10. Mental Torture
I don’t know what woke me up. It was a tie between the cold and the grinding sounds that echoed through the unknown.
It took quite some time for me to open my eyes and yet it still felt as if they were shut.
My ears tainted as the grinding sounds slowly transformed into drilling, followed by a high piercing scream.
My hands instinctively reached up to cover my ears as the sounds disturbed me more than they should.
I was lying on the flat surface that felt much like a slab of cement, my hands fell away from my ears to search around myself.
My palm slid across the slab cautiously, I was afraid that I might find something I shouldn’t. I gasped as the tips of my fingers touched something cold and metal.
It stretched up and my palm traced to where it would end. I barely went four palms further when the metal curved and cornered and spread out above me.
Again I traced it and another corner going down, four palms later, came to my touch.
I realized, rather ghastly, that I was in a wired cage that was, estimating from the measurements I could take in the dark, one meter wide and the length was shorter than my length. I was five-two; the cage was maybe four-six in length.
My legs were cramped and balled against my chest.
I struggled to keep the hyperventilation out of my grasp as I realized what had happened to me.
The scenes slowly crept back into my mind as I came to terms with the fate staring me in the face.
I had little sight and little options.
A door opened in the far corner of the room, casting a dull light on the floor.
I took the chance of light to look around myself. I was in a cage, though stretched in front of me were similar cages in similar sizes.
I vaguely saw black objects in the cages next to me; I didn’t know what it was.
A man, slender and tall, stepped into the room, his hands carried something. Glass bottles maybe?
He closed the door behind him and the light disappeared and I was blind again.
He walked around, placing the bottles down onto a surface that made it clink together, his footsteps echoed back to me as he walked and suddenly the door opened again and he walked through it.
He left the door open as he walked away only to return a moment later dragging something huge across the floor toward the next to me.
I held my breath, afraid to come across as awake as I was sure I should still be knocked out.
The cage door creaked open and he threw the thing inside, he locked the door again.
I expected him to turn around and leave again though he didn’t. He stayed still then I heard the nearby sound of a cage opening and I gasped inwardly. It was my cage.
A hand, rather soft and gentle, brushed the hair from my face, stroked the soft planes of my abnormally pale cheeks and chin. A sigh reached my ears. ‘’Riley,’’
I frowned as he closed the cage door and walked to the door; he closed it and locked it again.
Riley? I sieved it through my brain. He knew my name which meant that we’ve met before.
No, that can’t be right. I fought with my thoughts.
If I knew him, if we’d met before and I’m sure we haven’t, then I’d have recognized his voice and which I didn’t.
The voice did sound oddly familiar, agonizingly so.
A groan reached my ears, it wasn’t mine and the door hadn’t opened again so it wasn’t the ‘familiar’ man.
I wasn’t alone.
I grasped that and tried to readjust my position though the space gave me little option. The sharp pain shook me as it returned to my side, I gasped, releasing a sound in the process.
‘’Who…’’ a male voice whispered.
‘’Is some…one…there?’’ the frail voice continued.
‘’My name is Riley, who are you?’’ I whispered back.
There was a long pause.
‘’Hello?” I said then, slightly raising my voice.
‘’Rils,’’ the voice sounded glad yet sad and it faded with each word.
‘’What’s your name?’’ I frowned into the darkness.
‘’It’s me…’’ he breathed. ‘’Olive…r’’
‘’Oh my god, are you alright?’’ my voice failed to whisper and I grunted as the cold shook through me, tensing the muscles around my wound and causing it to clench.
There was a short pause echoed by a shallow cough. ‘’No…’’
I felt the need to be with him, to hug him and promise that he’d be alright, if he just hang in there. ‘’Hang in there Oliver, keep talking.’’
He didn’t answer.
I strained to hear his weak breathing, I strained to hear something. ‘’Oliver?’’
I waited, called and shook the cage. Oliver didn’t answer. Not even with a sigh or another grunt.
He was dead.
It ripped through me then, the emotions I refused to feel a few hours ago. It ripped my heart to shreds, it tore through every organ. Every breath I took was an assault to my thoughts.
The door opened again, though it was hours later. I was sure that nightfall had come and gone, the sun was up. Of that I was certain.
I didn’t pretend to be asleep now, because I knew that they would know that I was faking it. If so much time had passed already, I should be awake.
But I wasn’t afraid. I wouldn’t be afraid of anything or anyone.
The same man, from before, stepped through the door and ambled toward my cage.
I decided to close my eyes just in case they were checking if I was still out cold.
I heard the cage door creak open and hands folding under my arms to pull me out. My side hit the cage door and I winced, the man paused then dragged me out again.
In stead of—as I kinda expected—heaving me across the floor, he gently and strongly, scooped me into is arms and carried me out.
I waited for the pain that would hit me as my head smashed against the door frame, though, still surprised, it didn’t.
The man stepped sideways with me as he walked out.
He walked a few feet forward then turned right and left again. I was placed onto a dentist chair.
I knew because the headrest was similar as was the way my body was positioned.
My arms were propped onto two steel arm rests and I felt the cold against my skin as chains closed onto my wrists. My feet were left unlocked.
A bright light intruded the darkness my closed lids provided and I flinched inwardly. A hand touched the left side of my bruised face, the hand fell away then.
Footsteps reached my ears, a door opened and closed and there was silence.
I was alone.
I opened my eyes to see where I was.
It looked like a doctor’s operating office, the walls were light blue and pictures hang on them. It was menacing pictures that brought forth the dizziness and the nausea.
A simple white chair stood against the wall I was facing, next to me was a steel table that held different tools doctors operated with and dentists used covered with blood, and then there were the tools—a drill, a grinder, a skill saw, a nail gun and a jigsaw—that stood on a separate table a few feet from the doctor tools, it was dripping with thick red liquid.
I heard voices behind the closed door. The ‘familiar’ voice and a new voice.
‘’What are you gonna do?’’ the familiar voice asked, there was an edge to it. A scared edge.
There was a pause. ‘’I don’t know yet. This one’s a bit feisty.’’ A deep rumbling voice said.
Another pause. ‘’Won’t you leave it till you figured something else out?’’
A hoarse laugh. ‘’And spoil the fun of the surprise? I have something odd in mind for this little one. That’ll teach her to run from me.’’
The door opened and I closed my eyes quickly.
The man stopped next to me, raising my eyelids and flashing a penlight in it to see if I was unconscious.
He breathed heavily, and I heard a sound that sounded much like doctors gloves snapping against the skin of the wrist.
My mouth was forced open and a device was propped into it to keep it like that. Anxiousness trembled through me and I was sure he felt it.
My eyelids shot open and I stared into a face covered with a translucent ski mask.
The monster smiled down to me. ‘’Hi there.’’
I stared at the monster, his bloodshot eyes staring down to me as if I was very significant to him at the moment.
His hand reached toward a set of bloody silver steel pliers, a dentist tool, and he brought it up to my mouth.
I fought to get the device that was holding my mouth open out but I couldn’t.
I turned my head side ways numerous times before monster grabbed a handful of my hair and forced my head to stay still.
I grunted and he pressed the pliers into my mouth. I arched my hands, fighting against his power.
I jerked my knee up and kicked around, kicked the table with the tools over and it cluttered to the floor with a bang.
I moved my head around, the pain as the movement pulled my hair wasn’t as bad as my side, the pliers was still in my mouth, trying to grab my tongue.
He pulled the pliers out, released my hair and sighed. ‘’Why are you being so difficult?’’
I jerked the chains on my wrists and felt the bruises it caused. I didn’t care; I wanted to get away from this room.
He shoved something down my throat; it tasted like the disgusting taste of a pill. I had no choice but to swallow it.
The drowsiness came seconds later and my eyelids closed unwillingly. It felt like I had no choice again.
Again, had I no idea what woke me up. I didn’t want to wake up; I wanted to keep my eyes closed. I wanted to die. I wanted to be the one who was tortured and thrown into a cage instead of Oliver. Instead of Rebecca being tied to a tree.
I wanted to be the one to fall to my death just to let Ella get away safely. Yet I couldn’t. I couldn’t turn back the time. I couldn’t make things right, no matter how hard I tried.
Absentmindedly, my mind tried to conjure up the answers to all of my questions. It was frustrating to not know what was going to happen and why it was happening.
I wanted Austen to be alright, I wanted him to be fine and I wanted to see him smile.
I didn’t want him to die, I never wanted him to die and yet it was my entire fault.
If I hadn’t been so stuck in the present, trying to hold onto something so bad when life tried to shift into the future…if I hadn’t suggested the trip, if only we could be in Corner Bay again, if only…
If only, it would help to blame myself now.
It wouldn’t help to lie here on this stinking ice floor, demanding things from my brain when it was evidently too tired to stay coherent, to lie here and dwell on the past.
I sighed deeply and my throat burned with the air that I inhaled, my wrist was shackled to the wire and I struggled to move my wrists around. It hurt a lot and I wanted to cry out with pain.
Why hadn’t monster tortured me after shoving the pill down my throat? Why did he bring me back here?
There were two things that I thought about at the same time.
The first one was invariably true; he wanted to inflict pain on me while I was awake. That could very well be true because most horror movies victims were awake. Or awake after the first incision.
The second thought could also be correct; he wanted me to suffer more, he wanted me to die with agony because of our previous encounters, because of his urgency to get his daily—or hourly—fix in killing the prey that got away.
Whichever it was, I didn’t care anymore.
I didn’t care whether I lived or died. My life was prone to be void without Austen and Logan.
It felt like hours passed, I wasn’t sure how long I’d been stuck here, how long Oliver had been dead. I wasn’t sure how long it was since I’ve had something to eat.
Just thinking about Oliver, Ella and the way I was trapped, brought forth a sickening emotion. It wasn’t fear, or sadness. It was a mixture of hatred and agony and a dominating sense of loneliness.
I hadn’t realized the tears on my cheeks until it cascaded down the short length of my cheeks and touched the tip of my upper lip. I licked it.
This was the first time that something got me down, that I was crying.
I hated to cry. Once I started, it felt like I could never stop. It felt as if I could cry about every aspect that has happened this week and before that.
Graduation day, the road trip, Austen’s bracelet—which still sparkled off my wrist—never getting to hear the meanings of the rest of the charms, Baton Creek and the first night Austen made love to me, that very first emotion once I realized Rebecca was missing, seeing her hanging limply on against a tree and being blamed for her death, the first encounter with the monster and everything that happened thereafter…everyone of these things kept the tears flowing.
Hours passed, I fell asleep with my cheek against the stone slab.