Pitched screams pierced the atmosphere.
A tattered leather-bound book rested amidst the rubble.
The corridor lay silent.
With time came a breeze.
The pages fluttered open, landing upon a diagram.
A horse was depicted, in perfect proportion.
Various sections of meat, bones, and organs were laid out neatly.
Ichor seeped from the room above.
Small smatterings of conglomerated blood coated the novel.
A peculiar pattern took form – letters.
The grooves of the spine soaked the moisture, sparkling in the dim light.
A different shriek consumed the silence.
There was a whinny, the bawling of an injured mare.
It carried on through the night, until daylight broke, and the screams were cut short.
Echoes of a body hitting the linoleum tiles.
Silence once more.
Brash dragging scraped the limp figure.
Grating of teeth sharpening jarred the floor.
Fleshy remains sagged as the gnawing commenced.
Human entrails draped all across.
Putrid odors saturated every inch of the corridor.
Gushing pus oozed out the laceration.
Soon followed the sickeningly warm, syrup-like drops.
Death was but a stepping stone within the passage.
Unfortunate meanderers stumbled aimlessly about the seemingly endless halls in search of respite.
Yet there was never any to be found –
Not without fear of something sinister lurking.
The silhouettes played a deceptive game.
A game where the was no defined victor.
It was an endless hunger which drove the carnage –
And an endless stream of torment which drove the victims.
The cycle was cut short.
Escape came in the form of an accidental blaze which engulfed the ward.
Decades would pass before the victims were discovered.
The culprit was never apprehended.
One object was recovered from the flames – a book, in near pristine condition.
Etched upon it, read one word.