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Containers of the soul come with a cost. What we know as sanity can be so easily cracked when faced with an equally insane fate.

Horror / Thriller
Billy Winn
Age Rating:

Rebirth and Descent

Horrific screams reverberated all around her. She heard the muffled screams, crying and shuddering breaths echo. She didn’t know where she was or why she even was there. Everything was black, she couldn’t see. It wasn’t that she had her eyelids closed, rather that she saw nothing. She imagined this is what it felt to be blind. She tried to move her hands, but she couldn’t feel them, nothing responded to her efforts. She couldn’t feel anything below where her neck would be. She couldn’t feel her chest rise and fall with each breath or the tingling of her finger tips or the pulsing warmth in her toes. All the feelings simply ceased to exist. Her mind raced. She struggled to make sense of what was happening.

The last thing she remembered was looking up from her cell phone after pressing send and the glow of the screen illuminating the world beneath her chin. When she looked up there were headlights; two massive headlights that headed straight for her. She panicked and couldn’t react until she screamed. Her voice cracked and the shrill vibration tore her vocal chords. The lights grew bigger and the loud blaring horn rattled her eardrums. The sounds of tearing metal and shattering glass swirled around her as she lurched forward. Particles of paint danced in the air as her airbag deployed with a loud boom. The force of the impact caught her awkwardly on the cheek as her momentum carried her to the front and side wrenching her neck severely. A loud crack echoed in her ears and the world suddenly disappeared. She must be in a hospital. Somehow she must have survived. She must be paralyzed, the thought scared her as she shuddered. Wanting to cry but no tears came forth. She could feel her face, it was cold and clammy. She felt other objects lying against her head all around. She guessed she was being restrained. She felt no pain though; she must be medicated and blind folded.

Another muffled scream echoed in the distance, it sounded like a woman. If this was a hospital, she was sure that the woman would be taken care of, but she was unsure of where she was still. The muffled sounds didn’t make sense. Why were they muffled? If she was muffled, why was there no feeling of a gag in or over her mouth? She tried to open her mouth to lick her lips. Her mouth wouldn’t move. She tried several times to move her lips and her tongue, but nothing. Just as with the rest of her body, nothing responded. Was she a captive in her own medicated and deformed body? Held against her will in a place she didn’t know and unable to taste, feel or move? Fear began to grip her as she tried in vain to move once again. Something that was pressed against her moved and she felt herself fall over a bit. This, this was no hospital. Where was she? Did some demented person save her just to add to their demented collection or perverse basement of horrors?

Her mind raced. How could she escape? How? As she reeled in her previous panic she heard a distant whirring of machinery followed by another muffled scream. Panting of labored breaths pulsed in the air. The fear, the terror thick and viscous pressed downward in the dank atmosphere. Then the whirring again and another muffled scream. “Why, why, why, why” she thought to herself why was this happening why was this happen…She felt something large grab her by the temples. Fear took over as she panicked yet again. Her face grew warm and she knew her heart, if she could feel it, would be beating rapidly as she tried in vain to will her body to action, she tried to will her body to life, but there was no response. Suddenly she felt the cold of what smelled like old metal pressed against her left eye socket.

“No” she whispered.

Her mind exploded with screams of agony as the horror of the situation fully came down on her. The sound of whirring again echoed, but this time the sound was to her right and bounced around her head as the metal extended outwards. Her skin stretched painfully wider and wider as she let out a muffled scream behind her closed mouth. Her skin grew warmer and warmer as it stretched open more. Just when it felt that her skin would split from the pressure she heard a pop. Pain again coursed through her heard, an instant searing headache pulsed temple to temple as she reeled from the sudden new waves of burning pain. The whirring sounded again and the pressure against her skin lessened. In a second of confused happiness she realized that the world was distantly visible through foggy vision. It was all coming slowly together. The pain still wracked her face, but she could see, barely, the world again.

She was not in a dark and cold basement. She was in a factory of sorts. The industrial lighting hung from the ceiling throwing their fluorescent luminescence showering the hall in its radiance. She scanned to the left and saw a basket full of what appeared to be heads. Eyeless and bodiless heads staring in all directions and some directly at her with their dark empty sockets. She quickly looked away and back up. She came face to face with an older man with a dust mask covering his mouth. His styled gray hair restrained behind a fishnet bound tightly to his head. His arm disappeared behind her head, he was holding her. What was he holding her for? Who was this man? He seemed to be looking at her intently, studying her, judging her. His eyes darted left to right and back as his hand quavered unsteadily. Seemingly pleased with what he was seeing, he moved her to the right. She grew nauseous at the sudden movement, the world before her shifting suddenly around. Then she looked to where she was heading and grew even more sick and terrified. A four clawed machine rested above. This must have been what he used earlier. Fear again gripped her as she recalled the intense pain. She did not want to relive the pain. She had to escape. Again she tried to move, again she tried to scream and again, she willed her body to action. But just like the last time, her body refused to move and took no action.

All she could let out was a soft muffled scream. She watched the old man bring her face closer to the hooks till the cold metal again made her shiver. He lacked any compassion or caring, just a mechanical action that had no moralistic bearing on his soul. He reached over with his other hand over her vision and then beyond and a faint click could be heard followed by the familiar whir of the machine. She clenched her face in agony as the machine stretched her eye socket wider and wider. Her eye wavered in pain, as her vision clouded once again, but this time as intense throbbing anguish wracked her mind over and over in shocking waves. Once again she felt pressure in the socket as something was pressed in with a light “pop”. She felt the object moved against her warm and clammy skin. Again the whir of the machine started and she felt the pressure begin to release. Her vision slowly unclouded, but this time, both her eyes struggled to pull the world back into view. She focused through the waves of pulsing pain as the man’s face again came into view. Again, he studied her. He looked deep into her eyes. Judging, deciding and peering specifically at her eyes. Her eyes shook with fear when the old man gazed deeply. She didn’t want to think about the machine, what just happened or what was soon to happen. She wanted to go home. Home that was somewhere, somewhere distant. Her head still pounded with the headache that would not release.

“Name…” a gruff voice said from under the mask.

“You need a name…” he repeated.

Name, name, name what was her name? She couldn’t remember. The accident must have given her amnesia. She couldn’t remember where she lived. She tried to find something, anything that she could remember anything that she could claim as her own memory, her own past life. All she could remember she found, as she searched deeply, was the glow of the cell phone screen and the headlights.

“Amelia” the man spoke.

She tore herself away from the memory right as the headlights burned deep into her eyes and shuddered as she clenched her eyes together tightly moving them for the first time in her recent memory. The old man’s eyes slowly widened as he gawked back down at her. His arm flung upwards as he grabbed his chest tightly and breathed shallow and deep several times and released a growling howl of shock as he stumbled backwards and fell hard to the ground.


She said as the world before her spun around as she watched the machinery and boxes soar away and then come closer and closer, she realized that she was falling. As the ground closed in she braced herself as bits of broken parts and shifting dust came into view. She hit the floor with a bounce landing first on her nose then rolling back to rest on an ear sideways. The pain of each impact shook her but diminished greatly. Seemingly nothing compared to the earlier bout with agony. Her eyes fell on a nearby TV, it was far, but visible. On it there was a story about an accident. A car had crossed the median and hit a truck head on. The car was a torn mess of metal bent and wrinkled into a tangled heap of steel. The truck was carrying parts, doll parts. The truck’s logo, a red smiling rocket came into focus behind the reporter as the text from the caption read, “The driver of the car was killed on impact, but, the truck driver was more fortunate and only received scratches and bruises…” The logo, she had seen that logo. She looked around to avert her eyes from the TV and there it was hanging from the wall. “Red Rocket Toys” the sign shined in the fluorescent lights.

“What are you doing old man” a whiny youthful voice sounded behind her head as she was violently grabbed. The pressure squeezed hard on the back of her skull. She watched the world move again as it swayed back and forth. Suddenly she fell, or was dropped into a crate, the bars right before her eyes. Her drop was softened by whatever was now beneath her. The muffled shrieks let her know that she was not alone in her prison. Some of the voices called for help. Some of the voices let out muffled tearless shudders. Some simply called out “no” or recited the Lord’s Prayer. Amelia did none of the above.
She stared hard at the factory before her. She watched small heads getting pressed hard until a soft crack could be heard as they snapped on the miniaturized human figures. Each crack was followed by a muffled scream in agony. “Dolls” Amelia softly cried to herself. She was trapped in a dolls head, her spirit rather. Through her muddled memories she recalled folklore about dolls being the host for spirits, but always had dismissed this as old wives tales. What they never told her, she wished they did. She never knew that they could feel while inhabiting the dolls. But all she could do was wait and watch. She knew soon her turn would come. Her turn would come when they snapped her head painfully on to the body followed by both arms and legs. How they would hot glue the eye lashes on and pin the clothes to her. How everyday that pin would be jostled by some adult or child and the sting would pierce her mind and body over and over. She hated needles. She started screaming softly then louder and louder.

One by one the others were taken. Some let out muffled screams while others said nothing as they disappeared out of her view. She wondered when it would be her turn. She screamed louder each time as they seemingly selected the others, one by one. Her muffled scream echoed in her own hollow skull. She wanted it to just happen and be over. She would embrace the pain just to wallow in blissful release from it afterwards.

“JUST GET IT OVER WITH” she repeated to herself.

Slowly at first then faster and faster till the words blended into a unintelligible shriek between screams that tore through her and vibrated her eyes. Then, then she started softly laughing. She laughed as they painfully snapped her head on her neck with barely a wince. She laughed even louder as they snapped both arms on, cringing slightly. She laughed maniacally as her legs cracked into place, this time, she welcomed the pain. She began to grin as the hot glue singed her skin. The woman that set the eyelashes seemed to notice her grin. She looked at her oddly and quickly tossed her back onto the conveyor. They watched one another fade into the distance.

When finally they dressed her, she almost screamed in anticipation of the pain. She wanted, no, she needed it. When the time finally came, she shook in exhilaration as the sharp tip pierced her skin. She smiled deeply, as the pain reverberated through her body she could not help but to echo laughter in her skull. Her smile grew stronger as they boxed her to ship and sell, her left eye twitched repeatedly very slightly. She watched the world outside her box shift and turn. The people walked by and disappeared as they went about their various days. But each day, she laughed and twitched a bit more.

Finally, one day, she was picked up, carried and purchased. She watched as they covered her with paper and her world again went dark. She embraced the black soundless world this time. She smiled so wide that the plastic on tore on her mouth into a jagged tear that curled upwards. She moved her hands and arms a bit more that night and insanely giggled in anticipation of the morning when she would finally be unwrapped.

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