They think I'm crazy, they think I'm some sort of disease. That I will contaminate the holy angels this town is apparently composed of. Maybe it is for the best I am to be taken to the gallows at dawn, and for what, ridding the city of a few sinners? The hide of an animal, you don’t know if there is a small field mouse on the inside, perfectly content on sitting idle while life rustles past like the reds and yellows and browns of the fall leaves. Or, if there is a beast. A beast that chooses to kill, and from the killing it is satisfied. This satisfaction from slaughter drives the beast, enrages it in a way it loves. And so it waits, thinking that none of the rules apply to it, that it is free to do whatever it pleases. And from this dark pleasure it receives, it kills again. Until the beast can be conquered, good will struggle with the darkness and will continue to fail. And chaos and anarchy will run free.
Before the end, I was a common man. I was nothing special, just another member of society. My mother had been a seamstress and my father had died before I was born, in the mines. I was the runt of the litter, the youngest. I had two older brothers. When they were young, they had a sister. Her name was Elizabeth. She died when she was only two months old from heatstroke that August. Mother wasn’t quite the same after that they told me. The eldest brother, Jack, died in the war. Or at least we think he did. He never came home. He was reported missing in action years ago. I think that’s what killed mom. She died of heart attack shortly after. As for Ben, the middle child, I haven’t spoken with him in years. But we were great friends before that. We went to school together. I was an average student and struggled through primary school. I dropped out the first chance I got and never looked back. I coasted through life doing odd jobs after that. Busing tables, sweeping porches, bartending, anything I could find. Through all the jobs I met a lot of people and so I had a lot of connections. People heard about me. Became interested in me. Wanted me for their “projects”. And once the the Black Market heard from about me, it was the beginning of the end.
Gang bosses discovered about me and how I had all sorts of connections. Before I knew it I was flung head first into the worlds of drugs. I was asked to be the drug manufacturer for multiple gangs. I was taught how to make hallucinogenics from simple household objects, how to pick locks with my shoelaces, how to kill with a cork and three pence. It wasn’t a job that brought lots of money, but it was much more than what I had been making and for once, I had a couple pounds extra at the end of the day. At first it was a job but as time went on, I began enjoying my work,which might have just been the fumes going to my head, but I began trying new things off the clock. I began making new concoctions, new drugs with different side effects but all very potent. I couldn’t test anything because I didn’t want to wander out of my house on a high and start jabbering about my “hobby”. I had to test them on animals. Usually cats. I will admit, most ended up being fatal upon consumption. One was even lethal to the touch. And so I was wary about using anything I made downstairs. In fear for my job, my criminal record, and my life.
As the months went on my curiosity grew. I was given dozens of orders for hundreds of kilograms of my product and yet I had never used anything I made. I figured that using the hallucinogenics might be tempting fate a tad bit so I made my own creation. An enhancer. I’m a tall lanky man. If I had just a few more kilograms of muscle I might be able find a nice lady and have a family. A family where my son would get to know his father. Definitely. I was driven downstairs by impulse and started rummaging through my cabinets and drawers, pushing beakers and glasses aside, trying to find the perfect ingredients.
After finding everything I began the normal routine of cleaning and sifting the ingredients to check for stay objects in the powders and liquids. In my hurry I knocked over the psilocybin all over the floor. I began to quickly scoop it back up and shove it in the pot. The time it took to heat up was seemingly endless. But after an hour, it was done. I poured the substance into a syringe and went to work. I began jabbing it in my arm, injection after injection, only when my arm turned black with bruises I felt satisfied. But as I waited for the muscles to enlarge, something went amiss. I found my mind beginning to lose itself. Odd thoughts began to drift into my mind, then going from odd to malicious to horrendous, filling my head with unspeakable evil.
Little was I aware of the fact that it was not only my mind being altered, but my physical appearance as well. My spine was elongating and expanding in length and diameter at an unbearably painful rate. My canines grew larger and larger, sharpening, each like four miniature stakes. Other teeth began to grow and sharpen as well, pulling at my upper jaw, stretching out my temples, making my upper lip jut outwards, cramming my nose up into my skull. My eyes began to narrow until all that was left were tiny slits. My body was filled with pain. Throbbing, swelling, stretching were the only words I could comprehend. My entire being felt as though it were being ripped apart. I was slipping in and out of consciousness. I found the pain consuming me, swallowing me, casting me into an abyss of suffering.
I thought of calling for help, and a neighbor might hear. But with a sudden bolt of pain jolting through my back I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it across the room, let alone up to the front door on the first floor. When I found a brief second when I wasn’t seeing the dark void of unconsciousness, I observed my surroundings. To my astonishment, I was hobbling up the stairs. I wasn’t struggling with consciousness; I was struggling with the evil in my head! I had to keep fighting it, if I lost to the darkness in my mind, who knows if I shall ever be able to return to my normal self. I used every fiber in my being to concentrate but the pain was too much and I gave in.
I awoke on my back. It was morning and the sun had already come up from the horizon. About nine or so. My back was damp with dew and I was sore in many places. I sat up, my clothes were tattered and there were many cuts on my hands. I had been out all of yesterday afternoon and last night. Maybe longer depending on the date. I turned my head slowly to fight the stiffness. Immediately I realized where I was. 173 and 177 were easily spotted right away. My neighbor’s houses. And there was 175 nestled snuggly between them. I stood up, anxious to get home before someone came along and asked me what I was doing. I slowly turned and got onto all fours. It didn’t hurt that bad so I stood up and began walking.
Immediately, I had a bolt of pain run through my body and felt light headed. I crashed to the ground and my hip connected with the cobble stone. I screamed in pain, I could feel my leg crunch and I nearly passed out. After calming myself down, I was able to half crawl, half drag myself over to my house. I pulled myself up on the brass doorknob. There were bandages and medicine in by cupboards and I manage from there. I twisted the knob, then harder, then harder, and harder until I was afraid the knob would break off in my hand. I cursed under my breath. Locked! If my front door is locked, how did I wind up out here? I will have to find a constable to help me. My keys were in my coat, which I awoke without the foggiest idea where it might be. I looked down at my clothes.
My navy blue tie was flung up over my shoulder and my brown loafers were falling apart with the right sole missing. My shirt was shredded beyond repair. I couldn’t go into public looking like this. I patrolled the area and noticed clothesline just across the street. I crawled over the cobblestones and pulled myself up on a pair of stockings. There were delicates, blouses, and a pair of britches that were definitely too big for me. But fortunately there was something there I could use. It was a cane. One that was carved in a lovely fashion so that the top looked like a dog, it resembled a dog that might belong to the hound family. It was a tad too short for me but I didn’t complain. It worked and that was fine enough for me. I gazed across the road and saw a laundry basket with a wrinkled, wadded up suit. It was dark cerulean with brass buttons. The maid obviously had not yet begun even the first step because the cufflinks were still attached. I began to hobble across the street and made it into the yard.
As I was changing I remembered I was still in a public neighborhood. I began to blush furiously and covered myself up with a sheet that was hanging out to dry. I looked around for people. I couldn’t see anyone around for at least three blocks. To my shock, I couldn’t see anyone anywhere. I looked in the windows of some houses. Some were fine, and some were destroyed, but all were empty. It was a ghost town. The hairs on the back of my neck immediately stood up. There was a sound. A sound I’d heard before but one I should not be hearing right now. I look at the sky and I spotted it immediately. The Palace of Westminster. I cup my hands around my eyes and scope out the time.
Quarter ‘till ten. I listen again. I hear the same noise and it sends shivers up my back. Silence. Nowhere in the history of London has there ever been a day when there was silence. It wasn’t the silence you hear at nigh of bugs chirping and the wind blowing and horses trotting by occasionally. This was the silence of you are all alone and you will never find anybody on the face of this godforsaken rock, no matter how hard you tried, ever. I sniff the air, and I smell something new, something I hadn’t smelled earlier because of the other morning smells but it was definitely there. Smoke. I wasn’t indoors or in an enclosed space where if there was a fire going you could smell it. I was outdoors with no one around to have smoke coming out of their chimneys or to have a cooking fire.
I decided to continue dressing. After buttoning up the suit I looked at my reflection in a window. It fit me pretty well but it was a little short on the arms. It was hard to tell so I began walking away. One of the pant legs snagged on a bucket full of soapy water and I tripped over a washboard, sending me sprawling into the grass. I rubbed my head and I saw under my hand there was a small metal pipe that had a rope tied around it. The rope went up into the branches of a tree and disappeared. I lifted my hand up and the pipe disappeared up and into the leaves. Immediately I began to hear a sound that seemed to be moving fast, very fast. It was a sound that was made when you rub your hands together quickly. It was the sound of friction.
Out of instinct I jumped back. Just then the leaves broke through to show a huge object falling out of the tree. It slammed into the ground, burying itself about two and a half feet in. It was a large steel blade poking out of the dirt. It appeared as though someone and taken it directly off of a guillotine. It landed about where my head was laying. Should my reaction have been delayed by a matter of seconds, my head would have been not only shattered, but crushed as well. I let out my breath. Upon further inspection I figured it out. The pipe was jammed into the ground. Deep enough to support the blade but not so deep as though you couldn’t pull it out. When I fell I knocked it loose. It was on a pulley system around a tree branch. When the pipe went up, the guillotine came down. It was obviously a trap, but for what? The sound of the silence still unnerved me so I made my way towards Thames, in hopes to find someone who had answers.
Seeing the houses with the devastated rooms was nothing compared to the utter massacre that lay before me. Carnage everywhere, buildings crumbling, and smog swirling through the air. The square was full of people, but none living. People with their half their faces ripped off, heads obliterated, limbs shredded and missing. Disembodied hands and feet littered the ground. It seemed as though the entire town was painted scarlet. You couldn’t walk very far without stepping in a pile of…someone. I made my way to the dilapidated shop. The door was locked, it was covered in scratch marks. Some made by an animal of some kind, most weren’t. Many of the scratches were covered in blood and had fingernails sticking out of it. I shuddered.
“A lot of people really wanted to get. Must have been a sale,” I croaked. I let out a very forced laugh. Granted it was dark humor, but you either learned some, or you went crazy from the horror of the situation. The glass was broken open on the huge window but there were still large fragments of glass still stuck in the frame. I grabbed a nearby fragment of a shattered skull and broke the rest of the glass off. I climbed through and searched through the shelves. I ran my hand along the books. Everything was covered in a thick layer of dust. From behind me I heard a pitter patter of feet running quickly. I flew around and looked for the culprit.
I heard it run around again, to my right, I looked, and again, nothing. I called out if anyone was there. No response. Just then a large object flew at my head. It sounded as if it were a shrieking baby. I tried to catch it. That was a mistake. The second I caught it I noticed something very wrong. It had the face of a small child but had the body of a very large stray dog. The mouth of the child seemed to be open in a gaping, unholy way. The shrieking slowly turned into the voice of a man screaming. If you have ever heard the voice of a man screaming, not crying but screaming, you know the feeling of living hell it emits. Slowly the hand reached up and held my face. The screaming came to an immediate halt. The child looked deep into my eyes.
It smiled in a way that said “I am Satan.” It then grabbed the side of its face and pulled. The child’s face wasn’t really its face at all, it was a mask, it really was the face of a child though, it was wearing the face of a human child like a mask. Underneath, the sick, pseudo-baby disguise was its true face. It was very hairy, just like the rest of its body. The fur was a dark grey shade and long. The face looked like mix between the face of a dog and an ape. Its eyes were huge and black, black as death, Blood seemed to be leaking from the eyes. The fur around its eyes were matted down and soaked with blood. It then began to speak to me. In a way that was satanic. It appeared to be carrying vital information but it was speaking in a way that almost sounded like it was speaking backwards.
Its voice was low, lower than mine, lower than any voice I had ever heard. I threw it out of my arms and beat it with my cane. It seemed unaffected by this, if anything, it was enjoying this sick ordeal. I screamed at. I told it to leave me , leave London, and leave the face of the damn earth. But it continued to chant in its revolting way. I fell to my knees and began to sob. Sensing I had collapsed, The thing rushed me, but not without breaking its evil speech.
I looked up at it and screamed, “Leave me the hell alone. How could you have done this, to me, to that child, to London? Why?”
It then looked at me with those huge blood-soaked eyes in a way that almost seemed normal. It stopped charging and started walking over towards me. It walked like a normal person, like a human. The look it gave me was the look of a spark of curiosity in a young boy who had just seen his first frog. Now that it was walking I could see it fully. It had no tail, nor genitalia, as far as I could see. It stood pretty tall for whatever it was. About three and three quarters feet. It seemed still wonder struck about my earlier question, why it did all this. It leaned in and pointed at its chest, then shook its head.
“Then who?” I blubbered. It smiled again, in the demonic way and slowly backed up. It then picked up the child’s face again after eying it for awhile, it devoured it. It was too human like for my taste, it smiled when it was finished with its meal and licked its lips. Its eyes seemed to practically be faucets now, blood was pouring down its face. It screamed again, then picked up on its reverse talking right where it left off. Only this time it wasn’t just prancing around, It looked as though it had a specific location in mind and started running towards the butcher’s shop in the back of the store. The crazy language had sped up know and it sounded angry. It jumped over the counter and ran into the freezer and slammed the door. I pulled myself up and walked towards the back. I scooted across the counter and stopped at the door. I hesitated, then put my ear to the door.
I opened the door just a crack and peaked in, I couldn’t see it. I slowly hobbled in. The door slammed shut. The thing had been behind the door waiting for me. I couldn’t take it anymore. “Who, who?” I sobbed. The thing ran to the center of the room and pulled itself up on two meat hooks. It leaned forwards and asked me a question in the Satan speak. I stopped crying, hoping someone would come and help me, hoping this thing would go away, hoping this all was a dream. The thing stopped speaking. It shrieked. Its dark eyes boring into me. Its eyes were pouring blood. There was a large puddle of it right under where it hung, there were trails of blood everywhere it had been, all leading to the pool under it. “Who are you?” I shrieked at it. It looked dead into my eyes.
“I AM GOD,” it hissed with its evil grin.
“Who, who has done this?” I couldn’t take it anymore.
And with that it answered me. “YOU HAVE DONE THIS TO US!” It then grabbed the hooks and drove them into the back of its skull. Having the tips of the hooks burst out of its eyes. Brains flew everywhere and skull fragments fell to the floor below. Its body lay still, and at last, I was left to cry alone. When it died, there wasn’t a single drop of blood.
I finally grabbed a newspaper. July 18th, 1934. I’d been out for three days. Probably longer since I doubt anyone put up a new paper this morning. I roll up the paper and stick it in the coat pocket. I turn towards the main street, their didn’t appear to be any one here let alone any government officials to keep order, I figured being out in the open was a better idea then walking down an old alleyway where no one can hear you scream. I walk around the corner and was about to see if the police station was open when my foot snagged on something. It wasn’t very thick so my foot broke through it immediately. I stumble then regained my balance. I brushed myself off then looked down. It was a small thread, translucent and no more than half a millimeter thick. I stood up and was about to just head home when I finally heard a noise. It was almost like a bee buzzing but a higher pitch. Not a buzzing but a whirring. I looked around for the source of the sound but there was nothing that could make such a noise. I had just stuck one foot out to start walking away when I heard it. A clunk. I didn’t have time to process what was happening. I just let instinct take over and I just did what it told me to do.
Immediately, there was a crack and then everything just slowed down. Something grey appeared to my right and I stuck my head back. The grey object inched its way along in front of me, missing my nose by a few centimeters. I could feel the heat coming off it. I could smell the stink of gunpowder. It was a silver bullet. Another one shot out of no where, aimed for my ankles. I jumped, but not quickly enough. The bullet penetrated the bottom of my shoe and took a chunk out of my left big toe. I could feel something warm and sticky filling my loafer and I didn’t need to be told what it was. Another shot out at about thighs height, from down the avenue. I jumped, putting all my weight on my cane. I watched it come down. It seemed like I was a second ahead of everything. It sped down the street and took a large chunk out of the handle. The cane collapsed and I fell to the ground. I crawled out of the area as low as I could possibly be. I made it out and grabbed what I believed was part of a flagpole to help prop myself up.
I grabbed one of the nearby corpses. Riddled with holes and oozing blood everywhere. Puss and boils covered it making it a mockery of the human form. I looked at it with disgust and threw it as far as I could, not wanting to have to look at the cadaver any longer. Whether it belonged to a friend or family member, or even a stranger I never knew, I couldn’t tell which was worse. As soon as it hit the ground, I heard a noise that sent chills through my very being and sent shivers through my very soul. Whirring. I turned around and noticed three of the blood soaked cables had snapped when I threw the body on them. I turned back around not wanting to look. The noise grew louder and louder until I heard three clunks all in unison. All of a sudden the town square was a blaze with bullets, piercing the body, making it shake and shiver from head to toe, blood flying everywhere, soaking everything in sight with crimson. When the bullets stopped pouring out of everywhere I carefully made my way to where the first bullet had been fired at me through a wall.
I expected to find some criminal, hiding like a coward behind the wall. What I found instead was hundreds and hundreds of gears. All of which were connected making many different spots fire at once. I shivered, this was not an ambush, this was a trap! Set up n the heart of London. I made my way to the corpse, or what was left of it. Its brains were painted all over the walls and it was missing a large part of its body where its liver should be. I walked away, feeling guilty, pathetic and low. “So much for respect for the dead,” I muttered to myself.
I arrive home, shaken up pretty badly. I reach out to twist the knob when I realize the door is still locked. I walk around the block, looking for a neighbor to help, but no one came. Then I remembered the root cellar had a door in it leading to the basement. I rushed home and ran over to what was left of the door to the root cellar. It was gone, both doors obliterated into dozens of pieces, blown off their hinges, one handle laid to the right a few yards away but I could not find the other. The lock had been reduced to scrap metal. I tore down the stairwell to the cellar. My rack of vintage wine was untouched along with the old camera that belonged to my father. My body races around the corner but my feet don’t follow. I slam into the rack of chemicals I use for my job.
I collapse to the ground, not understanding how someone could be in this much pain in such a short period of time. I’m taken out of my thoughts and thrown back into reality when I hear the creaking. I look up and see the large shelf begin to shake back and forth. I try to keep it steady by sticking out my cane to support it, but the attempt was in vain. The rack collapsed on top of me, its’ bottles and beakers exploding as the hit the floor, showering me with intense harsh chemicals. My skin only itches at first. Then the chemicals form a pool around me soaking into the wounds and splinters.
My body feels as though it had been ignited. I writhe in agony, screaming for help, for anything except this. Sweet, sweet death, the end to all pains. I kick the shattered remains of the shelf off of me and reached for the cane. I propped myself up and with lots of grunts and groans, made it to the top of the stairs. I scream. Out of pain, disgust, and longing. I collapse to the floor and begin to cry, for my loved ones, for my enemies, for the people who I never got a chance to know and who I will never get to know now.
After a good long session of feeling lonely, I got up and started up to my room. Then I freeze. The robber. I had forgotten about him. I bellow for the culprit to come down here right now and to reveal himself. No one comes. I throw the paper on the table and head off to my room. I change out of the stolen suit and back into suitable clothes. I observe my tie. The one original article of clothing I had left. It was navy blue with the Union Jack stitched in gold on it. I was shocked it hadn't been torn, ripped, or even stained. It was a gift from my mother. It had been my father’s I begin to remember the memories of the times I’d spent thinking about what life would have been like if I had met him. I toss the thoughts aside, my father was dead whether I liked it or not.
He was killed by whatever had killed the rest of London. I think of getting some lunch but decide against it. I wasn’t hungry. I was out for three days but I wasn’t hungry. I made my way back down stairs in my night clothes even though there was still at least seven hours of daylight left. I pick the paper up and relax in my leather upholstery recliner, always happy to hear the squeaking noise it always made. I began to browse the paper when my heart stopped. My breathing ceased. I drop the paper and clutch my stomach. I begin to feel dizzy and my head feels like it was going into my stomach. I got up and looked at the paper, hoping what I saw was wrong. Unfortunately, it only confirmed my worst nightmares.
On the cover were eye witness accounts of what happened.
“A horrible ape…”
“A hideous gorilla…”
“A man eating chimp…”
All were quotes from survivors of the ape monster who had savagely killed their families. On the cover it showed a monster, a fusion of a human and gorilla, breaking into someone’s house, ripping off a victim's limbs. There were reports of limbs being torn from their sockets. Heads being bitten off, then being spit back out with the brains oozing out the naval cavity and hair still attached. All f these things were mere child’s play compared to what came next. I looked back at the picture.
And I saw the most horrible thing I had ever seen in my entire life. The photo was a bit blurry but I could make out the thing that I knew so well. The beast was wearing tattered clothes, and was covered in hair. This paper was from two days ago. It says the beast is on its second day of rampage. The town’s folk were setting up elaborate traps to kill the beast. As the puzzle pieces began to fit into place I looked back at the picture. Around the beast’s neck was a navy blue tie with the Union Jack stitched in gold on it.
I get sick to my stomach and begin retching. On the account I hadn’t eaten anything in the past three days, I wasn’t worried anything would come up. Right when I thought the sickness would subside, I came up. Intestines and brains and muscles and blood, oh all the blood! It came out all over the floor, I kept coming up to the point I couldn’t figure out how my stomach had been able to hold all of it.
When it finally ceased I got up and walked to the kitchen door. I poured myself some water and splashed it on my face. I was shaking badly. I had just learned that I had killed London and now I just threw up people, people I probably knew. My hands and face were caked with blood. The blood of millions. How do you manage that, killing millions in three days? I was disgusted with myself. I needed to find a way, a way that I would never get caught. I needed to…the doorbell rang. It rang again. I raced to the upper window to see who it was.
It was the bloody constable! God, with the blood all over me and with the pile of corpses on the rug I’ll be hauled off to the stony lonesome in no time! I needed to come up with an idea, a manner of escape. I had a plan but I had to act quickly. The door continued to ring all the way down the stairs. I began smashing furniture and lamps, putting holes in the floor, and smearing the slimy carcasses around. I prepped myself and opened the door. The constable had come with backup, an inspector, and the mayor. He said they were going from house to house, looking to see if the beast was residing in one of the homes making it its nest. They were also collecting any unwanted corpses.
I began to lay it on thick. I started weeping over the corpses, claiming they were my loving daughter and wife. As the inspector began searching the bodies, the mayor talked to me about what was going on. The constable asked if he could look around upstairs and I said yes, I would join him shortly but I had a quick errand to attend to. As soon as they all disappeared around the corner I made a bolt for the basement door. I grabbed the paper off the floor and I raced downstairs. Skipping steps like a child all the way to the bottom. I lumbered over to the icebox and lifted the lid. Inside was the vile, filled with the green bubbling concoction. I didn’t have the time to inject it. Instead, I drank it. I could feel the transformation before I even finished drinking. I let go of everything. I didn’t want to be captured, I wanted to kill…
I awoke down here, in this cell. I still had the paper with me. A bit crumpled and singed but still readable. After a few days you came down here. What were you accused of again? Ah, yes, breaking and entering. I had nothing to do in my free time so I just continued to study the drops of the drug that were still on my shirt. It turns out one or more of the ingredients I had used were infected with a rare type of respiratory rabbis. The creature in town was simply a victim of the virus.
Driven crazy by the virus, they began speaking gibberish. I can only assume others were infected and mutated into the wretched beast. You and I have been sharing this cell for now what, six, seven hours, you’re most certainly infected with it by now. Oh, but it’s a slow and painful transformation. Feel free to feast on my flesh after you’ve transformed. Human meat, how satisfying. Until then I’ll just read the paper one last time. I must say though, it is quite a smashing picture. I think the headline though is just fantastic, don’t you think. “THE JUNGLE MAN OF LONDON”. Sweet dreams, you won’t wake up for a while…
Written by Vlad The Implier