Bone Eaters

An Urban Legend Horror Story by Alerazz501

Bone Eaters

by Alerazz501

Alerazz501 is a freelance artist on Deviantart and a collector of urban legends from Slovakia.

Bone eaters is just one of nine stories from his Urban Legends series.

This one is in its own way special, not because of its actual content, but because this is the only story that he has heard from multiple people in multiple countries. First in his own town in Slovakia, then years later from a homeless man on a train station in Czech Republic and then once again from a street artist in Krakow, Poland. And yet it is not a part of any mainstream folklore as far as he knows.

 

 

My town is historical, which means we have many old and abandoned buildings that had many uses over the centuries. One of these are the city fortifications, that were defensive during the middle ages but now in the modern times, they don t serve any real purpose. Due to communist landscaping during the past regime, there were many small parks and social areas constructed around them. These places needed some maintenance and services, which also needed space. This space was made by using old rooms build into the walls and reconstructing them into bathrooms, buffets, drink joints, maintenance rooms etc… Later when the parks were left to rot, the same fate befell on these rooms. To avoid them being used by the homeless, the town administration put padlocks on the doors and painted over Windows but what is a lock to a creative mind but an obstacle to be overcome. Soon the rooms were destroyed, sprayed by graffiti, smelling of urine and garbage, littered with empty bottles and used syringes. The town wanted to stop this pointless wasting of space and they decided to assign cleanup crews made up from the unemployed to start cleaning up the areas and report any homeless to the police. They started their impossible task room by room but due to budget cuts, the work was slow, and, in the end, there was just a small group of few guys, cleaning the places.

One such evening they found a sleeping homeless man in one of the rooms that used to be a bathroom. Strange thing was that they found him because he had a flashlight on pointed right in front of him. They put down their mops and buckets and took the old man out. The younger one of the cleanup guys was wondering, why the homeless guy would risk being found, by having a flashlight on. The homeless man had told them that the light was for protection and that it is the only thing that he needs to survive inside the city walls. They told him that animals are not that vicious, and the light would not protect him against people. He told them that it was against the bone eaters that live in the walls. They laughed it off and called the police on a crazy hobo. The night was still young, and the shift has ended so they went for couple of beers to the nearby pub, when one of the guys remembered that they had left one of the mops in a bucket in that room where the homeless guy was hiding. Since the town was strict on checking the equipment, he decided to go get it and put it in the maintenance hut.

After a while, the guys had all left home, except for the youngest man, who was waiting for his friend, the one who went back to take the equipment. He waited till midnight when the pub closed, and he was left out on the street. He lit up a smoke and started walking towards the section of the walls where the bathroom was. He thought his friend was playing a prank on him or just simply forgot and went home. He thought to go at least check if he put the things that they forgot back in. There was still a mop and a bucket missing in the maintenance hut, so he went to the bathroom to find out what the hell happened. He took out his own flashlight and walked into the dark maze that was this structure inside the city walls. He remembered the way, and he was just crossing the hallway that led to the bathroom when he noticed that there are small critter skeletons scattered all over the floor. Normally that was nothing unusual because there are many skeletons of mice, birds, lizards, and other small animals all around these places, either from predators or just as a natural consequence. He would not have noticed them, but the fact that there were so many, many more than what he had remembered from before, when they found the homeless guy. He could also hear a faint cracking noise all around him and started to get little uneasy. The crunching he made by stepping on the bones, feathers, and pieces of glass on the floor did not made him feel any better. Finally, he reached the bathroom and he saw that not only the equipment that they forgot was still there, but he also found his friends work vest lying on the floor. He pointed the beam of light at it and came closer. He wondered why he would not take the equipment back, and why he would leave his vest on the floor.

He heard the cracking sounds again, and sort of like clicking, like when you grind your teeth, he turned around, but he was alone. Suddenly he realized the most important question, if this guy’s vest was here, then, where is he? He started to look around but only thing he saw was garbage, broken glass, toilets, and small piles of animal skeletons, all around him. He could hear the sound again, this time coming from the wall in front of him and in the dark, he thought he saw the floor moving, he pointed the light at it, more bones, more skulls, small ribcages, and vertebrae. He noticed the floor moving elsewhere, light, more bones. Other direction, more bones. The floor started to be filled by a mass of small skulls all pointing their empty eye sockets at him.

He started backing when he tripped over something and almost fell. It was a shoe, same shoe his friend was wearing, that night. It was his shoe! There was a small, mangled bird skeleton clenching on it and when he tried to take it off, the white skull turned at him and pecked his finger with its rotting beak. He screamed in pain and let the shoe fall on the floor breaking the little skeleton into pieces. When he looked up, holding his bleeding finger, he saw the bones crawling to the bigger piles and merging with them, the piles of bones themselves moving towards him, clacking, and clicking. He pointed the light at them, and they stopped. At that moment, he remembered what the old homeless guy was saying about…bone eaters.

Chill went down his spine and he turned around trying to run out, but the hallway behind him was already filled with a sea of small rotting skeletons, all crawling towards him like a river of bone, cartilage and …teeth. He started to point the light all around him, trying to stop the approaching horror when his flashlight started flickering.

“No no no no no no, damn it!!”

He said, checking the flashlight and realizing the batteries are dying. The protective beam of light started to fade and soon he was surrounded in the complete dark by a hungry flood of carcasses. He felt how they started biting on his feet. He screamed in pain and started looking for any chance of escape, any exit, anything that would save him from this horrible fate.

Then, when he was losing all hope, he noticed a small streak of light coming from one of the walls and in his desperation, he ran towards it, crushing the crawling menace with his shoes. It was a crack in one of the painted over Windows and the light was from a streetlamp outside. He ran faster, dove out through the window, into the cold air of night and crawled, cut and bruised from his jump, to the streetlamp where he stayed, till the morning, shaking and hugging the lamp post that saved his life. Police found him in the morning and took him for questioning.

Week later, the town administration walled of all entrances to the structures with bricks and concrete. Left them be, saying that they are a safety hazard for the citizens and that they will be left like this until someone comes up with a purpose for them. They are walled off to this day…. except for one window.

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