A while back worked on a short little story for a running contest at Lilja’s Library (www.liljas-library.com), an online Stephen King Fan club.I did not win, but I was happy for the challenge in writing as I normally do not ever write anything in the horror genre. I wanted to share it with you since it was doing nothing but hanging out in my computer being useless.The contest was based around a short page of art work by Chad Bourne. Essentially the story had to follow what was shown in the art. I do not have the art but you may visit http://www.liljas-library.com/article.php?id=2990 to read the winning story and if you scroll down far enough you may see the artwork. Otherwise, you’ll have to use your imagination and hopefully I have painted a good enough picture.
Welcome Home Marv
“It’s colder than a witches tit.”, Marvin thought . He flicked his cigarette, tipped the brim of his hat down and pulled his coat tighter around himself. The moon, larger than normal on this night, glowed with a honey hue and made him feel smaller and even more lonesome than normal. The shortened winter days brought about a depression in him that all the masturbation or porn in the world couldn’t cure.
Marvin was a guy. A plain, normal, boring guy. Nothing stood out about him and nothing outstanding had ever happened to him. He wasn’t overly good looking. He didn’t have groups of women breaking down his door to jump in the sack with him and he was too backwards and afraid to ask anyone out. His seclusion had made him lonely, though he chose not to think about it. Tonight however, his loneliness occupied his mind as he opened the doors of the old stone library.
He had been hired as Security at the public library after a small group of High-school students had broke in and decided to hold a party.They smashed some windows, left beer cans laying around and graffiti-ed a couple of walls. Their quotes read out, “If you can read this, well no shit! You’re in a Library!” and “ Suck my Dick-ens, Charles that is!”. Marvin liked the latter, and laughed a bit whenever he thought about it. Keeping watch was easy enough work, he was basically getting paid to read.
Another perk, and his favorite part of work was his daily observations of young, tight sweater-ed college girls reading in the library. He liked a good look, he wasn’t dead after all. He knew the girls thought that he was a dirty old man. “Hell”, he chuckled, “I probably am!” There would be no girls tonight, however. To Marvin’s dismay, winter break had taken all the tightly clad ladies away for the holidays and the library grew silent earlier than normal. The quiet couldn’t come soon enough, he looked forward to his nights alone with the books.
Tonight though, he felt restless and found himself constantly glancing at the clock, as if he were expecting someone . If that wasn’t enough, the tick-ticking of the clock sounded louder with every second. “Seriously?” Was the clock on the fritz? Walking over to it, he examined the face. He then took it off the wall, turned it over and replaced it. Thinking, he placed the tip of his fore finger in his ear and gave it a good wagging. The ticking was quieted again. “Huh, gettin’ old sucks”, sighing at this thought, he walked over to the book shelves to grab a book.
Marvin had just placed his hand on the binding of a ‘whodunit’, when something from behind the stack caught his attention. It was another book, “Surprise, surprise! ” The kids were always putting books back where they didn’t go.
He picked it up, turned it over and examined the worn corners and the well read pages. He noticed the bright red sticker on its spine that the library used to mark their books that belonged in the Horror section. With all the money their parents spent on colleges and universities, you would think college students would know how to put something away properly. Marvin bet in his mind that he spent 6 of the 12 hours he worked devoted to taking misplaced books to their correct spot.
He was about to return the book when he caught a glimpse of the author’s name, Stephen King. He had never actually read anything by him . He looked at all horror genre novels as the same, poorly written trash. However, just as he had reasoned that his daily porn appetite was healthy and neccessery to keep him from being a careless sex fiend, he had also allowed himself peeks at T.v. shows like ‘The Twilight Zone and Tales From the Darkside’. His guilty pleasure being Creepshow, is what made him examine the book more closely. Almost in a trance, he barely noticed the thing squiggling around on the book shelf and dropping to the ground.
He licked his lips, suddenly greedy to open the cover.
The clocks tick-ticking again become louder and louder. It echoed around him, no, it sounded inside him, like a heartbeat. Marvin could feel it’s reverberations inside, it excited him. His fingers and hands were greedy and wet with persperation as he read. He drew in a breath as his excitement mixed and mingled with terror.
Each word he read was as satisfying as any food or woman could have been. So engrossed was he, that Marvin once again didn’t notice the maggot-like creatures, this time both growing and dropping out of the pages and onto the ground. He didn’t see or feel them dig their way into his shoes and then plant them selves on his feet. They crawled up his neck, they wriggled down behind his collar. It was a slight twitch in his neck that made him impulsively scratch . But there, where his itch should have been, was the creature, implanted on his skin. Marvin dropped his hand quickly and looked up from his book, his eyes widened first in confusion as his brain tried to make sense of the scene .around him and on him. Then his eyes widened in horror. The creatures were everywhere. At first they had been small, now they had grown in length so that they stretched out like worms. Their movement was more like tenticles as they felt their way into any open part of Marvin. He opened his mouth to yell but found it otherwise occupied with one of the arms. His ears itched with the digging that the creatures were doing inside. His body twisted and turned and convulsed. Each thriving and pulsing was not Marvins movement but rather the creatures . It, they, whatever the creature was, had now completely taken over his body.
Marvin’s thoughts raced, some with fear, some with wonder but all with excitement. He had no control of his body, which felt strangely exhilarating and free. He was being thrown and manipulated as the creatures embedded themselves deeper and deeper into his body. He could hear himself crying. And with the wailing came another voice. “You fucking pussy! Wah, wah, wah! Cry your eyes out Marv! Yell for help! Ha ha ha ha!”
Where was it coming from ? Meanwhile, his body continued to spasm around and down the hall. He was thrown, against the door to the men’s bathroom, hitting a stall, he crumpled to the ground. Finally, his body stopped moving.
Marvin lay there, his breathing heavy and raspy. He started to moan. Again he could hear the strange voice speaking to him,
“No wonder you can’t talk to any of them tight shirted beauties in the library, look at you! Your nothing but a waste of good clean air. Your a pussy who ain’t gettin’ no pussy! Ha ha ha!!! “
The voice sounded like his own but it was stronger, deeper and very raspy. He crawled on the ground and over to the sinks. His body felt battered and every move hurt and burned deeply. Putting his hands on the edge of the porcelain sink,he pulled him self to a half standing position. The voice again started to speak,
“Hey Marve, what are you gonna do?? You come here every day, looking at the pretty girls because it brings you excitement. You’re afraid to talk to them. Whats the matter Marve?? You afraid of a little challenge?”
It began to laugh again. Marvin looked around him, searching for a source from where the voice was coming. He ran to the stalls and opened them up, nothing. From the direction of the sink he heard it again. “Maaaaarv………Maaaaarrrrv….Psst…over here. It’s not just women is it? You are afraid to try anything or just be who you are deep inside. You know, the guy you are when you turn out the lights, when no one is watching. It’s me Marv. Let me out Marv…….”
Marvin grasped the side of the sink and shook it as hard as he could. It was true. Fear had been his best friend and his worst enemy. Looking up, he caught a glance of himself in the mirror and took a step back. The face in the mirror was his, but it wasn’t. His face had changed. Where smooth rubbery skin had been, now his face was nothing but burned tissue and bone with receding lips. He knew the sudden wailing he heard was coming from him but the face in the mirror, his face, only opened it’s mouth and laughed. He could hear it mix with the wails. The voice called out to him again, “Marv, Maaaarrrrv…I am you. Let me out Marv! “ Marvin’s wailing died and the laughter grew stronger, the same laughter that had taunted him minutes before. It was true, he was the voice. He was Marv. It felt good to finally be him and not be the scared and pathetic man that years of denial and fear had turned him into. He was enjoying himself and now the whole world was opened up. The library, with it’s wealth of knowledge was his. He was the master and keeper of it. He felt liberated. It felt good. After years of not feeling at home in his own skin, he looked in the mirror and saw himself for who he was.
Marv grinned, “You’ve been missed Marv. Welcome Home!”