In the Dark

January 13, 2011
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Greg woke with a throbbing pain in his head. A thin grey line seemed to vibrate through his mind. The rest was darkness. Greg felt half-in, half-out of consciousness, similar to the moment spent waking from a dream. Everything around him still seemed imagined. All he could see was shadows and black shapes moving around him. Greg shook his head to get out of this state of mind, rubbing his eyes to make the darkness go away. His mind cleared and his senses returned, but the darkness stayed constant.

His heart sped up in his chest. Greg didn’t know where he was. He tried to move from the cold ground where he lay. He could sit up, but that’s all he was capable of. His feet were bound. Thick layers of duck tape constricted his ankles. Greg tore at these with his hands, then tried to reach his teeth down to bite through the tape. They weren’t going to break, which he realized after many minutes of struggling. Then he remembered the knife he’d been carrying around in his pocket. When he reached for it though, he found nothing. He started feeling around the icy concrete floor, hoping it had fallen out while he was unconscious. Greg started whimpering as he searched, clinging to this desperate hope. It didn’t take long for him to break down into tears. Whoever had put him here, clearly wasn’t letting him out that easily.

“Help!” he cried, letting the terror that had been building in him take hold. He cried for help a few more times before resorting to wild screams. After tiring himself out, he started moaning. The darkness kept pressing in on him, savouring each wail of fear. Greg’s heart felt set to tear out of his chest. Ba-boom. Ba-boom. Ba-boom.

“It’s okay,” he managed to choke out as he tried to steady himself. “It’s okay. Just get up, and find a way out.” He struggled to his feet as best he could with his feet still tied together. Greg didn’t suspect that eyes were watching... and moving closer.

Greg put his hands out to feel his way through the shadows and began hobbling across the bracingly cold floor. His breathing was so heavy he couldn’t hear the figure approaching him. Someone pushed him back to the ground. His eyes searched frantically through the thick shadows, looking for anything.

“Who’s there?”
The figure ran past him again, knocking into his side, and Greg gasped at the slight pain of this. He tried to steady his breath to hear where the person had run to, but he heard nothing. It took Greg a second to realize he’d been cut. It was a small cut on his arm, only slightly worse than a paper cut. The person must have done it as he ran by, toying with him.

Greg curled up on the ground, hoping the kidnapper wouldn’t see him. Sniffling softly, he tried to remember how he got there. He remembered hanging out with his two friends, Ryan and Jacob. They had been drinking at Jacob’s parents’ house, who were out of town for the weekend. Being a few shots in, some of their true colours were starting to show. Greg remembered taking out his switchblade and pretending to attack Jacob with it. He had grabbed his smaller, weaker friend and had wrapped one arm around his neck, while he pressed the knife into Jacob’s shoulder. Greg was just messing around, but Jacob kept whining and saying, “Stop it Greg! It’s not funny!”

“Go get us more drinks,” Greg said.

“No, you’re already trying to stab me,” Jacob said, looking miserable and backing away.

“Shut up and go get us more drinks, or I will stab you!”

“Ryan, you’re just going to sit there and let him do this?”

“Man, just go get us more drinks,” Ryan had said, barely lifting his head. Jacob had glared at them both, but had gone away.

“Dude,” Greg said turning to Ryan. “He actually thinks I’m going to kill him.” They both laughed at how gullible Jacob was.
Everything after that was a blank.

A shuffling echoed around him through the shadows. He looked around wildly.

“Hello,” a soft voice said somewhere in the darkness. Greg wondered if it was safe to answer, but the voice sounded kind of frightened; probably another captive victim.

“Over here,” he said. Greg heard shuffling coming towards him. His nerves tensed with the knowledge that this new presence was mere inches away from him, but unseen. “What’s your name?”


“Jacob! It’s Greg! It is good to hear from you man,” Greg said with a small laugh. “How’d we get here?”

“Someone must have put us here. Are your feet tied, because I could cut you free?”

“With what?”

“Your knife. Remember I took it from you.” This made Greg uneasy. There was something strange about the way Jacob had said it.

“Give it back to me and I’ll cut myself free.” A light shuffling followed and Jacob was no longer beside him.

“I can’t do that. You’ll try and hurt me again.” Greg couldn’t place from where in the shadows the voice was coming, but he did start to understand what was going on.

“Come on Jacob. That was just a joke!” Greg stood up as best as he could. “Jacob, did you put me in here? Did you do something to our drinks?” Greg asked, piecing everything together and remembering the beers Jacob brought back to him and Ryan. He felt his fury building and his blood starting to heat. “Ha, ha, very funny, now let me out!”

“It’s not funny,” Jacob said in a sinister voice Greg had never heard before.

“Where’s Ryan?”

“In the closet. He should have just stood up to you.” Greg tried to fight his way through the darkness, but fell on his stomach, crushed by the shadows.

“Jacob, don’t do this.”

“It’s self-defence.”

“It was always a joke! I’d never actually hurt you!”

“I don’t believe you. I can’t believe you.”
Greg curled up in the centre of the darkness in Jacob’s parents’ basement, crying softly as Jacob watched him through night-vision glasses, taking sick satisfaction in seeing his tormentor squirm. After a few minutes, he raised the switchblade and started walking in. He had to protect himself and get rid of his enemy.
The last Greg felt in his life, which was so full of potential was misery, fear, and all-consuming darkness.

Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

hotmess1 said...
Jan. 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm
i like it:)
nathanJS replied...
Jan. 18, 2011 at 7:27 pm
thanks, appreciate it
Ne Vassa B. said...
Jan. 17, 2011 at 12:23 pm
Wow. Amazing. Poor greg. Wow.... AMAZING.
nathanJS replied...
Jan. 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm
Thanks, really glad u liked it
kennapie12 said...
Jan. 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm
Omg this is great! i love the suspense and u can feel him ! i love it!
Nathan S. replied...
Jan. 16, 2011 at 7:21 pm
Thanks, glad u enjoyed it.  its great to hear positive feedback on it
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