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The stench. Oh God, the stench. The foul smell engulfed my nostrils, turning every breath into a fight for life instead of a life-giving remedy. I had never smelled anything like it before, and now I know how blessed my life had been. It burned the back of my throat like bile, making me retch with every breath. But I was still breathing. At least I knew that.

It was dark where I sat. A window illuminated a single spot in the room, at least during the day. This was my third day trapped here, yet the only thing I knew about this room was that the floor was wooden, thanks to that one light spot. And that for each day that passed, the smell got worse.

I was only a few feet from the spot of light, maybe eight feet away. If I could have looked out the window, I would have, just to have some idea of where I was. But the light in comparison to the abysmal darkness was blinding. Not that there would be much to look at anyway. I was stuck beneath the window, in the vacuum of light created just behind it. I wanted to get a better angle of the window, I really did. But to that I had to move away from the wall. Easy in theory, but not with two broken legs. I could feel the bone protruding through the thigh of my right leg and the shattered remains of the bones in my left leg floating around, each broken shard tearing at the insides of my leg muscles.

That's what occupied me for my first day here. I woke up, drowsy and blind. Before I knew the condition of my legs, I made the mistake of moving. The immediate, searing pain made me vomit before passing right back into cold unconsciousness. I reawoke, knowing at least not to move. You know those movies, where the hero breaks a leg, but was too "determined" to just rest it? Bullshit. I placed so much focus on this, I didn't even take in my surroundings for a good ten minutes. I'd heard enough about these kind of places to know what this was. This was my tomb. The light from the window was fading fast; the day was coming to a close. I passed out again.

The light was back. Daylight, my only friend in that godforsaken room. I knew, if anything, that window could be salvation. I twirled my upper body, moving my legs as little as possible, to see out the window. Something about that movement stirred the air in that room, carrying the smell to me for the first time. I almost drowned in my own stomach fluids, which I had been sure I'd emptied the day before. I should have known that would be too much to ask for. But lying on my back, the acidic fluids pooling in my mouth and spilling out the sides, I noticed something out the window. The light was fading again. How long could I have passed out for the night before?

And then I saw it. There was no sun out that window. The light faded back into a bulb. It was artificial. I should have known I wasn't alone in there. That prickling on the back of my neck wasn't just paranoia, though it had every right to be. Someone was watching me, toying with me. So I yelled. I screamed. I demanded an explanation, with no intention of getting a response. Vomit spewed over the floor, onto my clothes, everywhere. I went on until my throat burned with more than just the lining of my stomach. I cried into the now pitch black darkness, into light headedness, and back into the darkness of induced sleep.

Now it's day three. They refuse to turn the light back on. I have no clue how long it's truly been, but three days seems rational to my deteriorating mind. The smell hasn't stopped. If I'm blind, I wouldn't know. This is too much, I have to get out. Those bastards won't get the satisfaction of me begging for mercy. I get on my belly, and drag myself. I've found that movie hero determination. My fingernails rip and tear from every finger, the jagged wood stabs my arms. Shrug it off, I tell myself. I will drag myself as far as I can, I won't give up until I die. I owe it to my family. My wife, Kim, and my daughters, Jill and Sandra. If I die, I will do it fighting for every inch.

"That won't be necessary."

I stopped cold in my tracks. The voice came from every angle, every pitch and tone melted and formed into one. Not loud, but crushing every inch of my body as it echoes. The light comes on. But this isn't the same light. A floodlight from the window lights the entire room. I'm blinded in white light, like a camera flash on my retinas.

"They're here with you already."

My eardrums rattle, but my sight is coming into focus. Objects take shape and my brain begins to recognize them. No... That horrible smell. My body tries to expel again, but only blood comes out.

Blood is caked on Kim's neck, hacked into like a tree. I can see her spine. She's hanging from meat hooks and chains from the ceiling. Her eyes wide, screaming, her face contorted in pain and suffering. She had not gone peacefully. I know what to expect as I turn away from her lifeless, hanging body.

On the other side of the room, Jill and Sandra are bound together by the neck, hanging from the same rope. Back to back, their hands and feet have been nailed together and wrapped in barbed wire. I refuse to witness the final look upon their faces. I'm about to curse at the animals who did this, but their voice constricts mine in my throat before I can speak.

"We know what you have to say. It is meaningless."

I feel their voice. It makes no words, but I feel it. My arms start shaking. The pain is unbearable!


My arms contort in impossible ways, crushing each bone to dust. I try to scream, but the voices continue, and no other sound exists.

"We can see your suffering. We can see your pain in losing your family. Yes, they did suffer. They suffered terribly. We see your mind, and we must have it. But you must pour out your terror. Pour out your sorrow, and your pain."

I grit my teeth and shut my eyes. I will not let them in. It's useless, and I know that as much as they know that. Their voice opens my eyes, forces them straight ahead, between the corpses of my family

"We know you, inside and out. We know where your heart beats as well as where you once grew up. We know what happened in your past. We know your greatest fear. If you will not give us your mind, we will take it."

The voices persist once more with no words. As my eyes focus ahead, something begins to take form. A dark shadow in the center of the floodlight. It materializes, and I know what it is. I would run, if my legs were not broken. I would claw my own eyes out, chew through my wrists, break my own neck if my arms weren't broken. I want to scream, pour out my mind to them in the only way I know, but my throat is torn.

And they knew that would happen. The light dies as the shadow creeps closer. They knew this would happen. This is the end of my life, and they know that.

They have taken my mind. I know what they know. We know. We know everything. I know our past victims, how long we've lived. The only thing to know now is who is next.

Oh... Well, I guess we know you now. And how sweet the smell of your fear is.

Written by Provider92
Content is available under CC BY-SA