Chapter 1: The Inferior
I wake up in the dark and there is something odd about the air. I slowly sit up, frantically feeling random parts of my body, my wet fingers go through my thin tattered pants, a sharp pain resides on my back and suddenly all of my movements freeze. The tip of my fingers meet a cold metal object attached to my back, it’s between my two shoulder blades. I panic, desperately trying to rip it off with all the strength I have. Instantly I yell in pain as I feel metal teeth dig into my flesh, now it is clear how many teeth it has, eight long teeth. I let go, trembling in pain, my body feels weak and numb. I’m cold in general and the back part of my body is pressed against thick goo. An unpleasant odor inevitably gets clogged inside my nostrils and I’m instantly disgusted.
- This taste of iron and rust... It’s blood - I think to myself.
An intense pressure concentrates in my stomach; it makes me curl up into a ball while I throw up everything. After I stop, I smell my hands and they have the same bloody cent. I want to puke but there is nothing left inside. I crawl out the small pond of blood. Suddenly I’m startled and frightened. I jump up from the adrenaline rush, caused by pure fear, the second my feet touch the ground, I almost fall due to the irregular footing of the rocks on the ground. My entire body is shaking; I’m dizzy and gasping for air.
I take a deep breath, the madness and fear prey on my unstable state of mind. I can’t distinguish if my weakness and fragility are due to my physical or psychological state.
- HELLO! ... HELP! ... ANYBODY THERE? - I yell - Oh god! T-This is not good... Have I been kidnapped? - I question, gasping for air.
I start feeling randomly, the rocks, the floor, crawling forward I feel the various puddles of blood, a desperate attempt to blindly find anything. My hands and knees are cut and punctured by the acute tips of the rocks on the floor. Suddenly, my hand bumps into an object; I blindly search for it with my right hand. I grab it the second I find it.
The object feels cold, slimy, long and thin. I feel it more; I gulp in fear of the thought that it is what I think it is. I can’t see but the more I feel its shape the more I know... It’s a bone. I loosen my grip and let the bone fall to the ground, it hits the ground repeatedly, echoing throughout the environment. The sound is unsettling, causing a peculiar realization.
- Will I, too, become just another statistic of a missing person? … Was that all there was to my life? ... To just rot in here and accept the fact that no one might ever find out what happened to me? - I ask myself as my shaking hands reach for the bone, I take it back and keep it held close to my chest.
Picking up this inefficient weapon is just a desperate attempt to make me feel safe. I frantically run around the cave, searching for an exit.
- Obviously I have no luck and slowly lay down on my side, who ever put me here knows what they are doing - I think to myself, - Why am I here? ... Where is this place? ... Is there a way out? ... Who kidnapped me? ... I was sleeping in my bedroom right? ... Is this a dream? ... Why can’t I remember? What did I do to deserve this? ... D-do I deserve this? - I think while I crawl into the fetal position against the cave wall.
All the questions racing through my mind are slowly chipping away at my sanity. Deep down I already know I will never be the same again. My mind becomes even more perturbed as my sense of time gradually becomes more distorted.
- I can’t take this any longer... This secluded place is too much for me to handle... Each second I lay here starts to feel longer than normal, like one second has altered to one minute and each second that elapses… This helpless feeling of being conquered, captured like an animal, leaving this bitter sensation of being subdued - I think as I clench my fists.
Suddenly, the space I feel minuscule within this umbra, this labored breathing is beginning to make me feel uneasy, my heart has a slow and heavy rhythm, it rapidly becomes more intense. - It’s okay… I can rest now, nothing can bother or harm me and my problems don’t matter anymore… Ha ha… This is what death must feel like - I mutter as my consciousness fades away.
Slowly rays of light shine upon my face, disturbed by the powerful light against my eyes, I shield my face with my arm to block the light. I stare in awe, questioning myself if I am dreaming or not. With all my strength I get up, pulling myself up by holding the rocks of the wall. I reach the exit, my first step outside feels very relieving; my toes dig into the soft dirt. Fragments of memories flash through my mind. I’m playing with a little girl and hugging a woman.
- M-my family... I will get back to them! - I think.
I continue walking up the tunnel while I stretch out one arm to block the light. I reach a flat surface, suddenly; it vanishes, again surrounded by darkness. I notice a half of a sphere on the ceiling and a circular platform with one vertical beam emerging from the middle, it has a large spherical tip. I slowly walk up to the platform, I then notice a giant abyss in front of me and that the platform is levitating somehow. Up above, very far away, shines a light source, which is barely lighting up this area. Thousands of second thoughts and feelings fill my head.
- All that matters is I’m going somewhere different... Anywhere is better than this cave.... - I think.
I take one step onto the platform, suddenly my feet feels like it weighs one hundred times heavier than normal, I’m confused and I panic. I try with all my strength to lift my foot but it won’t budge. I give up and take one more step onto the platform. I’m now stuck, suddenly the entire platform vibrates, and it starts emitting a faint blue light and rapidly ascends in spirals. I scream thinking I’m going to fall off; quickly I grab hold of the beam in the middle. I calm down; while the platform ascends, I take a minute to analyze my surroundings. I notice various chains connected to each end of the walls.
- This elevator isn’t just randomly making spirals and turns, he’s consciously evading these chains according to my height - I think.
Seconds later the light grows stronger, the walls are covered in what seems to be white spikes, the more I focus; I realize those are sharpened bones. Rotten moss hangs from the spikes, dripping wet. Suddenly I began hearing thousands of people screaming and chanting. The light grows brighter and brighter until it becomes blinding and I have to close my eyes. When the platform stops I open my eyes, what I see is bizarre, my mouth opens in awe and I can’t stop looking around. I am in the center of thousands of demons, there are other demons standing on these levitating platforms around me, they vary from all shapes and sizes.
The fear due to the presence of these creatures is enough to make me not move a muscle. From a peripheral view, the one to my right is about my size; he is just standing still with his arms crossed, looking forward, and waiting for something. He has a humanoid shape, his skin is covered by various thick plates of dark green colored, oval shells and the texture is smooth and shines like a lobster’s shell. His face is also covered in shells, leaving space only for his small yellow eyes; his mouth has various short antennas stretching downward. He dresses the same beige tattered pants and the mysterious device on his back, the same as me and all the others.
The crowd cheers and screams. Here is completely illuminated, It’s so crowded some demons are hanging onto the black metal bars of each sections of stands. My skin is covered in dry dirt and blood.
- Inferior! Inferior! Inferior! - The crowd repeatedly chants.
The architecture is very ominous, it seems to be made of black marble, there are carvings and painted symbols all over the walls, very high towers divide the four stories of stands in each section, the towers have detailed geometric designs on its architecture. I look up towards the center, there is a very tall cylinder, I see strange markings carved in a spiral direction around the cylinder, unknown to my knowledge the meaning of these markings, I then see a small dome on the ceiling, it shows a clear blue sky and this confuses me. Suddenly a chunky black liquid splashes on my face.
- HA HA! CLOSE YOUR MOUTH YOU WORTHLESS SACK OF BLOOD! ... Inferior! Inferior! Inferior! - One of the demon shouts while the others laugh, he holds the same black substance in his hand.
I’m completely disgusted and I wipe off the black chunks that stuck to my face.
- Where the fuck am I? ... I-I know, I’m dead, I must be! ... And this purgatory, I’m here to be judged on behalf of my sins... All of these creatures are from hell.... Y-yeah that’s it! - I fall on my knees and grab the metal pole next to me while I stare at nothing.
I hear big sliding doors opening, something slowly starts to emerge from it, the crowd instantly stops yelling, there’s a dead silence. Another demon, this one rises from within the cylinder, he sits on a throne made of material unknown to my knowledge, it’s reminds me of polished wood but with a dark green color, this monster is small, fat, light green skin, bald, small horns grow from each end of his forehead, tiny black eyes like marbles, chubby cheeks, a long gray goatee, a fat double chin, he wore a white priest like cloak with blue stripes, he holds a staff, the handle seems to be made out of the same material as his chair, the ornament on the top part of the scepter is a crystal ring. Around him are various baskets filled with bizarre dead creatures I have never seen before and three slim figured female demons sitting on the floor.
-Hello fresh meat - he says grinning, his voice is amplified by speakers - From now on, your names mean nothing, your past duties mean nothing, your feelings are nothing... You are no longer men and women, you are my pets... And my pets only have one duty and that is to please the audience - he calmly says and the crowd cheers - You will give your all, all that is left of your broken spirits, only the intelligent, ruthless and strongest have the opportunity to shine at least once in this life, at least what is left of your miserable pathetic short lives... Short? ...Maybe long... I guess that is up to any of you who aren’t just a breathing sack of flesh and blood - he calmly says.
One of the female demons quickly stand up, she walks up to the baskets and grabs what looks like an overgrown cockroach with a hard crusty shell. She takes a few steps towards the demon, kneels on one knee and raises the creature towards him. He grabs the creature with one hand and lets it dangle slightly above his head. The dead creature alone is bigger than the demon’s head. The demon looks up opening his small mouth; it’s filled with sharp teeth. Suddenly his jaw dislocates and grows frontward, he chomps the creature in half and tiny pieces of shell fly everywhere. Half of the creature is still in his grip, dripping a dark brown slime. He nonchalantly picks off his face a tiny piece of shell and flicks it away with his finger.
- HEY! YOU TINY FAT FUCK! YOU THINK A DWARF LIKE YOU CAN OWN ANYONE?! LET ME GO! - Shouts the demon beside me.
The demon high up looks down at him, he throws the other half of the creature to the side.
- You! - He says while pointing down at him - I admire your bravery, so I will use you as an example... To at least be remembered by... Serve as an example to show what happens to reckless ignorant fools who try to be brave against absolute power - the demon says, he looks up and does an odd hand gesture.
-NO! P-PLEASE! I HAVE KIDS YOUR MAJESTY! - Shouts the demon beside me, with despair in his expression.
- May your guts rot in this abyss - says the demon in a serious tone.
The metal object between the demons shoulder blades starts emitting a rapid beep along with a small blinking red light. It explodes, sending a dark blue blood, bones and guts fly in all directions; it falls down the abyss in a downward spiral. The crowd cheers wildly, myself and the other prisoners are shocked by this revelation. I wipe a bit of the demons blood off my face.
To be continued in part II...
© 2016 Copyright D. Santos. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.