The Effect

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
What changes in people when you take away their order? When there is nobody take care of them or tell them what to do. During a horrifying event, Lucas Barrington will witness this bone chilling effect.

Submitted: June 08, 2016

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Submitted: June 08, 2016

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The Effect



 

As I looked out my window on the 40th floor of my apartment building and gazed over the giant sprawling city of Cyro, I thought to myself, what a perfect day. The windows covering the hundreds of skyscrapers reflected the blue sky so perfectly that they seemed camouflaged. “We’ve got a great view” I said smiling.

“Sure do” replied my beautiful wife Sarah as she handed me a cup of coffee. She had dark cocoa hair and brown eyes that shined from the light through the window. I took a sip of coffee and looked back out the window. In the distance I could see the Sky Tower standing tall above the city, watching over us. It was a fitting name. The tower looked like it was scraping the sky. It’s the tallest building in the world, inside the biggest city in the world. And I can see it all from this window.

“Ahh” I said in delight. “What a perfect day”

“Lucas” I heard and snapped out of my gaze. I turned around

“Yeah?” I asked as if I had just woken up.

“I’m not painting this room all by myself am I?” Said Sarah as she dipped a paintbrush in a bucket of bright blue paint. That was the colour our son Sam had requested. He was at school and we were surprising him by doing up his new room before he got home. We had just moved here and luckily he could still go to the same school, but he is further away from his friends now. Hopefully this would help cheer him up. I set down my coffee and grabbed a paintbrush.

“This is the colour he wanted right?” I asked.

“Yes but you know him, he probably wouldn't care if it was pink” She replied.

“Should we paint it pink and see what he says?” I said jokingly.

“Sure but if he’s mad you're taking the heat” I smiled.  

“Not gonna risk it” I said and we continued to paint.


 

Two and a half hours later we took a step back to look at the progress we had made. The room was no longer dull and boring, it was bright and vibrant. “It feels completely different” Said Sarah as she put her hand in the air awaiting a high five. I gave her one.

“He should be home anytime now” I said and walked out of the room, down the hardwood hallway and into the living room. I grabbed a remote to turn on the TV. Just as I went to press the on button, a loud fast THUMP noise came from outside shaking the entire apartment and throwing me to the ground.

“God, Lucas what was that?!” Yelled Sarah from Sam's room. She ran out into the living room. “Lucas, are you okay?” She ran over to me and helped me up.

“I’m fine I’m fine” I said. “Probably just an earthquake” Sarah looked puzzled.

“We never have earthquakes” She said.

“Well maybe we just started” I grabbed the remote and turned the tv on. “Oh my god” I said as I stared in shock.

“BREAKING NEWS” Read the TV. On it was an above shot of our city from a helicopter.

Tanks and giant military vehicles were crowding the streets causing waves of mass panic. People were screaming, and running everywhere, it was so loud you could hear it over the engines of all the massive machines. “Luke.. This- This isn't real.. It can’t be”  

“MASS EVACUATION” read bold letters and a woman started to speak. “The military is asking civilians to gather personal belongings and wait in lobbies to be relocated until further notice”

“Get our things” I said.

“Whats happening?” asked Sarah.

“I don’t know, I’m going to look for Sam.. Pack our things and meet us in the lobby” I said sternly, trying not to panic. I knew that if I did she would to. I started towards the door.

“I’ll try to hurry and be down quick. Don’t get on a truck without me” She said and I could see the tears starting to build in her eyes.

“We won’t” I said. “None of us are getting left behind.”

 

 

There’s no way I’m waiting for the elevator right now. I thought as I started running down the apartment buildings staircase. 39 flights to go. I was running so fast. Where would Sam be. If I’m lucky I wouldn't have to walk far to get him. I was more focused on him than whatever is going on in the city. Was it war? A disease breakout? Who knows. Who cares. If my family is safe everything will be fine. I got to the lobby and looked around. It was small, and it looked even smaller with the fifty something people crowded inside of it. "Sam?!" I yelled hoping for a response. Nothing. I looked around. It was a sad mix of nervous wrecks. People crying and screaming everywhere I looked. I walked through the crowd as butterflies took flight in my stomach and I wanted to throw up. "Has anyone seen Sam?"

"Who?" I heard a few people respond. Oh, I forgot we're new here.


 

I crashed through the door of the building thinking I would be stepping out of the panic but instead found myself in an even bigger one. It was like nothing I've ever seen before. Smoke was rising from buildings in the distance. Loud gunshots and explosions could be heard. People were running by like they were being chased by cheetahs in the Savanna. I got hit by someone and was bumped into the side of my building.

"Dad!!" I heard and was immediately relieved as I saw my nine year old son pull through the crowd. There was no time for talking, it was apparent that out here wasn't the safest place right now.

"Hold onto my arm!" I yelled and we ran back into the building.

 

It's a miracle that the tile floor of the lobby wasn't slippery with tears judging by the amount of people bawling in confusion.

“Lucas, Sam!” I looked across the lobby to see Sarah holding two suitcases. As we approached Sarah got on her knees to hug Sam and began to cry.

“Mom.. are you alright?” he asked. He looked up at me. “What’s happening?” How could I respond to that.

“I- I don’t know.. But what I do know is that everything will be fine if we just stick together”

“There are some officers in here” Said Sarah as she stood up. “They told us that the military is going apartment to apartment evacuating people in these huge trucks” Alright, I thought. At Least we know what we're waiting for.

“Any word on what's going on?” Sarah looked so worried.

“None”

“Alright folks!” Yelled a police officer dressed in what seemed to be more gear than normal. “Please load into the roller in a quick and orderly fashion” Out the window I could see what they were calling a roller. It was like an 18 wheeler on steroids. In the driver's seat sat somebody wearing heavy armour and beside him was a passenger who was holding a rifle. The back was huge and looked like a holding tank. I could tell it was very enforced. The lobby emptied quickly. Some entered the roller without question, and others demanded to know where we were going. The soldiers seemed to brush off the question.

It was almost our turn to enter the roller. I was feeling scared, worried, anxious, and a little bit relieved that we were getting taken care of. None of this feels real.

“Hey! Wait for me!” I looked back to see a short Asian man in a large beige coat holding on to his hat as he ran towards us. He wasn't from the apartment. “Don't go anywh- ahck” He said as he twisted his leg and tripped. He screamed in pain. It was our turn to get on.

“Hold on, I’ll be right back” I said and started sprinting towards the man.

“Lucas, no c’mon!” Yelled Sarah reluctantly. The soldiers loaded her and sam on to the roller. I reached the man and grabbed him around the shoulders trying to help him up.

“Alright buddy, I’m getting you out of here.. Can you stand?”

“Maybe” He said and I loosened my grip on him to see if he was stable. “Ahhck!” He yelled out as he tripped.

“Alright, so thats a no” I said. “I’ll help you but we’ve got to go quick” I slung one of his arms over my shoulder and one of my arms over his. We started limping quickly towards the vehicle.

“C’mon we gotta go!” Yelled a soldier.

“Yeah, thanks for the help” I murmured. We were almost there. A soldier was standing in the back of the roller, ready to help us in. We were within ten feet now. Suddenly the most terrified look on a human being I've ever seen washed upon the soldier's face and he looked up, way up. The roller started moving. “NO! Where are you going!? Slow down!” They paid no attention to my orders and I picked up the pace. Despite the roller moving I caught up. The soldier payed no attention to us, instead he continued to look up.  “Help him in! He’s hurt!” A shadow slowly started covering the whole street from behind me. It covered the roller, and kept stretching all the way down as far as I could see. I couldn't look back to see what it was. I continued yelling at the soldier but it was like he was in a state of shock. I tossed the old man into the roller.

The roller started moving faster. “STOP!” I yelled as I ran towards it. The Asian man from inside stood up and looked at me, and like the soldier, he looked up, and looked terrified. He grabbed the slide door, and slid it closed. “NO” I kept running as the roller got faster, and I knew I wasn't getting in.  I could see Sarah run from the inside, over to the door. She was screaming and crying but I couldn't hear her. She tried to pull open the doors but couldn't. She looked me directly in the eyes and put her hand against the window of the door as she was pulled away by soldiers. “SARAH!” I yelled as I was hit in the head with something, and passed out.


 

I knew I was awake but didn’t want to open my eyes. I was afraid that It wasn't all a dream. And judging by the pain in my head, the hard ground, and the smell of smoke, it wasn't. I opened my eyes and could see sun beams shining through a thick cloud of smoke in the sky. I looked around. How long has it been? I thought. I stood up. What do I do? Where did they go? They are gone. Everything became blurry as tears welled up in my eyes. “HELLO?” I screamed. “ANYBODY?!”

 

The paved road was cracked below me and some buildings were burning. It looked like a storm of fire had rampaged through the city. I decided I would keep walking.

The logical thing to do would be to get a car and get out of the city, but cars were outlawed four years ago. This city is home to 66 million people, and all that pollution was killing the environment. We were all forced to use subways and auto-controlled busses. But I was sure neither of those would be operating. The other problem was food. Shipments had to come in every two days because the demand was so high. Grocery stores always seemed empty.  Our city alone was dragging down the whole world's food source. Food would be scarce, I thought.  I can walk until I find something, and hope I don't die on the way there.

*Click* I heard as something pressed against the back of my head. I jumped instinctively.

“Don’t move or I swear to god I’ll blow your brains out” I heard from behind me. I froze.

“What do you want?” I asked, terrified.

“Everything you have” This seems surreal.

“I-I don't have much” I said.

“Dont lie to me” The man said, and even though I couldn't see his face I could tell he was getting angry. I reached into my pocket and grabbed my wallet. I held the wallet behind my back and felt the man grab it.

“That’s it, I swear.. Everything I have” I could feel the object that I could only assume was a gun get taken away from my head. The man ran. I looked back and saw him running into an alley wearing an all black hoody and jeans, but still couldn’t see his face.

It took only ten minutes of walking to encounter someone again, but this time it wasn’t a threat. I spotted a group of six people sitting in a convenience store. At first I was hesitant to approach them until I noticed one of them looked like a kid. I walked towards the store.

“Um, hello?” I said standing closely outside. One of the men jumped up. He was wearing what looked like a fishing cap, a beige jacket and jogging pants. He had a short, full, brown and grey beard and the same colour hair stuck out from under his hat. He signalled for the group to stay where they were and walked out of the store. He stood in front of me.

“Are you alone?” He asked.

“Yes”

He smiled. “Well you would say that anyway wouldn't you” He said as he leaned against the outside of the convenience store.

“Look” I said. “I don't even know what's going on” He looked confused. “I just woke up.. Someone robbed me. Can I please come in?” He looked at me sternly.

“I don't know what it is, but I believe you” He got closer. “But If you do anything to hurt any of us.. I will kill you”

Why would I do anything to hurt them I thought. “My names Trevor” He said as we walked in.

The people inside looked genuinely frightened at the sight of me. Trevor began to introduce them.

“Alright folks, meet um. What's your name?” He looked at me

“Lucas” I said and nodded at the people sitting on the floor. The group included a man and a woman tending to another man's leg injury, and a young woman, probably 11 or 12. Trevor introduced us. The man with the injuries name was Tobin, he had shaggy medium long brown hair, and a broken leg. The two tending to him were a married couple named Derek and Lydia. Lydia had long golden blonde hair and big blue eyes. Derek had short black hair and stubble. The young girl's name was Olivia and she looked tired and sad. Her eyes were red like she had recently cried and her brown hair almost covered her whole face.. After the introduction Trevor pulled me aside.

“Let me ask you something” He said. “Do you really have no idea what's going on?”

“There was an evacuation, I got hit by something and was knocked out. I woke up today” He looked at me in shock.

“The evacuation was two days ago.. You must be thirsty” I had not realized until he said that how thirsty I really was.

“Thank you” I said as he passed me a bottle of water. I opened it and took a long drink. “So what happened?” I asked.

“Sit down” He said. I pulled out a chair from behind the front counter. I looked at him. “There's something out there” He said. “Out in the city”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “Like an animal? Terrorists?”

“If I told you I knew exactly what it was I would be lying to you. But I've seen it. Part of it. It’s big. If we were in any other city you would be able to see it no matter where you were. When I was supposed to be getting evacuated, I was about ten meters from the truck, or roller or whatever the hell they called it, and then it was crushed right in front of everyone by the biggest object Ive ever seen. So heavy that when it hit the ground everybody around was tossed down onto the road. The thing must've been thirty damn meters in diameter. It must have crushed about fifteen soldiers and even more civilians. But the worst part was when I looked up, and noticed it was a foot”

I froze. “No. How could something be that big?”

“The foot connected to a leg, and the leg stretched higher than I could see thanks to all the smoke. It was a scaly kind of leg, didn’t look like skin, more like a lizard. Anyway. I ran into the nearest building that wasn't collapsed, and hid. And it was that moment that I heard the most terrifying sound I've ever heard. It was a roar. It was low and high pitched. I can't even describe it. Everything shook. My ears felt like they were going to bleed… I spent the night in that building. And over the last few days I have formed this group”

“I don't know what to say”. I was shaking.

“I didn't expect you to. The evacuation was messy as hell. I would say a fraction of a quarter of this city got left behind”

“So why don't we just leave? Try to find where they took people” I asked. Trevor frowned.

“Well.. There were ten of us, and then we tried that. Thieves and marksmen have lined the entire border of the city. They know that's where everyone will go. So there’s a fortune to make off of people's belongings” Good god. I thought. What has happened to this place. “It's crazy what happens to people when you take away order.. Our best bet right now is to find somewhere safe, and wait for the military to come back”

“The store isn't safe?” I asked.

“Not safe enough” he replied and walked away.

We spent the rest of the day planning. The plan was simple.

we would wake up the next morning, pack as many supplies as possible, and look for a bigger group of people to join. I got a chance to talk with everyone in the group. They were nice. Tobin had gotten his leg injury by getting hit with flying debris, much like the man I had saved. Derek and Lydia seemed stressed but very kind and helpful. Olivia was quiet and I hadn't got to know her very well.

 

“Rise and shine ladies!” Trevor's loud voice boomed and everybody jolted awake. I hadn't gotten a good night's sleep. All I could think about was Sam and Sarah. Were they okay? I could only hope. I looked down at my watch. It was 7:30 AM exactly. Just like in the plan.

We packed up all of what was left in the convenience store and headed out. I didn't know what to be more scared of, a giant monster, or the people we could encounter. We stuck close to the edge of the road as we walked and tried to avoid being seen. The sky was still filled with smoke. We walked for half an hour before seeing the first sign of hope.

A giant banner hung down from the roof of the Cyro East End Hospital. In bold hand painted letters it read: “HOME FOR ALL” Honestly, I was slightly relieved at the sight of the sign. It felt like progress. We all looked at Trevor for approval.

“Home for all..” He read. “That includes us. He smiled along with everybody else. “Let's see what this is all about” He said and we walked toward the front door.

 

We walked in and were immediately greeted by two men with rifles. “Welcome” One of them said. “If you don't mind I'm going to ask you to wait with us for a moment so the boss can meet you. Just something he likes us to do”

“Fine by me” Trevor said. “As long as you guys have got hot water and food I’ll wait here as long as you want” The guard smiled. He reached towards a walkie talkie strapped to his chest. “We’ve got a group of seven at the front door”

“Ahh excellent!” A voice responded. “I’ll be right down”

“The boss huh?” Said Derek.

“Yeah” Responded the guard. “He started this place. Treat him with some respect. He’s helped a lot of people.

Within a minute the man they called boss came through a door on the other side of the hall and started walking towards us. He had long, thin, dark black hair that hung low below his shoulders, a goatee, and dark brown eyes. He wore boots, black pants and a wool sweater, which was odd because it wasn’t cold out. “What have we here!” He said loudly as he walked towards us. He had a strange accent, one I couldn't figure out. It sounded slightly russian. “One, two, three-” He began to count. “Ah! Seven” The guard looked at him funny. “I know you told me already but I was just making sure you aren't like stupid at the math.. Ahhhhh! I’m kidding with you man c’mon!” He slapped the guard on the shoulder. “Whatever. I thought it was funny” He looked at us. “Speaking of the kid, we don't have too many of those. It's a rare find” He gazed us each over individually, as if making sure we were good enough. He stared extra long at Olivia. He seemed to be trying to figure out what her problem was. “Well than.. Welcome to this fine establishment of mine” He said as he stretched out his arms. “My name is Viktor and I am in charge of this place. We are home to.. Hmm lets see” He began to murmur as he calculated in his head. “198 people now, including you” Let me show you around.

 

Victor led us down a long hallway. It was a generic hospital. The ground was polished and made a click as you stepped, the walls were white, and that anxiety inducing hospital smell filled the air. “Where is everyone?” Asked Derek.

“Through this doorway here” Replied Viktor. “We like to keep the people on the bottom floor, it's easier to get out if we ever have to in a hurry. But that's unlikely, whatever that beast is tends to leave things alone unless there's a lot of noise. So just don't be stupid.”

As soon as we walked through the doorway the hospital got a lot louder with the sound of chatter. Viktor turned around. “This is the main hall. It’s where you will be spending most of your time” he said. The hall looked the same as the last except there were more people coming in and out of rooms and socializing. At the end of the hall were double doors. A sign above them read: “Cafeteria” Among the people were the occasional guards. They looked the same only they had walkie talkies and rifles. “We assign every group a room. You guys are taking one of the last ones, we've moved beds from all over the hospital into them so you’ll all have somewhere to sleep. This hall is getting pretty full so we will soon have to expand where we allow people.. We just like to know where everybody is. You'll notice at the end of the hall is the cafeteria. It is where most of the socializing goes on. Its also where we provide breakfast and dinner. Currently lunch isn't an option, food is hard to come by” From behind Viktor a woman who looked very distressed started walking towards him. Her hair was a mess, her nose was red, and she was crying.

“Viktor” She said. “Please, just tell me what happened to her. I can't get over it and your brushing it off like it's nothing” Viktor gave us a strange look and then looked back at the girl

“Becky, please. I am with newcomers” He responded calmly.

“I deserve to know how my sister died!” Becky screamed.

“We will discuss her passing in further detail later” Said Viktor. “Now please. As I said before. I am with newcomers” I looked back at Trevor and he looked uneasy. Becky stomped off angrily. “Now, where was I? Ah , yes. You will be staying in room 25, near the end of the hall. Now, staying here is simple. You will live like you normally would. But you stay in the main hall at all times unless you're told otherwise. For instance, if I asked you to do a job. The main thing we ask people to help with is scavenging for food. Now, there have been some.. Casualties, while out there scavenging. Like Becky’s sister Emily.. Sweet girl, really. But I assure you that it is not something that happens often and we are working very hard to make it a safer routine” He looked at us. “Any questions?” He asked. I expected a ton, but everyone was silent. Maybe they were too scared to know the answer, or they were just eager to rest in an actual bed. “Well then.. My office is upstairs. If you have a decent question for me, meaning it is not stupid or painfully obvious, ask a guard and they will bring you” He began walking towards the doors we came in from. “Breakfast is at ten and dinner is at five. Have a nice stay” He said as he closed the doors behind him. The group looked at each other.

“Let’s check out the room” Said Lydia.

“I hope we have a flatscreen” Said Derek and everyone smiled, even Olivia.

 

Soon after we all got situated in the disappointingly boring room, we gathered along with the rest of the people in the cafeteria for breakfast. After that we socialized and got to know some other people. Everything felt a little bit too normal. Dinner time came and it was the same routine. We all gathered in the cafeteria and the guards served us food. It was meat, vegetables, and juice. It wasn't the best meat I’ve ever had, but I was so hungry that it was delicious.

 

That night before we all went to bed I looked over at Olivia. She was sitting on her bed. She took off an expensive looking bracelet and set it on her bedside counter. She took out a picture from her bag, looked at it, and put it back in. She started to cry. I walked over to her. “Olivia?” She turned around with red eyes.

“What?”

“Missing your family?” I asked

“Yeah” She said in a shaky voice.

“Me too” I said, and I wasn't lying. I was more concerned about them than I was myself.

“Showers. I’m here because I like to take long showers” She said. “The military people came in and took my parents as I was getting out of the shower and they wouldn't wait for me to get ready, and now I’m never gonna see them again”

“Hey, you will see them again” I said. “We are all getting out of this city. I’ll make sure of it” She looked up and smiled.

“Thank you” she said. I smiled back.

“Goodnight Olivia”

 

The next few days were fine. Aside from a few complaints of missing people it felt like things were going great. There were a few newcomers but it seemed like less and less people were showing up. We were all eating breakfast when Viktor came barging through the cafeteria doors with two guards. “Alright!” He said loudly. “Scavengers of the day” He looked around and started pointing at people. “You, you, annnnd” He pointed at Olivia “You” She looked very surprised. Probably because kids weren't often picked to do these kinds of things. “Alright c’mon, the three of you. We don't have all day” I looked at Olivia.

“It’ll be fine” I said. She nodded. Her and the two other women Viktor selected stood up and followed Viktor out of the door. I have to admit, I was slightly worried. Most of the missing person complaints came from people who went scavenging.

“She might not make it back you know” I turned around and saw Becky sitting at the table behind me.

“What?” I asked.

“Olivia, she might not make it back.

“How could you even say that?” I asked

“Have you not been seeing the trend?” She asked. “Apart from my sister, everybody who has gone missing has been a girl that is not related to anybody else here.. Just pointing it out” I looked at her in disgust.

“Keep those comments to yourself” I said and continued to eat breakfast.

 

Dinner that night was better than usual. The meat was cooked perfectly and tasted more fresh than we were used to, we had orange juice, which is my favourite, and fresh, crunchy carrots. But it was hard to eat with butterflies in my stomach. I was worried about Olivia. About the time that my plate was empty Viktor entered the cafeteria with a bitter look on his face. He was accompanied by only one guard from earlier that day. “I’m afraid I have some bad news” My stomach dropped. The cafeteria got silent quickly. Trevor looked over at me with wide eyes. He stabbed his fork into the meat on his plate.

“God dammit” He said quietly and pressed his hand against his forehead.  

“While we were out looking for food today” Viktor continued. “We were attacked by four men with machine guns..Brian, the other guard I stood here with earlier was shot in the leg, he is upstairs getting treatment now” Viktor looked down. “And the three scavengers I picked earlier today, were shot and killed” People in the cafeteria gasped. An uproar started. People were yelling that we weren't safe and that it isn't fair that they make us scavenge. I noticed becky giving me a look that said “I told you so”. Viktor started speaking up. “I sent guards after the four men responsible for the attack and they are confirmed dead”. I wanted to cry, I also wanted to throw up. Trevor still had his hand on his forehead and had an angry look on his face. “I am sorry to anyone affected by the deaths of these three women” said Viktor. “That is all I can say” he said and turned around to exit the cafeteria. Hanging out of his back pocket I could see Olivia’s expensive looking bracelet that she took off every night. I began to fill with anger. This isn't right. What did he do? I thought. I was going to find out.

I left the cafeteria shortly after, not pointing out what I had seen. If people found out, it could get out of control. This had to be just me. I went to our room and grabbed a small pocket knife off of Trevor's nightside table, and put it in my back pocket. I wasn't planning on using it, but it would make me feel a lot safer. I approached a guard in the main hall and told him I needed to speak with Viktor. I was praying he didn't search me.

“Why do you need him” He asked

“My friend was killed today. Look he told me that if I ever needed to talk with him that a guard would bring me there. So do your damn job.” The guard looked surprised. Even I was surprised. I'm not a mean person, but I was mad.

The guard led me upstairs and down a hallway very similar to the one downstairs. There were about ten guards on this floor. This must be where they go when it's not their shift. One of them was Brian, who was walking around perfectly normal, without a leg injury. At the end of the hall there was a sign above double doors that said: “Viktors Office. Please knock”. The guard led me in. Viktor was looking out a window.

“Not the greatest view I will admit, but it's something” he said as he turned around. “What can I help you with Luke?” He sat down at his desk. “I bet I can guess” he said. I looked at him with a straight face. “You want more details about what happened to Olivia”.

“No, I understood the story. It just didn't add up” I said.

“Oh? And why is that?” He asked.

“Because if you were being shot at by four men, how did you have time to take Olivia's bracelet?” He looked surprised, and then confused. “I saw it in your back pocket” I said. “Why do you have it?”

“She gave it to me before the attack. Right before. I didn’t have time to give it back”

“Why’d she give it to you?” I asked.

“I said it looked nice and she gave it to me to look at” He said. He looked very serious. We both did. “What the hell is this an interrogation?” He asked. “Do you truly need something from me because I have things to do”.

“Dont bullshit me.” I said angrily.”I saw Brian in the hallway” I said. Viktor’s expression turned slightly angry. “He was fine”. Viktor looked at the two guards standing behind me. He nodded and they shifted over. They both stood in front of the double doors, blocking my way out. Of course I was worried about that, but there was so much adrenaline pumping through me that I was more focused on Viktor. “Now why would you lie about Brian getting shot? The only reason I can think of is that it doesn't sound realistic enough that the three girls got shot, and none of you did”. I walked closer to Viktors desk. “What the hell did you do?!”

“Nothing”. He responded.

“Dont lie to me” I said angrily. He pounded his desk.

“Fine!” He said loudly. “You're right, that isn’t what happened”. He stood up. “Congratulations! Do you want a certificate? Hm? A trophy maybe? Maybe a plaque that says “Solver of stupid useless god damn problems”? Seriously, what did you think would happen if you came here? Nothing”. He spoke in a tone I had never heard him speak in before. “You can't change anything. All that’s going to happen here is you are gonna have to die and I lose another member of this place”. He was right. I started to question why I came here. Why I thought this was a good idea. “Wanna know what kind of person you are?” He asked. “The kind that digs too deep when they don't have to, and they end up in a hole they can’t get out of”. It started to set in that I was probably going to die. He pulled out a pistol from his desk drawer and aimed it at me. “What is stopping me from pulling this trigger and killing you right now?” he asked. “Nothing. I am only going to keep you alive a little bit longer for fun”.

“What do you mean?” I asked angrily.

“You’ll see”.

“If what you said happened isn’t true, is she alive?” He grinned the most evil grin I had ever seen.

“Follow me” he said.

I followed Viktor out of the room as the two guards trailed behind, aiming machine guns at my back. “Where are we going” I asked.

“You’ll see”.

“Is she alive?” I asked

“You’ll see”. I had never been more terrified in my life. I was going to die. How could I not? We continued to walk down the hall and through a few doorways. The hospital was like a maze. Especially because everything looked the same. Where could we be going. “Do you know how hard it is to provide for so many people? How stressful it is? You don't. But take my word for it, it's hard. You have to make some difficult decisions. Some decisions you don't want to make. But it is worth it. Everything is worth it if you look at the bigger picture” Viktor exclaimed. We got to a door that said: “Upper Gymnasium” I remembered these. I had torn a muscle in my leg and they made me use the hospital gym to help heal. “Do you understand what I just told you Luke? If not, you aren't a survivor. Right now we have no order, no law, it's up to us to survive. Now, as far as I'm concerned, this city we live in, is the whole world”. He looked at me and smiled sadistically. “Don't you get it Luke? When the world goes to shit, so do the people”. He opened the door, and we walked in.

 

We were on the upper level of a gymnasium like the sign suggested. It was a running track that looped around the entire room, with rails on the inner part so you didn’t fall down into the main gym. The room was large and had a strange odour, like metal. Viktor walked over to the rails and looked down over the gym. “You wanted to know so bad what happened” he said. “So why don’t you come take a look”. I began to walk towards him, terrified of what I might see. I got to the rails and looked over. It was a normal gym, aside from a few things. The wall in between the gym and the male locker room was completely removed leaving it exposed. The large white tile shower area was stained  dark red. In the corner of the gym was a large cage, and in the cage were the two girls that were supposed to be dead along with a few others I didn't recognize. But not Olivia. They started yelling and pounding on the cage.

“Please, help us!” A guard who was sitting on a chair next to the cage stood up and told them to shut up.

“Where is she?!” I asked. Viktor looked at me and smiled.

“In your stomach” he said. “Assuming you ate today”. I got weak. My legs almost gave out.

“You’re a monster” I said.

“No” he responded. “I’m a survivor. Sacrifice few for the lives of many. That’s how it is. It’s all worth it in the bigger picture, all of it”. He talked so calm that it scared me. ”Plus, you ate that shit too! Not just me. So does that make us both monsters?” I wanted to punch him in the teeth right now but I’d be shot and killed. “We’ve been taking people here from the start. Girls tend to taste better so we usually pick women who aren't associated with anyone. It was a mistake to pick Becky’s sister. She made such a fuss out of it”

“You're going to burn for this” I said.

“Damn” he said. “I knew you wouldn’t get it. Well, I only let you live this long to see the look on your face when I told you, and it was very worth it. It is your time now”.

“You want me to take him outside and kill ‘em?” The guard spoke up behind me.

“No” responded Viktor. “We wouldn't want to waste a perfectly good meal”.

 

Within a minute my hands were held together with duct tape, and I was on my knees on the red stained tile floor in the change room. “This, is the draining station” Said Viktor. “If you look at the ground below you, and aren't stupid, it is pretty self explanatory what happens here. Now, please be patient as we get all set up here”. I was done. It was over. Until I remembered that pocketknife. My back was facing the wall so nobody could see as I reached into my back pocket and grabbed it. If I dropped it I probably wouldn't be able to pick it up so I had to be careful. I was able to open it and start sawing at the tape slowly without anyone noticing. “Alright, it is time” said Viktor as one of the two guards started approaching with a chainsaw in his hand. He stood in front of me. The guard revved the chainsaw. He looked back at Viktor.

“Ready?” He asked him. Viktor nodded and before the guard could look back at me, I jumped up, grabbed the chainsaw and drove it into his head. It happened so quick and he was so surprised that there was virtually no resistance. The noise the saw made as it split into his scalp made me sick and I began to get drenched in a fountain of blood. Viktor looked at me in shock and couldn't react as I ran towards the cage and sawed off the lock.

“STOP HIM!” Viktor yelled and the remaining guard started shooting in a panic as I threw the chainsaw to the side and ran through a door.

 

I ran faster than I had ever ran, trying to follow signs leading to the cafeteria, praying that when I got there nobody would be waiting for me. I was sure I would throw up but I couldn’t right now, there wasn’t enough time. I was on a mission.

I found my way back and busted through the cafeteria doors, covered in blood and screaming, I must have looked like a madman. Surprisingly I didn't see any guards. “We aren't safe here!” I yelled. “The people in charge are maniacs”. A panic swept over the crowed.

“What are you talking about?” Somebody screamed “Why are you covered in blood”. Others shouted things like “Why should we listen to you?”

“We have been eating our friends!” I yelled. The room got a lot more quiet. “Emily, Becka, Aliza.. Olivia, and more. They made us eat them” I said shakily. Trevor ran up to me.

“What's going on?” He asked.

“Exactly what I said” I responded.

“C’mon gang were leaving!” He yelled at the rest of my group.

Just then two guards barged through the cafeteria doors and started shooting at me, missing horribly and firing into the crowed. People started screaming and fleeing from the cafeteria. In the panic my group was able to get out. Trevor, Lydia, Derek, Tobin and I were running down the main hall towards the exit. “STOP THEM! ALL OF THEM!” I heard Viktor yelling. “KILL THEM ALL! SUCH A WASTE!” The entire population of the building was running down the hall in a stampede, followed by guards open firing on us, I was just waiting to feel a bullet. The guns were so loud. *POP POP POP*. My ears were ringing. We can do this, we can get out of here alive. Suddenly Derek tripped and fell. I turned around and tried to help him up, trying to not be swept away by the crowd. I grabbed his arm. He looked at me. *POP* His head jerked quickly sideways, his eyes rolled back, and a mist of red sprayed out his temple.

“DEREK!” I heard Lydia yell.

“We've gotta keep going!” I told her and continued to run. We were able to get out onto the street and kept running a while down the road, not looking back. I pointed towards an alley. “Over there!” I yelled. We entered the alley. I spotted a dumpster and opened it up. “Everybody in”. The five of us loaded in one by one.

For the next few hours we huddled in the dumpster just waiting, praying we weren't caught. Gunshots could still be heard in the distance accompanied by crying and screaming. All I could think was that if I ever saw Viktor again, I would kill him. I looked around the dumpster. Lydia was crying, everyone else seemed to be in shock. I got us out.. Most of us. But we’re here. What would have happened if we stayed there much longer? With food getting more and more scarce. I got us out. I realized now that I was left behind for a reason. It’s my job to protect these people, and that's what I'm going to do.


 

The End

 

 

 




 

 


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