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Rebekah King Rebekah King
Recommendations: 21

At Night - Part 6

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No End to the Nothing
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Will Emily get out of there alive...?

The monster shuffled its way over to the opposite side of the room to Kieran. I didn’t hear it pick Kieran up, but I heard the sound of his body being dragged across the concrete and out the door. The monster gave one last groan before the sounds of gravel shifting under heavy weight faded and I heard the back gate close. I unfroze and craned my neck high enough to see through the shed window. I couldn’t see anything out there, so I stood back up, ignoring the fresh rust-and-salt smell from the disturbance, and continued with my task.

I turned on my torch and shone it into the fuse box. All the fuses for the house lights were off, but not the shed, the carport or the tack room. Odd – it was as if someone had turned them off physically. I decided not to worry about it and concentrate on my plan. Taking a deep breath to prepare myself, I flicked the two top rows of switches to their ‘on’ positions.

I heard nothing, as I knew I would, and I went over to the door to stick my head out a ways. I inched my eyes around the door, trying to see without putting too much of my head out there. My eyes widened and I breathed a great sigh of relief and triumph when I saw that every light in the house was on and shining brightly through the windows onto the ground surrounding the house. I actually smiled a bit.

I pulled my head back into the shed, and just in time, too. As I retreated back, I heard growling from the direction of the barn. This growling was different; it was still the same terrifying sound, but it was more urgent, alert. It was a growl of awareness. I crouched low and peered out the shed window, watching in horror as not one, but three of those things shuffled past the shed towards the house. I decided I would wait a bit longer than I had planned before making my escape – who knew how many there were out there?

After several minutes, though, no more came, so I decided I’d waited long enough. It was time to move. I stood up and headed for the door, fearlessly turning the handle and stepping straight out into the night. I didn’t shut the door behind me, knowing that if one of them found it open, it would distract them for a few moments. Every moment was precious tonight.

I turned my head towards the house and saw the three monsters standing at the back of the house, looking in the windows. They were growling loudly, perhaps trying to communicate with the monster that was still inside. I now saw a problem with my master plan – the gate that I had to go through to get down the driveway was shut and the chain was on. It would make a lot of noise and it would surely be within earshot of the monsters.

I decided there was nothing for it, and maybe the best strategy was to sneak right past them; they wouldn’t expect it. I bent over in the half-crouch position again and made my way as quickly and quietly as possible across the gravel. I was feeling a sudden sense of urgency at the sight of the monsters so close to my objective. I hugged the wall of the carport until I reached the open side where the cars were parked. I thought briefly about using one of them, but there was still the issue of the gate. I would never get through it with my Camry or David’s Lancer, and if those things could bash down a solid wood door, then they could surely bash a car to pieces and mutilate whoever was in it.

I ignored the vehicles and continued across the front of the carport until I got to the chook house. I stayed on a path along the outside of the wire until, at last, I reached the gate. I headed over to the opposite side of it where the latch was. It was just a chain that went through the wire of the gate and slipped onto a hook, holding the gate in place. It wasn’t complicated, but it would be noisy. I started to slowly lift the chain off of the hook, making sure it wasn’t banging against the gate. I got that off easily enough, then came the hard part – feeding the chain through the gate. I used both hands to support the chain as I passed it through and lowered it down until it just hung there.

I pushed the gate open in relief and the chain swung over just at the wrong moment and banged into it. The gate quivered and rattled loudly. I heard the alarmed growling and feet running on gravel. I was thankful I was already halfway out and I rushed through the gate to the other side, then I stopped. Close it! Block the path! Close the gate behind you! my head was screaming at me. I wheeled around and pushed the gate shut, then grabbed the chain and shoved it through the gate and over the hook, jumping back just as the monsters reached the gate.

I kept backing away slowly, too terrified to do anything but stare at them as they tried to bash down the gate. I knew they would not be able to bash the metal apart, so, once I was far enough away, I turned and retreated into the darkness. I started off down the driveway at a fast jog, not daring to look back now. Even through my fear, I felt a sense of liberation. I could almost taste the freedom in the air. I knew now that I was close. I stopped for a breather as I reached the end of the driveway and I smiled slightly again.

My euphoria was cut short when I heard growling again. Not from the direction of the house, but from my left and very close. My eyes widened and I turned them slowly to the left, my resolve dissipating instantly as they rested upon my worst fears. There were more of them – lots more. I thought about crouching and ducking under a tree, but it was too late. They’d definitely seen me, their eyes were staring straight into mine, straight into my soul and twisting and blackening it until there was nothing left. They only stood there as I did, not moving or making a sound. They remained still to assess what I would do, I was still from fear. A long moment of nothing passed as my mind raced in panic, until at last, I ran.

I turned away and sprinted down the dirt road as fast as my legs would carry me. It didn’t take long for them to start chasing me. I fished the bright torch out of my bag and turned it on, using the light to watch my path for anything that might halt my progress. I didn’t dare look around – I didn’t want to know how close they were. I could hear the growling and groaning, angry sounds now, and impossibly more terrifying than before. I panted and sobbed as I ran harder than I’d ever run before, praying that my clumsiness wouldn’t be my death tonight.

I heard a growl so close that I had to turn my head and see. As soon as I did, I wished I hadn’t – it was right behind me. Somehow, in that moment, I knew that this was the end. I couldn’t outrun them, I couldn’t fight them. All I could do was die. I closed my eyes and slowed in defeat as the monster closest to me lunged forward and drove his sharp claws deep into my back.

I awoke to the sound of my own screaming and sharp voices barking orders at each other. I appeared to be lying down and it was cold. My eyes darted around fiercely, though the images they received were blurry. I didn’t know where I was or what was going on. I thought I was dead – hadn’t the monsters just killed me? And now I was here. How? What’s happening? I tried to focus and observed two people standing over me.

“Who are you?” I demanded in a voice that sounded half-crazed.

“Shh, it’s alright,” A woman’s voice soothed me. “Everything is alright.”

I suddenly heard my own short, panting breaths forcing their way through my clenched teeth. What was wrong with me? I sounded like a rabid animal. I tried to calm my breathing down, but it was as if I had no control over my body at all – like I was paralysed. Then how could I talk?

“What are you doing to me?” I was practically screaming whenever I spoke.

“Just be still now,” The other person, a man, said firmly. “And we won’t have to hurt you.”

“Where am I? What did you do with them?!”

“Your friends are safe, for now,” The woman answered with a snide smile. “And you can be, too, if you give us what we need.”

“I don’t even know who you are!!”

“I am Justine.  And this here is my accomplice, Daniel.”

“What do you want?!”

“You are part of a scientific experiment. We are observing the minds of you and your friends as part of our study of the victims of our little game.”

“Game?! What are you talking about you psycho bitch?!” I had no idea why I’d just called her that.

“But surely you remember the monsters?” Justine smiled.

“Of course I do! THEY KILLED ME!!”

“No. They brought you here to be studied. Along with the others.”

I heard ear-splitting screams coming from somewhere in the room. I looked over to my left and saw something that might have once been human gripping the iron bars of its cell and shaking them violently. Its mouth was open and that was where the screaming was coming from. Though it still had two arms, two legs, a body and a head, none of its features looked human anymore. Except its eyes which were a shade of bright blue. As I looked at the creature more closely, the blue eyes were not the only feature I recognised.

“Maddy...” I whispered in horror as she bashed on the bars, the action reminding me of the monster that killed her.

“Now, now, Madeline,” Daniel said. “There’s no need for violence.”

“What have you done to her?”

“The same thing we’ve been doing to you, my dear,” Justine looked down at me and I wanted to wipe the smug smile off her face. “Forcing you to relive your memories of your last moments of life again and again.”


“Well, to see how long it takes you to go mad.”

“The boys have been showing great resilience to our methods,” Daniel wandered over to Maddy’s cell. “But poor Madeline here, it didn’t take her long before she descended into darkness. I’m not surprised – the way in which she died was brutal and surely traumatic. Who would want to relive that over and over?”

As Daniel spoke, my eyes moved around the room at the other two figures laying down on gurneys like I was. They appeared to be sleeping and having a horrible nightmare – their bodies were convulsing violently. One of them was laying to my left, quite near to me.

“David...” I whispered. My head turned to the opposite side of the room where the other figure lay. “Kieran...”

“It will not be long now before she is completely lost to darkness,” Justine continued, regaining my attention. “And even shorter still before the boys join her in the realm of madness. But your experience was very different to theirs, so you seem much more resilient.”

I let out a sustained scream of rage or pain, or both and my back arched with the effort. I couldn’t believe this – I didn’t want to believe it. How could this be possible? How could I wake up and remember that I’ve been through that horror over and over again, but then when I go back in it’s as if it’s the first time?

“I’ll kill you,” I promised them. “I’ll kill you both!”

“Do not fear, Emily,” Justine smiled. “It will all be over soon.”

“No! NO!!”

Justine and Daniel took their leave, going through a door near Kieran and locking it behind them. Maddy continued to shake the bars and scream at the door after they’d left. Still screaming, she turned her head towards me. Her face was long gone, but her eyes... her eyes stared at me with a fear that was beyond words. I wanted to reach out to her and pull her from her prison, but I knew it was too late for that. The only thing I could do to help her now was to kill her. And I would – before I escaped I would kill her. She must want that. I would help the boys, too, if they weren’t yet gone.

“You won’t be trapped like this forever...” I promised them before I went under again.

As soon as I arrived, I could sense that something was out of place...

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