I awoke to the sound of silence. Then it hit me. Literally. A giant blob of god-knows-what. Whatever the nauseating substance was, it clung to my quaking skin with its wretched scent. I had a fairly troublesome time trying to remove any of the gruesome material. The acrid scent was not wearing off anytime soon it seemed. Who or what just threw that at me? I wondered.
Scanning my surroundings, I couldn’t see much other than the cold, blackness of the dark. Then, a horrific growl had caused a massive echo throughout the area. I stood dead still, staying quiet and not moving so much as a single muscle.
The odor of the hideous substance still filled my nostrils and made me want to vomit. Covering my mouth as I gagged and heaved, barely managing to stay quiet. Only just long enough until whatever was growling had skittered away on, what sounded like, multiple insect-like legs. As soon as it left, everything came spewing out of my mouth in a horrid mass around where I stood.
Maybe it was just a sick, wake up call, I thought . I had no idea where I was. I sat on the cold, metal floor and struggled to remember something, anything. How exactly did I get here? Was I brought here by someone? Did I bring myself here? My memory couldn’t travel that far back, no matter how hard I tried.
How old am I? I asked myself. I couldn’t recall that either. My family members? Again, nothing. It was gone, all of my memory was gone. I could not even remember my own name. My head throbbed trying to remember and panic gripped my chest.
The stickiness began wearing down into a more liquid kind of substance, drenching my clothing in a shivering cold wetness. Some of it found its way into my mouth. The rancid substance flooded my taste buds, and I spit it back out in a heartbeat.
I was soon tired of sitting in soaking wet clothes, so I started crawling around the pitch black room. As I crawled, I touched something and immediately drew my hand back, only to touch it again. Whatever it was, it felt almost fleshy, or along the lines of gelatinous, with holes that felt like pores. I soon found that it was connected to the walls of the room, and parts of the floor. Though a light source would’ve helped me better understand this.
I eventually found some object lying upon the floor, it felt plastic. Feeling around it with my hands, I found a button and pressed it. A bright, stinging light struck my eyes with such fierceness that I dropped it. Flashlight, good, I thought. I let my eyes adjust before picking up the flashlight, scanning the room with my newfound tool.
Upon seeing the strange, mushy substance I found earlier, to my horror, it looked to be made of an organic material. Like flesh. Falling backward in my surprise, I backed up into more of the substance opposite of where I was looking. Blood oozed through the pores with a sickening sound, covering my upper body.
Yelping and practically jumping to the middle of the room, I looked around frantically. Warm blood stuck to my skin, slowly dripping down to the floor around me. I could hardly breathe, or maybe I was breathing too much. Then, there was a voice, as if it was over some kind of intercom or loudspeaker.
“H-h-h-hello-hello-hello,” It was breaking up, then a pause and it returned. “Hello, lost soul. Welcome, to your personal nightmare and atonement for your sins,” The voice said, with a piercing sound, as if it were nails on a chalkboard, and a strange light-heartedness that filled me with anxiety. I was confused, none of what it said had made any sense.
“I know, you’re confused, lost, have no memory of how you got here. Well, that’s simply how this works,” The voice said as if to answer my question. “Allow me to introduce myself, I am the Grandmaster. And you, uhmm, lemme see here,” the Grandmaster trailed off, and a shuffling of papers was all I could hear for the next few moments.
“Oh! Here we go, you are Nathan, right?” he asked.
Nathan...that is my name. Nathan Teller, I thought in bewilderment.
I didn’t realize the Grandmaster was still asking me whether or not it was my name. “Helloooo? Nathan? Is that your name or not?”
I blinked, “Y-yes..” I replied weakly. I cleared my throat, “Yes, I’m Nathan.” I always hated when that happened.
“Good, now then Nathan, this is a game. Well, a game for me, but! This is meant as an atonement for your sins while you were alive,”
While I was alive? What does he mean? Am I dead? I thought fearfully.
He continued, “To your left is a door, a door which you will exit and find your way to the lights,” he paused, “but not just any lights. The DEATH LIGHTS!” he shouted in his own excitement.
I jumped at his scream, but forced myself to stay calm.
“Why are they called Death Lights you say? Well, the Death Lights are special lights that transport one soul or another to their trial. One of many, in fact. And the trials get rather, uh, how should I say? Deadly,” he said with a bit of sick laughter. “Yes, they can cause death, hence the name. While they don’t directly cause death, they’ve led many, many, many, many souls to death. And if you die, your soul either plunges into eternal damnation, or nonexistence. Depending on far you make it.”
I couldn’t get a grasp on the situation, I stood still in complete shock. I heard and processed all the Grandmaster said, but couldn’t reply. “HEY! SNAP OUT OF IT!” The Grandmaster had shouted at me, and I was pulled from my trance. “Good, now, go out the door to your left and find the Death Lights. You will have to fight sometimes, not all of these monsters can be simply ran away from. But don’t worry, there’ll be weapons at your disposal. Until next time, Mr. Teller.”
And with a last little laugh, the Grandmaster was gone from the intercom system. I walked out the door, forcing my fear and anxiety to become strength. It didn’t help, but I thought it was worth the try.
I examined the area around me and, sure enough, the organic material was everywhere. “Great,” I muttered. There was nothing but one long, narrow hallway, which divided into two paths at the end. As I peered through the area with my light, I could see a couple of dead bodies that were heavily disfigured, and mutilated. It was far too unsettling to be the work of any human. Oh God...what on Earth did this? I thought frightfully.
Whatever had done this, I wanted to steer as clear as possible from it.
Both bodies had a pool of crimson blood around them, with what looked like bloodied, and smeared handprints on the wall near the bodies. The bodies themselves weren’t recognizable. They may as well have been just grinded up piles of rotting flesh and blood. I shifted my gaze downward to find an eyeball rolling towards my feet.
Covering my mouth, I swore and picked up my pace. I felt a bit of squishing underneath my feet as I walked. I knew what it was and didn’t dare to look down, knowing I might throw up again. The smell of decaying flesh was beginning to leave my nose, thank God.
I approached the end of the hall, determining carefully which route to take. I looked to the left, right, then left again. Then I heard an unpleasant sound from the left path, as if it were a buzzing of a saw. No, stay away from sounds like that, I told myself.
I glanced at a shadow of something, I couldn’t quite make it out. It looked to have a constantly twisting body, with a mouth that had teeth like a grinder. I started off in a jog, but I knew it was a mistake. Whatever the hell it was, it had heard me and chased me at full speed. Granted it’s full speed was about half of mine.
The buzzing of its teeth became louder, and got closer. My feet pounded harder and harder against the metal floor. I had no idea where I was really going, everything was a blur. And with a thud, I ran into a wall and cursed loudly. Crawling out of harm’s way, I knew I narrowly missed being struck by whatever the hell was chasing me. I scrambled to my feet, trying not to slip from all the blood and ooze on me, and started running again, only to trip over some dead body.
My head hit the floor with a loud thump and my vision had become blurred. I could just barely hear the buzzing of those teeth through the ringing in my ears. I crawled. I’m not sure where, but I crawled. Away from that, that thing. My vision cleared and I pointed the light I had at the dead body I tripped over, and a handgun was in its hands. Yes! I have to get it before it gets too close! I thought frantically.
The monster was closer than I was, but I was quicker. Jumping at the body, I grabbed the gun. The lifeless face of the poor soul looked into my eyes, as if to say, “Good luck with that.” Rushing backwards, I pointed the light and the gun at the grotesque monster. My heart pounding so loud the monster may have been able to hear it.
It’s eyes were bulging and wide, like a frog’s. As I pushed myself backward, I saw that it’s body was constantly twisting and contorting itself, as if it had a structure that was Twizzler-like. It’s skin was like any other human’s, if a human was twisted, mutilated, and reconstructed into this massive, ugly looking pile of crap. I continued to inch behind me, and the monster swiped with fingertips that had short claws that looked to be no longer than an inch. Scarcely missing my face.
Then it hit me, those two messes of dead bodies that looked grinded and decayed. This thing is probably what killed them. My hands shook as I aimed the gun at the thing. Where do I shoot?! I thought, with fear pulsing through my veins. It was getting closer with each step, I had to act fast.
I took in one deep breath, and in that moment, I knew if I didn’t land a shot, I was as good as dead. The pressure was on, but I had to push away my fear. “No, not like them.” I said as I fired the gun.