Our Father Who Art In Hell
by Mike "corpsemonger" Wasion
The West family lay in a heap.
Well not a heap, not really....tableaux is more accurate.
Generations of West lay in pieces about the pews, strewn and stretched and scattered in every direction.
The little girl at the pipe organ played on, her white dress stained with the blood of her family. Tears poured from her blue eyes, making it hard for her to see the keys. But she didn't miss a one. She had practiced too hard to miss.
And far more importantly, she didn't want to make them angry.
She hesitated for the slightest moment, shivering....and felt the blade at her throat push closer.
She played on.
. . . . .
The Wests were a proud and God-fearing family. Devout Catholics all, many of the West men had entered the priesthood, and the ones that didn't wore their faith on their sleeve with the strength and dignity that only comes with the courage of one's convictions.
All except for Herbert West.
Instead of entering the seminary, Herbert entered med-school. Shunning the beliefs of his family, Herbert made his family pround when he became "Dr." West, and they weren't shy about showing it....but there was always the barely concealed hint of regret in their congratulations. It wasn't passive-agressive....it was honest regret that he had turned so completely away from their faith.
And he wasn't shy about showing that.
It was with as much shock then as it was overflowing joy when they got the call the week before Easter.
Dr. West had converted.
No one had heard from him in months, since he had retreated to the estate his parents had left him in the woods around Diamond Lake.
He said he was going to "find himself". Apparently he did.
He invited as many as could come that Easter Sunday to the mansion for his First Communion.
When asked if he needed more time, when they told him that it was a process, he said that he had found teachers who had taken him through every step, except for the communion, and he wanted them there for it.
The West mansion was enormous, and actually had a full chapel, as big as any church any of them had been to, and bigger than some.
And by the time they all had arrived every pew was filled.
Herbert's niece Angel was chosen to play the organ. She had been classically trained since she was old enough to walk, and there was no one better for the job.
All the same, she was more proud than she'd ever been to be asked by her favorite Uncle Doc to play for his long-overdue First Communion.
In her twelve years of life she'd never been more proud.
They were all proud.
The chapel was a sea of smiling faces, and warmth, and pious pride.
Herbert stood beneath the life-sized cross that was the chapel's centerpiece.
It had been a West family heirloom for generations. Indded, for as long as any of the surviving members could recall, it had been there. No one could remember where it came from, and the records had been lost to time....some of the family gossip claimed it was solid gold; some said it was merely gold-plated....but whatever the case, it was undeniably breath-taking.
Of that, no one argued.
Herbert began. His audience fell silent.
The West family beamed.
"Thank you all for coming. It is my sincerest honor to have you all here. I know many of you have waited for this day for quite some time. I'm sorry I kept you waiting. It took me so long to get here, but once I could see, it all came so fast....my teachers gave me the spiritual guidance I needed to come to this as fast as I did, let me see the beauty of our lord. Once I could see that beauty, it was all I could do to embrace it. And now I have dedicated my life to it. I have gathered you here today not in honor of me, and my choice, but in honor of our father. And I thank you all for being here for this gift."
Herbert nodded at Angel, and she began to play. She was well-chosen.
You couldn't have done better with an actual angel.
"....We are gathered here on the day of the resurrection to taste of the flesh, and the blood of our lord. To be filled with his spirit, and to be one with him in his glory. Now, many of the younger members of the family have never been to someone's first communion, and certainly don't remember their own," Herbert chuckled.
"So I'm going to begin in a way that the little ones can understand. We'll work up to the Latin." Another chuckle, this time from the audience.
He reached into the podium and pulled out a huge, golden, meat cleaver.
"Let us prepare for The Feast."
. . . . .
The West family couldn't believe it at first, but when it started, there was no denying it. When the golden cleaver bit into the elderly neck of Gladys West, several of the West men jumped up to stop the insanity before them. They could not.
Herbert was like a lawnmower before so many blades of grass. He dismembered his attackers with a hyena smile and nary a drop of sweat shed. By the time Uncle Walter, Gladys' husband's torso hit the floor and tearfully asked why?, Herbert had moved on.
Blood sprayed in geysers & flowed in rivers, and in moments the center isle was slick enough to slide in.
At that point the others had ran to the giant oak doors at the front of the room, but they wouldn't budge. There was no escape. Herded in one spot, Herbert joyously and effortlessly slaughtered any opposition in his path.
Before he could truly begin his harvest in earnest, he noticed something.
There was no music. The organ had stopped.
Herbert spun around to see Angel cowering beside the organ.
Herbert lifted the giant cleaver and pointed it in her direction. "Angel! ANGEL! Do, not, stop!"
Angel shivered. She was terror-stricken. But she wasn't stupid. All she had to do was look around her to see that wheather she wanted to or not, wheather she thought she even could or not, she was going to play the organ.
Shaking, eyes wide and stone silent, she crawled back onto the stool.
Herbert smiled, a look of true joy on his face. The music started up again. Herbert shut his eyes. His smile widened. He continued his advance. Those who would fight had fought, and died. All that remained at the doors was panic. Pure animal panic.
The panic of lambs who realize they're in the slaughterhouse.
Some begged for their lives, but mostly there was only screaming. To Herbert, it was a symphony. He begged for it, howled for it. He was faster and stronger than any man should be, and within an instant of raising the cleaver in the air, he was awash in a shower of limbs and blood as thick as rain.
In a fever of canage, Herbert ran through the pews, hunting anyone one who may have escaped the harvest.
Soon, there was not a single soul who hadn't tasted his blade.
But not all could be counted among the dead. He hadn't killed them all. By no means. Many stlled lived. All were in pieces, but many were still alive.
He gathered all the pieces that still had heads, or just the heads if there was nothing left, and lined them up in the pews. Some pawed at him helplessly, some murmurred, a few spat feeble curses and still some quentioned why, but it didn't matter.
Mass was about to begin, and nothing could stop it.
His congregation reassembled, he took his place back behind the podium. He looked to Angel, shaking, sobbing, wet with blood....and playing on.
"You can take a break now, honey."
She was so grateful she almost thanked him, but for the fact that he had just butchered her entire family.
"Now that everyone is prepared, we can begin. Are we ready?" The sounds of suffering answered from the gore-choked pews. "Excellent. Let us begin the communion." He nodded at Angel, and with a crushed whimper, she began again.
Herbert cleared his throat.
"EGO consecro is domus per cruor of meus diligo ones, quod meus own cruor, ut is may exsisto a cunabula vobis, carus damno."
A sudden loud creaking behind him, followed by the sound of bubbling, and twisting, and churning. The thunderous sound of splintering wood, and from beneath the stage erupted a swelling tide of meat. Pink and red and cancerous, it boiled up and swallowed the stage surrounding Herbert. Pulsating, it slid up the wall behind him, and threatened to push it's festering mass into the pews.
"We now break the body and taste the flesh of our risen lord." Herbert turned and pulled a tumurous wad of meat from the corrupt flesh engulfing the stage.
"EGO mos erigo vos hic, liberi of carus Abyssus, quod promptus orbis terrarum vobis."
He approached the pews, and went from person to person, forcing bleeding, throbbing shreds of the unnatural meat into their mouths. He made sure they swallowed. Most were in no condition to refuse.
When all had recieved their gift, Herbert sliced off their heads with the giant golden cleaver, gathering them in his hands by their hair or tossing them at the stage when he could hold no more.
When not a head remained in the audience, he returned to the stage. He kicked over the podium and gathered the heads in a great pile beneath the ancient, beautiful cross.
From out of the spreading mass of putrid flesh arose a huge, worm-like tentacle of meat. Pulsing and writhing fitfully, it rose up and attatched itself to the crucifix, wrenching it free.
The meat fused itself together around the cross, and lowered it to West.
"EGO dedi meus animus, ut is may servo vos, quod meus viscus, ut is may exsisto vestri ianua ut is universitas of lux lucis."
One by one, he picked them up and fed them to the meat at the base of the cross.
The cross twisted itself upside-down.
The meat began to swell and roil, and the tips of knives, and spears and blades and metal, penetrating objects began to push themselves through its surface. The meat bled, and screamed as a chorus. It began to shudder as if it was going to vomit, and a snaking tangle of pitch black vines burst forth, covered with long, razor sharp thorns.
The vines whipped past the cross, and coiled around Herbert's wrists and feet, snatching him off of the ground. The vines hoisted him up by his ankles and pulled him to the cross, lashing him to it mercilessly.
The chapel fell dark at the front of the room.
Whispers filled the horrid darkness.
Suddenly, movement. A labored, steady sound, like someone walking through mud.
They walked out of the darkness as if they had always been there, a small army of them, wading through the tattered bodies like swimmers coming ashore.
"West! You have done us proud, West!"
The leader was tall, and thin. He had a sinewy, almost skeletal body, the color of a badly bruised corpse. His fingers were at least twice as long as they should be, all the same length, and each ended in ragged, brittle point. His eyes were the color of ice cold water, with bright red pupils burning beneath a milky, cataract haze. He had a pointed, devil nose resting above a grinning mouth that was so wide it protruded from the sides of his head like some deep sea fish, with the teeth to match.
The hateful, absurd face was nearly engulfed by the head surrounding it; a gigantic, oversized mass of knotty, glistening brain-matter struggling against a clear sac, torn here and there, pink tissue bulging forth.
He wore nothing, except for the tall, stained Bishop's hat stuck to his congealed, scabrous brain.
The others mewling and growling behind him were bloated, pink things that had thin arms and legs that looked like they had grown from their fat, greasy bodies as an afterthought. There was no seperation from the neck and head....just faces that rested on a rounded bulbs potruding from their shoulders.
Their faces were human, basically; but stretched out and pale, discolored and out-of-place like their warped bodies had just grown around them. Their rubbery lips concealed jutting rows of bony, stick-pin teeth. They too were naked except for stained chef's hats and aprons that left no doubt as to their role in the proceedings.
"You came," Herbert wheezed.
"Of course we came, West! You honor us with this gift of flesh!" The leader threw his arms open, pleased with the scene surrounding him and his troup. The chefs drooled and snarled and headed into the pews, but the leader held up a hand, eyes never leaving Herbert's. "Not yet, children! Not yet....we have to complete the communion."
He walked through the killing floor, and spotted a particularly ravaged puddle of human remains. Its intestines were strung over several pews. Broken bones protruded from what used to be flesh. He grabbed the intestine, and spun it around his hand like spaghetti on a fork.
"Sate yourselves with this until the feast, children."
The chefs pulled the knot of organs from the leader's hand and ravened it, pulling it to pieces, fighting amongst themselves, devouring it like pigs in a pen.
The leader plucked the shards of bone from what once stood as a body, and approached Herbert.
The cross raised itself so the doctor could be eye-to-eye with the creature's hateful, gleeful face.
"Are you ready, Herbert?"
"Yes! Yes, I am ready!"
The leader drove a splintered shard of bone into Herbert's left hand, then his right.
The cross lowered itself, and he drove yet another shard through the doctor's feet.
"ARE YOU READY HERBERT?!"
"Yes! Yes, oh, my lord, take me! TAKE ME!!!"
"Say it, West....say it, and be one with us....say it and be our champion!"
"NOSTRUM ABBAS QUISNAM PROFESSIO IN ABYSSUS TAKE MIHI UT EGO MAY REVERTO, QUOD SERVO VOS INSQUEQUO VOS ES VICTUM VERMIS IN CARCASS OF GOD'S PARTUM!!!"
The leader tore Herbert's shirt open, and picked up the golden cleaver. "This was forged in the blood of innocents. It has served in Hell's finest slaughterhouses and kitchens, cleaved meat for The Master himself. Now, it will serve as the key, and you the doorway to our world."
Eyes gleaming above his monkfish smile, the leader plunged the blade into Herbert's stomach, slicing up to his sternum with a single, savage yank.
The doctor's organs uncoiled and slid up his open trunk, nearly falling into his face. Tears of joy flowed from his eyes, mixing with the blood pouring out of his torso.
"It is done."
The leader spun around and howled to the others. "Prepare this meat! Prepare this meat for The Feast! A great banquet for our champion!"
The mewling creatures reached up into the darkness and pulled down giant steel hooks, attatched to chains and pulleys that seemed to come from nowhere.
One of the beasts began wheeling carts and bus trays out of the darkness.
One of the trays overflowed with carving tools, from which they all partook.
The leader watched with satisfaction as the more intact bodies and larger pieces were hooked and pulled high.
He walked over to little Angel, still playing for her very life.
He pressed the cleaver's edge against her soft throat.
"Keep playing, little Angel. Don't stop for a moment. You honor us as well."
She played on as the remains were butchered, stripped and skinned and dismembered, cut and chopped and defiled until all that remained of her family was meat.
The pulsing, unholy meat inhabiting the stage had begun to swell, and the leader knew his time was short.
He leaned in, mere inches away from the girl's face.
"Remember....not for a moment." He strode over to the doctor.
"Dear doctor, you have spit in the face of creation and have given our number pleasing bodies to inhabit in this world. You have given us this gift of flesh to consecrate this home as our own, a breeding ground for darkness in this world of light. Are we not grateful, West? Are we not generous?"
The leader grabbed a nearby chef, and pulled him over. Without so much as a word, he grabbed the cleaver and sawed off its gnarled head.
He tossed it atop the heap, which was being slowly absorbed into the putrid mass infesting the stage, licked and lapped at like stones in a red river.
"Flesh for flesh. We give you our flesh in return for yours so that you may be our champion and prepare the way. Flesh for flesh...."
He held the cleaver to his own throat.
"....And blood for blood."
The leader slashed his own throat, nearly severing his spinal collumn in a single vicious rip. He placed his hands on the side of his head and yanked it free, pulling it clean off. He held it above West, and blood poured out of the leader's mouth into the doctor's own. With this final sacrement, the meat begain to swallow the stage.
The leader stepped back, holding his own head, as the meat engulfed the cross, engulfed the doctor.
It splashed over to Angel. She tried to flee, knowing the creatures would kill her but too terrifed of the sickening tide to care, but her feet were already caught.
She fell face-first into the flesh.
"You will be taken whole, child. You are honored. Yours is a gift that will be greatly appreciated in Hell."
She tried to scream inside it, but all that came was a muffled gurgle. She struggled face-down like a fly on fly paper, but it was no use. She sank beneath the surface of the rancid flesh and was no more.
Slowly the cancerous mass seeped back beneath the stage. It crawled back into the house, into the earth, and left not a trace of itself in it's wake.
West was gone. The cross was gone. The heads were gone. It had swallowed them all and slithered back from whence it came.
The leader's body fell limp to the floor. The chef-creatures, rushed over and mindlessly devoured it. The leader didn't care.
His head floated through the air, a rudimentary, fetal body already developing at the base of it's skull.
"Gather this meat and bring it to the great hall, for the banquet! The Doctor will soon return from his baptism, and we will honor him with a great feast!
The chapel doors opened of their own accord, and the chefs carted the butchered remains of the West family away. The leader floated behind, his growing new body dangling from his neck stump, and the giant oak doors shut behind him.
The hooks and chains returned to the darkness.
And all was as it once was.
. . . . .
Somewhere in Hell, an angel wept.
She sat at the splintered, bloody piano, and played for the abominations surrounding it.
The hosts of Hell were impressed at the gift God had given her.
They were pleased that they had taken it, that it could serve them now.
A crimson tear rolled from one of the creature's peeled-grape eyes.
She had captured the sound of beauty, as surely as they had captured her.
. . . . .
Back in the chapel, the dead-leaf echo of that beauty faintly bounced off off of the collumns and arches, as the light from the dawn sun began to filter through the stained glass windows.
A light the angel could now only dream of.
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