Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1453398-Hunger
by JDMac
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #1453398
A carnivorous monster with insatiable hunger is locked in a room with a defenseless human.

So very hungry.

It’s all I think about.  All I can think about.  I must eat.  But they’re keeping me hungry.  They’re keeping me hungry on purpose.  They want me to eat.  Eat him alive.

He sits across from me in our steel box, trembling.  His gaping eyes don’t look away.  He must stare back at me.  Stare into the face of death.

He’s scared.  Mortified.  He breathes in short bursts.  He tries not to cry.  Tears season his cheeks.  His heartbeat fills my ears.  Racing.  Thundering.  The sound consumes me.  Holds me hostage. 

Hearts pump blood.  Blood feeds meat.  Fresh meat.


I shake the thought away.  It’s bright in here.  So hot.  Hard to focus.  Hard to think.

He’s sweating bullets.  I can smell him from here.  Salt and oil and fat.  I should be repulsed.  I’m not.  I’m not even human.  Not anymore.  Not after what they did to me.  Those monsters!  Salt and oil and fat.  My stomach rumbles.


So very hungry.

I can’t.  I can’t let myself eat.  That’s what they want.  They want me to feed.  I know.  I know if I do, I will never stop.  I will never want to stop.  I will only want more.  That’s what they want.

I stand up slowly.  My eyes focus on his.  Every joint aches.  My skin itches.  I’m shedding like a reptile.  Beginning to look like one, too.  Thick, bumpy, grey skin all over.  Gross.  So ugly.  The man I was is dead.  My humanity flakes away with every scratch.  All that remains is the creature.  The creature they created.

He staggers to his feet.  His heart beats faster.  He’s sobbing.  Pleading.  He doesn’t want to die.  I don’t want to kill him.


I’m so hungry.

I’m growing weaker.  Hollow.  Empty.  I need to eat.  I’m dying!  I need to eat something.  I know it.  I need to eat him.  Eat him alive or die.  I move without thought.  My talons scrape across the metal floor.

He tries to run.  I’m faster.  A quick leap and he’s in my claws.  He’s so close now.  Squirming, writhing.  Salt and oil and fat!  The scent fills my nose.  It smells good.  Good enough to eat. 

He fights to break free.  Fingers scratch at my face.  Weak.  Pathetic.  Human.  They can’t break my skin.  He can’t escape.  I have him.  I have him!

I lift him easily.  I’m stronger than I was.  I barely feel his weight on my limbs.  I open my mouth.

Movement distracts me.  I growl.  It bubbles up from my gut.  Scavenger!  Thief!


It’s my reflection.  I see it in the two-way mirror.  It stares back at me.  Void, black eyes.  A jagged, toothy maw.  My hair’s almost gone.  My god.  What’d they do to me?  It’s like a horror movie.

I throw him to the floor.  He crawls to the window.  Strikes it over and over, screaming.  He’s pleading to them.  Begging them not to kill him.  No one listens.  No one cares.  I walk back to my corner.


So very, very hungry.

Even now, I know.  We both know.  He’s a dead man.

It’s the middle of the night.  You’d never know it.  They never turn off the lights.  I’m so tired.  I can’t sleep.  My stomach twists in knots.  It grumbles.  It roars.  I feel so empty, like I’ve not eaten in weeks.  I know it’s only been a few hours.  Hasn’t it?  Hard to think.  I can’t remember.

He sits there, never resting.  He watches me, unblinking.  His eyes don’t look away.  I don’t blame him.  I can see his veins.  They throb in his throat.  Salt and oil and fat and blood.  My mouth waters.

I close my eyes.  I try to focus.  Focus on things beyond eating.  Beyond hunger.  Things from my life before.  Things like…things like…

I can’t.  It’s all fragments.  Disjointed images.  There are people.  Faces I should recognize.  Places, too.  Shadows.  Trees.  Concrete.  Sounds of gunfire.  Screams.  The scent of blood. 

I open my eyes.  I see him there.  He hasn’t moved.  He hasn’t blinked.  He just watches.  Sweat beads on his brow.  Sweet and salty.

I can’t.  I can’t hold myself back much longer.  They’re winning.  Whatever they did to me.  They’re getting what they want.  A weapon.  A monster.  Both.  Who cares?


So very, very hungry.

I curl up in my corner.  I try to shut it out.  I won’t feed.  I won’t!  I don’t care what they want.  Men control their hunger.  That’s what I am.  A man.  Not some beast running on instinct.  I don’t care what they made me on the outside.  I can still reason.  I can still think.


I think about food.

The intercom crackles alive.  “Howard.”  The voice fills the room.  It echoes off every corner.  It resonates in my skull.  “You need to eat, Howard.”

Howard?  Who is Howard?  Is that my name?  Howard.  No.  Yes!  I can’t remember.  It seems like so long ago.  A lifetime ago.  Before I became this thing.  This beast. 

The man pleads for freedom again.  My thoughts scatter.  I’m tempted to kill him for some quiet.  I need to think!

“You’re running out of time, Howard.”  The voice uses more words.  “The modifications to your genetic structure have increased your metabolism.  If you don’t eat something soon, you’ll die of starvation.”

Shut up!  Shut up!  Shut up! 

Stop talking about food!  You son of a bitch!  STOP IT! 

I press my hands over my ears.  I can’t eat him.  I can’t.  I won’t be your monster.  I’ll die first.  You just watch!  You want him dead.  You do it yourself, you coward!

“Is that what you want, Howard?  Do you want to die?”  The voice penetrates my hands.  Reads my mind.  “Or do you want to eat?”

“FEED ME!”  My voice has changed.  It’s deeper.  So hard to form the words.  Like I’ve never spoken before.  It comes out a roar.  Like an animal.  That’s what they want.  A vicious animal.  A killing machine.

“We already have.  But, if he’s not appetizing enough, perhaps this will help.”

A soft hum comes from the ceiling.  A slot opens there.  A mounted gun lowers into view.  The man shrieks.  He tries to run.  There is nowhere to go.  Stupid man.  One shot is all it takes.  He isn’t killed.  Just a bullet to the leg.  He’ll survive until—


I smell blood!

It takes over everything.  That one pungent smell.  That wonderful smell.  The scent of meat.  Fresh meat.  Easy prey.  My stomach takes over when my mind refuses.  My limbs move on automatic. 

He cries in pain.  Then again when he sees me coming.  He tries to crawl away, but he knows this is it.  He’s a dead man.

I grab his leg.  Pull him toward me. I’m getting weaker.  He seems heavier than before.  But not much.  My clawed hand wraps around his throat.  I lift him off the floor.  He gasps for air.  Soon he’ll be dead.  Soon I can eat.


Not for much longer.

I catch a glimpse of movement.  There’s something to my left.  I can see through the mirror now.  A silhouette.  Someone’s watching me feed.  Some scavenger wants my food.


They can’t have it!  This one’s mine!

I roar at the top of my lungs.  The room acts like an amplifier.  The window quivers.  My reflection cracks.  I throw the man through the broken glass.  He misses the scientist on the other side.  I don’t.

I crash down on top of him.  Jagged shards fly everywhere.  I feel his ribs break.  His cheap cologne masks the smell.  I know it’s there.  Just below his pink skin.  Blood.  Meat.  Food.

He’s whimpering now.  I don’t blame him.  He’s about to get what he wants.  A monster with a full stomach.


A bullet bounces off my arm.  Damn.  Armored men coming from both sides.  No time to eat.  Time to flee.  Flee to survive.  Feed later.  RUN!

I leap off the scientist.  Damn it!


So very hungry.

I plow through the men in my way.  Their weapons clatter across the floor.  I don't look back. 

Keep running! 

The hallway is long.  A quarter mile or so.  There are more.  More like me behind the other windows.  Creatures.  Animals.  Monsters.  Like me.  But not like me.  My box was clean.  Stainless steel.  These are splattered with blood.  They lost who they were in the hunger.  Like I almost did. 

Now I can see what they wanted me to be.  What I almost became.  But I’m back now.  I know who I am.  My name is Howard.  Lieutenant Howard Wheeling.  My mind starts working again.  That man in the cell with me.  His name was—it was Jimmy.  We were friends.  We signed on for this together.

What was this?  It was—it was supposed to be different.  I wasn’t supposed to become this thing.  I was supposed to help people.  Help fight a disease.  A virus.

They lied.

They lied to me.  To all of us.

Jimmy.  He didn’t react to the shot like I did.  He was immune.  Wouldn’t change into what they wanted.  So they gave him to me.

I still feel it.  The hunger.  Now it works for me.  It keeps me human.  An animal reacts to hunger.  A man controls it.

I have to stop them.  Stop them from letting the monsters out.  From letting me out. 

But something’s wrong.  Vision’s getting fuzzy.  My legs are heavy.  They’re not chasing me.  Why aren’t they…?

I fall over.  My limbs are numb.  My head is swimming.  So weak.  I close my eyes.  Can’t give in.  Can’t let them win.


So very hungry.

“I told you to eat, Howard.”  The voice is close.  I can’t move.  “Now, it’s too late.”

“None of them has ever refused to eat before.”  There’s someone else.  A woman.  I can’t see.  My eyes won’t open. 

“Yes.  Intriguing, isn’t it?”

“Should we revive him?  Run some psychological tests?”

“No.  Let him die.  We wouldn’t want him getting out again.  He’s already been more trouble than he’s worth.  We’ll learn more from the autopsy in any case.  Send me his genetic map.  I want to see what made him so resistant to the hunger instinct.  We may have to update the protocols to filter out candidates with similar traits.”

“Yes, sir.”

“When you’re finished, feed what’s left of him to the Alpha.”

I try to move.  I can’t.  It’s gone.  My strength is all gone.  But I won.  I never gave in.  I never ate.  They didn’t get what they want.  Not out of me.  I sigh.


I’m not hungry anymore.

© Copyright 2008 JDMac (tallguyarrow at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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