Clark stood up, screaming into the mist.
“I WON! I WON! I won…..”
It was only now he noticed that the crowd had gone silent, that the arena had disappeared. No matter which direction he looked, no matter how far he ran, the scenery didn’t change. It thick missed illuminated by a grey light was all the eye could see.
“Where am I? How did I get here? I won damn it! I should be surrounded by fans cheering my name!”
“Is that all vore is to you, a game you can win or lose at?” whispered an indistinguishable voice.
Clark’s body told him to turn face the source but it had nowhere to turn to. The voice seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere all at once.
“Of course, it is, what else could it be? It’s a sport, a spectacle, a vehicle to fame and riches. It’s something to be good at, to prove you’re better than the scum beneath you!”
Clark could not comprehend what this voice was. It certainly wasn’t his conscience, he had conquered that long ago. Was it God perhaps? No, there was no way God would spout such nonsense, he thought. It had to be a nightmare, he had exerted too much effort in his match with Vorelando and had fallen unconscious, that was the only explanation.
*hack, cough, splutter*
“Last call for flight V685 to Rio De Janeiro.”
In front of Clark a scene began to construct itself in the mist. An airport, departures, the waiting area just before gate 69. It didn’t quite look real, most of the people had no faces, only a family of three in the middle had that much detail, and they were huddled around an empty seat looking concerned.
“He can’t get on the plane like this. He’s too sick.”
“But he can’t miss this match, father would be so angry with us.”
“What if something happened to him while the plane was in the air? Look at him, he needs to go to a hospital.”
The two elder women and one teenage boy argued while pointing towards the empty chair. It wasn’t clear to Clark which voice belonged to who, they all sounded far away and none of their lips moved to match the words being spoken.
He walked up to the family to confront them.
“You know there’s no one there, right?”
None of them responded to him, not a single person even seemed to take notice.
“Listen to me, say something!”
He went to grab the boy’s shoulder, but his hand passed right through him and the scene around him disappeared into the mist.
“I never did get on that flight, to this day, I don’t know whether or not I should wish I had.” The voice whispered.
“Who are you? What are you doing in my head?!”
“Do you really not know who I am?”
The voice seemed to whisper directly into Clark’s ear this time. He spun around to try and catch it but was only met with another emerging scene.
This time it was a hospital room. One of the women from the airport, the younger looking of the two, was sat on a hair beside an empty bed. Even though there was no one in the bed, the covers were lifted up as if there was, like there was someone invisible occupying it.
“I’m sorry I got so sick Voreothy, I know how bad you wanted to visit Brazil.” The bed whimpered.
“Don’t apologize for something that isn’t your fault Vorelando! Besides, we’ll have another chance to visit. Brazil will host the world championships again and there’s no way Dad won’t still be number 1 when they do!”
The woman didn’t look towards the invisible man she was speaking to, her eyes were fixed on the TV mounted on the wall. Panning shots of a stadium packed to the brim flickered across the screen, the crowd's screams so loud that they nearly made the conversation going on inaudible.
“So, it’s you, is it? Why am I having a nightmare about your past? I’m sure this isn’t even what really happened.”
“This isn’t your nightmare Clark, it’s mine.”
“What is Voran doing?! He’s just lying on the floor!”
When Clark heard the TV commentator say that he suddenly knew exactly what he was looking. He had never been interested in vore outside of his own matches, he didn’t go to the arenas to watch local matches or even tune into the world championships when they were on.
“10! 9! 8!”
The countdown had begun.
“7! 6! 5!”
Even if he didn’t watch it live, Clark remembered this match well. Voran Magic vs Cockback Jones, the finals matchup in the 2163 World Vore Championships.
“4! 3! 2!”
Voran was at that time the 14 time defending world champion, Cockback Jones had been considered the first real challenger he’d faced since assuming the vore throne. The match would go down in history for all the wrong reasons.
Across the whole world, there wasn’t a single person who couldn’t tell you where they were standing when they heard about it. When they heard about the Massacre at the Maracanã.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time to dig in!”
In an instant, Voran’s mouth started expanding. It stretched around his body and then curved back towards the floor of the arena, covering him completely.
“Is this a new signature move from Voran Magic?”
The commentators excitement would soon turn to horror. Voran’s lips kept stretching across the floor. Cockback Jones fell into he void of his mouth and the crowd cheered. Next the announcer fell in and they cheered. The cage collapsed into him and they fell silent. His lips had reached the edge of the seating.
The fans began to scream as they realized what was happening. A stampede broke out as they tried to escape. Voran’s lips began burrowing their way underneath the stadium and kept growing rapidly until they had stretched all the way around it. Suddenly the entire stadium started stinking into the void. It was here that the station had managed to cut the feed, punctuated by the commentator telling the whole world that he loved his wife, that he was sorry he’d never see her again.
“Over 100,000 dead in an instant, that’s the officially capacity of the Maracanã and 20,000 more who had snuck in without tickets. The stadium itself disappeared without a trace. They say everyone in Rio fell to their knees as they saw the stadium sinking or heard the screams echoing.”
“That’s your nightmare? You’ve got it out for vore because someone ate your family? Suck it up, your friend ate my brother, you don’t see me crying about it.”
“You’ve got it all wrong.”
Clark returned his attention to the scene behind him. The woman and the invisible Vorelando were screaming at the TV.
Voreothy’s head was buried firmly in her hands as she sobbed loudly. Suddenly her cardigan started moving towards the bed, a tug from the invisible Vorelando.
“Voreothy, I’m hallucinating right? I’ve got to be, there’s no way Dad would do something like that.”
The blood in Clark’s body froze and reversed course.
“Something can mean a lot to someone without meaning anything good. I don’t hate vore because of who ate my family, it’s because of who my family ate.”
“You’re kidding, there’s no way!”
The scene in front of him disappeared and the fog started to thin.
“Vore’s darkest day stains my soul, it blackens the inside of my veins. You said I had to be someone special and in the worst sense of the word, I am.”
The cheers of the Crackremento crowd began to become audible in the distance. They shouted Clark’s name but he couldn’t hear them. The fear was blocking out everything except Vorelando’s voice.
“I am the son of Voran Magic, the vore criminal behind the Massacre at the Maracanã. I am the inheritor of his legacy, of his sin. And just like him, I will never lose.”
In an instant the fog vanished and Clark was back standing in the cage. In reality he had never left, that had all been in his mind. Vorelando’s blood was still fresh on the floor and the crowd were still screaming his name.
But he couldn’t enjoy it. He was paranoid, scared. For the first time in his life, he understood that he had been beaten. Vorelando wasn’t dead. He had swallowed him whole and he wasn’t dead, how was that even possible?!
His eyes twitched, sweat streamed down his face, the crowd deafened his ears and anticipation rooted him to the spot.
Suddenly, everything went quiet in his mind. He sensed something was coming but he had no way of telling what.
“Welcome to Vorelando, baby!”
Suddenly a pair of lips formed on Clark’s left ankle.
They swallowed his foot.
They bit up his leg.
It was all so fast that Clark only had time to scream after the first leg had disappeared, replaced by someone else’s.
“AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! PLEASE, NO! HAVE MERCY!”
The other leg this time. The crowd fell dead silent. No one had ever seen anything like this before. Clark had won, he’d eaten Vorelando whole. No one could comprehend the situation.
*chomp, chomp, chomp*
Clark’s screams were abruptly cut off when the mouth reached his neck. During the complete silence, it took it’s final bite and removed Clark’s head from the body that had replaced his own. In turn a head replaced Clark’s and the mouth swung itself back around it’s head, coming to rest where it should.
When the puzzle was complete it revealed what was to become a familiar face.
Naked. Covered in blood. Smiling.
It was the face of Vorelando Magic.