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Hide and Seek

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Short gasps wracked his thin frame as he ran. His rapid panting and thudding footsteps echoed wildly in the darkened hallway. Normally steady brown eyes were now wild with fear as they darted to and fro. Ducking into a supply closet, he slumped to the ground, bony knees gathered to his chest. He forced himself to stop shaking, breathless sobs tearing from his chest. Stop they’ll hear!!!!
All was quiet. The sounds of his breathing and the steady drip-dripping of blood were his only companions in this stuffy closet. He ignored it, intent on any noises that might have come from outside the hall. Several minutes dragged by, torturously slow. The hall outside was silent. Sighing in relief, he relaxed, allowing himself a shaky laugh. None of this was real. He was just imagining things. Probably just that extra glass of gin he had consumed mere moments ago. But why was it all so real, whispered that tiny treacherous voice in his mind.
A sting of pain reminded him of where he was. Fumbling about, his hand closed upon the tattered remains of what used to be his left hand. The pain was back, slowly closing on him from all sides, threatening to overwhelm him. No!! Danger!! He pushed back, forcing himself to remain conscious. Gathering his courage, he tentatively explored the gaping wound. The blood had slowed to a steady drip. Huh, he had probably bled it all out when he- Cold dread suddenly made him feel faint. He’d been bleeding. He’d been running. The blood probably led a trail right to where he was. His mind spun. It wasn’t safe here anymore. He had to go. Go somewhere safe. Go back to reality. Problem was, this was reality.
His wound was throbbing, helping to clear his mind with that small bit of pain. Stripping off his shirt, he wrapped the tattered wound up tightly, grimacing at the sharp stabs of pain. Opening the door slightly, he winced at the creaking noise it made. Peeking out the slight opening, he looked about tentatively. Empty. Looking as lifeless and harmless as a hallway could possibly look. The black glistening trails of his blood shone menacingly on the ground.
Gulping, he pushed the door wider. The ancient hinges creaked once more, louder this time. He cursed under his breath and squeezed himself from the crack he had made. Standing by the closet door, he held his breath, not daring to breath. No one was about. The wild thumps of this frantic heartbeat seemed to be growing louder by the second. He clutched his good hand to his chest, wondering if his pursuer would be able to hear the noise. Quivering on the spot for a second, he then bolted, scampering helter-skelter into the darkness.
We watched our toy. We were feeling mildly curious. It had been a long time since we had last had such fun. His expressions were so amusing. The way his eyes had expanded and his mouth had opened and closed. Just like a goldfish. We giggled at the thought. We tilted our head as we watched from the shadows. He had scampered just like a frightened rabbit.
A shiny something on the ground caught our eye. A coin? We had a problem. Some of us wanted to chase after our toy. After all, he was not playing fair. First Tag, then Hide and Seek, then Tag again. We pouted. He deserved to be punished. But we also wanted to look at the shiny something. It might be something fun. We began arguing. We were getting angry. The toy was going to run away again. Finally, we decided to explore and find out what the shiny something was first.
Curiously, we approached it. It wasn’t a coin. It was dark and wet-looking. Booze!! We rolled our eyes. Cocao-moo? Stepping closer, we crouched down and poked it with a finger. It was wet and our finger sank into it easily. We looked at our finger. It was painted red. We giggled in delight. Paint!
Splashing about in the red paint, we grinned in delight. We were happy. The paint was fun. Sniffing our fingers, we tilted our head to one side. It smelled sweet. Like honey. Maybe it would taste like honey as well. We stuck out our tongue and licked at it curiously.
The man froze in his tracks. A low, throaty moan reverberated through the halls. The very walls seemed to shake with the low intensity of the noise. Mindless fear gripped him and he forced legs numb with fatigue to run even faster.
We moaned aloud as the honey hit our tongue. We panted. It tasted so marvelous. We sucked frantically on our fingers, licking it clean of the intriguing substance. Kneeling on the ground, we lapped at the pool of strange honey-paint. We felt just like a dog. It made us giggle. Smiling, we sat up, licking our fingers. We pouted. Our clothes were all dirty now. But it didn’t matter.
We clamored loudly. We wanted more of the red honey-paint. But how were we going to get more? Spit it out and then eat it again! We wrinkled our nose. Ewwy. We thought. Our toy ran by here. The red honey-paint followed him. So if we followed him, we would get more honey-paint. It was a good idea. We liked it. After all, he was our toy. Toys were supposed to make people happy. We had fun when we chewed on his hand. We smiled. It had tasted so good. Just remembering the way he had screamed in horror caused us to moan aloud in ecstasy.
Stumbling blindly in the darkness, he pressed a hand to the wall, steadying himself. A choked sob tore from his lips. Was there no way out of this madness? North, South, East, West, they no longer made any difference. All he wanted was to be free of this nightmare. Wincing, he rubbed at the ripped remains of his hand. Strings of bloody flesh flapped uselessly at the end of the limb, deep gouges running up the length of his arm. The wound was bleeding again, its makeshift bandage having fallen off during his mad dash to escape. A sudden soft noise made him jerk upright. A hunk of bloody flesh fell from his useless arm, tearing free of the strands to meat that formerly held it captive. He gritted his teeth at the sharp stabs of pain, turning; instead, to face the direction the noise had come from.
Soft footfalls echoed in the air. Cold fear gripped him with its claws, sinking deep into his bones. RUN!!!! Yet he couldn’t, staring, eyes glued to the horrid apparition emerging from the darkness. It smiled at him, with all the innocence of a newborn babe. “Found you.” A scream ripped up past his throat to shatter the peaceful silence of the hall as he ran. Ran as if every demon from the depths of Hell were after him. Ran to escape to a place where sanity ruled.
We pouted as our toy started running again. He wasn’t supposed to run. He was supposed to let us catch him. Skipping forward, we dipped our finger in the red honey-paint our toy had made. Sticking our finger in our mouth, we hummed at the sweet taste overwhelming our senses. We weren’t in any hurry to find him. The night was still young. We still had time to play after all. “...8…9….10! Ready or not, here I come!” Ghostly giggling was accompanied by the faint melody of pattering feet as they faded slowly into the inky darkness of the hallway. The game had started….forever.




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This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

CloudWanderer said...
Jul. 23, 2010 at 1:53 pm:
Whoa. That. Was awesome. You kept me interested throughout the entire thing. Amazing!!! I hope you plan on writing more. Maybe to this story? Nah, dont tell me. I already know you're gonna say yes ;)
 
QuickSilver replied...
Jul. 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm :
Thanks. I'm totally going to continue this. Best story i've written so far.
 
CloudWanderer replied...
Jul. 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm :
I sure hope so. And I whole-heartedly agree
 
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