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Warning: this excerpt contains graphic material. (1 Viewer)

Wendy said a word of farewell and headed out of their room, down the carpeted, dimly-lit hall, pushing her crescent-framed glasses up her nose. She stopped in front of the elevator at the hall's end, depressed the glowing down button and waited.

She checked her mildly distorted appearance in the gleaming elevator's metal doors. Her eyes were large, brown, and hinted at her Oriental origins. Her nose was sharp, inked with faint freckles. Her high cheekbones were prominently displayed against her angular, heart-shaped face's sunny skin. Her lips were thick and cherry red, paying compliment to her medium-length, voluminous, onyx-hued hair which was tugged back in a modest ponytail that let a few longer strands dangle, framing her face.

She was a good five-foot-ten, tall for being female, but not tall enough to be conspicuous. She was attractive, in the way a token woman in an office packed to bursting with men. Her boss was the petite, pretty one and Wendy was her unassuming sidekick. She hadn't a single, ill feeling about the matter, either, preferring it that way.

The doors opened, separating her reflection. She stepped into the cramped space and was met by a slow, melancholy wail emanating from a jazz saxophonist's skillful and soulful blowing of the instrument. She hummed along, pressing the button that would take her to the Holiday Inn lobby.

A stream of words formed in her head as the music moaned, turning into a song that she began crooning once the music started over again.

Look at me. I'm Mr. Noir. This ev'rythin' is all I am.
Can you see, see what we are? This, my plan,
is fuckin' greedy. I'm goin' far in this City. So, be damned.
It's all dividin', life, in the sphere o' dark.
When you visit, I implore, please hark.
'Cause ev'rythin' becomes real in the void o' dark.

Wendy knew not where the lyrics came from. It was almost like she had remembered a song she had once heard. But this song, this song wasn't familiar to her in the least. The instrumental, her impromptu lyrics, they were alien to her. Wendy felt it in her gut, but didn't think it would hurt to ask an employee about the song, just in case.

The elevator stopped with a shudder and an airy chime. The doors opened and Wendy exited the metal box. Despite it being well past one, the Holiday Inn lobby was still abuzz with activities. Couples headed to and from the building's indoor pool. Wendy saw people of all shapes, sized, genders and nationalities sat in the glass-walled restaurant and its conjoined bookstore. Thanksgiving decorations provided the gigantic first floor with a little more color than the uninteresting corridors of rooms. Wendy navigated the ocean of people, tourists most likely. Foreigners, southerners and westerners migrate to Boston every year at around the same time to see the trees' warmer color palettes.

Wendy approached the front desk. A round woman with an auburn beehive and too much makeup sat behind the desk, pecking at a white keyboard with long, acrylic nails, taking periodic sips from a steaming hot cup of Starbucks coffee. Wendy placed her hands on the high wooden counter and asked, "Excuse me, what do you know about the elevator music?"

"Oh, so ya like the elevator tracks?" she asked, not caring to face Wendy. "I enjoy 'em myself. I picked out tha island tunes we use every night. Tranquil, ain't it? Personally, it makes me feel lazier 'n one o' those illegal Latins."

Wendy winced at the woman's stereotypical metaphor, but chose to let it slide. "Island music?"

"Yes, ma'am. The hula ditties are my doin'."

"Er, the song I'm thinking of has a jazz feel," Wendy said.

"Jazz? You sure? We haven't had any jazz, 'least as long as I've been workin' here."

"How long have you been working here?"

"'Bout thirty years, give or take. The elevators are fairly recent additions, added after we expanded upward 'round ten years ago. Music's been the same since they were installed."

"And not a single jazz track is in its programming?"

"Nope. Not a one, hun," the woman said heartily. Not a one, hun. Hm, this woman doesn't have a reason to lie, at least not to me. She doesn't even know me. She's telling the truth. Besides, if she could lie so blatantly without batting an eyelash she'd be like Ms. Craven and I've never met another person similar to her. But then, what's up with that song? Was I hearing things? Is there something wrong with me? I feel fine, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm okay. I'm not stressed, nor am I overworked. I'm well-rested, more or less. Do I have a problem? Not a one, hun, not a one.

Wendy thanked the woman and ventured out into the nippy night. She pushed her glasses up her nose, wishing she had worn slacks and not her skirt. She had decided to leave the keys to the Continental in the room, it had seemed like a good idea first, getting some exercise. She regretted it. But found comfort in the thought that she had seen an all-night superstore on her way from Lit-Con to the hotel only a couple blocks away.

The beat of Wendy's boots hitting the cracked concrete sidewalk formed a slow, gritty sound that for some reason or another felt like music to her burning cold ears. Not a one, hun, she thought. Not a single damned by God song, hun, sweet thang. Ain't no thang better than the jazz thang, Mr. Armstrong.

"What a beautiful world, don'tcha think, Mr. Armstrong?" she found herself asking no one in particular. "Take a real short gander. Ain't those skies o' blue, trees o' green and red roses, too, purdy?"

The depressing moan of the saxophone began hounding Wendy's ears in unison with the shuffling of her feet. She sauntered down the sidewalk, patting peoples' backs, asking them, "What's shakin', man?"

Wendy felt like a cool cat, the coolest of customers. Smooth and calm, she sang more lyrics to the phantom jazz song as she pranced down the sparsely populated Boston sidewalk, unsure and unconcerned about her destination.

Shoop de boo duh wah, bop boo shoopity do wop.
Shoop de woo duh bah, wop woo shoopity do bop.
Mr. Noir gets mo' gray with each 'n' ev'ry day.
In this world within worlds uniqueness dies
as you draw, in a USO, nigh.

Wendy looked towards the sky, smiling from ear to ear as a disturbing aerial event stared back at her. The night sky was seeping a dull shade of swirling maroon cloud formations, pouring from what seemed like a laceration splitting apart the heavens like a gruesome knife wound. The straight linear expanse of nothingness separating the stars pulsed with the song's every beat, viciously oozing red plumes of thick clouds.

That's when it happened. That's when she turned her attention back to the path in front of her. It wasn't the one she was following to the superstore, though. She had somehow wandered into a grove, a garden in the middle of a labyrinth of shrubbery. She stood in front of a marble statue displaying a headless young boy posed shyly on a pedestal above a fountain, a stream of water cascaded from his penis into the water. Flowers of every sort grew in the bushes and the world faded to gray as Wendy looked upon the flowers. The song became louder, the saxophone more eerie and haunting.

That was the moment Wendy saw her, a small, hairless, battle-worn wisp of a girl. She was emaciated. Her skin snug to the point of showing her pencil-thin bones, clad in a torn black dress that hung in tatters over her stomach. Her nude gray flesh seemed to be decomposing, falling to the dirt, as Wendy looked upon her. The girl's visage sported festering, wriggling masses of pink and yellow oozing, irritated and infected flesh all over her body. The child's eyes were white, devoid of irises. The side of her sunken, gaunt face was missing a sizable hunk, as if torn from her head by serrated teeth.

A swarm of two-inch hissing cockroaches began to scuttle from her every orifice. Her peeling black lips parted, letting loose a sickening, wheezy chuckle as the army of black and brown insects flowed from her thin stick form.

The specter looked into Wendy's eyes, suggestively gesturing with a broken index finger, urging her to come, telling her in a gruff raspy voice, "I'm a real cool cat. Let's jam. C'mon make sweet music with me, sug'."

Wendy thoughtlessly walked towards the specter, the sound of horns and a bass joined the saxophone, causing the ghoulish girl to sway her hips. She began to grow, age, as her body moved in an erotic and macabre dance in front of Wendy.

The decaying girl was undergoing a grisly form of puberty in the space of a few moments. Her breasts became engorged, swelling like a ripe fruit. Her nipples expanded with her breasts, showing off holes eaten into her areolae by the hissing cockroaches. Her legs, torso and arms extended, her hips became more full as she shimmied. Her gray, blank skull erupted in a tsunami of night-dark hair, falling past her waist and posterior. Her pubic hair grew rapidly and the hissing cockroaches continued their evacuation of her body.

Wendy and the specter were a foot apart. They raised their respective pair of arms, moving them, pushing them together, and intertwining their hands. The rotting corpse of a girl turned young woman lay on the ground, pulling Wendy with her. They lay, their backs against the hot ground, holding hands. The woman's hands were clammy and Wendy felt roaches climbing atop her, nibbling whatever skin showed. She didn't care. The peacefulness she felt that second mattered more than anything else. They were jamming alright, and to Wendy that was the bee's knees. That song's the one, hun, she thought.
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Senior Member
Great story, just a quick question. You said it was an excerpt, so this is going to continue, right?

There were a few grammar errors I spotted that were really noticeable, but only because the rest of your writing was spectacular. I applaud to you for having such good imagery, particularly with that rotting little girl. That was completely disgusting but incredibly well-written. The story itself started off very misleadingly; I had no idea you were going to throw such a haunting scene at the end. Good job, I'm curious to see more.

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