The Bonescribe

I haven’t been writing much lately as I don’t have a novel idea at the moment. I’ve finished off the Knights of Elevar series and next week I’m going to start editing my Nanowrimo entry from last year, so that will take up a big chunk of my time. In the meantime I’ve been writing the occasional 500-ish word piece to keep the practice in. This is title “The Bonescribe”. I like it, but I think the horror is a bit lacking. Then again, I have just read Chuck Palahnuik’s Guts, so maybe I’m comparing it to that.

Background image courtesy of Darryll DeCoster.

The Bonescribe took his time looking over the naked body of the man, taking in the wiry frame, the sparse muscles. Sweat soaked and covered in mud. The man arched his back from the table, strained his thin muscles against the thick leather cords that bound him at ankle, wrist, waist and throat. He looked over at the tall silhouette of the Bonescribe and muttered.

“You bastard,” rasped the words, raw and aching from his dessicated throat.

The shadow of the Bonescribe passed over him as the creature walked across the dingy little room and stood behind him, out of sight. He coughed as he forced his head round, the rough edge of the leather restraint cutting deeper into his throught. If he could just… But no.

The hand of the Bonescribe clamped onto the top of his head, the sharp nails digging into his skin. It twisted his head, turning him to face the ceiling. With a sudden gasp forced from his throat, he felt the neck restraint pull tighter, holding his head in place.

“They know where I am,” he croaked, “They’re coming for you.”

The Bonescribe’s palm rested against his cheek, the skin surprisingly soft and warm. He felt a rag pressed against his lips, the smell of blood forcing a choked sob to escape from him. The Bonescribe forced the rag harder against him, parting his lips with the pressure, the texture of the cloth rough against his gums. He tasted blood — his own — rich and tangy, sliding from his lip, between his teeth and trickling into his mouth. The Bonescribe stroked his eyebrow with its soft skinned thumb and looked him in the eye. The blue eyes looking down on him shone with a cold gleam against the parchment-white complexion of the creature’s face. The man gasped at the callous indifference of the gaze and tried to scream as he felt the cloth forced the rest of the way into his mouth. The taste of ancient blood and filth filled him, obliterating his sense of taste and smell, as tears ran down his cheeks.

The creature left him strapped there, staring at the ceiling. He tried to scream, his mouth full of the cloth. He counted his breaths, onetwothreefour. Too fast. He tried to slow his breathing, to calm himself. One two three four. The creature busied itself elsewhere. He could hear its slow, ponderous movements nearby. One, two, three, four. Something scraping against something else. One. Two. Three. Four. Metal against stone.

The pain started like a white hot fire burning down his forearm. He screamed against the rag, his sobs muffled. He felt blood, hot and wet pouring from his arm, quickly matched by the piss, hot and wet, around his groin. He stretched his head forward, the leather strap cutting his neck, forcing the breath from him. He could see… almost. Where his arm should be was a smooth white bone, with slabs of fresh meat by its side. Metal pins glinted in the light, holding the meat of his arm to one side.

Beyond that stood the Bonescribe, a scalpel in one hand, its arm soaked in blood. His blood. It turned away from him to put the scalpel on the bench, just out of view, the light clatter of the tool in the metal tray almost lost to his ears. The creature turned back to him, a small metal hammer in one hand, a thick metal chisel in the other.

It placed the chisel against the bone of his forearm and readied the hammer against it. The cold blue eyes of the creature looked over to him.

“This may hurt a little,” it rasped.

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Stoo Goff

Stoo Goff is a writer, musician and programmer hailing from Norwich and now living in Glasgow. When not buried beneath a mountain of programming code or torturing guitars he can be found creating strange new lands and conjuring dreams from nothing. He regularly promises himself that he will finish the next novel and album.

He is heavily influenced by a number of writers and musicians, including: Tom Waits, Ursula Le Guin, Trent Reznor, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Gene Wolfe, Frank Miller and a host of Finnish Folk Metal.

Follow him on Twitter @stoogoff.