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The Days Are Blood

Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 Next »

From The Bottom Up

Victor awoke abruptly in a fit of coughing, with a searing pain in his head. He was completely unaware of anything in his surroundings. He found himself lying on a frigid, cold, cement floor, encompassed entirely by darkness. All around him, everything was completely silent. Still in a daze, he sat up, perplexed. As the drowsiness brought on by him being in his comatose state gradually began to fade away, his awareness started to return back to normal. What in the hell is going on? I have no idea where I am, he thought, baffled. Then it occurred to him that he must be in his hotel suite. A feeling of relief came over him briefly, but it only lasted for few seconds. He was not in his hotel suite at all; he was in fact very far away from it. All of a sudden, he was over taken with an alarming feeling of dread. The memory of exactly what had happened to him had flooded over him, suddenly bringing back all of his thoughts right up until it happened.
Victor could see it clearly now in his head. Completely sober, he had chosen to leave early from a cocktail party. He had left to go back to his hotel suite in order to work on the new book he was writing. It was five blocks away in Los Angeles, California. It had been very, very early in the morning, and he was foolishly traveling all alone by himself; not even with his entourage. Venturing down what at first glance had seemed to be a vacant alley in order to urinate, he had been cornered and assailed by a large group of men wearing all black suites and demon masks. The images of his attacker’s masks were now stuck in his head. They were some of the most hideous and horrifying masks he had ever seen, and being a successful famous horror fiction writer himself, it took a great lot to scare him. For, he had scared himself so badly while writing his first novel that he had checked himself into therapy.
Victor stood up; the beginnings of words began to form in his throat. He ended up choking on them as he tried to allow them to come out. He found that he was too frightened to even cry out for help. His pants were wet, sticky, and wreaked of fowl, drying urine. He had had to urinate so badly before he was attacked that he must have urinated himself during the attack. It was very disgusting, but it was also the last worry that he had on his mind. He was much more concerned with the situation at hand. It was then that he decided that crying out for help was not a wise idea yet. He wanted to assess the situation the best he could for himself before deciding on taking any course of action. His left hand unconsciously reached into his left pocket in order to search for a cigarette. His not finding one signaled to his conscious awareness to make him check the rest of his pockets. A quick search turned up nothing of any use at all.
Upon waking, at first he had heard only silence, but as he concentrated harder and harder, he thought he could hear the very faint sound of breathing coming from somewhere very close to his immediate position. He decided it was in his best interest to investigate what it was. Cautiously, he wandered forward through the darkness, his hands outstretched in front of him, towards the sound of the breathing. As he got closer, the sound of the breathing was becoming clearer and clearer. He was positive now. There was differently someone, or some thing, breathing within very close proximity to where he was. In fact, he now believed that he could hear the breathing of multiple different individuals.
He crouched down beside the one nearest his position and cautiously reached out to feel it. It was a man; Victor was touching his stomach. He gently tapped him in order to attempt to wake him up.
“What? Who’s there? Where am I?” shouted the man, immediately getting up to his feet, throwing his firsts and elbows rapidly and blindly through the air. Two blows connected with Victor, hitting him in the chest and nose. Before he had time to react, he was tackled down to the ground.
“You bastard! What the f*** do you think you’re doing to me!” shouted the man. Victor reacted quickly. He was a student of the martial art discipline known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. A Judo practitioner named Carlos Gracie developed the art form in order to prove that a smaller, weaker, person could still over come a bigger, stronger, attacker by using leverage and techniques such as joint manipulations and choke holds that didn’t require strength to apply. As the man tackled Victor to the ground, Victor had instinctively wrapped his legs around his attacker to prevent against him mounting on top and raining strikes down onto him. Even though he could not see him, having performed an abounding amount of repitiations during his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes, Victor could feel his attackers position without needing to see him. The man was going so berserk he wouldn’t listen as Victor tried to tell him he didn’t know how they had ended up where they were.
Victor squeezed his legs around him hard and pushed him back. This broke down the man’s posture, ultimately taking him out of position for landing punches. As he tried to punch anyway, Victor captured his arms within his own arms. He lifted his hips to shift the attacker forward and throw him off balance enough to use leverage to roll him over. Victor was now on top of the man, his knees squeezed to his sides hard with his legs locked behind the man’s body, preventing himself from being thrown off.
“You need to calm down, I’m not trying to hurt you,” said Victor, attempting to calm him down.
“Jacob, is that you?” yelled a third voice in the background.
“All right get off me then, will you,” said the man to Victor, obviously embarrassed by his actions as well as getting humbled physically.
“No, I don’t know you’re brother. I’m Victor, Victor Tandberg, you’ve probably heard of me. But anyway I just woke up here a few minutes ago myself, I have absolutely no idea how I got here,” said Victor.
“I’m Benjamin, First Lieutenant Benjamin Arnold Johnson, but you can just call me First Lieutenant Ben. I just got back to the states a week ago from a tour in Iraq. The last thing I remember, I was leaving my house when men with guns surrounded my car at a stop sign. I got out with my hands up and told them to just take it, when they attacked me. They must have knocked me out and taken me here. The bastards,” said the man. They shook hands in the dark. Although they could not see each other, they could both unconsciously feel where the other’s position was.
“Wow, well it makes me feel a little better knowing that an Iraqi war veteran was brought here too. Who else is down here?” asked Victor, addressing the third person. The voice had resembled that of a younger child’s.
“I need to find my brother, Jacob. I don’t know anyone who’s down here, ” replied the voice. It was the voice of a little girl, it sounded like she was already in tears and on the verge of going into hysteria. Victor and First Lieutenant Ben rushed over to where her voice was coming from immediately.
“Little girl, we’re here to help you. I promise we’re not going to hurt you.” Victor stuck his hand out in order to reach for her approximate position in the dark.
“Get away from me! I don’t even know you, I want my brother!” she screamed. At this point she was sobbing even harder that she had been before. She began running away into the darkness in an attempt to get away from Victor and First Lieutenant Ben. A sickening thud was suddenly heard loudly as she unexpectedly collided straight into the wall. She hollered out into the air, in antagonizing pain.
“Help me please, I just hurt my arm,” she cried out. Victor and First Lieutenant Ben approached her cautiously.
“I promise we’re not going to hurt you. You can call me Victor. How badly are you hurt?”
“It’s my, my, my, arm,” she finally gasped out, clearly in an enormous amount of pain. “I had them right in front of my face and I ran into the wall!”
“You can call me Ben, I know a lot about first aide,” said First Lieutenant Ben. She began to try to stand up from off of the ground. “You need to sit back down and calm down. If you hit your head, you may have a concussion,” said First Lieutenant Ben.
“It’s just my arm,” she said, gasping and wailing in pain.
“Jesus Christ,” exclaimed Victor. First Lieutenant Ben made her sit back down and began to thoroughly examine her to the best of his abilities under the extreme circumstances.
“She definitely has a fracture; I believe she fractured her ulna. I know a lot of people who have done that. It must hurt like a b****,” he said. First Lieutenant Ben generously used his jacket to help make a sling for her. He told her that she would need treatment for it eventually, but that the sling would keep it out of the way for the time being. “Stay tough little girl, I know it hurts but you need to hang in their and not give up.”
“All right, I’ll try my best,” said the young girl.
“I know you’re in a lot of pain, but can you recall the last thing you remember happening?” asked Victor. After a long pause, she finally answered.
“I don’t know, exactly, we were just in the subway station,” replied the young girl, still in tears.
“So you were in the subway station, is there anything else that you can remember?” asked Victor.
“I…just…don’t…remember,” she said in between tears, “but I was with my brother,” said the girl.
“Who is your brother?” asked Victor.
“His name’s Jacob, I just want to find him,” she said, “I don’t know what to do!”
“It’s going to all be okay, we’ll start to figure everything out soon,” said Victor, making a feeble attempt at offering her a sense of reassurance.
“F***! Nothing is going to be okay!” yelled First Lieutenant Ben loudly as he stomped both feet on the ground in succession out of frustration. “We’re trapped in some sort of a pitch black, freezing cold, good for nothing holding room. We’ve been kidnapped by a bunch of dick wads wearing fucking Halloween costumes. You’re going to have to explain to me just how the f*** everything is going to be okay, because from we’re I’m sitting right now, nothing looks like it’s going to be okay at all,” said First Lieutenant Ben.
“You really need to calm down, seriously, you’re scaring her. You’re only going to screw us more if you don’t shut the hell up,” snapped Victor back at him.
“I’m only thinking rationally here, don’t tell her everything is fine when it’s clearly not fine,” snapped First Lieutenant Ben back at him.
“Okay, I was just trying to give her some hope,” replied Victor, not wanting to get into an argument.
“Wait, you said your name’s Victor Tandberg, just like that author right?” asked First Lieutenant Ben
“Yeah, I actually am Victor Tandberg the author,” said Victor.
“Really?” asked First Lieutenant Ben.
“Yeah, I’m the real Victor Tandberg. I was actually spending some time in Los Angeles to get some inspiration for my next novel when they got me,” replied Victor.
“No s***. Well, I guess I don’t really see any reason why you would make that up, so I believe you. When I was serving overseas, I knew a ton of people who devoured your books like they were starving children taken to a Chinese buffet. I never read much myself, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about them. Look, I’m real sorry for my outburst, but we really do need to come up with a plan or something promptly. I’m a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, as soon as I get another shot at one of those fuckers that brought me here I’m going to tear them apart,” said First Lieutenant Ben.
“I like you’re attitude. So what we do know is that we were all kidnapped and brought here. We have no idea why or by whom yet. We just need to stay calm and come up with a plan. What are you thinking, Lieutenant,” said Victor.
“Well first, let’s account for everyone else that’s down here. Then we’ll need to figure out what the perimeter of this room is like. We may find a door, or another way of breaching out,” replied First Lieutenant Ben.
“Okay, that sounds like a good idea,” said Victor. “Hey buddy,” said Victor to the younger girl, “what is your name?”
“My name is Tara, I’m only eight. Some really bad, bad people took me and my brother here,” she said. She didn’t seem to understand fully what was going on, but she insinuated that she wanted to help.
“Okay, Tara. All I want you to do is just sit there and stay calm for now. We’re going to take care of you until we’re safe. People will be looking for us soon,” said Victor, trying again to provide her with a since of hope. The thought had crossed his mind that not many people actually would be looking for him. It had been over four years since he had written his last novel, he still hadn’t even started his fourth one yet. All three of his novels had been number one best selling books, and a movie adaptation of one of them had been in production, but was currently stalled because two different movie companies were fighting over the rights to it. This in it self had been stressful for Victor, let alone the hell he suffered through after working on his last book. Victor honestly couldn’t remember much about writing his last novel, for he was addicted to several powerful drugs all throughout the process of working on it. After suffering a mental breakdown, his fiancé at the time, Natasha, had threatened to leave him if he didn’t check himself into a good rehabilitation program. He had gone through a copious amount of trouble keeping the whole ordeal hidden from the public eye.
Going out to Los Angeles had been a strictly personal decision for him. Rehabilitation had been a complete success, even though it was undoubtedly the hardest thing he had ever had to go through. While he had drastically improved his health, his new sober lifestyle change came at a large cost. For, it seemed to Victor that after completing his rehabilitation program, he had lost his ability to write without being under the influence of some kind of mind altering substance after having relied on them for a very long time to get him the through all of the long, tedious, sessions of writing and editing necessary for creating a masterpiece. Frustrated, he had left to go back to Los Angeles, the city in which he had lived before he got started in steadfast substance abuse. He had been hoping to use some time with just himself in order to figure everything out, that being the reason why he now found himself unable to tap into the creative parts of his brain. Ex-substance addict or not though, he did have a contract to finish a 50,000 word novel by the end of the year, and he hadn’t even gotten started with it yet. Before he could, he believed that he needed to find a new way to get his writing done besides turning back to his old habit of drug abuse. He had instructed everyone, including his agents, to make no attempts to contact him for at least an entire week, so nobody would be looking for him for at least a week.
It started out as the sound of breathing, and then it turned into a series of sniffles. It came from someone on the ground still that was still unaccounted for by the group.
“Hey, Victor, I found another one over here. It seems that it must be her brother, I’m having a lot of trouble waking him up,” said First Lieutenant Ben. Tara immediately sprinted over to the area where First Lieutenant Ben’s voice was coming from. Victor ran over as well. Ben stuck out his hand, shaking Victor’s hand in order to signal where he was. First Lieutenant Ben was lying over the boy, attempting to rouse him from his unconscious state.
“That’s Jacob!” exclaimed Tara.
“Jacob, can you hear me, your sister is here,” said First Lieutenant Ben, getting right down beside his ear.
“Jacob wake up! Please, Jacob, please!” she yelled, shaking his unconscious body. He responded with a few grunts, and began to sit up. “Jacob, are you awake?” Tara asked him, starting to get excited.
“Yeah, did the subway go by yet?” he responded.
“No Jacob, we’re not in the station anymore, I’m really scared, and I have a broken arm now” exclaimed Tara. Jacob suddenly rolled over and began convulsing before vomiting violently all over the floor. Victor patted him on the back, trying to help him feel better.
“Oh my God,” said First Lieutenant Ben.
“Take it easy, buddy, just get it all out. My name is Victor, Victor Tandberg. We all just woke up here together; we have no idea how we got here.”
“Where are we?” said Jacob.
“We don’t know,” answered his sister.
“Lieutenant, go around and find anyone else who’s down here while I help the boy out,” instructed Victor to First Lieutenant Ben. His eyes were beginning to adjust to the darkness, so he could see the boy sitting up, vomit covering the front of his shirt. The smell was putrid; the kind of smell that could potentially make you disgorge yourself.
“Jacob, are you okay,” asked Tara.
“Yeah, I think so, what’s going on?”
“I don’t really know what the easy way to say this would be, but we’ve all been kidnapped and brought here for some reason we are yet to figure out. I know it’s all very scary to think about, but we have a plan to get us out of here. The other man down here is in the military,” said Victor, trying to provide the young boy with some hope just as he had done with his sister.
“It was the men in the masks!” shouted Jacob, suddenly. “They’re the ones who did this to us!”
“Wait, the guys that got me had masks too,” said Victor. “Did they look like demon masks?” asked Victor, getting excited.
“Yeah, they were red, with these awful contusions all over them, with horns I think,” Jacob replied.
“Yeah, that’s what I saw too,” replied Victor, “what were you doing when it happened?” Jacob tried to recall what exactly he and his sister had been doing, but found himself unable to. His sister was still unable to remember as well. Victor could hear First Lieutenant Ben talking to someone else now. It sounded like a woman.
“Lieutenant, is there someone else over there?” Victor asked.
“Yeah, one more. She says her name is Khalilah. She’s the last of them,” answered First Lieutenant Ben. Victor made his way over towards First Lieutenant Ben and Khalilah, followed by Jacob, and Tara. Jacob was trying to help her with her sling. After they helped her get through the initial shock of waking up, Khalilah seemed to be fully functional but a little bit dazed still. It turned out that she was an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles. She had been leaving the elementary school where she worked after staying late like she usually did to finish correcting her student’s papers before she left and got into her car just like she would on any other day. Little did she know at the time, that two men wearing the demon masks had climbed into the far back seat, undetected by her. As she pulled into her driveway, and got out of her car, she was attacked and kidnapped while trying to get into her house.
Completely unexpectedly, the room became flooded with an illuminating light. The onset of the light was temporarily blinding. They were in a fairly large room, with a cement floor. The walls were painted in all white. There was a door with no handle on it, unable to be opened from the inside. The ceiling had an array of pipes on it. A loud voice began to speak, coming from speakers.
“Welcome everyone, my name is Vincent, I will be your guide for your first challenge,” said the voice.
“Who the hell are you, and what do you want from us,” screamed Ben.
“Like I said, my name is Vincent. I bet you’re wondering why you’re here.”
“You’re damn right,” said Victor back.
“Mr. Victor Tandberg, you have been brought here for a reason. All of you have. Your actions today will decide if all of you make it out of here alive or not,” said Vincent. Everyone in the group started talking at once, all demanding answers from the speaker who called himself Vincent. “Silence! Not one more word out of any of you unless you want your life taken right now. You’re lucky I’m merciful enough to spare you. Everyone remain silent until I am done explaining what will be taken place. You have all been brought to a place known as Blood Hall. Here, you will be pushed to your limits physically, but more so mentally. Right now you are in the basement. Blood hall has five floors. You will be working from the bottom up. On each floor, you all will face a challenge so immense, that the average person would consider it impossible. But you all are far from average; we’ve made sure of that.
If anyone fails a challenge on any floor, the punishment is imminent peril. I am about to release you from this holding room into the first room of the basement. In this room, you will find the floor resembles a chess or checkers board, except with twice the spaces. There will be hundreds of objects scattered randomly throughout the room. There will be a scoreboard on the wall. Your goal is to get the score up to three hundred in one hour. I will be watching you on the cameras the whole time. Begin,” said Victor. Nothing but static could be heard over the speakers for a moment before the door swung opened, leading them into the next room.
“What the f***! What the f***! This is bullshit, come down here and talk to me yourself,” yelled Ben, up at the speakers.
“Oh my goodness, I cannot believe this,” gasped Khalilah.
“Well we can’t just sit here and cry about it, we have to figure out we need to do, let’s go.” Victor led the way into the next room, the distraught Ben, Khalilah, Jacob, and Tara followed closely behind him.
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This book has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Freckles3 said...
Apr. 22, 2013 at 9:37 pm
Okay, look. Here's the thing. I'm going to talk straight up with you, because you really need to hear this. If this sounds harsh, I'm sorry, but I couldn't just not comment and let you continue like this... The thing is... You can not write such a great, compelling story with an incredibly suspenseful plot like this and just leave us hanging like that. That is not okay. i must read more. Phwew. Now that that's off my chest, I can congratulate you on a truly... (more »)
Surobhi_Moitrayee said...
Feb. 14, 2012 at 5:32 am
Just loved your idea...and you summary is just so attracting and grabs attention! love your writting...keep it up...i'd be glad if you'd read my book too..

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