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Horror Thriller Science Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

“We got a new one today, but between you and me, there’s something really off about her. I swear to god, she was staring at the camera for five hours straight. Just sat there staring. She creeps me out.”

“Come on, Keri. You’re telling me that you got creeped out from her staring at the camera?” I really don’t have time for this. It would have helped if I’d gotten some sleep, but with my mom. My eyes suddenly burned and holding back tears was proving to be harder than I thought.

“It wasn’t just a glance here and there, Elle. She just sat on her bed staring at the camera. Shit, she’s still staring, take a look! She was brought in here for killing her sister. Sliced her up. All I’m saying is she gives me the heebeegeebees.” Keri visibly shuttered. 

“Her name? ”Ahh, here she is. Her name is Hannah Grace. Transferred from Lincoln, Illinois Logan Correctional Center.”

“She cut an inmate up there with a pentagram on the poor chick's chest. She put ink all over the cuts too. The guards on duty found Hannah naked with an upside down cross smeared with blood on her forehead. She looked crazed, they reported and she went willingly. Didn’t put up a fight. The girl she cut up though, well she took her own life the next day. Wasn’t the only suicide there while Hannah was locked up either.” Keri shook her head back and forth and said very quietly, “Glad it ain't me working the graveyard shift. Not with her staring at the cameras.”

“You’re starting to sound superstitious and even a bit paranoid. Just hurry up and get outta here, then.” My patience was wearing thin. Keri is a nice enough woman, even though she smells out the CCTV room with her tuna sandwiches and microwaved leftover fish. 

She was already at the door with her hand on the knob when I turned to tell her good-bye. She waved dismissively and was gone. 

I sat down in the seat and it was still warm from her co-worker. I read the reports from the past two shifts. Hannah Grace: Says she was a transfer from Lincoln Correctional Center to death row the Mountain View Unit here in good ole, Gatesville, Texas for murdering one person and allegedly convincing other inmates to commit suicide. It hadn’t said much other than that. Grace is the 7th death row inmate now. Our facility houses death row inmates in their own solitary 60 foot square feet cells. Camera’s are in each of the inmates living quarters, as of two years ago when a guard got shanked. 

There weren’t many CCTVs in this particular room. This is for death row valley guards. Three windows for walls, completely transparent other than the stark white brick of which the outside saw in at all times. There are ten monitors. Cameras in the inmates rooms, seven now to be exact and three in the hallway. I could personally view the hall that lined the inmates' cells, but the lights were dimmed from nine at night to five in the morning. Graveyard shift is easy for me since I have insomnia anyway. Plus it pays better and I don’t have to work with the public. 

Being with my mom though, that’s what always mattered. She’s the reason for me moving back home to take care of her for the past year. I work four days a week and get to be with my mom for the rest of the time. Hospice nurses and caregivers take care of her when I’m here. I refused to let her stay anywhere but home. My head started to ache, so I grabbed my bottle of tylenol and popped two pills followed by water and looked to the CCTV screens to find Grace staring at the camera with her hands on her head as if massaging her scalp. Her nose was twisted up with her mouth bearing all visible teeth with this grin while rocking back and forth. I shuddered with an instant of quick fright that was relieved almost instantly with practical thinking. Great, good old Keri has me spooked not even five minutes into my shift.

When I looked at Grace’s video she was now standing and talking to the camera. I turned up the volume only to hear, “How’s your mother doing? I hear she isn’t well and that’s such a shame. Maybe you should go and be with her, Ellena. Maybe just rot in hell with her too.”

Who in the hell told this inmate about me? Wait, no one calls me Ellena but my mom. I got this sick feeling in my stomach immediately and heaved into the trash bin then fell to the floor curled up in the fetal position. My brain felt like it was being stabbed with hundreds of needles making it impossible to see through the brightness that blinded my sight. I screamed out for help and heard, “NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU! Followed by an ungodly high pitch that sent chills deep into my bones paralyzing me on the floor.

When I opened my eyes I was sitting in my chair in front of the monitors. My headache was gone but my mouth was dry and my face was wet with tears. I grabbed my water bottle to find that it was empty. I had only sipped from it to take my tylenol. When I looked at the clock, my heart skipped a beat. An hour had passed by since I had fallen to the floor. 

I immediately looked at the monitors, specifically Grace’s cell. She was laughing. I turned up the volume and heard an almost high-pitched screeching followed by a throaty urethral gurgle. “I’m going to kill you before your mother dies tonight.”

I was paralyzed with an insurmountable fear. My anxiety just climaxed to a full blown panic attack. I grabbed for my purse and thrashed my hand around until I found my anxiety pills. I popped one and crushed it with my back teeth while reaching for the spare bottle of water. The bitter taste helped ground me for a moment while I thought things through. I had to check the security cameras from the past hour. I’m so going to get fired was all I could think. My insomnia finally won. I’m out of my head insane. 

Looking at the security feed an hour earlier showed all of the inmates sleeping except for Grace. Okay, I saw that much already. I pressed play and all was static and no sound or visual, but only in her cell. It was like that for an hour until Grace was in focus when she uttered the words, “Time to wake up, Ellena.” She clapped and the feed froze, then the cameras adjusted to present time. 

“It’s time for you to die.” Grace had an upside down cross in red on her forehead. Her hands were covered in what looked to be dripping blood making a little slick pool of black ocean from beyond this universe. I grabbed my walkie and frantically called for help from all guards available. There was only static in response. I picked up the phone and nothing but static again.

The ten screens went black. There was absolutely no feed. Simultaneously the lights went out all together. My stomach dropped, terror lives in my mind. I’ve never seen the abyss until now. I’ve got to get out of here. I grabbed toward the desk frantically trying to find my phone. I managed to unlock it and call 911, static. I clutched my chest while turning on my phone's flashlight. All seven cell doors were open.

I rushed to the door and locked it before anyone could enter. I was trapped until help arrived. I had this all knowing power that told me no matter what I do, I will die tonight. I shined my light towards the hall again and there, Hannah Grace was nude and covered in a black colored blood. Her smile sent me to my knees. I screamed while she laughed. 

“Please, just kill me already!” I screamed at her. Death was the only escape from this terror that gripped me. I clutched my hand to my chest. I couldn’t take this much longer. My heart really was giving out on me. I felt it in every fiber of my being that I was about to die. Impending doom was imminent. Falling to the floor, I hid under my desk and cried. I always thought I’d die an old lady surrounded by my loved ones like my future children or grandchildren. 

Nobody can tell you about how each and everyone feels when they die. Their own experiences never to be told. Were they sad, at peace, angry, scared or even traumatized psychologically? All I know is that I began to accept my fate and in a terrorized state of mind, I started to feel free. Like when you float in a pool, but when it’s dark out and the water is warm from the hot day’s sun. The moon is full and its face is smiling upon me. Give me your hand, Elle. We’ve been waiting for you.

October 14, 2023 01:38

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1 comment

Andrea Corwin
04:00 Oct 28, 2023

Creepy for sure! 🙀


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