Heritage – Repaid

The gate preventing anyone but maintenance workers from reaching the bowels of the sewer system was frozen solid, having rusted in place long ago. Pudge pushed his way through, anyhow, the space being just wide enough to admit entry to his overweight frame. His unfortunate nickname was a testament to the difficulty of living with parents whose only ambitions were gluttony and sloth. This abandoned tunnel was, for today, his haven from the cruelties of the world.

Pudge clicked on his flashlight, shining it in equal parts upon the floor in front of him and the walls beside him. Vandals had wrought their work, scrawling in paint their profane and sometimes mysterious messages, things like:

I tapped Mary Lee. And underneath that, smaller and in a different color: So did we.

Pudge smirked at For a good time call where the phone number had been painted over by someone else.

Further along, other not-so-pithy messages appeared: Megadeth Rulez! and Ratler Teratory and even Kilroy wuz here. Some had even tried their hand at aerosol art (with varying degrees of success).

The tunnel made a turn, hiding the entrance and the daylight outside from view, but Pudge didn’t notice (and even if he had, he probably wouldn’t have cared), such was his focus on the graffiti. Both art and words continued on for a ways, and then the art suddenly stopped, leaving only a strange array of painted messages with increasingly ominous tidings.

The sins of the father.

Condemnation upon all future generations.

Pudge’s flashlight flickered, casting forbidding shadows on the tunnel walls. He slapped it once, and the beam became steady again. He continued walking and reading.

Pain shall be visited upon the children, even unto the third and fourth generations.

They shall walk in the light,
But the light will know them not.
They shall be rejected, thrust from the light,
And they shall abide in everlasting darkness.

And just to the side of that passage: It devours its own.

Pudge shuddered violently, as though he had felt a cold draft. In so doing he dropped his flashlight. It smacked loudly onto the concrete and went out, plunging him into complete darkness. Fear clawed at his belly as he fumbled for his light.

His fingers finally slipped around the shaft of the flashlight, and he breathed a sigh of relief as he flicked the switch back on. Light flooded the tunnel once more, just as sharp pain flooded his opposite arm. Pudge gagged and turned his head to look. What he saw nearly made him pass out – the tunnel itself had become a gaping maw of grotesque teeth. It had grabbed his arm, all but severing it just above the elbow. The teeth ground repeatedly, and Pudge realized with horror that it was chewing!

As Pudge was slowly and excruciatingly ingested, he had time to realize that, somehow, this maw was retribution for a legacy of transgressions.

The sins of the father…

Originally posted at The Curve Ball Conspiracy.

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