The Belly of the Beast is a scary story. It’s based on an old horror comic called “House!” from Journey Into Mystery #1 (July 1972) and an old horror story called “Come Into My Parlor” by Manly Wade Wellman.
One night, a man was driving down a lonely country road when his car broke down. He got out and started walking, hoping that a passing car might stop and pick him up.
The rain began and quickly became a downpour. The wind was blowing hard and it swept the rain into his face. He staggered on through the mud, looking for somewhere he could take shelter.
Eventually, he came to an old, crooked house, set back from the road, between two small hills. The walls were a pale, sickly grey and it had a thatched roof. The windows looked like wild, staring eyes and the front door looked like a grinning mouth.
“Hello!” he yelled. “Is there anybody there?”
The curtains in the window shifted in the breeze, but there was no answer. He banged his fist on the front door and to his surprise, it creaked open.
Cautiously, the man stepped inside and closed the door behind him. His clothes were drenched and he was soaked to the bone. The interior of the house was dark and he strained his eyes to see in the dim light. The air seemed heavy and there was a stench of mold and decay.
There was no furniture, just a bare room. The floor was covered by a shabby brown carpet and some white sticks were strewn around. The walls were strangely curved, like a cave, and they were covered in green slime. He took a box of matches out of his pocket, struck one and held it up.
When he reached out and touched one wall, it felt cold and clammy and squishy, like raw meat. He backed away, still holding the match and his foot kicked something on the floor. When he looked down, he saw that it was something round and white. To his horror, he realized it was a human skull, staring up at him with two shadowy eyes.
On the ground nearby, there was another skull and over in the corner, lay yet one more. What he thought were white sticks strewn around on the floor were actually bones… arm bones, leg bones and rib bones. What he thought was a carpet was really just shaggy, bristly hair.
Just then, the match burned down to his fingertips and he dropped it. The darkness closed in around him again.
Shaking with fear, the man lit another match and turned to leave, but he couldn’t see the door. He felt along the cold, slimy walls but he couldn’t find it. On the back wall, there was a small hole and as he watched, it seemed to grow larger. He thought his eyes were playing tricks on him.
His mind clung to logic like a man in a hurricane clings to a tree, desperately trying to stop himself from being blown away.
“Where am I?” he gasped. “What’s going on?”
A sour, sickly smell filled the air and he felt water rising around his ankles. When he looked down, he saw it wasn’t water but some type of slimy, sticky liquid with bubbles in it, almost like saliva. He began to panic, sloshing back and forth through the sludge, trying to find a way out.
“It’s as if it’s not a house at all,” he exclaimed. “It’s the belly of a beast.”
All of a sudden, the walls started stretching like elastic, closing in on him. The carpet beneath his feet began to ripple and roll, like a giant tongue. It lifted up in the air, tossing him back and forth like a rag doll. It tossed him back towards the hole in the wall, which opened like a huge throat and swallowed him whole.
Then, he was falling, falling, falling and the last thought that passed through his mind before he lost consciousness was, “The house is eating me alive!”