Peanut Butter Patty

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​It wasn't until a week later that her co-workers noticed she hadn't come in to collect her holiday check. She never socialized much with the people there, or the other tenants in her building. And until the police stopped by on a routine call to question the neighbors, no one picked up on the faint scratching that had seemed to be reverberating through the walls, like the sound of a broken doll being stitched together. Kicking in the door proved as futile as politely knocking on it, even as the wood began to splinter in the middle from the repeated thudding of boots. Finally, someone from a floor down loaned their circular saw, and after dulling two of his blades, they finally cut through the wall of curious fibers, their split ends fraying outwards like cut piano wire. The smell was the first thing they noticed, an odor so foul it seemingly leeched the hallway of oxygen. The second thing they noticed was the tunnel of perfectly circular holes, cut 15 feet wide in the ceilings and floors for a dozen levels going upwards and downwards. The third was Ms. Ericson, suspended above the ceiling hole in a thick blanket of cobwebs, eyes and mouth sewn shut. As the flashlight beam swept over her, one of the officers noticed her skin beginning to crawl.


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