NaNoWriMo is in full swing and I’m glad to report that I made my word quota for day one! Good thing, too, or I wouldn’t have been able to get this post up!
I really wanted to get this up before NaNoWriMo started, but oh well. This was one of those prompts (courtesy of Our Write Side’s Coldly Calculating series) that really got me and I couldn’t help but write a response for it. The prompt presented a really interesting challenge and I really enjoyed finally figuring it out and finishing the piece. I’m pretty proud of this one.
Too bad I couldn’t get it up before Halloween! Here’s some post-Halloween horror.
TW: Blood and Horror
When I woke up, it was quiet. At least, I thought it was. My surroundings were spinning, my temple throbbing with a pain I could only describe as someone taking a drill to the inside of my skull. My vision was blurred, and it was a few moments before my eyes focused again. I was met with the sight of my bloodied hands holding me up from the floor as I struggled to stand. The blood was still warm, and I wasn’t sure if it was mine or someone else’s. My mouth tasted of copper, and I tried spitting to get rid of the awful sensation, but that only produced more blood.
It was a struggle to recall the events that led me here. For some reason, all I could remember was the smell of sulfur – a stench that now made its way to my awareness, only making the warm, stickiness of the room even worse, somehow magnifying the discomfort I already felt.
I willed myself to speak, to call out, but no voice left my throat. I’m not sure why, but that set off a panic that the sight of blood hadn’t. Clearing my throat and grimacing at the renewed copper in my mouth, I tried again. Had I lost my voice? Somehow, I didn’t think that was it. Now that I was aware of my surroundings, the silence unnerved me. It was unnatural. My stomach sank as I raised a shaky hand to my ear and snapped my fingers.
Calm down. Calm. Down. All I could do was repeat the words in my mind over and over, until my heart slowed down and my breathing came easier. I tried to ignore the silence as I finally stood, looking around the room for some kind of exit. There was a door a few feet from me – the only one that I could see in the dim lighting. Without a second thought, I booked it for the door. I expected it to be locked, but met no resistance and nearly fell backwards.
On the other side of the door, the hall was poorly lit and lined with pipes. No windows led me to believe I was underground somewhere. I called out into the hallway, but I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. Was my voice even carrying? My throat hurt when I spoke, so I knew I was making sounds, but they probably didn’t get very far. This did little to comfort me. Without many other options, I pressed my back to the wall and began to slide along, my eyes darting everywhere, trying to take everything in. I did my best to feel any vibrations in the wall, but my hands were shaking. Every moment of silence dragged out, and I struggled not to give in to the panic. I was scared to round the corner.
Biting my lip, I tried to make myself move, thinking the taste of blood would jolt me forward. You’ll be fine. Just go.
I should have listened to the fear. Why didn’t I listen?
Around the corner, I met a sight right out of my nightmares. It was a woman, bloodied, dirty, her waist-long hair matted all the way down her back. In one hand, she held a large knife. Just like everything else, it was stained and rusted with blood. She scraped at the wall with it – over and over and over – it should have made noise, but it was like watching a silent horror film. I must have let out a sound – a whimper, a cry, I couldn’t be sure – because her head snapped towards me and faster than lightning she was an inch from my face, mouth open in a silent scream. Her eyes were black holes – and yet I knew she could see me. Before I knew it, I was on the ground, scrambling to get away as she looked on, mouth still open, jaw practically unhinging. She moved towards me, her movements more like twitches than steps.
I turned and ran, unable to tell if she was chasing me, but fairly sure I had no choice but to keep going.
I never thought it’d be that hard to write someone without being able to describe what they hear. Still, though, it was fun!
Here’s to a good kick-off to NaNoWriMo!
As always, think happy thoughts!