Tuesday, December 31, 2013

DARK ........ 1/1/13

He struggled to his feet and stood there, watching them wield the metal cover back in place. Three minutes later they were done. He heard them pick up the tools, scramble into the helicopter and lift off. And then he heard nothing... absolutely nothing... Sealed in a maze of cold, black, silence. No one ever said where they were taking him. No one ever said what they'd do... if he'd live... if he'd die. An ice pick through the eye would have been better. 

He wanted to sit down, but was scared to make any noise at all. He wanted to curl up with his back pressed tightly into a corner and wait for death. Where were the walls? What was in there? How would it end? How vast was the space behind him and what was back there? He wanted to pray, but was afraid to whisper and unless he said the words they didn't seem real. 

Then he hiccuped.... a simple spasm of the diaphragm. But the sound absolutely terrified him. Five heartbeats later he heard another hiccup, but it was not his own. He listened, still and quiet as a corpse. The sound never came again. And he stayed that way till he fell asleep. Sometime later he awoke on the floor with his mouth pressed against a pool of drool on what tasted like dirty linoleum. Still nothing. No light. No sound. And he peed. He couldn't help it. He just peed. Then he slowly got up and began to shuffle into the void. 

Now ghosts can be patient. Time means nothing to them. To be dead for a heartbeat is the same as a billion years. Indeed, some are immobile statues, staring and thinking and feeling for eons. And the man slowly progressed for seventy two hours before he met one. First he heard the dripping. First he heard the water. He felt along the wall till he found a door and he ever so softly opened it.... drip... drip... drip... He heard it again. He needed it. He wanted it. So he got down on his hands and knees and began to crawl. Somehow it felt safer close to the hard, cold, tile floor. The sharp, little bone right below each knee cap pinched the skin and what little flesh there was behind it tight against the floor. But still he went on. ... Shhh, was that a sigh, or just the silent hissing in his skull?

Where were the bugs? There were no bugs. And where were the mice, the rats, the vermin? Suddenly the lights flickered. He tensed. He flinched. He saw her. There before him, maybe eighteen inches away sat a huge, white., reeking mound. A neolithic 'Venus' sheathed in fat, enthroned in a shallow,galvanized tub beneath a rusty, dripping shower head protruding from a cracked and peeling ceiling. 

He froze. The thing looked down at him through flat, white, lifeless eyes and smiled, revealing rotted teeth and pink-red, bleeding gums. Then he saw the maggots. She was sitting in them. The tub was filled with them and she was eating them.

The illumination, or whatever it was flickered again. She was gone. The tub was clean and all was quiet. Then he heard a click and it was dark once more. He cried. He sobbed. He was thirsty and desperately wanted to find the knob that would release the water, if there was water. But he couldn't do it. He couldn't move he was afraid to leave the floor. So he felt his way over to a wall and made for the hallway again.

Perhaps it was all just an hallucination? Sensory deprivation can cause such things. Perhaps that's all it was? 

But then he heard the voices and soon he heard the screams. God help me. God help me. God help me. He whispered over and over again. He sat with his back pressed hard against the wall..... till something under the paint began to move...

God help me. God help me. But this time it wasn't him...

And then what lay beneath the paint broke through...

'The Dark'..... more tomorrow.

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