The Monster Factory by @ShipleyShipley is a Celebrate Fathers pick #horror #ya #fathersday #giveaway
Title: The Monster Factory
Author: Sharon Shipley
Genre: Coming-of-Age Horror
A curmudgeonly Viet Nam vet, is more a dad to a lonely young boy, than his own stepfather; the two joining forces against impossible odds, to save a town from a voracious soulless monster, born of ecological sludge—to find the most terrifying monster, is much closer than their worst nightmares.
Danno crouched between rusty lumps of machinery too frozen to move, surrounded by fetid dark, alive with skittering un-namables, and for once, not whinging. He jumped up at the sound of Will-Fred anxiously calling his name, bawling outraged, as only a three-year-old can, "Wiw-wy? Not pwaying, no more!"
Clambering on his short plump legs over rubbish, Danno fatally crossed the broken Grate, and in doing so, snagged his precious Red Ked in-between the busted scroll-work—a space just made for the entrapment of a chubby little foot.
He pulled at it, however the plumpness of his toes, the welting of the shoe, the knotted laces, and fat rubber sole, all conspired for the Grate's metal claws of broken bits, to hold him firm.
Outside, Elmo grabbed Will-Fred. "Wait! Gotta get dad's flashlight! He'll kill me."
"Forget about that. Where'd the little dweeb go!" Will-Fred hissed, "Danno! Where are you!"
"I'm 'tuck!" Danno wailed. "Come get me, Wi - wy. My foot 'tuck. Scared!"
Will-Fred made out a dim fan of light. Elmo's fallen Big-D flashlight fluttered weakly on Danno's terrified face. He resembled a round little Halloween pumpkin.
"Over there. By your brother!" Elmo pointed. The flashlight snuffed like a candle blew out, or something blew it out.
To give them credit, Will-Fred and Elmo stumbled blind toward Danno's muffled sobs, where SlugThing awaited with Its maw, or gelatinous dripping opening, stretched glue-ily wide, with long lines of viscous mucous-y stuff stringing top to bottom right below Danno's foot, as It's 'eye' dim-glowed, focusing muzzily on the little boy's twisted Red Ked in The Grate.
Perversely, out of nowhere, a Rag-Thing fluttered, like a great gray bat wrapping Danno's face, plastering his mouth. Danno sucked in, clawing blind.
Involuntarily, Will-Fred nervously whistled his irritating ragged triple-note, "Schreeeee-ooooo! Here, Danno! Over here!"
Danno's muffled voice wavered. "Mmmmmphhhh! Come get me! Can't bweave!"
Below floor, SlugThing heaved up for Danno's foot, dazzled in Its limited way, if that was the correct description for the murky pinkish smear of Danno's Ked the monster detected—by the unexpected color, a hue It had never perceived before.
Irresolute, It wove 'angrily' side to side at the sound of Will-Fred's shrill irritating whistle.
Above floor, RagThing fluttered off, while SlugThing dithered, Its mass wobble-weaving side to side, giving off stench-filled belches, as RagThing returning like an insane Bird of Prey, clung like duct tape on Danno's face. Sputtering, Danno dragged it off with his fat little fingers, once more, panicking, but worse, the twisting motion plunged him halfway through The Grate, his cries dimming, as RagThing wafted off in fetid night air.
SlugThing viewing the amorphous pinkish mass closer, reared again for Danno, elongating Its bulk, never mind the rasping, jarring whistle that sent shudders like cut-glass through Its bulk, as above, the junk-swarm wavered attracted as if heat-seeking missiles by SlugThing's 'pull', to the boys, racing and leaping hurdles of junk for Danno. A metal shard pinned Elmo's shirt against one of The Factory's rotting wood stanchions.
Will-Fred feinted, as sharp bits, old bolts a rusty tin-snips, stopped short of his face, batting them furiously away while scrabbling blind to where Danno disappeared.
Elmo yanked the metal spike fixing his shirt to the post—how will he explain that to mom, who seemed in another world, and irrelevant anyhow for the first time in his sheltered life.
Will-Fred fanned Elmo's fading penlight on Danno's fat little fingers, watching them whiten around a pipe below The Grate and his pale frightened moon face looking up...
as a gummy yawn...
under the little boy. His brother.
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Brings to life, childhood, in sleepy small towns across America in the 1980's for those who remember it, and those who only dream it.
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Runs June 15 – June 23, 2021.
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I live and write in Myrtle Beach and frequent far too many, 'All You Can Eat Crab Shacks'.
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