The following is an introductory excerpt for a character from a Horror Trading Card Game. (A little heavy on the passive and never edited.) :
Hours, days, weeks… time lost all meaning in a town caught in perpetual night. Nick couldn’t remember the last time he saw another normal human being. He had no idea how long he wandered, how long he fought to survive the living hell thrust upon him.
Just a short time ago, Amethyst Falls was a quaint mining town, nestled in the picturesque mountains of Wisconsin. That all changed two months ago, on the day of the Black Sun–the unannounced eclipse where more than half the town suffered from an unexplained bout of insanity.
An illness of unprecedented violence, where people attacked each other in the streets in a cannibalistic fashion, eating one and other down to the bone. A never before documented communicable disease that transformed its victims into something dark and twisted, no longer recognizable as human. Where once infected, nothing remained of the prior person. Reason, compassion, intelligence, sanity, all replaced by a never-ending hunger for flesh.
Hundreds died the day the creatures overran Amethyst Falls. Since then the town has become a mere shadow of its former self, desolate, dark and broken. Only a handful of survivors remain, scattered in the dark corners of the town. Waiting, hoping, praying for salvation.
Nick was one of the “lucky” ones, left to endlessly wander and await his fate. Fear of death lurking around every corner and sheer exhaustion his constant companions. The only hope of escaping the nightmare, found at the human limits of determination and will to survive.
Nick Anthony crept through the alley like a feral cat hunting its prey. Each movement deliberately planned, painstakingly and silently executed. A challenging task for any man, even more so for a man of fifty, in less than average physical health and nerves on the brink of collapse.
As he stepped out of the alley into the street, heavy footsteps scuttered nearby. Something shifted in the darkness, in the corner of his frightened eyes. There wasn’t time to think, only react. Nick jumped back and flattened himself between a dumpster and brick wall. A rushed, careless movement that sent an empty beer bottle skipping down the alley. A deafening hollow, high pitched sound that sent Nick’s heart pounding in his chest.
There was a chance the sound of the bottle went unnoticed. There was also a chance the source of the footsteps posed no danger. It might have been someone just like Nick, another survivor. But Nick had never been a gambling man. If the last few days had taught him anything, it had shown him that being careless meant being dead. Nick cringed, recalling the elderly woman outside the post office and the teenager in Winter Park. Both entangled by the grotesque abominations of nature that now littered the town.
The professor shook his head, trying desperately to clear his mind, but the imagery of the huge fleshy roots tearing apart and devouring their victims only came with greater clarity. He recalled the one in the park, standing a dozen feet in the air, covered in spikes the likes of something found on a long extinct dinosaur. Its large green reptilian like eyes, scattered about its trunk, watching the old woman as a half dozen fang filled mouths curled around her, tearing her limb from limb. The woman’s scream of agony repeated in Nicks mind like a skipping record, causing his stomach to rollover on itself. A sound that paled in comparison to the monstrosity’s most disturbing feature. The tentacles of its underbelly lay covered in human faces. Animated, living visages with impossibly long tongues and shifting eyes. The professor’s entire body trembled at their recollection. Death had revealed its hideous face, literally, to the retired archeology professor and he hoped to never see it again.
The thought startled Nick back to the sound of something moving towards him. Nick’s hand slipped into his vest breast pocket, never once looking away from the street. In a familiar motion Nick retrieved a fine silver watch from his pocket. An antique keepsake, a Victorian era time piece with the letters H.G.W. engraved on its side. Clenching the watch in the palm of his hand, the professor took a deep, quiet breath.
Slowly, he brought his trembling fist to eye level. Once again, the watch emitted a faint white glow. Nick’s face hung in despair at the sight of the light, casting him in a sickly, unnatural pallor. He struggled to subdue the faint whisper as it involuntarily slipped from his lips. “God help me.”
Whatever was nearby, wasn’t human… wasn’t of the natural world. The footsteps moving in the darkness belonged to one of the many things that now roamed the streets of Amethyst Falls. Nick couldn’t muster a more descriptive label than, thing. Some had arms and legs, faces even, but their bodies were horribly twisted and far more beastly than human. If his eyes hadn’t deceived him, the professor has spotted tentacles, horns, long over sized claws and impossibly long fangs. A scholarly man, from a well to do upbringing, Nick Anthony didn’t believe in monsters… he refused to call them monsters and so he referred to them merely as things.
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