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Leonard l Brunk

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My Own Worst Nightmare
By Leonard l Brunk
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rated "R" by the Author.

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A young man wakes up in a dark room which he presumes to be a basement. There is a single swinging light bulb hanging from the ceiling, flickering, and a dreadful sight on the floor below this light. The young man is afraid from the moment he opens his eyes and after the light goes out his nightmare has just begun. He shares his experience with you through his senses; every movement, smell, touch, and lack of a visual is experienced till you can take no more...

 

Justice
 
A flickering light seemed to be straining to come to life in a place full of darkness.
 
I awoke to the sound of water dripping. From where I wasn’t sure, but this was the only sound; drip, drip, drip. The sound echoed through the room. As for the room, I wasn’t sure where I was at, but I imagined I was in a basement, for the feeling of cold concrete was against my cheek. The atmosphere smelled like mildew, water, and wood scrapings. There was a dim light in the room, and when I opened my eyes I saw a single light bulb flickering, as the cord this light hung from was dangling from some rafter on the ceiling, swinging slowly back and forth. Beyond this sight I saw a concrete wall and below this there was an empty wooden table against the wall. What truly troubled me though was what I saw on the floor below the swinging light.
 
The sound of dripping water gave me goose bumps for some reason, and I felt that if I was going to have to hear this much longer I would go crazy, but this was not nearly as nerve racking as the sight of the body.
 
I pressed my hands against the hard floor with the intention of standing to my feet. A sharp pain shot up from my right leg and I groaned as I moved. I could not stand. There was something wrong with my leg. I looked down at where the pain was coming from and when my eyes adjusted to the darkness what I saw induced a sinking feeling in my head. My stomach turned at the sight of my wound, and I controlled the sudden vomiting reflex which hit me hard. My bone was sticking out from my leg like a budding white weed from bloody soil. The end of the protruding bone looked splintered like it had been scraped along a hard surface. I quickly turned away and closed my eyes for a moment. The sound I heard caused me to turn in a jolt with my eyes wide. I heard my heart beating in my ears in that moment as I stared in the direction of the body below the swinging light.
 
'Why was that light still swinging?'
 
 The body looked still, but I didn’t blink. I looked at what was on the floor next to the body, and the image became so much clearer. I was looking at the persons bowels; his intestines laying there like a pile of large alien worms.
 
The light flickered again, going completely out for a long moment.
 
My heart sunk and I took in a deep breath of air. My heartbeat sounded louder and the dripping water did as well; these sounds were like the medal legs of a chair squeaking across linoleum in an otherwise silent coliseum. The sound increased the pain in my leg which apparently was numb before I awoke. In that moment of complete darkness I heard another sound slipping through the heartbeat and the dripping faucet; a dragging wet sound, like a large wet mop being slowly ran over the concrete surface coming from the direction of the swinging light bulb.
 
The light started flickering again, ‘Thank God’. I pressed my hands against the floor and started pushing myself back, feeling my fear running through my blood stream like a spreading fire through my veins. I couldn’t breathe for a moment and like in a nightmare I couldn’t move fast enough, as if I were dragging through a thick sludge that grew denser as I moved. The dripping water seemed to be even louder and my heartbeat was rapid. The body had moved. Was as still as a corpse in that moment, but it had surely moved, and had been dragged through the intestines. The light flickered more rapidly and I kept pushing myself back, facing the only sight I could behold in this room, moving primarily with my palms against the concrete.
 
The light flickered even more rapidly, creating an effect like a strobe light as if in rhythm with my heartbeat and that damn dripping wherever that was coming from. I could move no farther. I had reached something; the medal had banged against the back of my head. I reached behind and felt what seemed to be an iron ladder against my back.
 
The light went out.
 
I was in darkness again.
 
There were only the first consistent sounds.
 
"Drip! Drip! Drip! Thud Thud! Thud! Thud!"
 
I was frozen. My fear had made me immobile, and my heart wouldn’t slow down. I was too afraid to breathe.
 
That sound, the other sound disgusted me as much as terrified me.
 
The dragging wet sound would go on for a moment and then stop. Then the dragging would continue for another moment and then stop again.
 
‘Move,’ I thought this and then I was even more afraid as if something could hear my thoughts and sense my fear and vulnerability; lusting for these like a vampire lusts for blood.
 
‘Move, damn it,’ I couldn’t keep my thoughts from sounding so loud to the ears of whatever it was I feared, but the shouts in my mind ceased in drowning out the other sounds which were banging in my ears by this point.
 
The consistent "DRIP, DRIP, DRIP", along with the "THUD THUD, THUD THUD, THUD THUD' of my heart.
 
The dragging wet sound was drawing closer, and seemed to be speeding up.
 
I moved. As if my fear lost the hold on my leash I was able to move. I turned and started climbing. I don’t know where I found the strength, but I started climbing up the ladder with the help of only one leg. My wounded leg banged against the steel steps of the ladder a couple times as I moved. The pain shot through my body like a kick to the groin from a steel toe boot…
 
I looked up and saw some holes where small beams of light were coming through. I imagined I was looking up at a manhole. I didn’t bother to wonder how I would open this once I reached the top, all I knew was I had to get out.
 
I reached the top and slipped my left arm between two steps of the ladder, feeling the pressure of the iron under my armpit. I pressed against the heavy lid which sealed me in this nightmare but I didn’t have the strength to budge the weight of this. I rested for a moment and listened. The pain in my dangling leg was intensifying but I tried to block this out. The muscles in my arms were starting to feel suddenly drained but I had to find a way to push through this.
 
 I feared I was running out of adrenaline. My lungs were burning when I breathed in, but I tried to only take the stale air in through my nose, so as to not make so much noise. 
 
I heard the consistent dripping, sounding louder as if the sound was following me, or was inside the canals of my ears. But I didn’t hear the disgusting slopping wet sound of the dragging in that moment.
 
‘Perhaps this was my imagination. Perhaps I didn’t see the body had moved.’
 
I tried to be still, and continued to force myself to ignore the aching strain in my muscles. I was failing at this.
 
After a painfully long moment of silence the iron ladder moved. Something was grabbing a hold of the steps below me. Then I heard the sound again coming from under me; one last heavy slopping drag of the large mop across the floor.
 
I looked down, but I couldn't see anything. I imagined something was looking up at me, being able to see me and all the fear I had rising from me like a vapor.
 
The ladder moved again, shaking under the weight of whatever was starting to climb up after me.
 
‘My imagination,’ my mind begged. ‘No, I’m dreaming… and all I need to do is open my eyes to escape from this nightmare.’
 
The ladder shook some more. There was a gross plopping sound, like someone had dropped a heavy damp rag onto the floor. This sound was something falling from whatever was climbing up the ladder.
 
I was frozen again.
 
The ladder shook some more as ‘the corpse was drawing near’. I started willing myself to move again, but this process was straining.
 
The fear once again released me from its grasp and I started desperately pushing against the lid above me with one arm.
 
‘I have to be stronger, I have to get through.’ The iron lid would not move. I could not push hard enough.
 
The ladder stopped moving, and I stopped struggling to get out. I needed a moment, just a moment to catch my breath. I was at the point of exhaustion, and the thought crossed my mind that I wasn't sure how much blood I had lost from my compound fracture. I was breathing in through my nose, and exhaling in shaky gasps.
 
Something brushed against the heel of my wounded leg; the slightest touch.
 
'My imagination!'
 
I felt a slight pressure on my heel. Then something cold and soft started moving up under my pant leg.
 
I shouted out, hoping someone would hear me from outside this dungeon. There was no sound coming through the small holes above me.
 
The icy fingers reached farther up my leg, almost like the cold hand was caressing me.
 
Drops of sweat ran down from my forehead and went into my eyes stinging them. I continued shouting out, but saying nothing coherent. I was trying to wake myself up.
 
Drip! Drip! Drip! Drip! Drip! Drip!
 
The icy slimy feeling was removed from my leg for a moment. I held onto the iron as tightly as I could, embracing the ladder and closing my eyes. My heart was beating so hard I feared it would soon burst. There was another sound, like something slippery and grotesque was being squeezed through a tube, and then this sound was followed by another large wet plop onto the floor below me, like a fresh from the womb human fetus had been dropped from a high point.
 
There was only the dripping and my heartbeat again to be heard for a long spine tingling moment of suspense.
 
A sudden shock of excruciating pain came from my wounded leg, hitting me like a snake had just struck out from the darkness and bit me. Something had grabbed hold of the bone protruding from my leg, like someone would grab hold of a branch on a tree. The pressure tore through my flesh and the pain was unbearable. The branch was going to break off.
 
I shouted out till my voice was gone. If no one heard me then, no one would.
 
Drip! Drip! Drip! Thud Thud, Thud Thud, Thud Thud.
 
The branch broke off. My bone tore from my leg and dropped to the floor below. I saw spots of light and I was on the verge of passing out from the pain.
 
Drip! Drip! Drip! Thud Thud, Thud Thud, Thud Thud.
 
The Nightmares' other hand grabbed onto the back of my shirt, but I kept my arm locked between the two steps on the ladder. The dead weight hung on me, swinging back and forth like the light bulb was swinging earlier.
 
Drip! Drip! Drip! Thud Thud, Thud Thud, Thud Thud.
 
There was a sharp pain in my shoulder, followed by a sickening popping sound. I groaned and then my arm slipped out from between the two steps on the ladder. I had lost all strength. All willpower was gone from me. I just wanted to die in this moment. I remember falling back, being unable to breathe when I was in midair, and feeling like I was burning all over. The wretched creature which had a hold on me fell back also. I remember slamming against the hard surface and sliding across the concrete for a moment before finally, mercifully, I lost consciousness.
 
I awoke to the sound of water dripping. From where I wasn’t sure, but this was the only sound; drip, drip, drip. A swinging light bulb flickered above me. I moved slightly and my hand slipped into a soft warm ooze of some sort which was right beside me.
 
There was someone in front of me, in the darkness, I could sense their presence. They were afraid…
 
The light went out.
 

 

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