BLOOD everywhere. Nightmarish splashes and gory pools. Wild streaks across the floor and walls.
Except the walls aren’t walls. I’m surrounded on all four sides by*webs. Millions of strands, thicker than my arm, some connecting in orderly designs, others running chaotically apart. Many of the strands are stained with blood. Behind the layer of webs, more layers — banks of them stretching back as far as I can see. Infinite.
My eyes snap from the walls. I make quick, mental thumbnails of other details. Numb. Functioning like a machine.
The dripping sound — a body hanging upside down from the webby ceiling in the center of the room. No head. Blood drops to the floor from the gaping red O of the neck. Even without the head, I recognize him.
“DAD!” I scream, and the cry almost rips my vocal chords apart.
To my left, an obscene creature spins round and snarls. It has the body of a very large dog, the head of a crocodile. Beneath it, motionless — Mom. Or what’s left of her.
A dreadful howl to my right. Gret! Sitting on the floor, staring at me, weaving sideways, her face white, except where it’s smeared with blood. I start to call to her. She half-turns, and I realize that she’s been split in two. Something’s behind her, in the cavity at the back, moving her like a hand puppet.
The “something” pushes Gret away. It’s a child, but no child of this world. It has the body of a three-year-old, with a head much larger than any normal person’s. Pale green skin. No eyes — a small ball of fire flickers in each of its empty sockets. No hair — yet its head is alive with movement. As the hell-child advances, I see that the objects on its head are cockroaches. Living. Feeding on its rotten flesh.
The crocodile-dog moves away from Mom and also closes in on me, exchanging glances with the monstrous child, who’s narrowing the gap.
I can’t move. Fear has seized me completely. I look from Mom to Dad to Gret. All red. All dead.
Impossible! This isn’t happening! A bad dream — it*must*be!
But even in my very worst nightmare, I never imagined anything like this. I know that it’s real, simply because it’s too awful not to be.