by Kim Faulks
A Horror novel in the making
Chapter 1 – Confinement
Sunlight pierced through the walls to where Morgan sat. She raised her hand to shield her eyes, wondering, where the hell was she? Her head thrummed, shooting hot spikes through her neck, and into her brain with each beat, her heart made. She dared not move. Morgan closed her eyes, using her hands to cradle her head and tenderly reached into her memories.
There was nothing there, not for her recent past at least. Morgan knew the basics: her name, where she lived, and the fact that she was a junkie. The last thing she remembered was locking up the bar and making her way towards her apartment. When she pushed harder, the pain increased so she eased off, allowing time to take away the throbbing.
It was a while before Morgan was able to open her eyes again. This time, controlling the pain with each breath and focussed on the rise and fall and not the stench that accompanied it. A moan snatched her attention to her left and with each motion deliberate; she turned her head to see a man lying next to her.
Great. Just fucking great. Two months of re-hab to end up whoring yourself again? Morgan lifted her arms, turning her palms skyward, searching for the telltale sign of her failing. She dug her thumbs into the crook of her arm until it pained, searching for the track to her vein. There was nothing. Morgan stared down at her boots and closed her eyes, taking a deep breath. Already envisioning the red marks between her toes. Disappointment surrounded her and closed in. Morgan didn't want to look, for fear of what she would find. Instead, she turned to stare at the room, and those that lay around her, what she could see anyway. Morgan shifted to look behind her, reaching out to clasp her hand against the gap, shielding her eyes from the light. She could barely make out the wall behind her. The worn timber boards were heavily knotted and filthy.
The man reached out to her. His grubby bulbous fingers winding their way around her arm as he whispered. “Help me.”
“Get off me,” she said her tone icy as she shook off his hand. “I can’t help you. I can’t even help my fucking self.”
The stench was almost unbearable, that and the heat that radiated through the cracks of the walls around her. The pain took its time retreating, step-by-agonizing step until she could think and get a better idea how much shit she was actually in. A sound of retching to the right of her had her shielding her eyes again, to search the area next to her.
A woman to her right was hunched over, her dirty-blonde hair hung over, covering her face as her body bowed and lurched forward, the sound of her heaving calling to her own weak stomach and she had to close her eyes again to steady herself and groaned. What kind of fucking party did I stumble into last night? She reached down to cup between her legs, feeling for any tenderness and wiped her mouth, staring at the dried blood that came away. A fucking gang-bang…someone must have slipped me something. There’s no fucking way I would have…It accounted for the blinding headache at least.
Gotta get out of here. Just find your shit and leave, okay Morgan and let’s pretend this little slip-up never happened at all. She reached behind, feeling the wall behind her and pushed against it standing on shaking legs. Man, that must have been some heavy shit; she said wondering what kind of lasting impact it was going to have on her strung-out nerves.
The blinding sunlight reached for her as she stumbled, surveying the rest of the bodies that lay in the filthy derelict room around her. One-by-one they started to move some stared at her with bulging eyes and others cringed and cowered as she stepped past searching for her bag. In her mind, she was already out of here, already leaving this putrid room and the waking bodies behind.
She stepped over splayed out legs and arms, searching the floor for her belongings, finding nothing and eventually giving up.
“Where am I?” someone asked her as she searched for the door. She ignored them out of humiliation and frustration, both of these aimed at herself. Sunlight penetrated each crack of the wooden walls and her eyes, but she was well enough to force herself to bear it, running her hands along the peeling paint in search of a handle, anything. She walked along the three walls finding nothing and stopped at an opening to another smaller room to the one she stood in. Fear spread out its frosted fingers and clenched her gut. Something felt wrong, as though this room had bad mojo and she refused to move one-step further into the room.
She scanned the walls in the bad mojo room, finding no door, nothing but shadows. Cockroaches scuttled from one end to the other as big as her hand and other things that were bigger. She wanted to get out of here and the longer that she stood in this doorway, the more she was convinced that she needed to get out of here now.
“Who the fuck‘re you?” said a deep voice behind her.
Morgan spun to the sound, one hand already clenching into a fist. It wasn’t the first party that she’d had to fight her way out of, but she was determined by the grace of God and the twelve fucking step program she’d followed for the past six months that it would be her last. The stranger stared at her, his dark skin glistening with sweat and his clothes grimy and torn, he screamed homeless and inside she slid one-step closer to the dark pit of despair.
“Well…who are you and where am I?”
Her brow pinched in the middle of her forehead, as his questions echoed her own. “I’m Morgan and I don’t know where we are. All I know is that I wanna get out of here, wherever the fuck here is.”
He turned to look at the others, some who were gripping the walls and standing as she had done only moments before. “Who the hell are all these people?”
She wasn’t sure if he still wanted her to answer, but it felt uncomfortable to let the question hang in the air. She followed his gaze with her own, taking in one face after another and answered. “I don’t know.”
He extended his hand towards her, not taking his eyes off the squirming room, “The name’s Glib.”
A woman’s scream filled the air; it curdled Morgan’s blood inside her veins, leaving fear behind and determination to get the hell out here. “Get the fuck off me!”
A grumble followed, it could have been an apology but Morgan wasn’t sure and she didn’t plan on getting any closer.
“I said don’t touch me. Get your filthy hands off me!” the woman screamed and she watched from across the room as a man held up his hands in surrender and slowly back away.
“I’ve been raped. I’ve been raped. Please someone help me. HE RAPED ME!” the woman screamed, her voice tearing through her head inciting another blast of pain. Morgan groaned and covered her ears.
Are you okay? Glib mouthed turning towards her. He tried to reach out to touch her, but she instinctively stepped out of his reach. Glib dropped his hand and nodded. Morgan didn’t want to be touched, she didn’t want to be here…she wanted to get home, anywhere as long as it wasn’t in this room with these people…. She was starting to panic. She could feel it rising in waves, threatening to drown her. Just fucking breathe Morgan, you been through worse than this…this is just a walk in the park. You’ll find a way out and then you’ll be home faster than you can blink. The panic eased as she put her thoughts together and shoved them in the future, she would find a way out of here.
The shine of compassion died in Glib’s eyes as he turned his attention from her back to the now ramrod straight bodies as they all pushed themselves up to standing, all except the screaming blonde who cowered against the wall, her legs pulled up tight to her chin.
Morgan dropped her hands slowly, ready to cup her ears if the blonde started back up again. “Sorry,” she said towards Glib and he shrugged.
“’S’alright, you don’t know me, I get it. Let me tell you though for the record that I ain’t no rapist.”
“That’s real good to know, Glib,” she said. She’d hurt his feelings, but with the hurt came a sense of understanding, was it the truth, or a lie? She didn’t know, all she knew was that she didn’t trust any of these people…hell waking up in this shit-hole meant she couldn’t even trust herself.
The questions started, they bounced from one end of the room to the other, repeating them like an echo. Where are we? How did I get here? What the fuck happened to me?
She didn’t want to just stand her and watch while they rode the merry-go-round of fucked-up possibilities. It was bad enough that the same scenarios wanted to worm their way into her twisted thoughts. This
“I’m getting out of here,” some guy growled, she couldn’t figure out who it was, but the way he pushed his way out of those around him told her it was the punk with the Mohawk. “Get the fuck outta my way, man.”
The words left her mouth before she knew she said them, “No use.” Glib turned towards her, “Whadda you say?”
Fuck, Morgan keep your big mouth shut. But she wouldn’t would she? She never did and that’s what got her into trouble. “I said. It’s no use. There’s no way out.”
“What do you mean there’s no way out!” Glib said, his voice rising and drawing the attention of everyone in the fucking room.
The gaze from the others in the room pierced her where she stood and their voices died in the festering air.
“What do you mean by that?”
The question came from a man somewhere in the back and was repeated in every pair of eyes that narrowed at her from behind shielded hands cutting off the harsh sunlight. She could feel the itch again, deep down inside, scratching at her insides, scratch, scratch, scratch…she knew what they saw: junky fucking whore and she reached up to wipe under her nose, the after effects of the habit were hard to break.
“Well…what do you mean?” He asked again and as hard as she tried to find him in the group she couldn’t.
“There’s no door…”
There she answered. Now leave her the fuck alone. She wiped her nose again, scratch, scratch, scratch…and broke their gaze for the peeling toes of her fake leather boots.
“What? No way, there’s gotta be,” said another man at the front as he shook his head, refusing to acknowledge what she said.
Morgan shrugged and motioned around the room, “Suit yourself, you find a way out and I’m right behind you.”
Their eyes left her and some part inside of her sighed with relief as they turned instead to the blinding walls and a way to get out of here. She moved well back from the empty doorway remembering the chill of fear that accompanied it and waited for someone else to react the same way.
They didn’t, they pushed through into the smaller room, their cries of: gross, fucking cockroaches and rats…before they returned to the larger room where everyone else waited. They searched every section of the wall, pushing and prodding. Some tried to dig at the wooden planks while they shielded their eyes from the light. It felt like hours, or it could have been only minutes she didn’t know. There was no marking of the clock, only the waiting for the sun to fade and announce the passing of the day.
“She’s right,” said the man who was so quick to dismiss her before. “There’s no door out of here.”
Morgan could see the panic building in their eyes, searching for a way free and it found it through the screaming blonde once again. “Get me the fuck out of here, or I’m calling the police. I want to go home. I WANT TO GO HOME!”
The others reacted. Their attempt at consoling the blonde paved the way for their own fears. The air changed around her, taking on a dangerous desperation, until it peaked at bird-like cries for help, accompanied by the drum-roll sounds of their fists as they smashed against the walls. Morgan stood back, her breaths coming hard and fast, matching the speed of her heart.
"Don't get carried away," she murmured, backing hard up against the wall. Morgan had been on that roller coaster more times than she wanted to. The need is the same either way you saw it. Need to get home, need to leave this shit-hole behind, need another fix. Calm and controlled was the only way out of here, it was the only way she would survive. Morgan searched through the panicked faces, stopping on the gaze that mirrored her own, self-controlled and determined. She nodded in acknowledgement and moved on.
One of the others stared at her for longer. His brown eyes skimmed across her body, lingering only for a second on her breasts before making themselves comfortable in her eyes. She retreated from his gaze, turning to where the others scratched and kicked at the walls in an effort to get free. Morgan could feel him still watching her and tried not to notice, even starting another conversation with bigmouth Glib. “What’s the last thing you remember?”
She closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath as frustration washed over her. “I said. What’s the last thing you remember?” And, please for fucks sake don’t say me sucking your dick…
Glib took on that far-away stare as he searched for the last moment in his memory. Morgan flicked her attention back to big brown eyes now that he finished re-creating her past from her cheap tattered clothes and smudged mascara. She didn’t hold it against him; hell, she was doing the same thing wasn’t she? Worn jeans, a nice jacket, strong build and no tatt’s as far as she could see anyway. He wasn’t her type, dangerous and exciting was just another drug for her to avoid. She searched his body, catching her breath on the hard muscle of his chest and the bulge at the front of his jeans. Yeah he was definitely, not her type.
“The last thing I remember was walking through Vic Park on my way to the soup kitchen.”
Glib tore her away from that runaway train and the tingle deep inside of her died in its tracks. She breathed a sigh of relief, “You homeless, Glib?”
“No…only for a bit ‘till I get back on my feet.”
She nodded, she’d heard the same lie before and she felt a twinge of sympathy for him. He was already on the slippery slide of failure, already squeezed his arse between the metal ridges and on his way down, down, down…he just refused to admit it.
So caught up in another sad, sorry tale she missed the turn of the tide as the others of the room stopped pounding on the walls and instead stared firing questions, hoping for a direct hit, hoping to make someone bleed.
“Who bought us here?” asked someone in the crowd, there were too many for her too keep up with.
“There had to be someone here that knows how we got here? Who was the first one awake?”
She shrugged good point and answered with a cold snarl. “If they were knocked out like the rest of us to start with, who was the first one up, answer that!”
“Wasn’t me,” one of them answered defensively. “I woke up after you, remember?”
“What about her?” the punk with the Mohawk said pointing towards her. “How else would she have known there was no door?”
Morgan’s world narrowed like the pinning of her opiate induced pupils as the room turned on her once again.
“How did you know there was no door?” the punk said, growing in stature with the encouragement of the others around him.
She shook her head as instinct inside told her this was about to get ugly. She’d felt this many times before and she was hardly ever wrong. They surged towards her as their questions were fired at her from all directions: how did you know, when did you wake up, are you behind this, what do you want from us…who the fuck’re you working for?
She swallowed and backed up against the open door frame. No way was she stepping through that door, no fucking way…The crowd turned quickly into a mob as they poked at her with their questions and their hands as their prods turned to pushing and then shoving.
There was nothing she could say, nothing that was going to stop what was about to happen. They were scared, their fear compounded on one another’s search for a way free, searching for a way to come alive, and it seemed as though she was that way. The only question that remained was would she be left alive at the end.
She didn’t see where the first blow came from. She only felt the jarring impact as her head snapped to the side and the blinding headache pulled her under.