Foggy Roads-Part 1
"As with a heavy fog on a road, what lies ahead on the path of life is never completely clear, but the choice we make can help shape out the shadows."
I choose to trust you; and trust you I shall.
Though right now, I need you to believe in me.
My eyes were wide as I stared into the mouth of the salivating monster behind me. His cracked lava eyes shot through my heart. I wasn't sure if it was even beating. The cold metal box trapped me within its confinements. The paranoia of never being able to be free again pierced my throat.
I couldn't breathe.
A sinister laugh echoed within the vent, "I knew-I knew I would find you." His grimy arm extended forward and quickly latched onto my ankle. I gasped and desperately tried to claw my way forward. My sore joints screamed the more I struggled.
"Let go-let go!" I pleaded through gritted teeth. The memories of the past flooded my mind as I realized I seemed to have similar reoccurrences. I was always the victim. Never, was I the one pulling; I was the one fighting to live. The trembles incased me while I gripped the edge of the vent. I looked ahead to the vacant room.
I could do it; I could escape.
My imagination was cut short when I felt a slimy tongue tickle my ankle. I'm gonna-I'm going to devour you. Your flesh is going to be jerky and your organs-oh your organs are going to be the noodles to the soup!"
I nearly fainted. I was going to die at the hands of this strange, at this devil who was in a human's skin. I looked over my shoulder; his teeth were positioned over his meal. They held no compassion, no soul. Yet…
I narrowed my eyes. Was I to die like this?
I reeled my left leg back, gathered my strength, before I launched a powerful kick at the creature's face. His neck slightly popped as my foot made contact. The monster snarled at the sudden reaction. I took the small window of opportunity and heaved myself forward. My elbows made it over the metal rail just as Kaneki's words invaded my brain.
"No matter what happens, no matter what you hear, don't come out. Stay hidden," he said. I felt a blow to my chest.
"Kaneki-" I whispered. My torso was midway out. I stretched for the floor, my head dangled upside down as the blood rushed to it. I felt nauseously hot. Was I making the right choice?
"Your mine!" The Ghoul roared. My stomach was slammed against the vent. I hollered in agony as I was rapidly dragged backwards. I sucked in mouthfuls of desperate air while my life flashed before me. I broke out in a damp sweat. Fear ate away at me while the monster sank his ravenous teeth through my flesh. There wasn't a moment for screams; I was a fish on a hook and being pulled to my fate.
The ripples in the tin box bounced under my chin. My torn nails bled as I still tried to hold on. Grasp what? What was there to grab? My weary eyes fluttered. I lived a decent life, right?
Kaneki, he told me he loved me. That's right, I heard endearment from a monster. A flesh dinning creature cared about me. He fought for me. And…
His spirit whammed into me like a speeding truck. I lifted my head as if he was there. This drive, where was it coming from? I wasn't sure. All I was aware of was the fact that I could feel the muscle in my lower leg being separated from the bone. I bit back the agony. If Kaneki could endure hardship, if he could battle these omens, then, then…
I looked at the passing corner in the vent. I had one shot.
Then I could too…
The teeth clamped deeper as my limb slightly strained against his hold. The drool drenched my open wound. It felt as if a pound of salt had been dumped into it. However, maybe that's just want I needed. The pain was a reminder to live.
I mustered several dragon-like breaths before I hooked my hand on the sharp corner. My shoulders shook as the weight behind me continued to yank. The tears spilled as the tissue began to snap piece by piece. The Ghoul growled with frustration as he tossed my limp leg like a rag doll. I wouldn't cave.
I let out a horrid scream as I threw myself forward. The building pressure finally exploded and I was free. I ignored the frying pain and the splash of blood that covered not only my leg, but the walls as well. With weak line of sight I blindly made my way through the metal maze. On sweaty palms and crippled knees I funneled my remaining energy into maneuvering these barricading walls. However, it soon became a chase, a race to out run death, as I heard the Ghoul bulldozing through the vent.
The panic swelled around me. The walls felt as though they were getting tighter. The dusty air, I was convinced there was less. Claustrophobia, was after me as well.
"Come back here!" The Ghoul gurgled his threat. I glanced behind me to see his suit was torn from racking the sides of the vent. His mouth looked as if was spilling wads of clumpy-bloody-soup. I noticed some remains of flesh still wedged in his teeth. That was going to be the rest of me. I sped ahead fearing what might come.
I continued to crawl desperately. Each pounding hand and knee I laid down only slightly rattled the box. However, the bloated heavy body behind me caused the constant rocking of the entire frame the jarring echoes. There was no gap in time once I realized this and by then it was too late. The cold floor underneath me suddenly caved.
The tumble to the solid tile came soon than expected.
The wind was knocked clear from my lungs. I was frozen, glued to the ground in pure shock. I couldn't feel anything. Had I died?
"You-you fucking human," the Ghoul snarled in disgust. The adrenaline electrified my senses. The ability to move was granted back into my limbs. Without much thought, I staggered to my legs and forced myself down the unfamiliar hallway. The grim grey area wasn't useful in helping me distinguish the proper direction. Where was the damn exit?
I was thankful not to feel anything. The numbness was bliss as I tried to outrun the hideous monster. I could feel his glowing red eyes behind me. However, that was all I needed to fuel the fire in me to keep running. I slammed into walls and flew around turns like a disoriented mouse in this maze. I could hear the thundering footfalls over my exhausted breathes.
"You're mine! You're fucking mine."
The lights flickered overhead and caused everything to be distorted. The floor looked wobbly, the walls moved, shadows looked like figures.
I hadn't recognized the voice until I slammed into his chest. My pulsing veins weren't in the correct state to be held. I fidgeted in his grasp; I knew what was coming.
"Ayato-! Ayato let me go, let go!" I yelled as I glanced around. His fingers tried to constrain me.
"Where the fuck have you been? Where's-?" He asked angrily as I squirmed.
My messy hair fell around my bruised face, "Stop it! For fucks sake I'm not going to die here!" I shoved him hard enough to break free. I heard him growl and then the same heavy footsteps that were still hot on my trail clouded Ayato's furry. He was the least of my concerns.
I skidded down another narrow hall.
I was racked with panic as I noticed again; there were no windows, no doors, and no exit. I swallowed roughly. My brain was sizzling in a hot pan. What was I going to do? Unexpectedly, my feet slid out from underneath me. I lay sprawled out in the bloody pool around me. My downfall was going to be because of my own injury.
"Shit," I hissed. The stinging from my leg flared at any movement. I could lightly see the massive hole around my calf. The white of the cartilage could be seen. I wanted to vomit at the sight of my mangled body. I knew this was the end.
The hungering moans followed me. My teeth began to chatter at the idea of being devoured alive. I hadn't felt such fear since the day I met Kaneki in that alley. The tears came. Yes, I was going to cry. I had fought so long, so hard and for it to end like this, was heartbreaking.
"God," I sobbed. "You're cruel, you're a fucking cruel man." I wilted as I saw those red eyes approaching. The slimy drool leaked from his blocky jaw. If there had been a knife or even a wire I would have killed myself. I would die any other way, except like this. I choked on my cries.
I glanced upward to see the strange staring Ghoul peering down on me. I didn't recognize him. I assumed he was just some random individual who attended the banquet. I didn't bother to examine his features. To me, everything was shadowed. I watched as he raised his claw-like fingers.
My stomach twisted in knots.
"Mom, Dad," I muttered. "Ume, Chilie, Kaito-" I paused as time swirled around me. A faint light emerged from behind the hideous creature. My heavy eyes were barely allowing me to see. A dark lean figure came forth, like a quiet angel.
"K-Kaneki?" I asked in a mumble. My drained body could handle no more. I couldn't smell, couldn't taste, the numbness spread through me like poison. That's what it felt like. A trickle of liquid hit my cheeks. I blinked at each falling droplet from the sky.
Yet, it couldn't be. The open skies were outdoors; we were inside.
My mind became as unclear as a lingering fog. The thick moisture swirled my head and refused to let me make sense of anything. Surviving had taken away any strength I had left. I was past my empty tank.
As I fell further from reality, I recalled being lifted from the icy ground. My back was supported against someone's hold as my legs draped over their arms. I tilted my head upwards as I tried to figure out what unearthly being was carrying me off to heaven…or hell.
The dark silhouette was burred beyond recognition. And soon my eyes became glazed over as if a film had been placed over them. I lightly moaned against the throbbing aches.
"So," A deep humorous voice spoke. I rolled my head toward the advancing bulky- white-figure whose color contrasted greatly against what was holding me. "This is the little birdie who survived it all, eh?"
My eyes began to close.
The voice spoke again, "Let's take her to my special room. I'm sure they'll be glad to see each other. After all, this reunion will be a thrilling appetizer."
I heard a pinching clank from a metal tool.
An evil laugh followed.
Was I going to hell? I asked myself as I fell deep into the foggy depths of the unknown.
I woke to be greeted with a pounding headache.
Inside my skull, I could feel my brain treading the fluid in there. Each splash that slapped the sides of my head made me cringe.
I leaned forward and as I did I heard the stiff pops from my neck. My waist pinned me back with discomfort. And that's when I felt the in-no comparison-miserable pain in my leg. I let several emotional gasps escape my lips. I would have looked, except I couldn't see.
Everything was pitch black.
I slightly shuffled as I recognized that voice. I went to move around, to look beyond the object that pressed against me then I felt the restraints. Not only was I blind but also a hefty clamp of uncomfortable metal was forced around my wrists. I struggled in a fit of panic.
"[F/N], it's alright. Calm down-"
I knew he could hear it, the chains rattled as I shook. Even though he was there this uncertainty was suffocating me.
"Kaneki-Kaneki-"I whispered through tears. "Wh-what's going on?" I asked. I heard him stir; apparently he was confined too. I felt the object supporting me scoot around. Its thin cold frame squeaked across the floor.
I whimpered, "You're not chained are you?" My heart fell when he went silent.
"Don't worry. We're going to get out of here. There aren't going to touch you. They are after me; they want me. [F/N] it's going to be alright." Kaneki did his best to ease my concerns. I pulled against the handcuffs.
"I'm so scared," I cried.
I finally admitted to the emotion that had ridden on my shoulders since the beginning. I had played the tough girl act long enough. I was broken, defeated, hurt. I wasn't stable any longer. I was only a human trying to dodge these unearthly creatures. It was impossible.
Suddenly, I felt tender fingers brush the top of my head. I jumped at the unexpected touch.
Kaneki calmly replied, "It's only me."
I nodded and swallowed the growing nerves. Even though I couldn't see, I felt for his open hand and laid my cheek against. His other hand stroked my wet face. I sat on, what I assumed to be the floor. My savior, now prisoner, must have been seated in a sort of chair. I leaned weakly against the back of it as he continued to comfort me.
"H-how long have you been in here? Why did you scream?" I broke the silence by asking. Kaneki hesitated his touch.
"A while," he said in a defeated tone. "Why did you leave? I told you to stay put." He said as he completely ignored my other question. I licked my chapped lips.
"A-a ghoul found me." I said in an exhausted breath. I knew he would tense at my words.
"How-how bad are you hurt?" Kaneki asked in a rather astonished tone. I knew he couldn't see me, but I still shrugged my shoulders.
I didn't lie, "pretty bad." I swallowed the pain. Then I pressed my face into his hand again. "Please don't stop." Kaneki didn't say a word as he made small circles with his thumb around my cheek. I shivered from the coldness of the room. It felt huge, spacious, almost like a grand ballroom.
I listened quietly as Kaneki hummed an unfamiliar tune. It was gentle and reminded me of our dance on the rooftop. I let a single tear drip pass the blindfold and onto his palm.
"Kaneki-" I cleared my throat.
"Are-are you injured?"
I heard him suck in a deep inhale, "I didn't expect this to happen." I didn't get to ask him what he meant when the noise of slammed door flooded the room. I jolted and moved closer to Kaneki. His hand wrapped tightly around the side of my face. A clap of footsteps came forward.
"Ah, you're awake. I'm glad to see you two have finally been reunited. Such sweetness, hm?" That boisterous voice rang my ears.
"Don't touch her." Kankei threatened but the stranger only laughed.
"Oh, Kaneki do forgive me for not properly introducing myself to your pet here."
I cringed as the presence stood in front of me. Then bright florescent lights blinded my eyes as the blindfold was yanked away. I squinted past the rays to see an intense hulky man. His blonde hair stuck out in strange ways and seemed to oppose the well tailor white suit he wore.
His rather large beak nose came closer; his small eyes scanned me over. I felt the immediately intimidated. Was he human? No, certainly not if Kankei felt threatened by him. My guts sprung unimagined leaks of fears.
I nervously glanced around the room. It was a horrible outdated black and white tile floor, back walls, and as predicted a skyscraper tall ceiling. What was this mad house? I felt a finger move my chin to his direction.
"You-you're the man from earlier." I said nervously. I received a cocky chuckle in return.
"Right you are Miss. I don't suppose I will get a proper 'thanks' for saving your life. I had to kill a customer."
"You have interesting clientele," I replied with an unpleased tone. The man again laughed. Was everything a joke?
He slapped the side of my face roughly, "You've sure got a keeper here, Kaneki." The chair behind me rattled tremendously.
"Stay away from her!" Kaneki shouted. I had never seen him so rallied. I thought he claimed to be a fighter? Why was he acting defenseless? The jolly stranger leaned around behind me. I heard a click and then was hoisted to my feet. I fought the tears as the weight came crashing down on my wounded leg.
My arms were still bound tightly behind me as I was forced to stand next to this man. While standing that's when I saw exactly what we had been confined to. That's when I saw the cart, the chair, and the bloody floors.
That's when I realized how terrible the situation was. This was more than deranged nut house. This was…
"Please, allow me to give you the grand tour." The man next to me said. The vital fluid within me ran cold. My face felt flushed, I knew I turned sickly white. Kaneki didn't bother to look at me. He hung his head low. Not a sound came from his throat.
I was forcefully shuffled towards a door, "I'm Jason, by the way."