The Underneath | A Bizarro Flash of Horror

{ 691 words }

Ramsey noticed the mole on his left arm while in the shower earlier that morning, but his mind didn’t quite register what it was through the morning maze of his 6 A.M. mind.  At the time the previous night’s dreams lingered tenuously in his consciousness like intangible, fragmented ghosts.

Now, while he sat at his small gray cubicle ready to assume the role of corporate worker ant, he eye-balled the thing.  He observed that it was dark tan in color, round in shape and entirely . . . new.  The mole had not been there last month, nor a week ago, and most certainly not just yesterday.

Yet there it sat on the inner side of his forearm halfway between his wrist and elbow.

Ramsey looked around the office bullpen to see if anyone was paying him any attention.  Lunch hour had arrived so the office became relatively spare of people, save for the other loners who ate at their desks like he did.  He put his chicken salad sandwich down and surveyed the mole again.

Then he picked at it.  Strangely, there was no feeling.  Perhaps a bit of pressure, but no pain.

Two hours or so later while on his last break of the day, he picked at it again in the elevator.  That delivered a pleasant feeling, so he gently picked at it again.  This time it tickled and smiled.

Later, during his drive home from work the mole started to itch.  Ramsey looked away from the road to scratch at it.  He noticed that it seemed to have gotten bigger since the last time he glanced at it.

That’s peculiar.

He was anxious to get a better look at the thing.

Once home, he heard a voice.  An internal voice . . . in his head.

Look at it, the voice said.  He did.  What he found surprised him.  The round mole, which was once small and tan, and later only slightly bigger, had now grown to the size of a nickel and had darkened to a rich brown color on his pale skin.  It also appeared to be raised; no longer as flat as it was previously.  He fingered it in disbelief.  It began to itch again.  Gone was that tickling sensation from earlier.

He scratched at it and grimaced from the resulting pain.

The voice in his head told him that the truth was underneath and that he had to see it.

From his bathroom Ramsey gathered cotton swabs, tweezers and antiseptic.  Before he could even apply the tweezers to it, the mole—or whatever the hell it was—began throbbing.  It surged with an intense pain that brought him to his knees.

He clawed at the thing with desperation to get it to stop hurting, but that only made it more excruciating and the pain bowled him over onto the hardwood floor.  He must have gotten through the damn thing because his crimson blood began a steady trickle.

Look!  Look underneath!  The truth awaits you!!!

Afraid to look, yet Ramsey allowed his curiosity of what lay beneath his skin get the better of him.  He pulled back the blood-red and blackening surface of the blemish, which was now the diameter of an old fifty-cent piece.

Once he peeled the mole-skin back he saw an eyeball staring back at him.  He shuddered at this revelation, shook his arm as if to dislodge it.  Yet still it sat nestled there inside his arm.  The whites of the eye were bloodshot, and the iris was icy-blue with a tiny black pupil.  However, it didn’t stay that way.  In an instant the eye transformed: the white was now black, the blue now red, and the pupil became a pointy reptilian or cat-like slit.

In another instant the pupil dilated and inside the pupil was the image of Ramsey naked and chained in an X formation against a fiery backdrop.  By that point the searing pain had given way to numbness.

Ramsey became convinced that if he was not already in Hell, or hadn’t gone completely insane, he was fast on his way.

Written in 2010. A slightly different version of this story was previously featured in Like Frozen Statues of Flesh, a print anthology published in July 2011 by Static Movement, edited by Joe Jablonski. This re-published edition exists for electronic access and online archiving, and is intended for reading and reviewing purposes only — any other unauthorized use or dissemination is strictly prohibited.

This edition is copyright © 2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved.

Cover designed by Brandon L. Rucker and copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved. | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

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