Sunday, February 5, 2012

From the October Country: Skinners

Have you ever found yourself talking to a stranger, perhaps one seated next to you on a bus or at the bar, and noticed that they seemed a little…off? If so, you might have met a skinner and you should count your blessings you’re still breathing.

Skinners are one of the apex predators of Nightmare, birthed from one of the maelstroms of hate that seethe within its borders. Having honed their murder skill on the lesser denizens of that place, Skinners look out past the barrier to the choice pickings to be had in our world. But such an monstrosity would be easily detected and destroyed if it set foot across a vestibule without taking precautions. To blend in, they wear suits: people suits. Ones made from 100% real people.

Such a macabre masquerade would almost be humorous if it weren’t of so gruesome an origin and oh-so effective. Despite the ill-fit and obvious gore stains a skinner’s suit has, the creature’s own innate chameleon power blends with their grisly trophy to make them indistinguishable from ordinary folks. It is only by their odd turns of phrase, alien tics, and nervous habits that they can be detected---and very few people would attribute these tell-tale signs to the skinner’s otherworldly origin.

In a culture were murder has become entertainment, it’s no surprise that skinners have found 21st century Earth more accommodating to their tastes than ever. More and more have been crossing the barrier to walk amongst us. The scary thing is that, even with an increase in their numbers, they’re too few to have an impact on the nation’s murder rate—that increase is of completely human origin.

Most skinners operate across the barrier for short, intermittent periods, almost like they were on safari. Once they bag their share, they retreat to the October Country to revel in their trophies and flaunt them amongst their own kind. In time, the call of the hunt sounds once more and they dress up again to hit the town with a few days to kill. Very rarely, a skinner decides to take up permanent residence on this side. These expatriates establish a murder dynasty, taking human deviants as mates to found a bloodline of killers. Although this is rarely successful, a few backwoods clans, products of a skinner patriarch, assuage their bloodlust for decade before coming to light. Although unknown to most people, the few in the know suspect that Ed Gein might have been the descendant of an expatriate skinner.


Trey said...

Good stuff!

An apropos Donnie Darko quote: "Why don't you take off that stupid man suit?"

Mike K. said...

I'd imagine that even with these suits, the skinners would have trouble disguising their eyes.