Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Ben Chatfield would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Ell

By Ben Chatfield All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Thriller

Prologue

She was half-dead from hunger and thirst, crumpled in a corner as far from the light as she could get. Her black hair hung in sweat-soaked strands, clinging to her pale face. It had been two days at least . Two days in the White Room, where time had no meaning, where day and night became a maddening twilight limbo.

Many decades ago, the room had been a wine cellar, and had remained more or less intact through the various renovations the old house had undergone. Now, painted an off-white color and stripped of its furnishings, the room had been re-purposed as something far more sinister; a torture cell.

The only illumination came from a naked bulb, swinging gently from its cord. The girl tried to ignore the light, squeezing her eyes shut, but the brilliance was unrelenting, glowing crimson through her eyelids. The thick concrete walls deadened sound, leaving only the low hum of the burning filament and the soft sobbing of the room's sole occupant.

Earlier, she had considered smashing the bulb, putting an end to the tormenting brightness, but she had long ago lost the strength to move. Her arms hung loosely at her sides, red and raw from numerous cuts and abrasions, fine lines of blood discoloring her shirt. In the end, the light didn't matter. Without it, the blackness would come.

And the blackness was worse. Much, much worse.

Despite the bleakness, despite the pain, still she felt the faintest glimmer of hope. Daddy was coming for her, she knew it. He wouldn't leave his daughter to die here. He would rescue her from this place, and take her to her favorite restaurant, and buy her a milkshake like he always did, and everything would be all right. She just had to wait... and wait...

She gritted her teeth and bore on.

The memories of the days gone by remained hidden in the swirling heat and pain. She remembered being dragged down a steep flight of stairs, the wooden planks slamming against her heels. A rough voice in her ear, rasping filthy words through broken teeth, blood and saliva flecking her cheek. Then came the concrete floor, rough and uneven. She had broken free then, swinging with every ounce of her strength, cracking his jawbone. The floor had rushed up to knock the wind from her, only to recede again as she was yanked back up amid a barrage of curses.

He had dragged her the rest of the way by her hair.

The White Room was becoming unbearably hot, a seven-foot by seven-foot box of hell with one little girl packed up inside it. She tried to breathe, coughed out the air, forced her lungs to draw it in, to take the oxygen even as it burned her. Had she been here months? Years? Time didn't matter any more. Everything was pain. The heat, the wounds and the bruises, the horrible stretching in her mind as rational thought slowly, slowly gave way...

The door was open. She had forgotten there was a door at all. It blended perfectly with the walls, the same stark white, the same maddening chalk tone as the rest of the room. And now it was hanging open, a crack in the unbreakable hurt that was White Room.

A breath of cool, damp air swirled lazily through the haze, sending goosebumps up and down her arms. Slowly, very slowly, she dragged herself to her feet, wobbling a bit as she stood. The darkness seemed to call to her, a reprieve from the searing light. A way out, a way back...

A way back to Daddy.

Before she knew it, she was outside, in the blackness, and with the darkness came sudden fear, an absolute terror that sent her reeling back in shock. The chill, the deadly stillness, the feeling that something was watching her... or perhaps a multitude of somethings, grinning with razor teeth as they drew nearer...

She fell backwards, but the White Room was gone, consumed by the emptiness and the Things. The Things creeping around her, long fingers brushing past her face, skittering across her ankles like enormous insects. And she could hear them, too. Whispering, whistling, rustling in the dark. They spoke words too soft for her to catch, giggling and hissing, growing ever closer.

Her hand, groping in the dark, found a small, rectangular object; a metal cigarette lighter, from the feel of it. She didn't know how or why it was there, and it didn't matter. She had to have light, however small. The thought of what she might see made her hand shake, and she almost dropped the lighter, but in the end, the darkness scared her more.

The gear turned once in a spray of sparks, but the wick didn't catch. The whispers rose in alarm, and she panicked, clicking the igniter over and over until, finally, it caught. A tiny flame flickered into existence, and she held it up before her, desperate to see...

A mutilated face grinned at her, inches away.

She couldn't move, couldn't cry out. The thing remained still as well, and for a brief second she hoped beyond hope that it would stay where it was, silent and menacing, for eternity...

Then it screamed, its cheeks ripping apart as its mouth opened impossibly wide, and it swallowed her whole.


Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Tony Lee: Read this during my 7-hour flight. You've done a great job describing each situation, but I believe there is room for improvement. Also, the ending was a bit abrupt and I think the last part where Terry Hunter was brought in again (slight spoiler) wasn't really necessary.. But overall the story k...

Jason Phang: I'm pretty new to Inkitt (this is only my 4th book) and I must say I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the authors here. Remnants of Chaos is an excellently written book that hooks the reader, and doesn't let go. There are some grammatical and typographical errors, but nothing too se...

Dina Husseini: I loved this story. It was so great that I did not expect it to be this awesome. I swear to you this deserves more than just 5 stars. Beyond amazing. Kept me wanting more and I felt exactly like Emma felt while reading. Although in the beginning I did not expect anything to happen. Then, when som...

Kaitlyn Bier: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...

BFIrving: A first rate story and well crafted, the blend of horror and action worked very well indeed and had me turning page after page. When not actually reading it, I found myself thinking about it which is always a good sign.There are quite a few grammatical and spell-checker errors but nothing anothe...

Ayesha Shaikh: I love the twists. 😆I like how the writer describes everyone's point of view and the character development. I'm gonna read all the books by this author (current and upcoming). She's one of my favorites now. The spelling mistakes are normal no big deal, the amazing plot makes up for it. Thank you ...

smile4me: Exciting page turner. I was barely able to put it down to go to bed. I can usually figure out the twists before they are revealed but not this time! Such a thrill to be surprised. I can hardly wait for the follow up!!

Aloehas: When I first started this book, I could not put it down. The author gets you attached to these characters and takes you on an emotional rollercoaster throughout the story, and it's just amazing. I'm looking forward to what else she can do.

Jan Imonti: Loved the story, but didn't like the delivery...had to read this on my computer on line. Wasn't able to download it to my kindle. Excellent story, lots of twists and turns. Fairly quick read. Love the versitility of Mitchell's writing. Keep up with the great mysteries.

More Recommendations

debmart6901: I could not put this story down. I stayed up reading when I should have been in bed. could not get enough, could not wait to find how it ended. Great story telling. Great detail. Loved it. The characters were very vivid.

Marimar Amieva: Although I found the vampire thing a bit too much, I couldn't stop reading it. The story had a bit of everything: mystery, romance, a huge plot twist and relatable characters. I congratulate the author for this story and hope to read more of whatever he writes.

Erica Mifflin: is very very neat and is one of my favorite novel of all time I want more stories like this please write another one. I love it so much thank you for your stories it was like a good book to my heart and I want more stories like this

rachelrainford6: This probably has to be one of the best books I've read on here. I read it quite quickly and I'll have to say the story took a turn towards the end that I did not see coming. The topic discussed in this book such as life really gave me a new insight and I realize that it is taken for granted.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.