Demon Zone

Alchetron © 2019

Mark the doors with the sigils of the moon, of the red red river, of the biting chains. Empty dawn of its fire. Let dusk sink eternally into crepuscular paralyzation — hypnagogic, terrifying. Dragons long slumbering in the earth: Rise! Burn the tents. Rape the women. Convert the men to the church of sharpened steel. Aim high. Pillage low. Wear white in the dark and don’t forget to blow all the candles out. Ancient markings waver at the rumble of the prehuman tongues. Fling the buckets of waste and watch the earth’s boils grow, fester, pop in unholy birth. Dead birth. Wasted-looking things, staggering in hunger, chewing living flesh to fill their ever-hungry bellies and continuously excreting the filth of consummated death. T̵r̵e̵e̵s̵ ̵t̵h̵a̵t̵ ̵g̵l̵i̵s̵t̵e̵n̵ ̵a̵f̵t̵e̵r̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵n̵i̵g̵h̵t̵ ̵r̵a̵i̵n̵ ̵w̵h̵e̵n̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵s̵u̵n̵ ̵s̵p̵r̵e̵a̵d̵s̵ ̵i̵t̵s̵ ̵h̵a̵n̵d̵s̵ ̵u̵p̵o̵n̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵e̵a̵r̵t̵h̵,̵ ̵a̵w̵a̵k̵e̵n̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵w̵i̵t̵h̵ ̵a̵ ̵c̵a̵l̵l̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵f̵i̵r̵s̵t̵ ̵s̵l̵e̵e̵p̵y̵-̵e̵y̵e̵d̵ ̵b̵e̵a̵s̵t̵.̵ ̵C̵o̵m̵e̵ ̵f̵e̵a̵s̵t̵ ̵i̵n̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵m̵o̵r̵n̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵g̵r̵a̵s̵s̵.̵ ̵C̵o̵m̵e̵ ̵c̵l̵i̵m̵b̵ ̵a̵n̵d̵ ̵f̵i̵n̵d̵ ̵f̵r̵u̵i̵t̵.̵ ̵F̵l̵y̵ ̵d̵o̵w̵n̵ ̵t̵o̵ ̵p̵e̵c̵k̵ ̵a̵ ̵w̵o̵r̵m̵ ̵o̵r̵ ̵i̵n̵s̵e̵c̵t̵.̵ ̵A̵ ̵c̵y̵c̵l̵e̵ ̵w̵i̵t̵h̵i̵n̵ ̵a̵ ̵c̵y̵c̵l̵e̵ ̵w̵i̵t̵h̵i̵n̵ ̵a̵ ̵c̵y̵c̵l̵e̵.̵ Mark no time with discordant music. Sour the stomach. Fog the brain. Restless beings, mad, never able to wake up and never able to sleep. Bedecked with razorous wires, flagellate in the empty revelations of the abyss. Raise up the holy tablets and smash them on the skulls of the devout. Laugh in agony. Weep in self-mutilation. Small fish float in the river, but they are dead. Everything is poisoned. The crops wilt in the fields. A̵ ̵b̵u̵i̵l̵d̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵i̵s̵ ̵b̵o̵r̵n̵,̵ ̵g̵i̵l̵d̵e̵d̵ ̵t̵o̵ ̵g̵l̵o̵r̵i̵f̵y̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵S̵p̵i̵r̵i̵t̵ ̵o̵f̵ ̵m̵a̵n̵k̵i̵n̵d̵:̵ ̵a̵ ̵b̵e̵a̵u̵t̵y̵ ̵m̵a̵r̵k̵ ̵o̵n̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵f̵a̵c̵e̵ ̵o̵f̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵e̵a̵r̵t̵h̵.̵ ̵H̵e̵a̵r̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵c̵h̵o̵i̵r̵ ̵s̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵i̵t̵s̵ ̵c̵h̵r̵i̵s̵t̵e̵n̵i̵n̵g̵.̵ ̵R̵i̵t̵u̵a̵l̵ ̵i̵s̵ ̵m̵a̵d̵e̵ ̵a̵n̵e̵w̵.̵ ̵S̵o̵m̵e̵w̵h̵e̵r̵e̵ ̵a̵ ̵p̵i̵n̵k̵-̵b̵l̵o̵s̵s̵o̵m̵e̵d̵ ̵s̵h̵r̵u̵b̵ ̵i̵s̵ ̵b̵l̵o̵o̵m̵i̵n̵g̵.̵ ̵A̵n̵ ̵o̵l̵d̵ ̵m̵a̵n̵ ̵s̵m̵i̵l̵e̵s̵ ̵a̵t̵ ̵a̵ ̵c̵h̵i̵l̵d̵ ̵a̵n̵d̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵w̵o̵r̵l̵d̵ ̵i̵s̵ ̵c̵h̵a̵n̵g̵e̵d̵ ̵f̵o̵r̵e̵v̵e̵r̵.̵ Naked, angry, spiteful, trash-dwelling men club the merry procession in an unexpected attack. “Where did they come from?” Fools. They were always here. All the teeth are broken. Bloody gums give a rigor mortis grin. There is one left weeping. Weeping. The pleasure is in observing this lingering pain. Stain of all Nations. Puss of all Peoples. The same stain. The same puss. Mingled into a toxic brew. The cauldron heated by the dragon’s breath. The putrid soup stirred by a diseased hand. It matters not the pattern of the markings. What matters is the scar. A chopped-off tongue bleeds. A song becomes a wail. Rings of devotion can be buried. Dragons can hoard the precious bones they shat as well as they can bed atop man’s polished metals and stones. One sentinel screaming, “Turn back! Turn back!” won’t keep the spelunkers out. Everyone is invited to drown. A̵n̵d̵ ̵m̵a̵y̵b̵e̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵r̵e̵’̵s̵ ̵a̵ ̵l̵o̵v̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵k̵i̵s̵s̵ ̵b̵e̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵s̵h̵a̵r̵e̵d̵ ̵i̵n̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵c̵o̵o̵l̵ ̵n̵i̵g̵h̵t̵.̵ ̵O̵n̵e̵ ̵h̵a̵p̵p̵y̵ ̵s̵t̵a̵r̵ ̵t̵w̵i̵n̵k̵l̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵i̵t̵s̵ ̵d̵i̵s̵t̵a̵n̵t̵ ̵r̵a̵y̵s̵,̵ ̵b̵r̵i̵g̵h̵t̵e̵n̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵j̵u̵s̵t̵ ̵a̵ ̵b̵i̵t̵ ̵o̵f̵ ̵t̵h̵a̵t̵ ̵v̵a̵s̵t̵ ̵b̵l̵a̵c̵k̵ ̵v̵o̵i̵d̵.̵

More about this piece: Demon Zone

About the author: 
 Randal Eldon Greene is the author of one short novel and many even shorter stories. Greene holds a degree in English and Anthropology from the University of South Dakota. Originally from Nebraska, he now lives and writes in Iowa. His typos are tweeted @AuthorGreene and his website is found at