There it was again,
a faint cry for help.
Sebastian raced down the path of trees
towards the cemetery.
He stopped at a tombstone.
With his front paws, he began digging in the dirt.
Below, Diane’s soul cried out
as she was pulled deeper
into the depths of Hell.
Eventually, Nancy caught up with her dog.
“Sebastian, why on earth did you run…
Oh my God, what are you doing?”
Nancy grabbed Sebastian’s collar
and pulled him aside.
She looked at the tombstone
and read these words.
May her damaged soul find Heaven.
Nancy looked down at Sebastian.
“Why on earth would you want to dig this bitch up?
She was hanged a week ago for smothering
her three young children in their sleep.
Come on dog, let’s get out of here.”
Nancy looked at the tombstone again.
And spat on it.
The saliva boils as wispy steam entangles each other like devilish lovers…a soft whisper echoes through the still air…
Sebastian’s ears spring upward while he tilts his head towards a tombstone.
“Huh? What did I tell you? Diane deserved to die, understand? She deserved to wear that noose necklace; it looked so good on her—even when she twitched that funny death dance. Let her burn.” Nancy says.
She wraps her fingers around Sebastian’s leather collar, and as Nancy pulls the dog away from the tombstone, lips curl upward and reveal a mouth full of flesh shredders. A growl reverberates through the elongated maw as drool drips onto furry paws. Sebastian digs his teeth into Nancy’s wrist and lacerates a blue vein.
“What did I tell you about biting? I guess the old saying is true: you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” Nancy says. She collides a foot into Sebastian’s ribs, and then turns her back.
“I’ll teach you another lesson when you come home.”
Nancy ascends a nearby grassy hill as Sebastian’s ears swivel.
Paws excavate soil near Diane’s tombstone while blades of grass drift through the air. Sebastian’s paws rip into the soft ground until the dirt turns into muddy blood. A thick biological substance seeps through the soil as Sebastian plummets his head underneath the ground. A swirling tunnel ignites the world while a patch of light illuminates unearthly sparkles within the center.
A little girl points toward a wave of light. Sebastian barks, then orbits the tunnel’s fiery innards. Orange lightning arcs around the old dog until all color dissolves into a static hopelessness. Sebastian opens his eyes and wobbles to his paws, as if he’s been asleep for all eternity.
A little boy points toward a lava lake. Sebastian walks along a black rocky coast. Glassy edges slice through paws as he peers through a wavy veil of heat. Tortured spirits rise from the lava lake—screams howl like an eternal winter’s gale.
“Woof!” Sebastian says.
He travels along a stone bridge; heat melts and condenses into disembodied manifestations. Impish translucent entities rise from the lava lake’s bowel. Smokey jaws unhinge, and then dissolve away with the cave’s soft exhale. The bitter breeze glides through Sebastian’s gray fur. Boiled faces rise toward the lava lake’s surface—bulbous and grotesque expressions inflate until they pop orange melted rock upon the stone bridge. Sebastian jumps over an incinerated gap and slides across the smooth surface. A kid points toward an island connected to the stone bridge.
Sebastian runs across the stone bridge, then leaps into the sandy island. Dunes of bone rise toward a limitless black sky while unimaginable inhabitants stalk within cold shadows. Something leers above Diane…her hands rise toward twisted arched limbs…dreaded pincers snap…a segmented tail waves back and forth…she stares into the red stinger while clawed talons balance upon the sand. Diane closes her eyes—canine incisors crunch into the tail’s segmented armor. Purple ooze erupts from a torn wound.
“Sebastian! I knew you would find me!” Diane says.
The purple ooze saturates incandescent sand around a nearby bone dune. The stinger twitches and jumps as if it were eternally injecting venom into a helpless soul.
“We need to get out of here, and I’ll prove to everyone I never killed my kids…Nancy did it…let’s go send that bitch straight to Hell!”
50 Words Story Collaboration
By Alan O’Brien, Matt ‘FlyTrapMan’ Childs, and Rose Perez
Alan and Matt expanded on Rose’s fifty word story, An Impossible Rescue
Sebastian and Scorpion Man Illustration by Poet Rummager