This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
It had begun like any other normal day. Yet a strange twist of events was in store as many people were lead into what appeared to be an office building. Thinking they were there for job interviews, prizes, meetings, and other events, they all had come so blindly. It led to the most terrifying ordeal of their entire lives.
Lily, herself, had come for what was to be a meeting. It was a meeting all right, one that she would never be able to forget. She remembered heading into a room and then waking up in another room entirely.
Accompanying her awakening were sounds of screams. It was eerie but for some reason Lily did not fear. She dared herself during that time, standing stern.
When she caught her first glimpse of their captor through the small window in the door, she was stunned. He seemed so normal… He had short brown hair; he was groomed and clean. It was hard to believe it was him going from room to room torturing people.
But it was happening. Lily could hear the screams of the others radiating from other rooms. There was nothing to do but listen, for her captor had yet to visit her room.
Yet the time came, eventually. As the strange man entered, his robe dragging the ground; his sleeves pushed up to his elbows. He smiled, his green eyes meeting her hazel eyes.
Lily didn’t falter; she kept breath. If he delighted in the torment of others, she would not give it to him, even as he stated that she was next.
The bravery she showed, clearly perplexed him; perhaps it even amused him.
It was possible that her bravery which spawned his next move. A thoughtful smirk on his face, he exited the room, returning several moments later.
In his hand he held a bottle and a rag.
Lily stood firm even as he approached her. He put the rag in one hand and poured some of the bottle onto the rag. He capped the battle and put it to her face.
Instinct caused her to jerk her head back, but he’d moved quickly and wrapped one arm under her arms and around her back as his other hand held the rag to her face.
Lily fell unconscious.
The moment she next awoke was a time that would be etched in her memory. She felt weak, but otherwise unharmed. She, in her daze, noticed that the bottle and rag were on a nearby table. The man, however…
Her gaze cast forward into an open room. The man was there, as was another person. He was showing her…showing her the torture of others in that moment.
Lily could do nothing but watch even as he finished with the victim, closing the door, and returning to her. He used a smaller amount of chloroform upon her and pulled her along with him to the next door.
It was painful for her as he continued to administer the chloroform; she was tired…weak…even to the point where he eventually stopped the treatment upon her as she was too listless to move.
Lily was beginning to numb herself to the sights she saw; he never used the same type of torture for his victims… He would use physical, sexual, and psychological torment upon his targets.
It seemed that the ordeal would never end and her consciousness agreed that the time continued far too long; she had passed out…
Even when she awoke, it seemed to continue. Only, something had changed. Though the untold amount of time was evident, it seemed that as quick as the ordeal began, it was over.
Their captor continued the torture; only at the end of the torture, he fully healed their wounds mysteriously and muttered something strange as he stated that he was going to devour their memories. It was clear as that was what he did, his victim would pass out and he would leave.
There was a point when Lily knew that it was over. He had pulled her to a room that was furnished, unlike the many rooms of his victims.
Instead of laying her down upon the floor, he sat her up, letting her prop against a large chair.
Lily met his gaze, still not giving in to him. It was apparent that it was her time at last…
He cupped her face in her hands, his eyes narrowing into silts. He and she…their eyes locked, “It’s time for you.” He stated.
Lily had expected him to carry out the similar treatment as the others, only…he just stared into her dazed gaze.
He glanced to the table, there upon sat the chloroform bottle and the same towel he’d kept in her dazed state with. He removed one hand from her face and reached out for the bottle and towel.
Re-soaking the towel he took it in his hand.
She watched whilst unaware of his intention with her. Did he mean to prolong the torment? Whatever it was, she simply closed her eyes; she was tired of looking at him by that point. …and she felt the rag come over face and she lost consciousness.
Lily awoke and found herself in her own bed in a bleak silence. No more screaming; no more fiery glimpses of other’s tortures. Tired and weak she crawled out of bed, searching for her light.
Turning it on, she found her room in order. It was almost like nothing had happened; that it was all a dream. Yet she knew it was not a dream…
How come she remembered? She wondered. Why hadn’t he devoured her memories of the night as he claimed he had done for everyone else? Did he fail? …or did he do it on purpose?
She had resisted giving him pleasure from her initial torture and simply watched, unfazed by other’s tortures. Was having her memory of the ordeal the new way of torturing her? Was he not finished?
Lily had no choice but to continue her life as if nothing had happened. Speaking of it: people would just think her mad. Yet, the knowledge of what she saw made her start to distance herself from the masses of people she encountered on a day to day basis. That’s what made her aware of something odd.
It would seem that someone had been following her; and one day, she could tell someone was following her and particularly close.
There was no telling how long whomever had been following her had truly been doing so. Yet, she could tell the time to find out exactly who it was would be sooner than later. After all, her hair was standing on its ends on her arms and the back of her neck. An eerie chill ran through her; though glancing back revealed no one… no human at least.
Rounding a corner she ran right into someone. Her blood chilled as she recognized the robe.
It was him: the man from the building. He grinned, showing white teeth. “Nice to meet you, again, my Sweet.” he said.
“Who are you?” Lily asked, attempting to keep her calm.
“My name is Izah and you are Lily Sweet… Such a pretty name.” He stated.
It wasn’t the first time she had heard his voice, for sure, but seeing him out of the building, out of the halls of screams and blood, was awkward and unearthly.
“You’re wondering why, aren’t you; why you remember?” Izah inquired. “You’re wondering how no one you saw tortured remembers. In that knowledge, I bet you won’t even be surprised if I tell you that I’m not human.”
Lily looked up at him, meeting his gaze, while keeping her distance.
“Nor will you be surprised to know that I’m not really of this world.” He stated as a small smile remained on his face. He began walking, as if to pass her, “You watched me, my Lily, and now I watch you.” He concluded as he walked away from her, leaving her standing there, alone
A couple of days after her meeting with Izah, she had maintained a routine hoping to deter the man from following her. She could tell when he was there; sometimes she would catch glimpses of him across the street or back a few blocks. She was growing tired from the prying eyes of the strange individual.
One day, weeks after she had been stalked by Izah, some stranger noticed Izah’s presence and noticed that he was looking at her.
“Hey,” a man called to her, running over to her once Izah had vanished from sight.
Lily was pulled out of her cautioned state of mind and turned her attention to the newcomer.
“Do you know that freak?” He asked.
“Ex…excuse me?” Lily asked.
“Look, I’m sorry, I just thought that maybe… well, never mind, you’ll think I’m crazy.” He muttered before shying away.
“Wait.” Lily braved up, calling the man’s attention to her, “Do you know of the …office building?”
The man’s eyes widened. He stood up straighter, meeting her dead in the eyes. It was apparent: he knew.
“You do, don’t you?” Lily stated.
He nodded, “You were there, too, weren’t you?”
“Yes, I was; and I remember everything.” she replied. “Do you?”
He shook his head, “No, I don’t remember all of what happened, but I know that something happened. I’m afraid to know what really happened to me, but I want to bring justice for what was done to me.”
“There were a lot of people there; some things he did were...far too cruel....” Lily stated. “And I feel the worst part of it was that no one remembers...other than myself.”
The man fidgeted, “Let’s go and talk somewhere we can sit down,” he stated.
“My name is Nick,” He said. “As I said: I was there in that building that day. I have no idea why I am aware... ”
“That man...he made me be aware...” Lily stated. “I was defiant in that building; he pulled me around and made me watch and listen to the torture of others. Eventually, I just numbed to it. He let me remember all of it.” She shook her head, “I don’t know why...”
“I hate it...” Nick stated. “I hate that no one else remembers: that it seems that nothing happened at all but it did. How can I accept things to be as they were before that day when that man is free to do as he pleases?”
“We can’t do anything about it, though...” Lily stated. “No one will believe us; we have no proof...” she said with a pout.
“Well, what I recall could change that fact.” Nick stated, calling Lily’s full attention as he began to explain all he knew and kept as memories of his time in that place.
Meeting another, other than herself, who remembered what happened during those days was kind of traumatic. Nick seemed like a really nice guy, but being around him made her really uncomfortable. She doubted it was because he was himself but because he, too, did indeed remember.
Lily had been trying to forget those days and move on with her life. After all, no one else remembered… But meeting Nick meant that she wasn’t alone with remembering. Though she was alone in one regard; Nick continued on with his explanation that he really didn’t remember what exactly happened but that something did happen… and one other fact.
Something that their tormenter did or had said had stuck with Nick, and Nick remembered: their tormenter, Izah, had recorded all the torture on video. Why? Neither really wanted to know what was going on in the sick man’s head.
But it was fact that gave them something to grasp for: truth. No one but Lily fully remembered that day and she hated it. Nick knew something happened and he hated it. They hated it for each other and they hated it for all those that did not remember. Izah had to be revealed; the torture of those people had to be uncovered; and the continuing torture of Nick and Lily had to come to an end.
It was time for the plan. That was when the pair decided, after making sure they were never talking when Izah was nearby stalking Lily, to come up with the plan to sneak into the building and find those recordings to show everyone. Knowing that entering could possibly mean they’d never leave; they decided to go further: they’d project the tapes out to the streets below.
It was the best choice they had; it was a guarantee that the truth would be revealed. They care not for the cost…
The pair, Lily and Nick, had come up with their plan to reveal Izah and show what he had done to the people of the city whom had forgotten that horrible day.
They had made as sure as possible that Izah was not in the building long enough for them to take action. So they quickly made their way up; Lily pointing out that the main room was one she had been taken to when he had been talking to her during the events of the torture of the others.
Entering the room, they knew that they had little time to enact their plan. Learning that Izah recorded the torture was one thing; making it where all could see that both she and Nick were lying was a feat on its own.
Izah would find out and he would be angry with them. Unless… it was his plan all along. Both were terrifying notions. After all, for two days he made people’s lives a living hell but finished by doing a terrifying thing: making it where they didn’t even remember. It meant that he could torment people over and over and just get away with it.
Despite the danger, however, they didn’t care of the cost. Nick acted on his information and found the tapes. Lily took to her job and set up to broadcaster upon the television; this allowed them to send the feed to their system set up to show the video on the side of the building.
They started the tapes once all was ready. Lily was the one to look out the large windows to see the reaction of the people on the street. She could see that there were people starting and turning to see the video being played upon the building they were in. The windows and the walls made a good projection screen for the projector they had placed.
Lily smiled out of vindication. They’re mission had been successful; she didn’t care what happened anymore.
Nick walked over to her and grabbed her arm, “Come on, let’s get out of here before he shows up.”
Lily took only another moment to look out the window before allowing Nick to lead her from the room. Nick was the one pulling her along; attempting their escape in haste with him being the driving force.
Nick knew the fact at hand: they could not walk out the same way they had come in. He was the one with the information on the place and that there was a room somewhere in the basement with a door that led out. And down to the basement is where he led them, following the mental knowledge that an exit down there did indeed exist.
Their trek led them into an empty room; panic rising considering they were certain that they had heard someone else in the building other than themselves.
Nick and Lily stood next to each other. Being in the empty storage room, with only one door, was a bad situation. They both knew that Izah would find them; that he would find them even end the basement of the building.
Neither knew exactly what to do. They had come with a plan to reveal Izah to the world outside; and that they had. They had shown the world what the non-human had done, even though they did not remember it. It was something that needed to be done. The only problem was that they did not plan for their escape—they only planned the infiltration.
They made their move to leave the room only footsteps stopped them. There, at the door, was what they feared would happen: Izah had found them. They figured they would have had more time than was given to them.
Izah looked at them, curiously, “Oh, so the time has come, I see. I didn’t expect for you to return to me so soon.”
“Why did you let me remember, you bastard!” Nick shouted as he walked forward.
Izah stepped into the room, slowly approaching them and yet his attention was not on Nick and his outburst but Lily, “I knew that you would come back to me, my Lily,” he stated.
“Hey!” Nick shouted, going forward to where he was only a couple of feet from Izah. “I’m talking to you, you freak!”
Izah turned his attention to Nick; his head snapping, almost animalistic, to gaze at the shouting man. He stepped forward and with a quick swipe of his hand Nick was slammed against the wall.
The cinderblock wall cracked and Nick fell to the ground in a heap. Lily looked at Nick; she knew that the force either hurt him or killed him. She wanted to check on him, but Izah’s presence made her cautious.
Izah began to approach her, calling Lily’s attention back to him; he met her gaze.
As the past had proved and she proved them, Lily did not waver; she showed not her fear of him. Again, she chose not to give him the pleasure of her terror. It was her only way to fight him and his will.
Izah came to stand right before her. He placed his hand s upon Lily’s face, holding her face in his hands. It was a replay of the past.
“You never ceased to be mine.” Izah stated clearly. His normal voice had changed to something dark and raspy.
His fingers upon her face shifted their hold: his fingers elongated. His grip shifted as his arms grew longer. His touch went from the feathery soft to rough and scaly. His posture shifted as his height shifted; him growing taller. His hair grew and darkened to a matte black and feathery and frayed. His nose and mouth turned more into a short snout. His skin turned to pearlescent scales. His eyes shifted to a brighter green and had slits like an animal’s.
Izah’s unfitted robe then fit him fully; it was his true form by which his clothing was clearly truly made for.
“You are mine,” he stated.
Lily simply stared at him, meeting his gaze.
“I could never let you go; I sat and stared at you, ready to eat those memories of those days and yet I knew that if I did, I could never see you again.” Izah stated. “So I allowed you to keep your memories and thus I kept you, as mine, never letting you go…and I won’t. You’re mine forever.”
Lily felt all the hair stand up on the back of her neck; the air charged with energy; it was emanating from Izah’s person.
Nick groaned; it was a sign that he was alive.
Izah glanced over to the fallen man but turned his gaze back to Lily without much thought about the injured human on the floor.
“You’ll be mine or no one in this world will gaze at you again.” Izah stated. “I will be the last to see you as I will kill everyone on this Earth. I will murder them each in horrible ways if you will not be mine. I will take their lives, take your memories, and leave you to wander alone for all eternity.”
Lily could hardly believe his statement; but it was hard not to believe the bizarre creature in front of her. She knew well what he was capable of and was certain he would uphold such a promise to her.
“I will start with him; shall I show you?” Izah stated as he turned his gaze to Nick.
Lily felt adrenaline rush and reached and grabbed hold of the wrists of the reptilian like arms of Izah.
Izah turned back to her; his eyes searching hers.
“Leave him out of this.”
“You’re in no position to make demands.” Izah stated turning his gaze back to her. “Your time never ended that day; your clock is still ticking and if killing off the human race is what I have to do, then that is what I must do.”
“Why are you doing this?”
“Because you’re mine and it’s my nature.” Izah replied.
“Why can’t you stop; why can’t you just let me go?”
“Because I want you; I want you as mine forever even if you don’t really know that you are.” Izah stated.
Something grabbed his attention from floors above as Izah cast his gaze to the ceiling, focusing on the sounds and sense he could feel.
He kept his attention their only a moment before turning his gaze back to Lily. “Now is your choice, my Lily. It has come that I must leave this world as you revealed my presence to this world. You can come with me, away from this dimension and into the next; you’ll be mine forever. Or… I can carry out my promise by making you the only human upon this Earth with no recollection of why. Answer now; or I’ll take your answer as the later and begin with that boy over there.”
Lily could feel her heart pounding; she was unsure if he could read the terror in her eyes. Never had she expected such a drastic consequence for revealing Izah for what he was; never did she realize that he would take such extremes to torment her. In no sense of her mind did she expect him to want so much and give her a choice.
“Chose now!” he barked at her; startling her.
“If I leave with you; you’ll leave this world alone?” Lily asked.
“This Earth; this dimension—these people that you know. Yes, I will leave them be as long as you are mine.” Izah stated. “The worlds beyond this one; I will continue my own method. You will be there, invisible to them, only for me; all mine, my Lily. The last human to see you will be that boy over there on either choice of yours.”
It wasn’t much of a choice, either way, as his explanation told. Her time was up. Her only real choice was whether she would be the bringer of death for all humanity. There was no way she could be the cause of such a feat, even if he were to take the memories from her…
“Tell me now!” he demanded, shaking her a bit.
Lily was pulled from her thoughts but struggled with saying anything. She opened her mouth to speak but words caught in her throat and she cast her eye aside.
Izah growled slightly before pushing away from her; removing her grip from his wrists. He moved away from her and began walking towards Nick.
Lily panicked as she recalled memories of the screams of tortured people. She didn’t want to hear Nick scream; to suffer torment again...
“Wait.” She finally spoke up just as Izah was about to reach for Nick.
Izah cast his gaze back to her, “You come with me, or I’ll kill them all; begging me not to will not change my mind.” He stated.
“You’ll leave them alone; and you must promise that I will not hear nor see you torment anyone ever again and I will go with you.” Lily stated.
Izah straightened up. “You will not hear a scream nor see pain in people’s eyes; that I promise you, my Lily.”
“Then…I am yours.” Lily stated; finalizing her decision. It would save her world from him; though cursing her to him…forever.
Izah held out his hand, “Come now and we will leave this world of yours and take into the next dimension, my Lily.”
Hesitantly, but bravely, she walked towards him. She reached out for his hand, casting a gaze to Nick before her hand touched his.
Izah’s long fingers closed around hers and turned to the wall. A rippling vortex appeared and he walked towards it, pulling her.
There was no turning back; it was over. It was clear to her as she was pulled into the vortex; bidding farewell to her world.
When authorities arrived moments later; Izah and Lily were gone. Nick had roused to consciousness just moments before Lily was pulled through the vortex.
Though wanting to hear his story, the authorities called for help for him as his injuries required. It would take time for him, as well as the world to come to terms with what truly happened.
All of Izah’s evidence of being on Earth remained; it still playing on the floors above—being broadcasted to the world outside. Scars remaining yet memories forever gone… Recovery from Izah’s crusade upon their Earth would be healed… yet always remembered by a girl no longer on their Earth.
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