Suspense Sad Horror

Trigger Warning: Discussions of death, kidnapping, prolonged isolation, and mild gore.

One thousand, eight hundred, and twenty one days. Siv had been trapped here for one thousand, eight hundred, and twenty one days, and the only reason she knew that much was because of the cold, stone walls that encased her, which had been marked every day with tally after tally. Other than the streaks of light that left the small barred window far above her reach, this was the only evidence of time in her horrid world. 

Her memories of arriving here were vague. A dark street at night, an unexpected hand, a vehicle moving far above the speed limit. It didn’t really matter, not anymore. It wasn’t like she could give a statement or bring her kidnappers to justice anyway. It was far too late for that. 

She moved her gaze downwards, towards the shape under the thin sheet. It stank, putrid and rotten. How no one had noticed that she was dead yet was beyond her, but she couldn’t bring herself to really care. Even in death, both her physical form and shimmering soul were forever left to rot in this concrete prison. 

“Don’t go in there! It's, like, super haunted! You’ll die, and be eaten by zombies, and, and, and-!”

“Stop it! It’ll be fine, it’s just abandoned. The most I gotta look out for is rotten floorboards and, I don’t know, rats. Stop being such a baby.”

Siv barely registered the young voices outside. People came around semi-frequently, curious about the house left to rot on the very edge of town. Rumors had spiraled about the place, though none truly captured the truth of the matter. 

It wasn’t until the front door opened that Siv started paying attention. Someone had entered the house. Some could find her. 

“Alicia! Alicia, come back!”

“No! Either you can stay out there by yourself, or you can come inside with me. Make up your mind!”

The girl’s voice was the loudest, followed by the boy just outside the door. After a moment’s hesitation, a second pair of footsteps followed the first inside. 

“...If I die, I’m gonna haunt you so bad.”

“You? Haunt me? Come on, Caspar would be scarier than you.”

Their sounds echoed and amplified off of the walls, filling the house with a kind of life it hadn’t seen in years. Siv listened, too enraptured to do much else. For so long, she had known silence and rot, her only piece of entertainment being the monotonous task of adding another tally to her ever-growing collection. Now, though? Now there was something, someone else! 

“So? Egil, do you see anything?”

“N-No, but…”

“See, I told you, there’s nothing here. Now, come on, let’s go tell Karita that we did her stupid dare.”

At that comment, Siv felt the first pang of fear that she had since her kidnapping. They couldn’t leave, not so soon. They had to find her, to offer her some kind of freedom. Somehow, someway, they had to come down to the basement. 

She placed her hand against the wall, dully feeling the divots and scratches in the wall. No matter how hard she tried, she could not exit the cell that she had died in. But maybe, just maybe, she could use what little she had to make someone else enter. Slowly and, at first, softly, she sang a hauntingly hollow song, deep from her air-empty lungs. She hadn’t made noise in years, so the opening notes were rough and dry, but as her voice continued to grow, they became full and beautiful. 

“Wait, wait, is that…? Alicia, do you hear that?”

“I...Yeah, what is that?”

“It’s coming from downstairs, I think.”

“...I’m gonna check it out.”

“What? No! No, Alicica, wait-”

The footsteps grew louder as someone came down the stairs. As the sound of creaking wood was replaced with the tapping of rubber on stone, Siv only continued to sing, luring the two children closer. 

“Alicia! Come back!”

“Hey, relax, it’s probably a radio or something that someone left down here.”

“Then why’d it turn on all of a sudden?”

“I-I don’t know! It doesn’t matter.”

“Then why are we even going down here? Come on, let's just leave already.”

“No! I mean, no, I want to check it out.”

Closer, closer, closer. This was the closest Siv had been to a living person in years. Even in her cold, perpetually lonely state, she felt the faintest bit of joy in her heart. Freedom was just outside the door, and all she had to do was open it. 

“God, it stinks down here. What even is that?”

“It smells like...rot, maybe?”

“Either way, it’s gross. Oh, wait, over here! The music’s coming from behind this door, come see.”

Slowly, almost painfully so, the rusty door handle began to turn. Siv entered the last few notes of her song, crescendoing as her own excitement raised. She took a step forward, hands outstretched and smile wide and true. 

It all happened so fast. The door opened , revealing a flash of blinding light. Alicia screamed, face-to-face with a being she had deemed nonexistent. Siv simply smiled down at her, tears freely flowing from her eyes. She floated towards the girl, wrapping her arms around her savior. Her voice came out as the softest whisper, filled with relief. 

“Thank you. And I’m sorry.”

Egil rounded the corner, face full of fear. His sister stood at the open door, face frozen in shock. He ran towards her, pinching his nose as the putrid smell grew stronger. 

“Alicia! Alicia, what happened? Are you okay?”

Alicia turned to face her brother, tears bubbling at the corners of her eyes. As she looked at him, she smiled. 

“I’m...Yeah, I’m fine. Now, come on, let’s get out of here.”

“Huh? But I thought you wanted to see what was in the room.”

Without looking back, Alicia closed the cellar door behind her. She stepped forward and wrapped a gentle arm around her brother, leading him out of the basement. 

“Don’t worry, I saw. Now, come on, I know you wanna get out of here, so let’s go.”

Egil spared one last glance behind him at the cellar door, hesitant to leave it. Now that the music had stopped, the house felt unnaturally quiet and still. It sent a chill of anxiety down to his very bones, as if he had just witnessed something he was never meant to see. With one more shaky breath, he nodded. 

“Y-Yeah, good idea. Let’s get out of here.”

Alicia simply nodded as the two went back up the stairs. Soon enough, they were both too far away to hear the shouts of the person left in the cell. Small, newly incorporeal fists banged against the door, pleading to be freed from this prison. She looked around her, seeing nothing but a blanket covered shape and a too small window high above her head. Though her senses had dulled, she could still smell that same, rotten stench she had when she first entered. The spirit ran her hand against the smooth concrete walls, just as plain and flat as the day that they had been laid. After a moment of despair, this new spirit fell to the ground, dragging her hand off of the wall and leaving behind a new, singular tally mark.

December 28, 2020 19:46

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