Paul BenvinAdded: Jun 07 2004Views/Reads: 3060/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A fall, an injury, and a brutal truth.

Incapacitated By Paul Benvin 

At first there was only darkness, bitter and unrelenting. Then slowly,
like a stomach-churning carnival ride, the dizzying effect of what had 
just transpired began to take hold. Upon emerging from the cold and 
lonely confines of his own mind, John would soon wish he never woke up 
at all. 

Just a few minutes before, he had been applying the final coat of paint
to the once broken and decrepit rigging of the boiler. Straining to 
reach the last few inches, the shoddy ladder he was standing on gave 
way under the strain of his weight and sent him crashing to the 
unforgiving concrete below. Now he was sprawled out in this dank and 
musty basement, glaring up at the ceiling with eyes as big as saucers. 
His legs were crossed at the ankles and his arms were fanned out limply 
beside him, forming a grotesque recreation of the Crucifixion. His mind 
was racing, and for the life of him he could not come to terms with the 
realization that he couldn't move. 

Water from the leaking pipes was slowly dripping, making slight Ping
noises every time it hit the cold metal below. It was driving him 
insane, and if he could manage to get up off the floor he would put an 
abrupt halt to that annoying racket. But it was useless. Every time he 
tried he felt the familiar pins and needles coursing through his body, 
like when you sit on your foot too long and it falls asleep. The only 
thing he could do now was call for help, but even that was a stretch. 
No one would be able to hear him from down here, not over the clamorous 
din of the boilers. 


Every time one of those monstrosities blew out steam he shut his eyes.
It reminded him of a predator waiting for its prey to die so it could 
pounce with its razor sharp claws and jagged teeth. He was petrified, 
and in addition to the large black rat that was slowly making its way 
down one of the protruding beams toward him, he was completely alone. 

It was famished. It hadn't eaten in nearly a week, and what it saw now
looked like a fantastic meal. It could smell all that yummy meat, plump 
and juicy and just waiting to be devoured. As it scampered down to 
dinner it's fat body waddled back and forth, dragging behind it a thick 
beige tail. As it drew closer, it began to drool with ravenous 
anticipation. Just a few more feet and all the suffering would be over. 
It would finally be able to gorge. 

John was hyperventilating now, gasping for air in quick shallow breaths.
His eyes were darting around the room in a desperate effort to find any 
means of getting out of this predicament, when suddenly he saw 
something just out of his field of vision. It was something black, and 
it was moving in his direction. Jesus, that thing is big. What is it? 
In his current mental state, it took his brain a few minutes to process 
what exactly it was he was looking at. When it finally clicked, he 
began to cry for the first time. 

The rat was also breathing heavy now, but not from fright. It had
reached John's feet, and now smelled him. Its shiny wet nose pulsated 
in and out with every intake of air, the shabby whiskers on its cheeks 
dripping with muck. It darted from one foot to another, giving his 
shoes cautionary licks to make sure they were not dangerous. Satisfied 
that they were harmless, it made its way around to John's exposed hand. 
As before it sniffed at the flesh, then began to lick between his 
fingers. Determined to kill the pain inside its stomach, it began to 

John could hear the rat eating his hand, and the sound made him sick.
The hot dog he had for a snack just an hour ago made its way up through 
his esophagus and out his mouth, splattering on the ground next to his 
face. The rat smelled this and swiftly ran over to lap up the pool of 
vomit. As John began to sob uncontrollably, a thick stream of bile 
dripping from his mouth, the rat continued its feast. First his lower 
lip, then his upper lip, moving on to his eyes, until gradually most of 
John's face was gone. Large chunks of skin and muscle were gnashed 
away, exposing the glimmering bone beneath. Through the entire process 
John was awake and aware of what was taking place, only losing 
consciousness when the rat made itself visible again. The sight of this 
disgusting creature chewing on a portion of his body was just too much 
to handle. He fell into a pit of darkness and despair, never to wake 

After finishing its gruesome buffet, the rat slowly cleaned itself and
sauntered off. John, once a vivacious and striking young man, was now a 
gory manifestation. When he was found the next day, everyone was aghast 
at what they saw. The mauled and revolting corpse appeared to be 


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