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Wake up. It's time to get going.
I felt like I had been drugged. My head felt like it was full of nothing but snot and just about ready to burst. At first, I couldn't open my eyes, but when I did, I opened them to a gray brick ceiling. My house? No, I couldn't remember having a home. My head lolled to the right, deprived of energy, and my eyes rolled back into my skull. "Ughhh. Umphhh." It was an effort to push my eyelids up a second time, but when I did, I regretted it.
I tried to focus on it. But it was moving faster than I could comprehend. I was definitely inside some cell. There was a complicated-looking lock on the door but what was most intriguing was the something standing outside. It was a man. My vision was blurry and fogged, but I could see pale flesh and cold red blood. It passed slowly with a strange clinking sound, seeming not to have noticed me.
"Is that you I hear? ... Come back..." it moaned, its voice deep but sounding stupid.
I closed my eyes again. "When I open them, it better be gone," I told myself. I opened them, and true enough, he was gone. I started to move a bit. In a rush, my vision began to clear as I could feel my legs and arms. I slowly got up and found myself in clean white clothes. I stood just as slowly and noticed I had been lying on a dusty old mattress. I looked down at myself. I noticed there were lumps on my chest. Hm. So I was female.
"Ughhh," I couldn't help but let out a small moan. My head still hurt, and I couldn't remember a thing. Sure, I could walk and knew that lumps meant female, but I couldn't grasp anything from before I gained consciousness. As I pondered how I had gotten here in the first place, I noticed a phonograph. The cell itself was made of the simple gray stone, adorned with grime and rats in the corners. I timidly approached the phonograph and saw it had a handle. I put my hand around it and began to turn it. I kept turning but no sound came out. I groaned and let go only to freeze when I heard a chilling voice.
"Hello! Glad to see your awake," the phonograph cooed. "Don't even think about trying to find me, as this is a voice of the past, a voice of my disembodied self. Haha! I study the human psyche, and my new test subject is you, yourself! Perhaps the first thing you should do is leave this cell. Please do take a look around, as that will be the only way to complete our...experiment. Ha! Good luck and adieu!"
At first, I was confused. I also wanted to cry. I wasn't going to leave this cell when the man was walking around. Then I played the phonograph again. Then I believed I was hallucinating this whole thing and pinched myself to wake up from this dream. Then in a burst of anger, I looked all around my cell for another way out, a secret passage or something, but there was nothing. Then I realized this was all happening for real in real-time and felt like crying again. I laid back onto the mattress and looked up at the ceiling. I noticed a lantern there, the only source of light. There was a thick string that was tied to it and connected to the lock on the door. With a sigh of curiosity, I stood on my bed and reached for the lantern. Just as I pulled it off, a quiet chink was heard, and the gears of the lock fell off. The clatter echoed throughout the cell and into the darkness outside. I covered my mouth and clutched my breath. I heard something from the darkness.
"Is that you my love? Did you come back for me? Oh, why did this happen?"
With the lock gone, the door began to swing open just a bit. Soon, it was halfway ajar. I scrambled to blow out the lantern and crouch next to the phonograph, holding onto my breath.
Then there came the clinking. First, I saw the foot, the white, clammy foot. Then, came the body. It was illuminated by some outside light, but I wish it hadn't been. I was disgusted but too shocked to look away. Many areas of the man, including "there," were blackened. His ankles were chained, but they dragged along behind him, which caused a "clink" with every move. The shackles had been there for a while. Even in the darkness, the ankles showed black, crimson meat instead of living flesh. There was an "X" cut into the thing's chest. It dripped down its body, showing the gooey red on its legs as it walked toward the door, and the "drip, drip" dripping would haunt me forever. Then came the head. There was some strange chain that bound its neck. A metal wheel that half-strangled and half-mangled it. But its face. Oh, the face. It had no eyes. Darkened sockets in its place. It had no nose. Only the remains of one as a crooked piece of flesh. It had no mouth. Only a gaping hole that stayed open. The thing was bald, revealing a deep gash on its head. Something stirred in that gash, perhaps the brain or a worm.
It came closer. And closer. And closer. I was getting dizzy by this time. I was going to faint. The ceiling was on the ground, or was it ground on the ceiling. If I fell, I knew I would make a sound. Would the man come in? Would he? As I kept both vomit and scream in, the "man" finally came to the door.
"Justine? I love you... Please... Where are you? Come back!" The mouth barely move but even then the voice came out of the hole. It brought its hands to the door, and its knuckles broke through its skin. "Justine! You're not leaving me again!" From its mouth came another sound, but this time it wasn't words. It was a hideous scream from the depths of all evil, the sound of painful death and torture. Blood and chunks of miscellaneous flew from its mouth and hit the wall next to me. It shook the door crazily that dust and small rocks fell from the ceiling. I covered my head and neck but then all went silent. I stayed still for I don't know how long. Should I take a peek? I hadn't even heard the clinking. I slowly lifted my head and had to fight back the urge to scream. It was looking right at me. With its bloody sockets, it stared. Could it see me?
"I love you."
The mouth somehow stretched into a smile in a most horrific convulsion I had ever seen, and it began to open the door. I simply sat there, hugging my knees, frozen to the spot. It slowly began walking into my cell, looking at me the whole time. Clink. Clink. Clink.
It was inside now, inching its way toward me. The stench was horrible. Rotting meat and the repugnant smell of sewage filled the area. Clink. Clink.
I closed my eyes, ready for my death.
"I got you now!"
The thing screamed, but I felt no hit. Opening my eyes this time was the most difficult ordeal ever. I was dumbfounded. It had veered to the other side of the cell, its back to me now. It was feeling the sides of the wall, punching the brick every now and then. It was muttering strange things, but it hadn't even noticed me.
I began to head for the door. It's strange how one holds onto life even when one doesn't believe in living. In a burst of adrenaline I ran from the cell into the darkness. I didn't know where I was going, but I knew I was going out.