The Post Fable

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The Post Fables Graphic by Greebo T. Cat

Shadows and Clouds

Craig stood still, his eyes adjusting to the sudden darkness. He could smell blood and wrinkled his nose. Greyish shapes hung down from the rafters in lines, listless soldiers without a commander. Craig extended his hands into the blackness, feeling for walls, searching for something to hold on to, comfort him. His fingers found a slick wet form, akin to sweaty skin and he pulled his hand back, quickly wiping it along his thigh as he swallowed a scream. The carcasses of the animals were motionless, trapped on hooks like fisherman's bait, closing him off from any light there may have been.

'Trace,' he whispered, 'Where are you?'

His voice sounded too loud in the huge shed. Craig edged forward, all his senses alive. His stomach tightened in a knot as he heard the
sounds of another in the dark.

'Trace? Is that you?'

His heart thumped wildly in his chest and thundered in his ears, beating faster every second. The rain drummed steadily on the tin above; he was sure Tracy had come in here, to escape the harsh weather outside. He inched his way onwards through the abattoir place, shrinking at the shoulders as he brushed against lifeless forms, dead meat. Working up his courage, he spoke out loud.

'Trace, you there?'

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the shadow. The hairs on the nape of his neck stood out like quills, and he felt like ice.

'Tracy. Stop it... please.'


Outside, Tracy huddled close to the wall. She was certain that Craig had ran into the shed to get away from the storm. She crept around to a window and peered inside, but it was no good, there was only complete darkness. The downpour increased and being too wet to risk catching the
'flu, she grasped the cold handle of the door and pushed her way inside.

It was a little warmer out of the weather, but too dark to see her hand in front of her face. Tracy fumbled in her jacket pockets for her lighter and cigarettes, discovered a loose fag and lit up, trembling. In the sudden light she realised her whereabouts, the smell just reaching her nostrils through the tobacco smoke. She turned to leave, but could not find the door in the shadows. She let the lighter flame dance in the slight breeze that passed through the large shed.

'You in here, Craig?'

There was no reply except the soft sighing of the meat swinging in the room. Drawing on the cigarette, she tilted her head back, blowing bluish smoke to the ceiling. Then she felt the tightness across her throat. She twisted away, kicking backwards, failing to connect with anything. The lighter flew from her hand, clattering on the hard concrete floor. A shadow crossed in front of her eyes, blocking any way out. She stepped back, finding the wall hard up against her, searching blindly for a way out. The shadow seemed to surround her, a living, breathing thing, and from it came the sounds of tormented screams.

Weak-kneed, hands holding her up against the wall, fingers scrabbling, she could do little more than stop herself from panicking. From inside the swirling darkness that threatened her very existence, she could hear her name faintly being called.

'Tracy, help me, Trace,' the sound repeated.

Recklessly, she pushed her hands over her ears and squeezed shut her eyes. With a desperate leap she plunged headlong into the void. There was soon nothing but silence. Finding the courage to open her eyes, she was greeted only by white light.


Looking down in order to get her bearings, there was nothing, only light.


'I'm here Trace, please help me!'

Following the voice, she saw her friend in the distance, sitting upon a small wooden chair. Tracy's black jacket and faded denim jeans were in stark contrast to the whiteness that hurt her eyes and the clothes in which Craig was now clad, nearly hiding him from her. The small tunic and trousers looked as cold and uninviting as the land that had come into being around them. Largish elm trees and dandelions covered lush green fields and Trace was soon walking in knee high grass. Although the new environment attempted to invoke feelings of warmth and happiness, there was nothing but dread in the pit of her stomach.

'Get me out of this place, Tracy! Help me, please!'

Tracy reached her friend and tried to take his hand, but he seemed to be transparent as her own hand passed though his apparently lifeless form.

'I can't! What do I do?!'

Suddenly, though, the image of Craig faded - but before he completely vanished he cried out a final word,


Tracy turned, looking for a way out, and saw the distant gloom that must have been the real world outside. The whiteness began to close in around her, enveloping her, but she forced her way toward the unnatural airlock that was closing, the light from the world she was in being sucked outwards like water down a plughole. She risked a final look backwards and, through the noise that was the impending vacuum, she could hear her name, amongst others, being screamed. She felt the coldness of the shed on her fingers and pushed forward, escaping, as the voices increased in volume, hammering in her ears. All she could sense was pain and blood thumping in her head and now everything became dim and she could hear nothing, feel nothing. The darkness came and took her away from the shed.


Tracy awoke, cold and wet. She looked around, but it was far too dark to see anything. Her ears were sticky and she put her hand up to her left lobe, felt the substance, then tasted the blood that was on her fingertips. She wrapped her jacket about her as she stood, trying to keep warm. Bumping into a carcass she remembered her whereabouts and thought back. She must have fallen and knocked herself out on the solid foundations. She shook her head, trying to clear the fuzziness from her eyes. Walking a few paces, she then kicked something, the quiet around her being shattered as the object hit the corrugated iron walls. It was her lighter. She fumbled for it and flicked the flint, the tiny glow revealing the surroundings. Her breath blew out like steam and she shivered, but not just from the cold. It was a simple enough process of finding the exit and she forced her way outside, the air and rain hitting her full on in the face. Brushing her hair from her eyes as it was tossed about in the wind, she plodded through the mud away from the darkened building. She supposed Craig was home by now, he would have passed right by the abattoir while she was inside keeping dry. Above her, in the grey sky, the storm clouds continued to form and swirl, throwing deep shadows over the dreary city.


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