The Silence

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: The Imaginarium

Chapter 3 (v.1) - The Hole

Submitted: May 16, 2019

Reads: 12

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Submitted: May 16, 2019

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Last night I killed the old man. I turned into a monster and tore his throat out with my teeth. I don’t remember it, but I know it is true. He was the Seeker and now the rest of us must decide who to place into the hole.

Hannah organizes us all, with Wrists being an aggressively non-verbal opponent to this speck of order within chaos. We mingle again to try and decide who to kill just before we retire to our rooms and eat our dinner in private. This feels like I will be choosing a second person to die, although I have no control over the group. Soon enough I will stand in front of the mirror and select one of these people to die, unless I am unlucky enough to find myself in the hole.

The thought fills me with dread, before I wonder about the second Killer.

The Doctor explained it. There are two Killers hidden among the group, and I wonder who the other one is, why it was me who changed and butchered the old man alone. I don’t know where to start to try and find the other Killer. I risk revealing myself and ending up in the hole. I want to hide, use my small size to be unnoticed by the group, but today it seems that everyone wants to talk to me. Perhaps being the smallest I am the least threatening.

With the old man gone I can almost smell the fear on the group. They know they are at a disadvantage now. There is no way to be sure of someone without the Seeker. No sure way to trust.

Once everyone has mingled and a largely ignored lunch appeared on the table. Hannah tapped against a glass to get everyone’s attention. Despite the cheerful sound, it feels like a judge’s gavel pronouncing sentence and I can feel the tension in the group increase.

“We need to choose someone according to the rules,” Hannah said the table focused on her.

“Fuck the rules,” Wrists said, turning an angry face towards the ceiling. “Bunch of sick bastards making us do this. I say we don’t choose anybody.”

There are a number of nods around the table and I join in. I already have to choose someone to die, I don’t want to do it twice.

Hannah turns her intense green eyes to Wrists, whose name I cannot remember. “That might happen. I don’t want to put anyone into the hole if I am not sure.”

One of the men across the circle from me starts to laugh. I remember he is one of the John’s and before the bomb he worked with computers. “What’s so funny?” Hannah asked.

“You are, thinking that we have any kind of control. There is no way to be sure, the Seeker is dead. That means of the thirteen of us who remain, two are Killers. If we chose someone randomly it would be a fifteen percent chance that we pick a Killer.

“If we don’t choose someone to go into the hole, then tonight, two of us die, and tomorrow the random chance increases to eighteen percent. But here’s the kicker. If we don’t choose someone, the probability that the Killers will be the only ones to survive increases. If we don’t choose anyone, we lose that chance to get lucky.”

I see how John’s words effect the table. He is right and we all know it. Refusing to play the game doesn’t thumb their noses at the bastards who arranged this. It just means the Killers will win.

“So how do we decide who to put into the hole?” Hannah asked.

“Well unless the Killers are suicidal and you ask for volunteers, I’d suggest we all draw straws rather than a vote.”

I want to object, but I cannot think of a reason to. Within minutes John holds the colorful red straws in his hand and is walking around the table. I am the third to choose and with my heart beating fast I draw a normal straw. John gives me a smile and his right eye twitched as if he wanted to wink and held it back. Two chairs to my right and the man who liked to eat with his hands drew the short straw.

I saw his face pale and with a crash of his chair he is backing away with his fists raised. “Fuck you and your damned straw, I ain’t a Killer.” He yelled.

Without a word, Wrists stood up, picked up his chair and rushed the smaller man. Within moments the man I still think of as Greasy Fingers is lying bleeding an unconscious on the floor. Wrists tossed away the chair and had the body sliding across the slick tabletop while I was still trying to process what just happened.

As Greasy fell into the hole with a thud, Wrists raised his blood-stained hands. “Next time everyone helps. We all have blood on our hands from this.” His demand sits heavy in the air and no one is able to meet his eyes. I see a series of nods out of the corner of my eye.

With the person selected, the hole irised closed and the doors to our rooms opened. I fled the group without hesitation, locking the door behind me.

All I can think is I am glad I did not draw the short straw and yet John’s words to the group come back to me. “Unless the Killers are suicidal and volunteer.” I whisper. Am I suicidal? Some part of me must be to have entered in the first place. Now I know the full extent of what being a Killer means, will I keep trading in the lives of everyone else, just to save myself?

I cannot look into my own eyes and I feel unclean. I decide to take a shower, knowing that I will have to face the mirror shortly and chose someone to die. As I take off the jacket I hear a rustle from a pocket.

Frowning I find a slip of paper with a few words written on it in a messy handwriting.

‘Last night I chose you to die, only to discover that you were a Killer too. Chose mathematical John tonight.”

The message was unsigned. The other Killer knew who I was. I’d spoken to everyone today. Every single person and I hadn’t been paying attention like I should. The other Killer slipped me this note. A tiny part of me wanted to feel happy that I was no longer alone. Not the only monster. Another louder part pointed to the unsigned note.

"He didn't tell me his name. He plans to use me." I said, as the pictures of everybody in the game appeared in the mirror. I hesitated over mathematical John, considered Wrists and even Hannah.  I chose someone at random again. A John, but not the mathematical one. 

If someone tried to slip me a note tomorrow I'd be ready for them.


© Copyright 2019 Julian St Aubyn Green. All rights reserved.

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