The Whispering Game-Maker – Part 2

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           She couldn’t believe her eyes. She didn’t want to anyway. She never saw something like that even in her worst nightmares, but that was only because her brain always woke her up before such a horrific image covered her mind. This time it felt like someone was forcing her to sit through the nightmare, now she was seeing something her eyes won’t ever be able to erase.

The adrenalin flew over her veins like a carp through the river, but she couldn’t move a single muscle, not even to scream. The absolute horror completely paralyzed her, and the more she thought about waking up, the more she felt discouraged and utterly terrified.

“Wake up, wake up!” came a high-pitched whisper followed by a scary echo filled laugh. The force holding down on me lifted off of me and I woke up. It was 10:07AM, I overslept. I just hoped everything that happened last time was just a stupid dream fuelled by all the nonsensical horror movies I watched over the weeks. I did not want to take a chance even though all this seemed so juvenile and spurious. I just stared at the wall, not thinking, blank and stiff as a board.

A chilling alarm sound broke the silence and scared the bejeezus out of me. I took the phone and the alarm read “IT WASN’T A DREAM. GET READY AND ALL THE BEST ”. I am sure I never set an alarm last night.

I didn’t remember being that scared in my life and that was just the beginning. That idea only made it worse. If that was even a possibility.

My parents always complained about how I never observe things around me and how I never pay attention to things going on around me. I totally thought this would be the one quality that would actually help me ignore any movements or unusual things that are about to happen to me. Little did I know that, when fear kicks in every small sound, movement, shadow etc have double the impact and your senses go up a notch.

The moment I got down from the bed I felt scales and a something squishy. Out came a shriek and I looked down, there was nothing. Just a clean wood floor. I looked under the bed without putting my legs down, nothing again. I slowly walked out of the room and into the hall, it felt like there were a thousand eyes on me. Tip toed down the hall and tried to finish reading a comic or at least just use it as a distraction to just pass time.

Suddenly the whole place grew too cold, I got up and went to the closet to take out a blanket. The closet creaked open and there they were, 2 golden eyes staring. I slammed the closet and ran to the balcony, took a deep breath of fresh air that filled my lungs. I closed my eyes for a minute and the moment I opened them everything was pitch black. I waved my arms around, I was stuck in a box.

Suffocation and anxiety took over in no time, I punched and kicked the box but nothing happened. My heart pounding harder than it ever had and to make matters worse something moved under my feet, the same squishy scales. I started to jump on them still continuing the punching and there again, 2 eyes at a distance of an inch from my eyes but this time they were red and I could tell they were filled with anger. I closed my eyes.

“Goodbye. Please kill me.”

Those were the words I could come up with at that moment. I fell to the floor and looked up, the closet was open and I had fallen out from inside that. Crawling and crying I reached the corner of my room, sat there with my head on my knees I wailed, cried and shivered at the same time. I dozed off in that position.

I could hear a quiet buzzing noise that woke me up. I chose to ignore it. It stopped. It was my phone. I ignored it 4 times, I did not have the energy for me to get to the phone and answer it.

Suddenly the buzz turned into a high pitched shrieking and in the shrieking, I could hear my voice “SAVE ME! SAVE ME! answer the phone! AHHHHH!!…” and the shriek died out. Silence. My heart began to pound again, I crawled slowly towards my bed to reach for my phone. I reached for the phone and flipped to see the screen.

“TOO LATE” were the words flashing on the screen.

I threw the phone out of the window without thinking or even trying to understand the consequences of the action I just took. I jumped on my bed wrapped my blanket tight and waited for my inevitable death.

Buzzz…

Vibration again. Startled, I stick my head out and look at the table beside my bed. There was my phone.

“HAHA! NICE TRY!” it said this time.

I look at the time and it was 6:11PM. The torture was over for today. The moment relief snuck in the lights went out and I passed out the very next second.

Everything was pitch black and then the nightmare started again, the same one I woke up to in the morning. The one where I see my death through a third person’s eyes.

 

For the previous part, click here : The Whispering Game-maker- Part 1

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The Whispering Game-maker- Part 1

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I awoke in a panicked sweat. God it was bad.

Was I dreaming?

There certainly had to be some explanation for why I was now a simmering pig, drenching my sheets and pillow in sweat. Nothing made sense. I needed to catch my breath.

I kicked my feet over to the edge of the bed, feeling like the weight of the world was on me, and stumbled over to the small bathroom of my apartment, to cool off.

I hopped into the shower, and let that refreshing cold water free me from the turmoil of my body. No shampoo, no soap, I just needed the sweat to be gone.

No more than two minutes later, I was back in decent shape. I’d still have the sheets to clean if I didn’t want to deal with the nasty scent all night, but it seemed awfully late. I could deal with them for the rest of the night. But regardless, I felt okay again…had a strange, new, and even worse feeling come over me. I didn’t know how to describe it in words, but something wasn’t right. It was a gut feeling. A damn strong one.

I whipped the towel around my legs and body quickly, and left the Bathroom, shutting the door behind me. I threw on a second set of clean Pyjamas, did a quick spray of the air using deodorant to mask the lingering scent of sweat, and got back into bed to return to my rest.

As soon as my head touched the pillow, the phone on my nightstand began to vibrate violently.

Who could be calling me at such a late hour? I thought.

I didn’t want to take the call, but I felt like it would just keep going otherwise. I held the phone to my ear.

The caller ID was unknown, and strangely, all the text on my screen was red, not the phone’s usual UI elements of blue and white text.

I could hear the sound of some stifled giggling.

“So, you’ve succeeded in avoiding Her, already?” came a suave voice with a deep tone.

“…Excuse me?” I replied. It sounded like a prank call, I didn’t recognize the voice as anyone I knew. My old roommate David was known for the occasional prank, but this clearly wasn’t him.

“Oh, come now. You were no more than an inch away from her, and you didn’t have the heart to introduce yourself? Not very gracious of you.” came the response, tutting.

I rolled my eyes and then got back to him. “Look, I’m just trying to get to sleep her-” I was abruptly interrupted.

“And I have information that might just save your life. Well… return it, at least.”

I wanted to hang up for being rudely interrupted, but the next thing he said was just intriguing enough for me to hear him out.

“…Are you threatening me?” I said.

“On the contrary. I’m here to help.” was his response.

I sat silent for a moment, wondering what the man’s motive might be. “I’d like to offer you a deal.” he said.

“A… deal?” I said, confused.

“If you’ll allow me a moment of your time to explain myself, of course…” he said.

“Shoot.” I said, just wishing he’d get on with it.

“In case you were otherwise unaware, you are dead.”

“…Dead?” I said, while trying to interpret his meaning.

“Yes. Dead. The type in which your mortal coil has been snuffed out, and you are now merely a soul. As it happens, your corpse is sitting in the local morgue, while your  family are out of town with friends and relatives.”

“Cut the bullshit.” I said, ready to hang up. That whole statement made no sense. I was right here.

“Oh, you can hang up on me if you please, but you’ll soon regret it…” He said.

“Then start making sense!” I shouted, my patience finally starting to wear thin.

“I’ve been quite honest with you so far, but I’ll do what I can to clear things up for you. That ‘Friend’ of yours, Richard? The one who offered you ‘Superpowers’ beyond your wildest imagination, in exchange for nothing more than a quick injection… Well, he did you quite a disservice.” he said.

“You were injected with Krokodil, that ghastly substance that brings new Russian lowlifes to my door, daily. I wish I could say you had a pleasant death, but I can’t lie to you, in good faith.”

“…If I am dead… how are we talking? Explain that.” I said, scoffing.

“Oh, that’s very simple. As I said, I offered you a deal.”

“I looked over your case, and my poor heart was just so moved to find how unfairly you were treated…” I couldn’t believe how mocking his voice was. This guy cared nothing for me.

“For the moment, I have temporarily returned you to life. Course’, that’s conditional on how you handle yourself from now on.” he said.

“And what would you have me do?” I retorted, sick of the baseless statements so far.

“Survive. For no more than a week. I would hope someone as capable as you could do that much.” he said.

“…A week. You don’t think I can live a week? I’ve been alive for over 20 years. What’s one more week…” I responded, feeling good about myself.

“Oh, I can’t pretend that your usual routine places in you in any harm, no… But you’re not alone right now…”

I pulled a face of pure disbelief, having been looking at my empty room for the entire conversation.

“Listen. There’s nobo-”

Scratching sounds at the bathroom door. Very distinct scratches. Fingernails, no doubt.

He was right.

I bolted outright out of bed, grabbing the pistol I’ve kept in the drawer beside my bed for just such an occasion. I made my way towards the bathroom, wondering just who the hell was in there. I had just come out of there minutes ago, and it was empty.

I reached for the doorknob, when the voice came from the phone again. I could hear it all the way from across the room.

“I wouldn’t advise that, if I was you…” Came a serious tone. I walked backwards to the bed, continuing to stare at the door, talking with the phone in one hand.

“You see, down here, she’s affectionately known as Lamia. One of the older demons, and easily the most eldritch sight we have. I called a vote to see what the board wanted to see you deal with, and she won by a landslide.”

“…What fucking vote! Just who are you??” I finally screamed. The stress of the bathroom scratching getting to me, and this call continuing to wind me into madness.

“You haven’t guessed? I go by many names, but your kin usually just call me the Devil.”

“…The devil?” Funny as hell, but I was actually considering that he was telling the truth.

“I’ll help you to understand your task. It’d be no fun to watch you perish so soon, after all…”

“For the next seven days, you will have to contend with Her being in your presence. She will materialize close to you, starting from 10AM, and leaving you at 6PM sharp. This could be from your cabinet, under your bed, anywhere unseen, really. Dark places are a surefire favorite dwelling for her.

“She’s not terribly keen on being looked at. Frankly, it’s the thing she hates most. I’ve observed some truly abhorrent butchery of those who can’t pay her the respect of remaining unseen. If you catch so much as a quick peek of her, you’ll understand.”

“She may be kind enough to let slide some unconscious reflections, after all, you humanshave a very wide gaze. But, that’s in her court. I wouldn’t rely on her mercy, myself.”

“…I can’t look at her?” I said. “…What’s stopping her from coming out?”

“She’s not awfully familiar with your world, and your architecture. Usually, you’ll find her tormenting souls on the third rung of the underworld, so please, forgive her naivety.”

“I kid…” he said, laughing. “She could open the door, but she’s a good sport. If you manage to trap her as such, you can consider the threat over for the night.”

“She has a handful of supernatural abilities to help her out. Low-level telepathy to move or rotate objects, the ability to absorb and reform light into other forms of energy, mostly used to overload or dim light bulbs…”

“But worst of all, she has a particularly cruel tendency to make your hear things that aren’t actually there. She can imitate any voice, or sound naturally. Expect her to save that for the later days, though. She should only employ that if you’re doing a good job.”

“Ok, ok… I’m getting some of this.” I said, wishing this was all just some dream.

“Now, while I did call her a good sport, it’s only fair you don’t cheat yourself..”

“Cheat?” I said, confused.

“Well, your task is merely to avoid to looking at her. You could lock yourself in an empty room with no windows, lock the doors, and be done with it. Or you could turn on all the lights in the house, and keep her from appearing anywhere. Anything of that nature, really. There are several ways to exploit the rules, but she’s been granted special permission to break her usual restrictions, if you can’t respect a fair challenge.”

“….Ok. I think I get it… Is that it?” I said.

“Mostly. Your life is as it was, before your death. You can go about your day, and prepare for the challenge during the daytime, just be sure to have your strategy in place before 10AM. Having trapped her in your bathroom, you’re safe for the first night. You could sleep in peace, but I suspect you’re too troubled for that right now…”

“If I’ve forgotten anything, I can call you back. There’s a lot of money riding on you, right now. I can promise you that you don’t want to fail this test. You’ll be tormented for all eternity if you disappoint some of the bigger demons, betting on your survival. Well, then. I think that’s all. Farewell, and good luck with your life.”

Click.

The call was over. And I was an emotional wreck right now, faced with my very survival.

If I could trust ‘The Devil’, or so he said he was, then I was safe for the first night, because of my accidental fortune.He might have said a lot of questionable things, but he was right about one thing.

I wasn’t getting a fucking second of sleep tonight.

 

(Unnamed Story)- Chapter 12: Together. 

Ingram ran with Daisy in his arms while Elia ran beside him removing Daisy’s hair from her eyes and the wound on her head. Ingram’s handkerchief was tied around Daisy’s head but it didn’t help much. They ran on the rocky and dusty roads of Hauyne barefooted, the roads burned their feet but didn’t burn their spirits. Getting Daisy to an chirurgeon  was their only goal. 
             The run had become significantly harder. Elia disappeared, his hands ached, his legs gave in and he fell to the ground. He blinked, Clarice had fallen right in front of him. He got up picked her up and ran, he didn’t know where to go but he just ran. The handkerchief tied on Clarice’s reduced the bleeding but didn’t stop it. He ran hoping to see Bennett. He ran hoping someone would come to their help. He ran thinking about the time when Daisy was in his hands exactly like Clarice was right now. He loved them both dearly, he wasn’t ready to let go of any of them this soon. 

            She opened her eyes. Her eyelids still felt heavy, but someone was holding her hands. She slowly turned to her side and saw Bennet there, her beautiful eyes filled with tears instantly, couldn’t hold it in anymore. Glimpses of last night flashed in her head. Clarice knew what she had put Bennett and Ingram through. After all she had put them through they still were holding onto her. This made her cry even more. A knock on the door and Ingram came in with breakfast. He looked at Clarice, gave her a smile and fed her himself. She burst into tears again. 

           “Why?” she said, half chewing and half crying. 

           “Because you would’ve done the same for us” said Ingram, stuffing more food into Clarice’s already filled mouth. 

           The sound of crying woke Bennet  up. “How are you feeling?” He asked her the moment he woke up. He was happy that she was eating and alright. The Chirurgeon walked in and spoke to Bennet about Clarice and gave him a few medicines. 

            They walked of the chirurgeon’s place. Took a cart and made their way back home. The ride back was silent. While Clarice slept in Bennet’s lap, Ingram was lookin at a map of Dybbukh he found in Clarice’s cloak. He examined the map and imagined what would’ve happened if Clarice had not been found, he forcefully snapped himself out of it and gave Bennet the map and asked him to look at it. 

             Dybbukh was a very sinister place. The king there committed a macabre series of murders on everyone who spoke or went against him. Slavery and prostitution were their predominant businesses. All these business were owned by the king and his ministers, while the few others in the King’s court had decent lives. The rest of the kingdom were slaves who worked for a meagre amount and women of the kingdom were forced into prostitution. 

            Bennet put his hand on her forehead. He gave her a very affectionate look. The cart slowly pulled into their street. They woke Clarice up and they carried her gently into the house.

           The sun rays slowly turned orange and sneaked out of the house in a hurry. The night swept into the house. Clarice opened her eyes gently and she saw 4 eyes beaming at her with a lot of happiness and concern as well. A small fear took over Clarice. She finally came to terms with what she had done and what happened to her. She had left Bennet and Ingram. She had caused them a lot of pain and was scared that they wouldn’t forgive her.

              Ingram held her hand and said ” I want to find Elia and Daisy as much as you do but I’d never want to lose you. So sacrificing yourself or putting yourself in harm’s way won’t help our family. I beg you Clar! Please never even think of doing something like this ever again” 

             “We are in this together” said Bennet. 

(Unnamed Story)-Chapter 11: The Letter

Dear Bennet & Ingram,

When you read this I would’ve left. Don’t worry I’m strong I will be alright. I know what I am doing is not right. I know how cruel this world is, I’ve seen it. You both have gone through a lot already, I have to do this on my own. Please do not come looking for me. I promise I’ll be back.

Bennet and Ingram, A lot has happened to me when we first came to Axinite. I lied a lot to you Ben, every day you were at work I used to go out in search of any small information on Ingram, Daisy And Elia. I have been to the worst parts of Hauyne and Vesuvanite. I was scared, I did not know why I was even going there but I had to. I had to for all of us to be together. I knew these were the places that would have all the inside and darkest secrets of this kingdom. It was this one day where I was in one of these places I knew something was wrong, people had already seen me here a few times but I wouldn’t give up going back because I needed the information. I knew I had to walk away from here but I was already too deep into the streets, I could see 3 men in cloaks from the corner of my eye. I slowly broke into a fast paced walk but it was no use, I stopped and decided to confront them. I don’t think they had any guts in them, they were young adults trying to be tough. They said horrid things to me, they came ever so close to me but I stood my ground. None of them even touched me, but they asked me to sleep with each one of them for if she wanted any information about her family. My conscience is as straight as possible Ben. I will do anything for my family, but I will also do nothing that will hurt them. It’s this thought that gave me more strength, made me stronger. I stood my ground against all the harassment, I kept our integrity intact. I was once asked whether I would like to go to Dybbukh and work in the palace there. I knew what I had to do to live there because I had heard enough about that place. I considered going there but I couldn’t leave you alone, I couldn’t lose everyone around me even though I knew that Dybbukh was the best gamble. Now I have Ingram to stay with you, I trust you with my life Ingram that’s why I am leaving for Dybbukh this time. Trust me with this.

Love,Clarice.

         “NO!” Bennet shouted. The ever so calm Bennet had lost it. He threw everything in sight to the ground. Broken shards of pots and vase covered the floor.

         Ingram stared at the letter, “How could you do this, how could you! You said we’d find them together. You said whatever we do we do it together.” He whispered into the letter.

        They picked up a torch, their coats and the letter and left the house without even knowing what they were going to do.

         Night had fallen fast upon the land. No more than an hour ago the sky was painted with hues of red, orange and pink, but all colour had faded away leaving only a matt black canvas with no stars to be looked upon. The darkness was thick and the torch they carried hardly lit his path allowing him to see at most an arm’s reach in front of himself and the thoughts about where Clarice was made the walk worse for them.
Other than the darkness all that seemed to exist was the chilly wind’s harsh bite could be felt through their cloaks. He could feel the hair on his arm raised and the bite of the wind had left its marks in the form of small bumps that were tingling on their arms, but these bites were just on the flesh. There was something more hurtful going on inside them. The flames of their torch may have looked as though they burned warm, but their heat did never reach their hearts.

              They reached the main street of Hauyne.

             “Ben you go check the docks here and I’ll go to Vesuvanite. We meet here in    2 hours. There are no more exits right?”

           “There is one more, in Krifmont but it’s for the king’s personal use. So it cannot be used by us. She has to be here. Let’s get her back.” They hugged each other and left. Ingram passed on the torch to Bennet because he knew Vesuvanite had  lights on their street

           Ingram reached the docks. Far into his sight was a woman lying on the floor. Her golden curls shone bright, but Ingram’s face had lost all its light. He begged and prayed for her not be Clarice but he knew it was from the very first sight. With every step of his run his heart pounded harder, he reached her. He was shivering uncontrollably, but it was not the cold that was doing it.

            A streak of red rolled out of Clarice’s head and onto the floor. Ingram fell to his knees beside her. She was as cold as the night and her cloak was torn and had fallen a few feet away from her.

           “Clar! What have you done.”

For chapter 1: Chapter 1 : Emancipation

Two Codes Ahead

 i__robot_by_mg_iii-d8zc7qu.jpg        There was a steel table in the center of that room without windows. A bright light hung right above the table. He sat there, waiting. Two men stood near the door, outside the room.

         “There is no smoking inside.” Abner held the door obstructing Brock’s way.

          “Oh!ok!” Brock took three quick puffs, put down his cigarette and extinguished it. They entered the room, closing the door behind.

           “You think we can make him do it?” asked Brock.

          “Sure. She is a robot, made to obey the Three Law” said Abner.

         “Yeah, yeah I know. Don’t injure a human or cause harm to a human through inaction, obey orders given by humans except when in conflict with the first law.Protect self unless that is in conflict with first two laws. But, I don’t get how she will listen to us. Isn’t that breaking the second law?”

         “Well, that’s what the first law is for, isn’t it?”

         “I’m listening.”

         “You see. The robot would do anything to save its owner, Dr.Clyde. We have her hostage. By the first law, the robot has to obey our commands because she would die in our hands otherwise. She cannot cause her harm through his inaction.”

         “I see.”

         “It is a simple job. He breaks into the bank. Gets the money and gets out. Wham bam! Thank you ma’am!”

          “Do you think she would kill us, like right now? Wouldn’t that help her save his owner and get out of this sticky situation?”

           “Well, she can’t. The first law prohibits him from killing any human, including us. It is such a strong law, I can’t stop falling in love with it! I wish we had these robots twenty years ago when I started out in my career. I could have retired by now!”

          “Can she hear us? She looks so eerie sitting on that chair with his gaze transfixed on the wall. Would she be pissed off at us?”

          The robot batted its eyelids and turned to look at both of them.

           “Robots don’t have emotion. She is probably calculating how he will accomplish his goal. You have 24 hours to complete the job! Come on, let’s go.”

           The robot stood up.

         “You have 20 seconds to surrender. This place is surrounded by the police. They have Dr. Clyde in safe custody. I called them hours ago and gave them this location.”

         Brock and Abner listened in disbelief.

         She walked up to the door and opened it. “This way, gentlemen!”

Drowning In The Rain

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This rain that has been brooding over me,

Has decided to fall out of the dark clouds around my empty eyes.

This rain that has been threatening me has decided to spill my heart out,

And the thunder it brings will tear me apart,

But it’s only a matter of time,

I suppose, until the ground of my swollen eyelids close.

And I block everything out,

But the sound of the rain, splashing against my skin.

The feel of the water as it rushes through my veins.

I’ll cry out in vain,

Searching for anyone to make me feel sane.
I’ll blind myself to pain,

Thinking that everything is better with nothing.
I’ll breathe in the water,

Hoping for salvation as I suffer.
I’ll burn as I drown,

In furious rivulets of doubt.

Thinking of no one as the water rushes me away,

Plays with my hair as it brushes my face.

I feel the sting of the ice in the drops,

Tear through my skin as they slice through the air in my lungs,

That whooshes out as I realize that I’ve been stung.

My blood flows colder as the wind whips my hair into my eyes.

And the rain has blinded me again,

But it’s for my own good because it gets rid of the sight of you leaving.

I’ll cry out in vain,

Searching for anyone to make me feel sane.
I’ll blind myself to pain,

Thinking that everything is better with nothing.
I’ll breathe in the water,

Hoping for salvation as I suffer.
I’ll burn as I drown,

In furious rivulets of doubt.

And when realization hits,

I’ll fall into bits and pieces of nothingness.

I’ll wonder how it got so far, and went so long without a problem, 

Until I fell headlong into love,

Dark ocean of rain and weightlessness,

My salvation and my biggest regret,

Invisible up in the clouds of my mind,

But obvious to the heartbeat of timeless romance.

When The Sun Decides To Leave

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When the sun melts into night,
and when the light falls from the sky,
when the cold seeps into sleep,
and the angels dearly weep silver tears
onto the velvet black midnight.

When the wolves come out to scream,
and when the shadows start dancing,
When the world is black and white,
and the moon is dimly bright.
When the clouds have cleared away,
and the horrors come to stay.

When the night outside is freezing,
and the branches are gently swaying,
creating black spider-webbing shadows
on the grass sheathed in frost.
I swear to watch out when I’m alone,
in this pitch black of sorrow.

When you’ve left me stone, yet hollow
in the depths of this nightmarish place.
When what my mind used to be
was swaying green trees in distant spring,
when the golden light of heaven sings
a birdsong-encrusted melody.

And the fire in my heart would weep
burning tears of empathy
for a fellow lover bound and chained
by the sun’s amazing grace,
and when I would call my love to you,
and you would run screaming from me,
like I was part of this dark place,
instead of a gentle flame burning,
shedding light instead of ebony,
waiting to quench your soul with golden rays
and burn away all the tears on your face.
Was that too much to give away?
Am I too passionate for darkness?

You shine, girl, like the moon,
cold, hard, and dim,
nothing left within you.
Covered with dust
from the darkness
and never creating light.
Only allowed to reflect it,
never allowed to make it,
successful in freezing the earth
for half a day,
when the sun decides to sleep.