The Lost Soul

Submitted into Contest #144 in response to: Start your story with somebody taking a photo.... view prompt

3 comments

Crime Horror Fiction

The bar was crowded, but not enough to block the flash of light I caught in the corner of my eye. Did someone just take a picture of me? I looked around, hoping to find the culprit, but my efforts were in vain. I took another sip of my drink, I turned my mind to other matters, which being the hot stud playing pool. It has been a while since I slept with anyone, and if wanted anyone to break my dry spell, he would be my choice. Downing my drink, I hopped off the barstool and began to stagger towards the pool table. Before I even took two steps, the room started to spin. The room began to spin faster and faster. I reached for the barstool to steady myself, but before I could grasp it, a pair of hands grabbed my waist.

A gentle voice whispered in my ears, “Easy, Vicky. It seems you’ve had a little too much to drink.”

As my mind disappeared in a fog of confusion, I heard myself ask, “How do you know my name?” Then everything went dark.

I’m not sure how long I out, but when I came to my senses, I knew something was terribly wrong. I found myself lying on a cold surface, in a lifeless body. Why can’t I move, I thought? Is this a dream, where I find myself frozen in time? The distant sound of heavy breathing answered my question. This was no dream. The feeling I was being watched began to overshadow me. As I tried to open my eyes, I quickly discovered they resisted my command. Again, I tried and after wrestling with their resistance to opening, I found myself the victor.

The glare of fluorescent lights burned the back of my eyes, and they instantly closed again. I wasn’t sure if I was gaining more control over my faculties, but when I attempted to reopen my eyes, I was met with less resistance. This time, I let my eyes adjust to the light, and a moment later, I found myself amidst unfamiliar surroundings. The room was unusually clean, spotless to be exact. Stainless steel benches were affixed to the walls, and on those benches were plastic buckets, filled with unknown chemicals. On the wall at the far end of the room was a small metal door, with an even smaller window at the center of it. Again, I asked myself, where am I?

As if my thoughts were spoken aloud, a voice from a corner of the room answered, “I’m glad to see you’re awake, Vicky.”

As I tried to speak, my voice was raspy and barely more than a whisper. “How do you know my name?”

A man stepped out of the shadows, entering my field of vision. His was tall and thin, with dark hair and was probably in his mid-twenties. He looked like any other man who could have passed on the street, and you’d wouldn’t remember him.

“I took the liberty of going through your pocketbook,” he replied. “Your name is Victoria Lightfoot, but I’m sure your friends call you Vicky. I can call you Vicky, can’t I?” He continued without waiting for an answer. “Lightfoot, eh? American Native I presume. Good. Then you should appreciate what I’m doing here.”

“Who are you, and what have you done to me?” Vicky garbled out. “Why am I here?”

“My name is Arman, and the good news is, I brought you here to save your soul. As to what I have done to you, is simple. I slipped Liquid X, a date rape drug in your drink. Then I took you from the Bar of the Damned and brought you here to purge your soul of all the poison it has ingested during your lifetime. Of course, I had to make sure you wouldn’t try to escape, so I injected you with atracurium, a paralytic drug doctors use for surgery to make sure you don’t move during an operation.” Arman laughed. “It just occurred to me. considering I’m performing a certain type of operation, atracurium seems be a proper piece of the puzzle.”

Arman may have thought it was funny, but I was horrified. Struck with fear, my mind began to race. “What is he going to do to me? Am I going to die?” But the most important question I asked myself was, “How am I going to get out of here?” with all my might, I tried to command my legs to move, but it was as if I was disconnected from my body. “How long does this drug last? In time, I might be able to move again.” Somehow, I have to stall him. “So, Arman, if that’s you real name, where did you get these drugs? I doubt if you pick them up from the local pharmacy.”

A glimmer of pride shown from Arman’s eyes. “To tell the truth, I work as an IT Specialist at the National Institutes of Health. Now, you may ask yourself, how could an IT guy have access to exotic medication such as ketamine and atracurium? You’d be surprised how simple it is. You see, I have access to all the labs and storage areas containing computer equipment and as for security? It nearly non-existent behind those closed doors. Oh, you’d be surprised what I have stored in my medicine cabinet.”

As those words rung through my ears, I noticed my toes began to tingle. The drug is wearing off! Just a little more time and I might be able to escape. I must continue distracting him. “So, tell me Arman, how are you planning to save my soul?”

Arman scoffed. “Me? I’m not going to do a thing. You’re going to do that.”

 Inwardly, I started to feel hopeful. I can wiggle my toes now. Just a little more time. “Exactly, what do I have to do?” I asked.

Before Arman could answer, a chime of a timer blared out. “Time for another shot, Vicky. I wouldn’t want you to get any ideas about escaping.” He stretched his hand towards a workbench and picked up a syringe.

As I realized what he was about to do, I began to panic. “Don’t do it! I won’t resist. I promise.”

But Arman wouldn’t listen, and I was powerless to stop him. He lifted my lifeless arm and administered a dose of atracurium. “I would like to believe you, but I don’t. You don’t know how many of the others have said the same thing.”

Terror overwhelmed me when I discovered I wasn’t his first victim. How many were there before me, and even worse, how many will be after me? as the sensation in my feet disappeared, all feelings of hope vanished with it. “I need more time, but it’s useless.” Suddenly, an idea came to mind. I may not be able to get time, but maybe there’s another way I can get free. “Arman.” I called out. “If I want to save my soul, what do I have to do?”

“Simple,” Arman hissed. “Confess all your sins to God, and with all of your heart, pray for forgiveness. If you do that, your soul will be cleansed, and you’ll be freed.”

Could it be that simple, I thought? If he hears my confession, will he let me go? There was only one way to find out.

“Oh, God, please listen to this wretched soul,” I began. “I have sinned, not only against you, but to all those who have touched my life. My drinking and sleeping around was only for my pleasure and nothing more. I swear, from this day on, I will never taste alcohol, or sleep with another out of wedlock. Please Lord, through your merciful heart, please forgive me, a sinner.”

When I was finished, I felt her eyes tear up. Though my body remained motionless, I was trembling in thought, as the weight of guilt eased off my shoulders. “Do you think God heard me?” I asked.

“It was a beautiful confession, Vicky. I’m sure God will forgive you and answer your prayer.”

Though I was afraid of what the answer might be, I bravely asked, “Will you let me go now?”

“Yes, I will set you free, free from the body which corrupts your soul through sin. You are a creature of the earth and thus doomed to sin again. Now that your soul is clean, how can I let you stain it again? Now is the time to separate your soul from your body and let it soar to eternal life in Heaven.”

Fear struck my heart when I heard those words. “No! You can’t,” I stuttered. “They’ll catch you if you do this. Just let me go and I swear I’ll won’t anyone about this. Please!”

“Oh Vicky, how kind it is of you to think about me, but you don’t have to worry about that. You can ask the others why that is, when you ascend to Heaven. Do you know where we are right now?” Armand continued, “We’re in a morgue, the crematorium to be exact. I work here part time as a janitor and have access to the building 24-7.” He pointed to the small door with the window. “That’s the cremation chamber. It’s there where your corrupt body will be purified by fire, and later I’ll scatter your ashes in the cemetery. The plan is quite simple, no body to discover and no questions asked. So, like I said. You have nothing to worry about.”

Vicky began to whimper. “You can’t kill me. That’s a sin! Don’t want to sin, do you? Don’t do it. I want to live. Please, please give me a second chance!”

Arman reached towards the bench and retrieved another syringe. “Don’t worry, Vicky. Once I give you this, you’ll fall asleep and won’t feel a thing. The next thing you’ll know, you’ll be in Heaven thanking me for what I’ve done. No, I’m not killing you. I’m giving you a new life.” With that, he stuck the needle in her arm and pressed the plunger. He watched as Vicky’s eyes fluttered for a second and then closed.

“There, there, Vicky. Be at peace.” Arman opened the cremation chamber door and gently slid Vicky’s body inside it. After he closed the door and threw the switch, the flames ignited and began disintegrating Vicky’s body. Arman then took his phone out of his pocket and glanced at its photo album. There, was a picture of Vicky at the bar. He smiled and placed the phone back in his pocket. “It is finished. Tomorrow morning I’ll spread the ashes and later that afternoon, I’ll check the bar at the other side of the county. Looking for lost sheep is my calling, and I am the good shepherd. Thy work will be done.”

May 06, 2022 21:24

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3 comments

Shaquita B.
11:19 May 12, 2022

Strong story. I’d recommend reviewing for grammatical errors and sticking to one point of view; in this case either first or third person. Other than that, I found it to be a very intriguing story.

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Howard Seeley
17:46 May 12, 2022

Thank you for your comments. I will keep your ideas in mind. I am a work of process, I mean progress. :)

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Howard Seeley
23:38 May 11, 2022

Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they are not after you.

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