3 comments

Romance

I’m not entirely sure how I got here, but I know that I don’t like it. I’m positive that if Jacob hadn’t been brought here too that I would have just sat in a corner and cried. He’s so small and soft that I get the strong urge to protect him at all costs; which is odd because typically the girlfriend is the one that needs protection. Ah well, forget the gender roles, we need to get out.


As Jacob holds on tightly to my hand, I make note of our surroundings. It’s a small dark room, there’s a plastic table, a few chairs that probably have some disease on them, and a ceiling fan that moves painfully slow. Jacob and I are in the middle of the room sitting on solid concrete. There’s also a small boy, an old lady, and a cat. Everyone seems tense. We don’t know what brought us here, but whatever it is, it can’t be good.


I decided to break the deafening silence, “Who are you guys? Do you know where we are?”


My boyfriend looked at me like I just broke the law, but he relaxes a little when the old woman answers. “I’m Jeanie, I’m afraid that I don’t know where we are.”


The little boy, oddly calm says simply, “We’re in Hell”


Jacob and Jeanie both tense up, I furrow my brow in both confusion and fear. “What do you mean Hell?” My usually silent boyfriend asks tentatively. He’s afraid, I can feel it in his trembling hand and how tightly he holds me, but he’s trying hard not to show it.


The little boy looks at us solemnly, “Exactly what I said. We are in Hell, and the Devil is playing games. Nobody can escape, but one person can live, as long as you don’t get caught.” He shrugs and reaches for the cat as it saunters next to him. Something isn’t right about that cat.


Jeanie went from terrified, to a blinding rage. “What do you mean only one can live?! What devil? How do you know so much you little twerp?” She’s now yelling and pacing back and forth, but the one who reacts first is the cat.


It runs in front of her and hisses. It swipes at her and scratches her ankle just enough to draw blood. Once the boy sees that Jeanie is bleeding, he grabs a chair and runs to a corner before folding it up and hiding behind it. “Hide if you want to live” was all he said.


That’s all I needed to hear. I pry myself from Jacob’s death grip. I point to the furthest corner and motion for him to run, then I make a break for the table. I don’t care if the boy said that only one of us will live, I am going to hide us both. My heart is pounding in my ears once I finally manage to fold the table. I’m two feet away from Jacob when I hear it.


A kind of skittering and thumping sound, like something big with a lot of legs running on the floor above us. I cry silently as I barely manage to cover Jacob with the table when a door swings open. I jump behind the table with him right as a long, segmented leg pokes through the doorway. I hold on tightly to Jacob and cover his mouth with my hand to keep his whimpering as quiet as possible. I didn’t notice how heavily I was breathing until he did the same.


I shut my eyes tightly and huddled into my boyfriend's embrace as we sat and waited anxiously for any sign that it had left. It’s walking silently, so it must be trying to stalk its prey. The only sound that can be heard is Jeanie. “C’mon, are you really going to follow a child’s advice? There is no devil. We aren’t in hell. This is clearly just a prank.”


Her endless prattling is cut short by a gasp, then an ear-piercing scream. I don’t dare open my eyes as I hear a deep chuckling and what I can only imagine to be Jeanie’s body being torn. Whatever it is, it ripped her apart while laughing, then it started chewing. It smacked its lips as it ate poor Jeanie. Then, silence.


It was so quiet that I could hear my blood rushing. Every part of me wanted grab Jacob and run, but I couldn’t move. All I could do was cling tightly to this boy and wait. Tears streamed silently down my face and pooled over Jacob’s hand, which was relaxed, but still over my mouth. I could feel that he was still shaking.


It was so quiet that I could hear my blood rushing. Every part of me wanted grab Jacob and run, but I couldn’t move. All I could do was cling tightly to this boy and wait. Tears streamed silently down my face and pooled over Jacob’s hand, which was relaxed, but still over my mouth. I could feel that he was still shaking.


The silence was more than just eerie. It gripped my heart in pure fear. It was thick and it smelled like blood. This silence made three minutes stretch into a painful eternity. It was a hot silence, so hot that tears mixed with sweat and evaporated in an instant. I have never been so thankful to hear that terrifyingly comforting sound of the Devil skitter-thumping away. Jacob and I stayed hidden for another two minutes until we were sure that it had gone back upstairs.


We sat next to the boy again and waited. We waited for an explanation, a plan, something, anything. But the boy just sat there and pet the traitorous cat. I’m not sure how, but I am sure that that thing only came because the cat scratched Jeanie. I stare at it intently and for a second, just a split second, it changed. I can’t quite tell you how, but one instant it was a plain black cat, then the next it wasn’t, then back again.


“What just happened?” Jacob’s shaky voice broke the tense silence. I didn’t think he would be the first to speak, but he spoke clearly and sat up straight as if trying to intimidate the little boy. It was oddly comforting to know that he could speak up when I needed him. I wanted answers, but I was still crying and too afraid to say anything. I hugged him tightly and smiled.


“I love you” I whispered before curling up closer to him. He gently played with my hair, calming me down and making me relax just enough to remember what he had asked the boy.


“Hey kid-”


“Jack,” the boy interrupted me.


“Okay. Jack. Um... What in the actual fuck was that?” I question him again. This boy knows more than what he’s told us.


“That was the devil’s son” He sighed before continuing. “The devil’s son is hungry and always comes down here when he smells fresh blood. So, don’t bleed.” He pet the cat as he spoke and I couldn’t help but picture him as a little villain. He’s way too calm about all of this and he’s probably no older than ten or eleven.


Jacob clears his throat, “Devil’s son? Is the devil worse?” He already knew the answer, we both did. Jack just looked at us like we were idiots. Obviously, the devil is worse, but we don’t know how.


“Are there any other rules? Other than don’t get caught and don’t bleed?” I must know. If I can figure out how to get away from this nightmare hellscape, Jacob and I will be safe. We will be happy. Screw Jack’s idea that only one will live. I am not going anywhere without my love.


“Don’t get caught. Don’t bleed. Don’t hurt the Son. Don’t anger the cat. Don’t drink the water.” Jack recited the rules almost robotically. He stared off into the distance but was looking at me. This boy has been through a lot. Forget just escaping. I want to make sure this never happens again.


“We need a plan.” I stand up. It’s so much colder without Jacob holding on to me, but the cold keeps me centered. “We need to get out. I am not gonna sit here and wait to be eaten, and I’m sure as hell not leaving you.” Jacob nods as he listens. I wonder if he is as cold as I am. “We can’t hurt the Son, but we can probably trap him. Right? So first we gotta lead him somewhere that we have control.”


“But where? How?” I can see the worry in Jacob’s eyes as he stands up to meet me. “We don’t know where we are other than some basement. It would be easier to lure him somewhere if we knew where to go”


He has a point, but we can’t doubt ourselves. “Hon, we have to try. I’m scared, but I’m not giving up. If we just sit here, we’re dead, but if we try to escape then maybe at least one of us has a chance.” I hug him tightly and his thin frame shakes violently as he lets out a sob.


“How will we decide who lives?”


That question broke my heart. I understand why he asked it though. As much as I want to protect him, I’m not certain that I’ll sacrifice myself to do so. I value my life as much as his, but I know that he won’t fight if I don’t make him. “We won’t have to. I will save you and you will save me. We are getting out of this,” I kiss him reassuringly.


“Okay, we have a basic plan, but all of that depends on what’s on the other side of that door,” Jacob says and nods to the rickety wooden staircase leading to a heavy metal door. “and if it’s unlocked.”


I think for a minute. “Hmm, that’s a good point. When the Son came in it didn’t sound like he had to unlock anything... but I was too afraid to really listen. I want to forget what I did hear.” Even if it is unlocked, we can’t risk the Son guessing our plan. We have to lure him down here. I look at the boy and sad, terrifying thought crosses my mind. “Jacob...” I whisper. He follows my gaze and looks at the expression on my face. His eyes flicker in a sad understanding.


We have to use him as bait.


The boy is sitting in the corner, unconcerned with our escape plan. He seems perfectly content to just sitting here for the rest of his life. It sickens me to know that he will be the reason we escape. I try to reason with myself. After all, we aren't going to be the ones who actually kill him, we're just going to make him bleed. 


The memory of the sound of Jeanie being ripped apart flashed in my mind for a second. There has to be another way. Right? I pull Jacob aside to the corner furthest away from the boy and whisper. “Are we really thinking about using the boy as bait? I mean.. He deserves to live too. If it’s really the only way, then I’ll do it.. Ahg! At this point I'm fighting my morals and my self-preservation. I don’t wanna hurt someone if I don’t have to.” 


Jacob doesn’t say anything, he just pulls me close and holds me. After a moment of this comforting silence he kisses my forehead and says, “It’s perfectly normal to have conflicting feelings in a situation like this. You are the kindest girl I know. I have never seen you go out of your way to hurt anyone before. And there was that one time when you cried because you thought you accidentally squashed a ladybug, but it was just an M&M. If you don’t want to do this, I will.”  Looking into his face, I see this wicked expression of fear and determination. I’ve never been so afraid of Jacob before, but I’m also relieved. It’s hard to believe that before all of this he hardly spoke a word, let alone make a promise so bold. 


I nod and wipe away a stray tear. I just can’t bring myself to do it. It feels like murder, even if I’m not the one delivering the final blow. I push the thought away as I pick up our table. We’re gonna have to hide, and it’d be super convenient if we hid somewhere close to the door, but far from Jack. If we’re too close to the door though, the Son might see us, so I put the table against the staircase and crouch behind it. “There’s enough space under the stairs for both of us, and all we have to do is run up the stairs while the son is… distracted,” I explain in a cold distant kind of way. 


Jacob nods in understanding. “Go ahead and hide,” he motions for me to stay. As Jacob walks closer to Jack, he pulls out something thin and holds it behind his back.. I guess he had a pencil in his pocket or something. I want to look away, but Jacob raises his hand over his head and brings it down so quickly that I didn’t have time to close my eyes.


Jack screams,”Why? We could have just stayed here! I’m going to die now, and it’s all your fault! How could you?”


My heart breaks as Jacob runs back to the table. He has tears in his eyes as he whispers, “I did it.” 


Before I could respond, the Son made his presence known by running down here. This time, I lovecan hear the locks being undone. One. Two. Three. Four. Four locks, then the heavy door swings open with a whine in protests. We can’t close the door, or the Son would know. We just have to get up the stairs and pray that nothing else is waiting for us. 


I’m so lost in thought that I almost forgot what we were doing. The sound of Jack screaming as his arms are being torn off his body brings me back to reality. I peek over the table and see that the Son is absolutely horrifying. He had the lower half of a spider, but it’s a grotesque just-barely-inhuman skin tone. His upper half, well at least the back of it, looks like a regular man, but with an abnormally large head. I shudder a little then motion for Jacob to go. He starts going up the stairs and I follow as quietly and quickly as I can. I make the mistake of looking back one more time and I see the Son unhinge his jaw to the point that he is now staring at us.


“Jacob, run. RUN!” I push Jacob to get him to go faster. We scramble up the last half of the stairs and out the door. I take the lead, grabbing Jacob’s wrist and just running. I look for an exit or somewhere to hide. I can hear the Son scrambling behind us, then I see a door. It opens to a tight spaced closet. I pull jacob in with me and manage to close the door just in time for the Son to have missed us. I hold my breath as I look through the keyhole. 


The Son is skittering down the hallway, looking more and more bored. He shrugs and heads off to another door, which I assume is his room. Holding a finger to my lips, I motion for Jacob to follow me and I slowly open the closet door. Now that the Son is away I notice that the house is oddly normal. There’s decent furniture, decorative art, several bedrooms, and just kinda looks like a regular suburban home. Normal, except for the pictures on the walls. There aren’t any of the Son, but there are maybe 50 pictures of terrified people, including me and Jacob, Jeanie, and Jack. “This must be how they got us here..”


“Who cares how we got here? How do we get out?” Jacob half whines and half groans. I roll my eyes, but he’s right. Getting out is what’s important. 

I follow along the wall and eventually I can hear flames crackling. Peeking around the corner, I see a small fireplace and I can hear faint snoring. Something is sleeping on the green floral print couch. Looking around the room  I can see windows and a door. This must be the living room. I smile for a second before hearing a slow skittering coming our way. It isn't stealthy, but calm. The Son isn’t looking for us, but he might just find us on accident. Panicking, I rush to the coat closet. Jacob and I get in and close the door. I listen with frustrated tears welling up in my eyes. We are so close. 


“Two escaped,” a deep, but scratchy voice says. 


“Find. Them,” the second voice replies. It’s horse and groggy, but very stern.


“I put sharp things everywhere. They’ll cut themselves eventually and then I’ll have my dinner,” The first voice chuckles just like it did when it ate Jeanie. 


“Just, find them. Mommy needs their souls.You have one hour, or I look for them and keep them for myself. Now, mommy needs to get her beauty rest dear.” The horse voice is a “mommy”? Okay, so that must be the devil then. 


The couch creaks as the Devil stands up. Her footsteps sound normal, no extra limbs, no skittering, no thumping, just regular foot prints. It's unnerving just how normal she sounds and this house is. I shake it off for now and keep listening for the Son to leave. Soon enough he skitters away mumbling to himself. Jacob and I wait for a few moments until it's dead silent.. then we make a break for the door.


An alarm rings as we reach the outside. They know that we left, but we can't stop running. Looking ahead I can see that one of the neighbors has a storage shed that's wide open. I lead the way there and hide behind the door. "Jacob, I need you to cut your hand."


"Are you crazy? That'll lead Him here! And he'll eat me!!"


"Trust me, cut your hand and wipe your blood on the back wall… then hide somewhere else. I'm gonna trap him in here. Please, just trust me." Jacob nods and does as I suggested. He winces in pain cutting his palm, and again as he rubs it against the rough metal shed. Then he runs out and rubs his hand in the dirt.


"Stops the bleeding," he explains quickly before running off to hide. 


Just as Jacob leaves, I hear the Son skittering my direction. I hold my breath as he barges passed me and into our trap. When he's in the back of the she'd, I slam the door closed and lock it before running after Jacob. 


"I did it! We're free!" 


"Where. Is. My. Son?" 


A chill runs down my spine as the horse voice returns. Jacob and I take off again, in no particular direction. We just need to get away. 


"WHERE IS MY SON?"


The voice gets louder and more desperate each time she asks. How has no one else heard her? I'm running out of stamina and Jacob looks woozy. We have to keep going, but my legs are turning to lead and the cool night air stings my lungs with every breath. Jacob tries to pull me along, but he's getting tired too. Soon we find a dead end. I cry into his shoulder as he holds me close. We know we aren't going to make it. As we stand there, unable to breathe, Her abnormally normal footsteps draw closer..


Her breathing is labored and she sounds like she's drooling as she says, "Found you. Let's try this again,shall we?"


There's a sharp pain in my neck and I feel like I'm floating. I try to hold tightly to Jacob, but he slips away. It's getting harder to think. I can't see him anymore, I can't see anything. I'm so tired..


I open my eyes and I don't know where I am. I’m not entirely sure how I got here, but I know that I don’t like it. I need to escape this Hell.

January 18, 2020 04:53

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

3 comments

Library Momma
02:05 Jan 25, 2020

Good twist at the end! I didn't get a sense of a lot of romance between the MC and her boyfriend. Maybe show them being a little more affectionate as fits the story. Good pacing between action and exposition, too.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Library Momma
02:05 Jan 25, 2020

Good twist at the end! I didn't get a sense of a lot of romance between the MC and her boyfriend. Maybe show them being a little more affectionate as fits the story. Good pacing between action and exposition, too.

Reply

Tuesday Michael
19:50 Jan 25, 2020

I'm glad you like it! And thank you for your input!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply