So hopefully you’ve had a chance to play test Claustrophobia!, the game of suicidal garden gnomes on a journey to the Earth’s core. If you’ve been following my Twitter and DeviantArt accounts, you’ll have seen the engine that is Rising Phoenix Games is hard at work churning out more gnomic chaos. Today’s no exception. So, sit back, relax, open a cold one and enjoy…
When the Slime Hits the Fan
The red light throbbed as the HMS Keeton shuddered violently. Nardunk kicked the lever up with his steel capped boot and rammed another magazine into his uzi. From his position on the floor, on his back, he could see the hatch lock above turning slowly. Something was moving outside. Soon lead would fly.
Why had he come on this suicidal mission anyway? He’d wanted to leave the garden, to travel to the centre of the Earth with his friends. Perhaps even find Gnometopia. He hadn’t thought much of finding the legendary gnomeland, but the thrill of adventure had been all the motivation he’d needed. Now here he was, lying in a pool of his friend’s blood, not a fool’s hope left. But, dammit, he’d fight to the end.
The portal hatch creaked loudly as it swung open slowly and a tentacle of green slime felt it’s way blindly into the subterranean ship’s metal interior. Nardunk waited. The tentacle inched it’s way closer and closer, down the portal ladder, followed by a large slimy mass that filled up the entryway. It was formless and dripping and reeked of foul mould and rot. Inches from him now, Nardunk saw what he was waiting for; a yellow blob of an eye with a slitted red iris blinked open. In that instant Nardunk squeezed the trigger and the cramped space exploded with writhing tentacles of slime and muck yellow blood. Empting the clip, he rolled, falling through the open maintenance hatch and landing with a clang in front of the Reactor Room door. He reloaded. The empty clip clattered to the steel floor, and he rolled to his feet. He grabbed the maintenance hatch and flung it closed, but it thudded into the wet mass. The creature pulled itself through the hatch, draping itself over Nardunk like some grotesque cloak. Nardunk moved quickly, but the slime held him fast, gathering about his neck like a wet, slimy, pulsating, strangling mass. It was heavy too, and Nardunk fought to keep from falling to his knees. He thrust a hand into his pouch and pulled out a metal cylinder. With both hands he plunged the cylinder deep into the mass, as far as his short gnome arms could go. Then he yanked hard, pulling his arms free. A metal grenade pin clinked to the floor. The slime was covering his face now, cold slime crawling up his nose and gagging him like wet death. Nardunk kicked against the reactor door, breaking the creature’s suffocating hold on him and flying crashing to the floor. A flash of white heat. Engulfing blackness. Nothing.
A red light throbbed in the dark. A pounding heart. An emergency beacon. Red. Black. Red. Black. Was he even alive?
Nardunk remembered the garden for some reason. It seemed remote now, the roses, the old cracked pot that had lost its deep red as the sun beat down on it day after day. It was strange remembering the mundane. Twinky had loved that old pot. It had been familiar to him, like a little safe house out there in the tulips. Now Twinky was dead, crushed to dust in the vise like grip of a rock elemental. Fungi was dead too, a lava worm had taken his head back near Dog Town. The irony was that Fungi had loved worms, which he said reminded him of spaghetti.
Suddenly the fluorescent light flickered back into life while the red beacon continued its pulsing. Nardunk could see the yellow blood splattered walls and black scorch marks up the side of the reactor door, which had been blasted open. He could see the reactor, its cover held together with sausage tape and hot glue, still “reacting”, or what ever it was it was supposed to do. Well, looks like every thing’s going to be just… . Nardunk stopped himself in mid-thought. The HMS Keeton was shuddering again and Nardunk could hear the low moan of some creature and its shuffling footsteps in the passage above.
“Great, zombies! It’s going to be a long, cold night.”
If you enjoyed this little piece of fiction let me know. You should also check out the game, which is free to download.