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 Saigetsu: The Hole

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PostSubject: Saigetsu: The Hole   Sun May 22, 2011 11:54 pm

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H ell’s Asshole was no place anyone could grow comfortable to. Appropriately, the Hole was the lowest extremity of the prison. The entrance to the prison was a demonic visage carved from jagged black fiberglass. Prisoners were marched straight into its open mouth, down a ramp often made slick by fear loosened bladders. In the Hole itself, the stone carver’s art had been eschewed for the sheer visceral fears evoked by tight spaces, the dark, heights, the eerie howling of the wind rising from the depths, and the knowledge that every prisoner with whom you shared the Hole had been deemed unworthy of a clean death. The Hole was unrelentingly hot and reeked of brimstone and human waste in the three forms. Their shit. Their dead. And their unwashed flesh. There was only a single torch, far overhead, on the other side of the grate that separated the demonic animals from the rest of the prisoners.
Eleven men and one woman shared the Hole with Saigetsu. They hated him for his knife and for his powerful body and for his cultured accent. Somehow, even in this nightmare menagerie of freaks and twist, he was different, isolated. Saigetsu sat with his back to the wall. There was only one wall because the Hole was a circle. In the middle was a hole five paces wide that opened into a chasm. The chasm’s sides were perfectly vertical, perfectly sheer fiberglass. There was no guessing how deep it was. When the prisoners kicked their waste into the hole, they heard no sound. The only thing that escaped the Hole was the deep stench of a sulphuric hell and the intermittent wailing made by the wind or the ghosts or the tortured souls of the dead or whatever it was that made that sanity breaking sound.
At fist, Saigetsu had wondered why his fellows would defecate against the wall and only later. If ever. Kick the feces down the hole. The first time he had to go, he knew. You’d have to be insane to squat down the Hole. You couldn’t do anything down here that made you vulnerable. When one inmate had to move past another, he shuffled quickly and suspiciously, snarling and hissing and cursing in such strings that the words lost meaning. Pushing another inmate into the Hole was the easiest way to kill. What made it worse that the shelf of rock that circled the Hole was only three paces wide and the ground slanted down towards the Hole. That shelf was all the world to the Holers. It was thing, slippery slope to death. Saigetsu hadn’t slept in the seven days since he dropped into Hell’s Asshole. He blinked his eyes. Seven days. He was starting to get weak. Even Grim, who got most of the last meat, hadn’t eaten in four days.
“You’re bad luck, Thirteen,” Grim was the only one who called him Thirteen. The rest had accepted the name he’d given himself in a moment of madness: King.
“You mean since you ate the last guard?” Saigetsu asked. “You think that might have something to do with it?” that got chuckles from everyone except Gnash the simpleton, who just smiled blankly through teeth filed to sharp points. Grim said nothing, just kept chewing and stretching the rope on his hands. The man already wore an entire coil of rope that was so thick it almost obscured a frame as sinewy as the ropes themselves. Grim was the most feared of the inmates. Saigetsu wouldn’t call him the leader because that would have implied that the inmates had a social order. The men were like beasts: shaggy, their skin so dirty he couldn’t guess what color they had been before their imprisonment, eyes wild, ears alert to the slightest sound. Everyone slept light. They’d eaten two men the day he’d arrived.
Arrived? I jumped in. I could have had a nice clean death. Now I’m here forever, or at least until they eat me. They’ll eat me. He was distracted from his rising horrow and despair by motion on the other side of the Hole. It was Jill. She alone didn’t cling to the wall. She was heedless of the hole, fearless. A man reached out and grabbed her dress. “Not now, Jake,” she told the one eyed man. Jake held on for a moment more, but when she lifted an eyebrow at him, he dropped his hand and cursed. Jill sat down next to Saigetsu. She was a plain woman, her age indeterminate. She didn’t speak for a long time. Then, when the interest in why she had moved had subsided, she scratched at her crotch absently and said, “what you gonna do?” Her voice was young.
“Im going to get out, and Im going to kill Aliene,” he said.
“You hold onto that King shit,” she said. “Make ‘em think you’re crazy. I see you looking round like a little boy lost. You’re living with the filth of hell. You want to keep living, you be a monster. You want to hold onto something, you bury it deep. Then do what you gotta.” She patted his knee and went over to Jake.
In moments, Jake was rutting on top of her. The animals didn’t care. They didn’t even watch.
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887 words | 976 exp | 887 pwc


Last edited by peruviankokane on Sun May 22, 2011 11:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Saigetsu: The Hole   Sun May 22, 2011 11:56 pm

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A fter maybe twelve days, maybe fifteen, maybe it only felt like so many, Saigetsu finally surrendered to sleep. In his dream he heard voices. They were whispering, but in the stone environs of the Hole, every whisper carried.
“He’s got a knife.”
“If we all take him, It doesn’t matter. Look how much meat there is on him!”
“Quiet,” someone said. Saigetsu knew he should move, should check his knife, should wake up, but he was so tired. He couldn’t stay awak forever. It was too hard. He thought he heard a woman’s voice, screaming through a hand coversing her mouth. There was a slap and the scream stopped. Then there was another slap and another and another.
“Easy, Grim. You kill Jill, we’ll fuckin’ gut you. She’s the only whore we got.”
Grim cursed Snarffle, then said, “You scream again, bitch, and I’ll rip out your hair and your fingernails. You don’t need those to fuck. Got it?”
Then the voice faded, and the heat faded, and the howling faded, and the stink faded, and Saigetsu was truly dreaming. He was dreaming of a wedding. His wedding. He was married to a girl he barely knew, but as he talked in their bedchamber, as nervouse as the beautiful eighteen year old girl across from him, he felt sudden hope blossom in his heart. This girl was a woman he could love, and inexplicably, she was his. A king needed a wife and one day, his queen, and he knew he could love her.
Minta’s dead. Stop this. He saw in her big eyes that she could love him, too. That their marriage bed would not be a place of duty, but one of joy. Her cheeks colored as he stared at her as his wife. His eyes claimed her. Not arrogantly, but confidently, gently, accepting her and rejoicing in her beauty. And when he pulled her close, she folded into him. Her lips were hot. Then, it seemed like only a second later, they were still kissing, still taking off each other’s clothes, and feet were pounding up the stairs toward their room. Saigetsu was pulling back from her and the door burst open. Shadows poured into the room -
Saigetsu’s eyes snapped open and his fists flew as bodies landed on top of him.
As far as fights go. This is pathetic.
Saigetsu hadn’t eaten in two weeks, so he was as weak as a pup. But the other inmates, aside from the meat they;d gorged on a few weeks ago, had been subsisting on bread and water for months or years. Probably ever since the awakening. They were gaunt, hollow shadows of the men they had once been, so the fight proceeded slowly and clumsily.
Saigetsu heaved one man off and punched another across the jaw, but two more were there instantly, their flesh made slick and muddy by their filth and their sweat. Grim landed on Saigetsu’s hip while Jake tore at Saigetsu’s face with long nails. Shaking another man off, Saigetsu fought his way to his feet and flung Jake off. The man fell into the Hole and disappeared. Just like that, the fight was over.
“What’d you do that for?” Snarffles asked, “We could have used that meat. You fucker, you threw away meat.”
For a moment, their fury crested and Saigetsu thought they would attack him again. He reached to his hip to pull out the knife. It was gone. On the other side of the hole, Grim looked at him. He picked his bloody, scurvied gums with the point of the kife. Time was on his side, now. Saigetsu had thought the Holers had no society, but he’d been wrong. There were camps down here, too. The holers were split into the animals and the monsters, the weak and the strong. Grim led the animals, who ranked mostly according to their crimes. The monsters were Yimbo, a big-boned red-haired fox demon whose tongue had been cut out; Tatts, a pale skinned demon covered in tattoos who could speak but never did; and Gnash, a misshapen simpleton with massive shoulders and a twisted spine and teeth filed to sharp points. The monsters survived only though the others’ fear of them, and their willingness to fight.
Now, as they all starved, the tenuous society was breaking down. Saigetsu had no friends, no knife, no place. Among the animals, he was now a wolf without a pack. Among the monsters, he was a dog without his steel tooth. He had tried to see the inmates as men. Men debased and humiliated and reviled and evil, but men. He tried to see in them something good, some image within them of their gos or god who made them. But in the shadows of the Hole, he saw only animals and monsters.
Saigetsu went and sat by Gnash. The man gave him a simpleton’s smile made horrible by his filed teeth. Then there was a sound that made everyone freeze. Footsteps resounded through the corridor above the asshole. Saigetsu slipped into the one narrow overhang that would hide him from view as a torch-illumined face appeared over them. “I’ll be,” the guard said. He was black-haired, pale, and hulking, with a smashed nose. The guard opened the grate but kept a close eye on the inmates fifteen feet below him. Grim didn’t even unlimber his ropes.
“Figured a few of you would have died by now,” the guard said. “Thought you’d be real hungry.” He reached into a sack pulled out a large loaf of bread. Every inmate looked at him with sucj longing that he laughed. “Well, then, here you go.” The guard tossed them the loaf, but it sailed into the hole. The prisoners cried out, thinking it was a mistake. The guard produced another loaf and tossed it into the hole too. The prisoners crowded around the hole, even Grim and Jill. The next loaf bounced off of Snarffles’s fingertips and he almost fell in after it.
The guard laughed. He locked the grate and walked away, whistling a cheery tune. Several of the inmates wept. He didn’t come back. The days passed in agony. Saigetsu had never known such debilitating weakness.
Four nights later. If the term wasn’t meaningless, Saigetsu thought of it as night because most of the holers called noon, Grim cut one of his pedophiles’ throats. In moments, everyone was awake and fighting over the body. When Snarffles started beating on Gnash to try to get the man to let go of some bloody scrap Saigetsu preferred not to identify, Gnash dropped the scrap and attacked him. Snarffles tried to fight him off, but Gnash sank his filed teeth into the man’s neck.
In the ensuing fight over the body, and entire leg was thrown clear and landed next to Saigetsu. When Scab came after it, Saigetsu snatched it up. To his own horror, he stared Scab down until the man turned and left. Saigetsu took the leg back to the wall and wept, because no matter how hard he looked at it, he saw meat.
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1.190 words | 1.327 exp | 1.190 pwc
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PostSubject: Re: Saigetsu: The Hole   Sun May 22, 2011 11:58 pm

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T he first weeks in Hell’s Asshole had been the darkest, before Saigetsu had become a monster. He’d made his bargains with the devil and with his own body. He’d eaten the meat that came to him that awful day, and when Grim had killed Scab, Saigetsu had eaten flesh again. Saigetsu had to kill Long Tom for the meat, and that killing had made him a monster. Being a monster made him safe. But he wasn’t content to be safe. He wasn’t content to merely survive. Saigetsu lived with the feral, primal side of himself, but he wouldn’t let that be all he was. He shared his meat. He’d given some to Jill, not for sex as the other Holers did, but for decency. She’d given him the advice that kept him sane. He also shared with the other monters: Tatts and Yimbo and Gnash. He kept the choicest parts for himself. At least the choicest parts he could bear to eat. Arms and legs were one thing, but eats a man’s heart, his brains, his eyes, cracking his bones to suck the marrow, that Saigetsu wouldn’t do. It was thin line, and one he knew he would cross if things got much worse, but for now, he’d sunk deep enough, so he shared for squeamishness and he shared for nobility.
It was his first step to reclaiming him humanity. Grim would kill him the first chance he had. The monsters didn’t care, so it was still possible to get them on his side. It wouldn’t be loyalty, but anything might make all the difference. Gnash was a different story. Saigetsu stayed close to Gnash. He figured that the simpleton was the least likely to betray him, although he’d learned early on why Gnash had been given his name. Every night, gnash ground his teeth. It was so loud that Saigetsu was surprised the man had molars left. The third week in, Saigetsu woke to the sudden silence of Gnash’s teeth and listened in the darkness. Gnash was listening, and his ears must have been better than Saigetsu’s, because a moment later. Saigetsu heard footsteps.
Two guards appeared above their grate and looked down with distaste. The first was the one they hated. He opened the grate as he always did, and tossed their bread down the hole as he always did. It didn’t matter that they knew he was going to do it, the monsters and animals alike, even Saigetsu, got up and stood around the Hole, hoping to get lucky with a bad throw. It only happened once or twice, but that was enough to keep their hope alive.
“Watch this,” the guard said. He tore open the last loaf and pissed all over it, soaking it in urine. Then he tossed it in. Saigetsu got most of it. He devoured it instantly, ignoring the stench, ignoring the warm wetness dripping down his chin, ignoring the debasement. The guard roared with laughter. The second guard laughed uncertainly.
The next day the second guard came back, alone. He had bread, and it was clean, and he threw it to them, one loaf for each prisoner. With a thick accent and not looking any of them in the eyes, he promised that he would bring bread every time he had a shift that he didn’t share with Gorkhy. That gave them all strength and hope and a name for the man they hated above all others. Slowly, society returned. That first night, everyone had been so overwhelmed just to have read that they hadn’t even tried to steal loaves from each other. As they gained strength, they did fight. Within a few days, the mute Yimbo tangled with Grim and got killed. Saigetsu watched, hoping for an opportunity to get Grim, but the fight was over too quickly. Grim’s knife was too much of an advantage.
When the bread came, Saigetsu made sure he got more than most. Not only for status, but to stay strong. He’d already lost every ounce of fat he’d ever had, and now he was losing his muscle. He was all sinews and lean hard muscles, but he was still needed his strength. Still, he shared what he could with Kill and Gnash and Tatts.
More than two months in he made a breakthrough. He’d been feeling nervous, getting more and more on edge about Grim, with his damn sinew ropes that kept getting longer. Saigetsu slept and woke to the sound of the demons that he now sometimes imagined made the howling noise. It wasn’t wind, he was sure of that. It was either demons or the spirits of all the poor bastards whod been thrown into the Hole over the centuries. His head throbbed in time with the howling. His jaw ached. He’d been grinding his teeth all night. Then he found his edge.
“Gnash,” he said. “Gnash, come here.”
The big man looked at him blankly.
Saigetsu scooted over and very slowly put his hands on Gnash’s jaw. He was afraid that Gnash might snap on him. And if Gnash bit him, down here an infection and death were more likely than not. But he reached up anyway. Gnash looked puzzled, but he let Saigetsu slowly massage his jaw. In moments, the look on the simple man’s face changed. the tension in his face that Saigetsu had assumed was part of his deformity relaxed.
When Saigetsu stopped, the man roared and grabbed Saigetsu. Saigetsu thought that he was going to die, but gnash just hugged him. When gnash released him, Saigetsu knew he had a friend for life, no matter this Hole life was nasty, brutish, and short. He would have wept. But he had no capacity for tears.
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964 words | 1054 exp | 964 pwc
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