Respected Artist, Writer, and Character Creator Dr. Chris Mcauley Shares a Terrifying Story
Dr. Chris McAuley is an acclaimed comic book writer, artist, and character creator for DC and Marvel. He won an award for the Scottish comic The Lang Walk Hame in 2019 and his artwork has been featured in the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art.
He is familiar to fans of Judge Dredd, and has been the assistant colorist on several 2000AD comic strips. He has also inked various Marvel titles such as Hulkverines and also Vampirella. He is the co-author and creator of the StokerVerse with Dacre Stoker, which currently features six comic book ranges, several novels, and a board game in production.
Chris is also a novelist whose reach has included the James Bond franchise and Alien. He has also assisted legendary Disney Imagineer Terri Hardin Jackson on the Star Wars franchise as a concept artist for The Mandalorian.
Dr. Chris McAuley, creator of the StokerVerse and co-founder of Stoker&McAuley, kindly shares the following story with Heart of Hollywood Magazine readers.
The Terror Under the Rue Morgue
The hateful and delighted high-pitched squeals followed me in the darkness. I had sought my escape under the Parisian catacombs. Instead, I had discovered an ancient secret under the streets filled with artisans and the air which was thickly scented with coffee and cognac. Thousands of red eyes lurked and waited for the opportunity to feast upon human flesh. I moved blindly through the unending maze, my hands slapping the wall to my left. My legs began to tire and I forced myself to recall how my pursuers tore my companion to shreds. They tore at the flesh around his legs, their sharp teeth gnawing through his garments. The scent and sight of his lifeblood seemed to drive them into a greater frenzy. I stood horrified, too shocked to be able to help. His share of the gold from our latest and most daring robbery tumbled from his pockets into the filthy waters below. His screams intensified as the Rats severed the delicate tendons in his feet. Forced to his knees, he attempted to steady himself with his hands. A mistake.
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At that moment, the Rats seemed to multiply and swarm over his wrists. The weight of the mass of their sleek, black bodies pulled him downwards. I was finally able to tear myself away from the thrashing mess that had been Pierre as I saw a Rat burst through his head like it was a piece of rotten fruit. The sheer force of the beast's entry through his skull dislodged his eyeball and it hung by its optic nerves. This forced recall, and the fear of a similar impending fate hanging over me, convinced my legs to work faster. I ignored the pain blossoming in my chest, the burning sensation which signaled exhaustion and was also the harbinger of my doom. The space between the walls grew smaller and the scant light from my makeshift torch reflected against the wetness of the walls. I dimly understood that I was being herded to some unknown location. Far from being mindless beasts, these creatures were planning my destruction as if it suited some purpose. The walls narrowed and I felt that I had reached some focal point. At that moment, I turned, the Rats who had been pursuing me stood a few meters away. They had completely blocked the path back and watched expectantly with their glowing and demonic eyes. In the quietness of the tunnel, the noise of something shuffling towards me was magnified. Turning my head, I saw a misshapen thing take halting steps towards me. Its body seemed to be composed of several Rats melded together. It had three heads which were as malformed as its body. One was skull-like in its features, another seemed to be a dead weight and hung like a tumor, bobbing along with this thing’s steps. Its primary head was the most striking one and had such a definition of features that it almost resembled a man. My sanity finally left me and I gibbered uncontrollably, entreating my long dead parents to save me, for the saints and the good Christ to intervene, or for this hulking and shambling monster to just go away. Still, it lumbered forward, chittering and sighing as if its body was inflated with air from a bellows pump. I write this as my last testimony, a vain comfort, for no one shall venture here. Most of my body has been consumed by these creatures to whom I have been prisoner for a length of time which feels like weeks. They have been careful and selective about which parts to consume. Starting with my feet, crawling over my face and tearing off the sweetmeats of my nose and ears. I have been left an eye and a hand with which to inscribe these words on this wall using my fingernails. There are rumors of Gods above, but I write this in evidence of the reality of the terrible hunger of the God below. It resides under Paris and holds court over those whose folly causes them to stray under the pavements in search of the hidden things. They approach and I know with certainty that this is The Last Supper. Goodbye, Maurice and Jeanette.
Story from the StokerVerse.
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