No One Gets Out

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Latest installment from Tales from beyond the shadows.

Submitted: August 22, 2017

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Submitted: August 22, 2017



The sudden sound in the stillness of the darkened woods, awoken the figure that lay in a foetal position at the base of the ancient oak tree. He managed to stifle  the scream somewhere in the back of his throat before it could exit his mouth, an overwhelming sense of fear rose now from deep inside him. Despite his best efforts a whimpering sound forced its way past his clenched teeth, this only served to heighten his already anxious state. Without any conscious effort on his behalf, his gnarled and scarred hand suddenly clamped over his misshapen mouth and silenced the whimpering. The only sounds now in the darkness was the small sounds of nocturnal animals, even these were soon drowned out by the sound of his own heart pounding in his head. What had been that sound? A sharp cracking noise that was all too similar to the sound of the whip, the whip that had left his body covered in a living tapestry of scars.

Perhaps he had been dreaming of his days in captivity, the cracking sounds had been a daily occurrence then. The sound and then the searing pain, the very thought of this brought terrifying vivid images to his mind. But even more terrifying was the thought that the cracking sound was not part of a dream, was it the sound of a dead branch snapping beneath the heavy foot of a pursuer? The thoughts of being recaptured and taken back to that accursed life of torment sent coldness through his body, spreading from the centre of his being. Leaving his twisted and tormented form trembling like a leaf in a biting wind, the very thought of being returned to that place turned his bowels to ice water. How long had he wallowed in that pit of darkness and despair? A word sounded deep inside his mind. “Centuries” But this could not be right, no one lived that long and if they did. They certainly could not survive such torment and anguish for anywhere near that length time.

 Time, what exactly did that mean to him anymore? Suddenly the realisation came to him; time had long since lost all relevance for him. How long had he been free of his captivity? A day, an hour, a week or a century, he had no idea. What was even stranger was the fact he had no idea who he was, or where he had come from. The only thing he could be certain of, was the fact that he was being pursued. That and the certainty that those who pursued him had only one thing in mind for him, they intended to return him to the dark pit of torment. A soft breeze rustled through the trees, he lifted his face towards the dark skies and sniffed. An overwhelming sense of urgency now replaced the mixture of emotions he had been experiencing. As the soft breeze carried the scent of his pursuers to him, rising quickly now he hurried into the darkness. His awkward crouching gait, belied the speed at which he moved, somewhere in the recesses of his mind he knew he was heading towards a town. Perhaps there amongst the inhabitants he might find sanctuary.

A faint hint of illumination could be detected in the east as he arrived at the outskirts of the small town, however dawn would not arrive for a while yet and his pursuers were closing rapidly on him. He could sense them and above all he could sense their utter determination to send him back to whence he came. A lone building stood on the outskirts of the town; the building boasted a tower and was constructed of cut stone. He would just about make it to the building before they caught up on him, the building hinted at sanctuary for him. Yet something about this building terrified him, the sounds of pursuit were much closer now and he had little choice. The fugitive was now caught between the unknown fear of that building, and the terrifying certainty of being returned to the torment. With pounding heart he moved quickly across the open ground, through the wrought iron gate he hurried and towards the great arched door way.

He stood panting for breath as he eyed the huge oak door, it was studded with iron bolts and the handle was a great ring forged from iron. Too late now he felt it, he had made the wrong choice. He should have remained in the woods and tried to evade his would be captures; everything about this building told him he would find no sanctuary here. Glancing behind him now he knew he was trapped, darker figures in the darkness moved towards him. They were like great globs of blackness amongst the greyness of the fading night, he had no choice now and he reached for the iron ring. It was as if he had touched lighting, the searing pain of molten flesh and an over powering stench of burnt meat. He was flung backwards and landed amongst the dark figures. Bony hands with sharp razor like finger nails grasped him painfully, he felt himself drawn further into the darkness. A voice screamed into the coming dawn. “I don’t want to go back to hell” Just before the darkness swallowed him, he recognized that voice as his own. Only then did he realize whence he came from and where he was returning to.

© Copyright 2019 Patrick G Moloney. All rights reserved.

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