The Veil IC

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Keiro, Dec 1, 2014.

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  1. The clock ticked over to 7am and the alarm started ringing. A hand immediately shot out from the sheets and slammed down onto it, silencing the noise. The arm flew backwards and threw the sheets revealing the person beneath. With bleary eyes heavy with black bags Edward pushed himself up off the bed. It had been three months since he had slept properly thanks to his new vision and his body was suffering for it. His movements were jerky and robotic as he swung his legs from the bed and stood up.

    He ignored the mirror on his wall and left the room, walking down the hallway and straight into the kitchen. He kept his eyes on the ground and refused to glance at the wall or the furniture. Entering the kitchen he was greeted by its cold, dirty familiarity. The tiles that covered the floor were discoloured and there were cracks running all over the floor. The walls had also once been white yet were now stained by god knows what and multiple drips leaked from the ceiling.

    Searching through his cupboards he managed to find one undamaged bowl but had to settle for a cracked cup. Grabbing a box of Crunchy Nut he poured it into the bowl, very thankful the food looked normal and not half rotted. Quickly topping the bowl off with some slightly off smelling milk he dropped into a chair and began to eat quickly.
    On the table next to him was a glass vase filled with decayed leaf matter in a pool of stagnant water. He had tried replacing it a week ago with fresh flowers but it had taken only a day for them to age a year and start decaying. Now he just let it sit there as a reminder of the new world. Strangely it was one of the few things in his house he could look at without breaking down. The cereal rapidly disappeared and he poured the remainder of the milk down the sink, unable to stomach it on its own.

    Dropping the bowl into the sink he walked back down the hall and into his bathroom. Taking off his pyjamas he stepped into the shower and turned the taps on. The pipes gurgled for a few seconds before the showerhead coughed out two short bursts of tepid water and went silent. He sighed and got back out of the shower knowing there would be no water for a while. Going into the bedroom dry he pulled out a suit and dressed.

    Picking up his briefcase from beside his bed Edward finally left his house. Outside the air was filled with the smell of sulphur, not particularly strong but on the edge of every breath. He walked around the corner and unlocked his battered commodore. Half of the red paint had flaked off revealing the corroded metal beneath. Climbing in he turned the keys in the ignition and the engine spluttered into life. Reversing out he started the trip to work.

    His apartment was in the south east and was fairly close to the City Centre where he worked. Despite this there was plenty of decay visible along the way. Three buildings along the route were now just piles of rubble and he had to constantly swerve to avoid potholes in the road. Each ruin smelt horrible and he knew that was likely from the bodies still trapped within. He made sure to keep the windows up whenever he was driving now.
    As usual the City Centre was packed with traffic and he soon came to a standstill. Erben had a focus on underground parking which was a great space saver yet created bottlenecks at every entrance and exit. It took him an hour to get into the underground complex for his building and find a spot.

    He walked through the car park avoiding the dark splotches where the lights had simply died or in rare cases exploded. A couple fluttered as he walked by but they all held for now. The inside of the building was just as bad. In the car park the bad lighting hid the effects of the decay but the bright light of the sun highlighted them in their glory. The plaster of the walls had turned to dust in many places revealing the rusted supports in the walls. It was no wonder buildings were collapsing everywhere.
    In the lobby he took one look at the stairs that led upwards. The bannister was gone and the stairs themselves had holes or were missing completely in places. He chose to trust the elevator’s cable even if he couldn’t see it. Arriving at the eighth floor he walking to his office and collapsed into his work chair. His computer was a pile of slag having melted a month ago without anyone noticing. Somehow he still had a job despite the fact he spent eight hours doing nothing. Making sure his door was closed he put his head in his hands and began to sob, praying for normality to return.
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  2. Astrid hated having the room to herself. Terra's movements should have filled it. There should have been the simple sound of her twin's breathing. There always had been something so impossibly different between the twins though. Astrid opened her eyes and sat up.

    The bed she slept on had rusted through some weeks prior, but of course no one would listen to her say that quite obviously something was very wrong with it. Terra's bed was non-existent. At least for Astrid she still had a mattress. Not that Terra's bed existing or not mattered. Terra wasn't there. Oh of course everyone had an excuse. She obviously crashed at Sarah's house last night. Or had gotten up early, or wasn't ready for bed. Or any number of excuses as to why Terra and Astrid hadn't been in the same room for a whole week. Astrid was certain that was a record. Even Sarah, surprised that she was that Astrid was talking to her, had had an excuse for why Terra wasn't around.

    Astrid ignored that nagging feeling that something truly awful was seconds from happening. That feeling had been persisting for weeks. Long before Terra had disappeared even. Astrid had at first thought Terra missing meant that terrible thing had come, but that feeling didn't leave, and Terra didn't come home.

    Jake knocked on Astrid's door. "I've got breakfast ready." He said through the door. Astrid left the room that was way too empty to go to the kitchen that was also much too empty to be Astrid's home. Astrid looked down at the oatmeal her dad had made. He had added all the things she liked, and whatever terrible thing was happening had added a few ingredients of its own. Astrid's stomach turned.

    "I'm not hungry, I'll grab something at school. Thanks though." She left the kitchen quickly not wanting to see her dad's face fall at the turned down meal, the third in a row. Astrid got ready and left the house that was decaying around her. She didn't have any classes until 11, but she couldn't stand the smell of the house. It was rotting and no one noticed. Jake was usually really good about keeping up the house, nothing stayed broken. Astrid couldn't remember a time when a pipe busted and Jake hadn't fixed it. She even remembered the time the roof leaked when she was eight and it rained on her and Terra. Jake, that very night, fixed the roof. Sarah had gotten mad at him for not fixing it sooner. Said Terra could have gotten sick. She didn't defend Astrid, she never did. Astrid preferred it that way.

    The college wasn't any different from the house though. Everything was in various stages of falling apart. A bench that Astrid had sat in the day before was rotted now. She had to jump a step on the way into the cafeteria, it was cement, but had crumbled some weeks prior. Astrid skipped over absentmindedly now.

    In the cafeteria she spent several minutes picking over the food to find something that hadn't turned. When she did she bought it and found a chair that had all four legs. There she ate mulling over her missing sister and the decay around her.
  3. "Hmm..." Amon mumbled, as he kneeled down to examine the ground. His magnifying glass in hand, he held it over the grime and mold in the corner, scratching his chin in confusion.

    "Mr. Gilmore?"

    "Hmm..." Amon continued, failing to notice the voice as he ran over the thoughts in his head. What on Earth could be so special about this mold that allowed only him, as far as he knew, to see it?

    "Mr. Gilmore!"

    "Hmm...?" Amon shifted his gaze upwards, seeing none other than his manager staring him down with an irritated gaze.

    "Gilmore, what the bloody hell are you doing?" Charlie, the manager, grunted. Amon already knew well enough that there was no point in explaining the truth to him. Last time he'd tried, the manager told him not to spout such drivel again under threat of getting fired. Amon gulped nervously, before attempting to put on an innocent smile.

    "Oh, you know... just checking for mold and such," he said half-truthfully. Charlie tapped his foot on the ground impatiently, no doubt getting tired of the antics.

    "You know that's not your job, Gilmore. You've got a delivery."

    Amon hastily rose to his feet, eager to get a little bit of extra pay. Charlie crossed his arms. "You're not going to lose the pizza this time, right?"

    Amon simply nodded in affirmation. Charlie sighed. "One more time and you're fired," he said before handing his employee a slip of paper with the address of the customer. Amon dashed out of the storage room, pocketing his magnifying glass. He didn't need it to see the rot all around him.

    The entire pizza shop smelled of moldy, rotten pizza, and the building itself looked almost abandoned. There were holes in the ceiling, revealing the roof's foundation and threatening to collapse the upper floor upon him. The customers who sat at the tables at the front of the shop wolfed down pizza slices made with stale bread, moldy cheese, as well as an assortment of other nasty toppings. Worst of all, Amon's fellow employee George had lost almost all of his hair, and seemed to slowly be turning a sickening shade of light blue in the face. The man still manned the register, seeming rather exhausted but otherwise unfazed by the gross transformations his body had undergone.

    By this point, however, Amon too was unfazed. He had prepared himself beforehand by stopping his nose up! Though this made him look somewhat silly for breathing through his mouth all the time, he didn't care. It was certainly better than that terrible stench. The pizza he had to deliver, a large-sized pepperoni pizza, was already waiting for him in a box at the counter where George stood. Amon gripped the box, surprised that it actually stayed intact this time, and rushed outside to find his once-trusty-now-rusty scooter. Luckily for him, the thing was still in good enough condition to function properly, but the rust quickly developing as the white paint peeled away was not helping at all.

    Strapping the pizza box to the back seat of the scooter, Amon carefully mounted it, making sure not to accidentally damage it further, and started it up. Soon he was on the road, with the note of the customer's address stuck to the front of the scooter so he would remember. Of course, despite the location's close proximity to the pizza shop, the journey there was no easy task. The roads were ragged, riddled with potholes and cracks which he had to swerve to avoid. Erben's streets were always busy, so Amon was quickly swept up in traffic, much to his annoyance. A lot of horn-blaring and annoyed shouting later, he finally managed to break free of the long line, which had apparently been held up by a car accident.

    He caught a glimpse of it as he drove by; some blood was splattered on the rusted, clearly broken down cars, and several bodies covered in white blankets were being rolled into the back of an ambulance with gurneys. The sight unnerved Amon. He had seen dead bodies in photos for a couple of cases he'd done in the past, but never had he been this close to one. Not to mention, it didn't look like there were any survivors.

    Amon finally arrived at the customer's house, the memory of that disturbing accident only just beginning to fade. Checking his watch, he grinned as he'd arrived just on time. Pizza in hand, he walked up to the old-looking, decrepit house and knocked on the door. On the third knock, his hand just went right through the rotten wood of the door. Through the hole he had created, he could see a figure approaching, apparently not having noticed that his door had just been broken.

    The door swung open to reveal a grotesque sight. A fat, pudgy man in only a pair of jeans stood at the door, revealing his decidedly hairy and blubbery chest. However, this was the best of his attributes. His skin appeared to be slowly peeling off even as he stood there, and his eyes were facing two different directions much like a gecko's, but clearly less natural and focused. He appeared to be missing his eyelids, had an excess of hair growing from his head and chin, and worst of all seemed to be limping because of a terribly misshapen foot. Amon could only imagine what the horrid man must have smelled like. He was more thankful for his nose plugs now than ever.

    "Eugh," Amon reflexively said as soon as the sight met his eyes. The man--if you could even call him that--seemed positively offended.

    "Excuse me?" he said, in a surprisingly normal voice. "Are you here for my pizza or wot?"

    "Um... yeah," Amon croaked, holding out the pizza to him as if he were some sort of dangerous animal. "That'll be... twenty pounds please."

    The fat man, still with a scowl on his peeling face, proceeded to pull a wallet out of his jeans. Amon looked behind the man, at what might be in the house, as an attempt to break away from the sight. He wasn't sure, but he thought he could see a great number of flies over in the living room, all buzzing around the outline of a human being on a sofa.

    "Here," the man said, holding out a twenty pound note. In reality the pizza costed twenty pounds fifty seven pence, but it would be easier not to come into contact with the man if all he had to do was take a note. He would supply the extra money himself if it meant saving him the horror. The man took the pizza, luckily not coming into contact with Amon. However when Amon took the money, the man shifted forward a bit, causing the man's grimy, rough hand to gently brush against Amon's. The texture of the thing sent a shiver down Amon's spine, and sure enough he was back on his scooter and driving away within two seconds, leaving the strange zombie-man annoyed and confused.

    He had gone through many possibilities in his head: some kind of virus, an undetectable gas, a new microscopic organism, but none of them accounted for the fact that he could see these things whilst others could not. The key, he reasoned, was to find out what made him an exception from everyone else. Perhaps then he would find a clue as to why all Erben was slowly being eaten away.

    This was undoubtedly Detective Amon Gilmore's greatest case yet. No way was he going to be deterred.
  4. Erben.

    He hadn't been back here since his sister Maria married off a decade ago and moved here. He remembered pristine greenery and clean streets. Not this wreck. Everywhere he looked, Norman Ebayan only saw rot and ruin. The streets were riddled with potholes, the pastry he was munching on was dry and stale even when it should have been freshly made, the air smelled fetid, and even the people appeared disheveled and ashen.

    It was not a new sight to him. Even back in the US, he had been seeing things like this for the last three months. At first, people thought he was just not getting enough sleep. Eventually, they started to think he was crazy. And further down the line, even Norman began to question his sanity. When he began seeing Maria at random street corners, skeletal and half-decayed like a corpse laid out in the sun too long, calling out for him to come to Erben...well, at that time, Norman had enough.

    Now here he was, halfway around the world, and still seeing rot and decay wherever he went.

    He wandered the shops of the City Centre, searching for his sister. She worked as one of the administrators for the building, a decent job if a touch on the boring side, but when he asked around, no one seemed to remember who she was. After two hours of meandering, Norman settled in the food court, grabbed a burger, and settled down for lunch.

    He frowned distastefully at his meal. The thing was full of worms to his eyes and smelled foul. Around him, the other patrons tucked into their food, seemingly heedless of the beetles, flies, and maggots crawling out of their meals. Norman tossed the burger onto the tray, his appetite gone.
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