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Sunday, October 19, 2014

mr. pickles



"Danny, don't go in there."

The sound of Russell's voice was low and hesitant. He had heard the stories about the store in the old house and wanted to believe they were all made up. He wanted nothing more than to believe there was no old man, with half his face chewed off, waiting to devour bad kids. But his gut instinct was telling him something else.

"You're a chicken! BUCK-AAWK! There's nothin' to worry about. We'll go inside, look around and be out in no time. I'm tellin' ya, there's nothin' goin' on in that place."

Danny was the wise one. He always had the logical explanation. Even if it sounded like crap at first, it usually worked out the way he said. But this time the butterflies were flipping like trapeze artists.

"I don't know. It's dark, we're kinda far from home. Let's turn around. They say there's some kids that went in there and never came back."

Danny looked at his friend and shook his head slowly. "I never thought my best friend would turn out to be a wuss. "I'll go myself. Stay out here. You'll probably get ate by the damn dogs that roam the streets."

"Stop it, Danny! They say the kids got turned into...sausage. He eats people."

That was the one. That last phrase put Danny on the ground with laughter.

"No way! Are you serious??! Who are 'they' and how did they get the story? Look, there's nothing in the place. It's just and old house with a store in the basement. We're gonna prove everybody wrong."

Danny held out his hand for Russell to help him up. When he got to his feet, the boys ran up the path to the worn down house. It hadn't been painted in years. The sides were coated in dirt and decay. The front porch look like a smiling face with missing teeth. The wood was moldy and looked black, under the late evening sky. There was a heavy presence that seemed to hang over the property. Russell could feel it in his chest as they went around the side of the house.

"Can you feel that?"

Danny sighed as he answered. "Now what, chicken shit?"

"That feeling. It's bad. Let's go. Let's just tell the guys we went in. They won't know."

"No. We gotta get something. A piece of candy, a pop bottle. Something."

"I'm tellin' ya, they won't KNOW! Let's get it from Wal-Mart, Walgreens, any Wal but here!"

"You drunk. Let's go."

Danny found a small window. It was big enough for them to get inside, with a little bit of a struggle. The wind picked up and howled through the densely planted trees of the back yard Danny yanked on the window but it was locked. He looked around and found a rock. Russell shook his head violently while Danny nodded. The boy reared his arm back, as she friend covered his ears. The stone came down with a muffled crash. Reaching in carefully, Danny found the latch on the old window and raised it. A rush of air escaped and blew past the boys. There was a low growling voice that tickled their ears.

"What the fuck was THAT? Did you hear it?! It said, Welcome, foolish ones.' I know you heard it, Danny! Please say you did!"

"Stop smokin' that bad weed. It was the wind. C'mon, you're just a jumpy lame."
Danny peered into the dark basement. He had to admit, there was a foul smell that filled the air. He stuck his head in and tried to get a better look around. the store was there, just like they'd heard. He motioned for Russell to follow him, as he lent his slim body snake through the window and onto the floor. He landed with a sturdy thud. The floor felt soft beneath him. Before he got his balance, Russell was falling behind him. The boy fell forward and pushed Danny into a large display of bubble gum, candy and other sugary treats.

"Dammit! You're a clumsy ass!" He tried to whisper. "Look what you made me do!"

"You broke the window! Mr. Pickles heard us! I know he did!"

Danny looked at his scared partner, as they scurried to pick things up and replace them. "His name is what?"

"Mr. Pickles. He likes to eat people. Kids more than anything. He sells the pieces too."

"But why Mr. Pickles? That sounds lame as fuck. He smell like dill pickles or somethin'?" Danny let out a snicker, picked up a piece of candy and took it out of the wrapper. He was about to put it in his mouth, when it faded away in his hand. He looked at Russell. He looked at the empty wrapper in his hand. He tossed the paper and picked up another. He quickly opened it with the same result. It faded away, with a whiff of smoke.

Danny looked around the basement and took in the morbid sights. There were jars filled with bones, what looked like herbs and pieces of dried meat that hung from the ceiling. He walked further let his hand trail an old counter that was in the middle of the room. His hand hit a jar and he looked closely at the contents. At first it looked like eggs.  As he peered closer, they took the shape of cow eyes. They were old and slightly grayed.

"Fuck me," Danny said slow and low. "Why do they call this guy Mr. Pickles, again?" He waited for an answer as he saw another jar. It contained a flesh colored meat. He picked the huge container up, for a better look. He yelled and dropped it. A sea of sizzling liquid drenched the floor, along with hands and feet that had been stuffed in the jar.

"He likes to pickle the body parts. That makes them taste oh so sweet and juicy."

Russell's voice was different. It was low and coarse. It sounded like he was pretending.

"Stop it, Russell," he demanded while kicking at the severed limbs on the floor. "Let's get outta here."

When Danny turned towards his friend, he was looking at a huge figure. It was wearing a bloody white apron. He looked up slowly and saw the half mangled face. There was smoothness on one side, like it had been cut off in some sort of accident. The other side was angry, filled with filthy, razor sharp teeth that protruded from a ghastly mouth which oozed thick, black pus. A huge hand quickly snatched his throat and lifted him from the floor. Danny's legs swung as he tried to break free.

"Allow me to introduce myself," the figure said with a drastically changing voice. "Mr. Pickles is the name. You're going to be extra sweet meat. You'll replace what you've destroyed."

Danny gurgled and gasped. He looked at the window. Russell was still outside. He was screaming and bagging on the window but there was no sound. The pain around his throat was intense. He felt pressure around his eyes, his head felt light. He smelled his own excrement, as the unbearable pain made him shit.

Russell banged on the glass and finally stopped. He saw his friend's head snap to one side. Urine dripped from Danny's body and mixed with the blood that oozed from his ears nose and mouth. Mr. Pickles turned and looked at the boy. As he held the lifeless body, he raised his other hand and put a finger to his lips.

"Ssssssh...."

In a blur of motion, Russell watched Mr. Pickles tear his friend to fleshy shreds. The pieces plopped on the floor and twitched.

Another scream escaped Russell's throat as he got up and ran...and ran...and ran.

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