The Second Sin: Part One
By Steven Alexander Mailer
It didn’t look like a building, that was the first thing Chris thought. Bricks and mortar were scattered, shattered and worn and over their battered form a jagged, ragged, metal spear rose sharply to meet the dawn. The frame of the building had remained intact, though its brick-lain facade had crumbled to ruin. It had stood that way for years upon years, growing more ruinous but never fading from memory. A ghost of the building lived on, clothed in the horrors it once housed within its sagging belly that its defiant walls alone recall. Time had tried to bury it with rain and wind alone as no growing thing would touch it, despite its age and despite its location no green or flowering life blossomed between the cracks in the well worn concrete. Nothing grew. Nothing lived. The factory stood in its grave, rotting alive, refusing to die entombed with secrets that no waking mind should hope to find. The Belle Factory craned its warped head above the trees and grinned a crooked smile of broken steel as new life approached it again. The only life foolish enough to do so.
“You know, there are less creepy things to do a research paper on.” Chris griped as he trudged up the slope. Liz looked back at him, slightly further ahead perhaps still running on a caffeine high. “If you want to be the fifth person this year to present a story about the benefits of cow manure, be my guest.”
Chris sighed as they came to the crest of the hill, she was right of course but as much as he loved the idea three hours ago in a coffee shop, he didn’t find the same glee now as he stood face to face with the wire fence, cluttered red with “Keep outs” and “no trespassing“ and “dangers”. At the top of each of the fences, two oddly shaped cameras watched, they weren’t like any CCTV he’d ever seen. They were tall cylinders attached to the fence posts,within each one a black eye rested that tracked their movements.
“Funny looking cameras, you see those?” He asked Liz only to be answered by the jingling of a chain link fence. “The fuck are you doing!? You said we’d only l-”
“I lied. Now you gonna get in here or are you going to let the brave lady explore the empty burnt out factory all by herself?”
“There are cameras!” Chris yelled, gesturing to the odd looking cylinders.
“Those?! The city just puts em up to scare off junkies. Nobody actually checks them.” She scoffed as she peeled back an already broken portion of the fence and climbed through. Chris looked to the cameras and to Liz who was already making her way to the dilapidated ruins before groaning and peeling back the fence to climb through himself.
“Hang on, I’m coming, I’m coming!” He yelled as he caught up with her and both stopped dead before the maw of the mangled monolith. It was dead, of course it was but still even after all these years the factory smiled wide with an eerie and primal menace. It was wrong, Chris thought, it was just wrong.
“You feel it too, don’t you.” Liz said, cradling the camera in her hand that seemed to shake ever so slightly. “Like it’s looking at you.”
“We only need like 10 minutes of footage right?” Chris asked, still staring it down, almost afraid to look away and yet despite it there was a pull at his feet. Like he’d been waiting in a line and it was his turn to enter with a queue at his back almost pushing him, he felt trapped between the instincts that urged him to run, to run so far and so fast and the gravitational allure of the factory. Before he’d realized he’d taken a step he and Liz were already inside.
“Okay, so you hold the camera and I’ll do the talking and shit.” Liz said as she handed Chris the camera and began fussing with her hair. “Do I look alright?” She did, she always did. Chris smiled as she let her long dark hair down to rest manelike around her pale white face contrasted with dark toned make-up and her deep brown eyes. She snapped her fingers in his face and Chris nearly dropped the camera, lunging and catching it just in time! “For real?” Liz laughed.
“I was having a moment, shut up.”
“You have any more of those and you’ll owe me a new camera!”
“If we get out of this death trap with just a broken camera, I’m calling that a win.”
“Oh for...would you just roll? You’re worse than my sister.”
Chris hit the button on the camera, it lit up and Liz’s face filled the tiny LCD screen.
“We’re here at the ruins of the Belle Meat Factory and Abattoir, a historic scar on the face of Mawville county.” Liz narrated as she walked through the gutted belly of the broken building. Chris followed her, eyes fixed on the screen as she recounted the tale. “It was only thirty years ago where the infamous Belle family was found guilty of multiple homicide and burned the factory down, themselves along with it.”
Chris’ eyes flit to the side of Liz as she talked, it was only for an instant but the movement was impossible to miss. He tried to see if he could catch it on camera, thinking it was a bird or maybe a raccoon that had gotten in before focusing on Liz again.
“What secrets might these old steel girders and broken machines hold? If only they could speak to tell us about the madness that must have consumed old Jack Belle and his family in those final moments before the f-” Liz reacted as if electrocuted, the blaring noise blasted their ears! Chris nearly dropped the camera as he covered his! It was deafening! A horrendous, thundering chorus of animal cries and shrieking metal! Both of them looked at each other and turned to leave the way they’d come in! The camera was rolling still, shooting behind them as Chris grabbed Liz’s hand and led her to the exit. Overhead, the daylight began to fade, as if covered by a cloud but this was more than darkness, it didn’t cover the light. It ate it, it gobbled it up inch by inch till nothing remained, greedily devouring every last morsel till the two young trespassers fumbled and mewled in the dark, stopping dead in their tracks and fumbling for what brief candles modern technology might afford!
Footsteps in the dark, something scraping, metal on stone.
“Get your torch on! Use your phone!”
“I can’t it’s out of charge!”
“Didn’t you charge it?!”
“Yes! Use yours!”
Scraping, gasping, something heavy, something wrong. The camera watched it through the dark, a shadow,, lumbering, closer, closer. It dragged something behind it.
“The camera! Night vision!” Liz shouted. “HURRY!”
“I can’t see the buttons!”
Liz tore the camera from his hands, her movements were rabid and fierce but without cognition, she fumbled with the controls, finally shifting the LCD from normal to infrared only to release a shuddering wail as a blistered face screamed back at them from the LCD screen! Both jumped back and made a beeline, nearly running each other over as they sprinted for the entrance only for a wall to blossom to life before them, bleeding red and yellow and raking at their flesh, tasting them, an inferno cornered them in the ruins that had themselves fallen deep into the bowels of shadow! As the dark fell back before the advance of the beastly fire the factory blared to life. Machines groaned weary growls and began to scrape and gnarl at their own misshapen carcasses. Chris put himself before Liz who trembled, terrified beyond reason, eyes darting from wall to wall, searching for a way out and finding only steel and flame!
“Chris…” She mewled, her voice empty of its characteristic confidence, the confidence he’d come to respect and even admire. “What is this?”
“I don’t know but there has to be a way out!” he responded, it was all he could say though the hollowness
Out of the shadows, silhouetted in the flames something entered the room. “The machines are moving!” Chris thought but what ancient broken devices had creaked to life were anchored to their posts, this lumbered like a person but no man was that large, no one. Like gargling nails a voice scratched their ears, scraping the air with a sinister chuckle as the mountain that walked, grew closer. “Why doesn’t she raise the camera?” Chris thought, but he was holding her hand. He hadn’t noticed, he hadn’t even felt her grab it and both were frozen to the spot.
“Da...ddy” A new voice crooned, this one low and dense like a thick soup. “Da-ddy, new f-friends.” Its footsteps silenced their hearts, every step the shape took they felt in their feet. It vibrated in their soles and crawled ceaseless to their spines as their heart leaped into their throats, as if attempting to escape a thousand terrible fates these minds were far too young to have ever, until now, envisioned. And as the fires licked at their backs a nightmare emerged.
Its skin was charred black and blistered, its back hunched and bloated, it lumbered, a shoulder sagging forward, one arm monstrously deformed and larger than the other. Its face was slack, as if its jaw had been broken, one side hung in a scowling grimace and the other was wide eyed and mad. Its bloated belly jostled as it moved and seemed to writhe from the inside like a thin sack full of eels. That scratching voice came again.
“Oh look…” It rasped. “ ...what fresh pretties we have.” A pale face rose from the creature’s back, its hunch was not a hunch at all but a woman, her face like candle wax had melted into the flesh of the larger beast. Dead white eyes glistened in the firelight and her emaciated limbs flailed with every motion the creature made. The woman’s face twisted and an inhuman limb slithered from her mouth and dragged itself across the larger beast’s contorted face which itself warped into what might have been a toothless smile.
There was a moment, a long moment, Chris tracked the second like days in his head as he considered it. The compulsion to run and hide, to throw Liz at it and run. Run anywhere. Never turn back. He wondered if he could listen to her scream. He wondered if he could watch her die but as quick as those thoughts came he knew the answer would be no.
“We’re so glad you could come for dinner!” The female creature laughed. “Daddy! WE GOT GUESTS!” She screeched, her voice was so easy to confuse for the groaning, scraping mechanisms of the factory, it was inhuman. Like warped steel trying to sound human.
Liz was frozen to his side, she didn’t dare move though Chris felt her trembling in her hand, the tremors awoke something in him, some primal impulse and he reached into his pocket rummaging till his hand found a weight and clutched it with white knuckles and pulled it free. The fire glinted upon the metal and Liz pulled his arm as if to discourage him but he pushed her back!
“RUN!” He roared as he lunged for the beast, striking furiously at the slow, unprepared abomination and slashing furiously across its writhing bloating belly which cascaded into a crimson waterfall that lunged back! Liz covered her mouth in horror as Chris’ furious cries were swallowed whole by the cacophonous laughter of the beast! Its disemboweled innards swarmed the helpless boy who flailed like a beast himself as the fleshy organs seized and coiled around him like miles of scarlet writhing serpents! They squeezed and dragged him in, deep, deep, deep beneath the flesh! His pocket knife clattered to the ground and skittered to Liz’s feet as the wound it left sewed itself shut! Without hesitation she reached down and grabbed the bloody knife but as she considered how best to use it, the writhing turgid gorebag that was the creature’s belly bulged with Chris’ horrified face! She looked from him to the laughing faces of the conjoined creature just in time to see its gargantuan hand reach for her! Liz slashed at it as she backed away! Running, sprinting deep into the bowels of the factory!
Where only metal and ruin had stood before now strong walls stood, in the blink of an eye or the flight of a shadow a building that should never have been had reconstituted itself and every nightmare it hid within its long and twisted memory had come out to play.
TO BE CONTINUED...
:: WRITER'S NOTE ::
Thanks so much for your time, I hope you enjoy my work. Part 2 is already in progress. Feel free to like and share if you like what you've read thus far and tips are always appreciated!
About the author
I've been a writer since I was a child. I had my first story published in 2019 in a short horror story collection and I've been working to expand my horizons since then. My primary interests are horror and fantasy.