They were in the walls, scuttling. At night I could hear their blood-sucking probes chiseling at the gyprock. They were coming. They could smell me. It had been three days.
I’d heard about them on the news, but only on the paranormal Channels. No one believed in the Scuttlers, but they would when they saw the video. They all said I was paranoid, but they’d see.
The camera was set up across the room by Freddie Fangs. Nobody fucked with Fangs, well except me of course. Stupid, stupid! But I was desperate – jonesing. I needed the money, man. I woulda fucked anybody over for one more hit. Anyone woulda done it. Anyone. Well, anyone like me anyway.
Thudding drew my attention back to the wall. The first hole appeared in the plaster. My stomach lurched. A probe slowly made its way through. It was violet, glowing in the shadowed room. It had a beeping sound. And there were black eyes at the back of it – large, scanning. Its probe seemed to be communicating with the others, letting them know that it had broken through.
Hundreds, maybe more, thundered together. The buzzing and dull thumping of their bodies made my heart beat faster. Their probes pounded and cracked at the wall – all focused on the same little spot until it split right open.
Like a blast of neon purple light, they flew right at me, three inches long, each. They were in the thousands.
My hands flew up to fend them off, but I was shackled and my arms could only go so far. As one zoomed in at my cheek another stabbed my eye. I screamed and wrestled with the chains.
Another tore into my throat and slipped under the skin, ripping up and down the inside of my neck, sending searing pain up into my face and down into my chest.
One Scuttler plunged its probe deep into my ear and pummeled in and in and in until my eardrum burst.
“Oh fuck! I shoulda picked the oil drum and the cement!” I yelled thinking it a better death.
The Scuttlers got under the rest of my skin quickly, tearing up and down my whole body, cleaning the derma off from inside until I became a raw piece of breathing meat – skinless meat. I felt like I was being burned alive, the pain so intense that it finally disappeared altogether. Shock can do that you know.
Jabs between my ribs turned into entry points and soon the Scuttlers were inside the cage of me eating my guts and organs feverishly: sucking, chomping, inhaling.
I’m not sure at what point I died. It could have been the piercing of my heart or the savage rip of my aorta, but I found it more peaceful to watch it all from above.
It was like looking at art. They were beautiful creatures with their luminescent indigo hues and gossamer orange wings. I liked watching them clean my body of its tissue. I didn’t need it any more. They were economical, using every last piece of flesh to fuel their little bodies, in turn revealing my skeleton underneath.
I didn’t have to watch my torture and death like a coward on a video. I got to watch it first-hand. It was fascinating.
Acceptance blew over me. It was good to be free of needing a hit. They set me free, these Scuttlers. Maybe they knew I was a good one to take, given all the pain and anguish.
This was the best way to die, I considered. Having been consumed by them I became a part of them and I started to enjoy the lightness of their flight and the power in their attacks.
Though I felt at peace I also felt excitement. I couldn’t wait for them to attack Freddie Fangs when he came back for his tape. He’d be expecting to see a body eaten by rats, but the rats had been ravaged long before we arrived. I was looking forward to the terror on Freddie’s face when the Scuttlers swarmed him, as they had me.
Yes, it was going to be an interesting death…