The Shrieking Flesh

Chapter Five

Ken Preston

29 April 2024

A German expressionist illustration of a dark angel with frayed wings.

Sylvester Erasmus-Barrett took the stairs down into the darkness, stepping with care to avoid setting off screams of protest from his hips and knees. Every day, another part of his body failed him. If it wasn’t his joints and bones, it was the soft, fleshy parts. His liver, his heart, his prostate, his eyes, his life had become a never ending litany of failing organs and crumbling bones.

At the bottom of the steep stairs, he paused to catch his breath and let his eyes adjust to the gloom. A faint ticking filled the silence, like the sound of a stilled car engine cooling down.

‘Hello?’

His voice bounced off the bare walls before being swallowed up by the dark.

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