|(c) Can Stock Photo / knorre|
F is for Funghi
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A slender object emerged from the weeds, slithering across the deck towards him as other movement came from the weeds around him. He twisted the door knob in his hand, his palm slick with sweat against the cool metal surface, leaning into the door with enough force to cause the glass of bow as the door creaked in its frame.
He twisted the knob savagely back and forth as that slender object reached his booted foot, and he lifted it from the deck.
“Get away from me,” he screamed as he stomped on the object, causing it to retreat hastily, dragging its broken tip across the boards of the deck. It was then he saw other slender appendages reaching up through the narrow openings between each board. Hundreds of them it seemed. One tapped the top of his boot, probing the leather surface, and he danced away with a strangled cry of terror.
The door popped open, swinging out, and he quickly darted into the shadowy interior of the house. From behind the safety of the closed door he watched those slender tentacles as they grew from between the boards, weaving back and forth in time to the beat of a silent song. Shaken, covered in a layer of sweat that lay cold against his skin, he turned to the interior of the house, trying to put the image of those tentacles out of his mind.
It appeared he had just jumped from the frying pan into the fire. The walls of the house were covered in a lattice work of slender tentacles that moved in time with the same unheard song. They covered every available object around him save the floor that lay barren in the shadows.
From the depths of the house came that steady sound, the thrumming he’d grown quite familiar with over the time he’d been married. Like the steady beat of some massive heart it marked the passing seconds as he carefully ventured into the deeper shadows.
Coming to the foyer at the front of the house his eyes were drawn to two shadowy objects hanging in the space a crystal chandelier once occupied. Covered in a dense lattice work of small vines, it was readily obvious that beneath them he would probably find the bodies of Jack and Estelle. He felt no sorrow at their passing, only fear that he might join them unless he found a way out.
The front door was covered by a dense layer of interwoven vines that prevented him from opening the door. Among the tangled masses he spotted movement as several of the smaller vines slithered across the larger ones, securing the exit. The front windows offered no escape either as he went from one to the next, the wooden frames invisible beneath a dense layer of gray colored vines that were very much alive, though they appeared dead.
As he moved through the house he remained unaware of the steady movement behind him, vines rose from the walls stretching across to their brethren to create an impenetrable barrier. After checking the last window on the front of the house, he turned to retrace his steps, only to find his path blocked. He had no other choice, he had to continue in the direction he had been going as it was the only way open to him.
He was being corralled, directed to a destination he had yet to understand. Passing through the dining room that steady beat grew louder all around him, it was the only sound in the house, and as he passed through the room he came to the opening that led down into the bowels of the house.
That steady thrumming sound was coming from those shadowy depths and he stopped at the top of a slanted corridor fully encased by intertwined vines, some as thick as his thigh, and he knew he had reached the heart of this strange beast. From below came that familiar sound, that of the treadmill, accompanied by the running footsteps of someone, most likely Nadine, running full tilt.
The interlaced vines behind him pushed him towards that narrow opening and he tried to keep from falling into that shadowy maw. But it was no use, he was powerless against the combined strength of this alien thing, and before he knew it he was tumbling headlong down that dim corridor.
To be continued!
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