Aaron paused for breath, his aching muscles finally having forced him to.  Marissa’s distant screams filled the air and swirled around him. With a primal grunt he forced himself onward.  He had to find her, or he would die trying.

There was no time to stop and wonder how it all happened, how he and his pregnant wife had ended up in this place, wherever it was.  The last thing he remembered was kissing Marissa good night and placing a hand lovingly on her nearly full-term stomach. “Any day now,” he remembered hearing her say.  How excited and filled with emotion he’d been. It was the perfect way to end a long day.

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And then he woke up.  Cold and alone. A cramped room with metal walls and only a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling.  He sat bolt upright and searched for his wife. He called her name. Nothing. Panic seized at his throat.

Then, the sounds began.

There was a click as if someone had switched on a radio.  Screaming followed. “Aaron? Aaron where are you? Please help me!”  Marissa. She was in danger.  

Aaron shouted to the walls around him.  “Marissa, where are you? I’m coming!”

Another click.  Silence. Another click.

“Good to see you awake, Aaron.”  The voice was a strange chorus of low and high tones, clearly the result of some kind of manipulation.

“Who the fuck are you?!” Aaron fired.  “Where’s Marissa?!”

“It wouldn’t be any fun if I told you.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?”  A chill washed over Aaron as the reality of his situation began to set in.

“You have five minutes to find your wife.  Your time starts… now.”  

A door flew open.  Aaron jumped back. As the shock wore off the sound of screaming rose to his ears.  Marissa. She was somewhere nearby. But where?

He stumbled from the room and into a long corridor.  Door after door ran up and down each side. Marissa’s muffled screaming continued, and Aaron followed, running at top speed.  He didn’t want to risk finding out what would happen after five minutes.

Finally, he was forced to stop for breath.  He sucked in gulps of air, all the while the screaming continued.  He was so close. On he went.

At last, he came to a door where the screaming was loudest.  This had to be it. Or maybe this was some sick joke? A diversion?  It was a chance he’d have to take.

He grabbed the door handle and pulled.  The door wanted to open, but something held it in place.  He jerked it two more times, each time letting Marissa’s screams escape loudly into the echoing hallway.  “I’m coming Marissa!” he called. “I’m here! I’m going to get you out of here!”

He yanked on the door over and over with every ounce of strength he could muster.  What was holding it in place? Did it seem to be loosening? He had to keep going, there was no way around it.

He inhaled sharply and summoned everything within himself.  One more pull, and….

There was the sound of something wet smacking against the floor.  Marissa’s screams lowered into groans. Aaron opened the door fully with ease and dropped to his knees.  Vomit and tears ran together.

Marissa lay on a table before him, her legs in stirrups, forced wide apart.  A viscous red liquid ran everywhere. In the middle of the floor lay a newborn, face down and deathly still.  One end of a sturdy chain was wrapped around its neck. The other end was attached to the inside doorknob.



Written by Jdeschene
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