A boy is stuck in a disturbing basement, and plans on getting out any means necessary.
His only sunlight came from the moon, a tiny curved sliver in the inky blackness of the sky. The light, dim and silver, decorated the ground in pinstripes, shining through a tiny barred window just above the boy's head, touching the ceiling. Before, he had stared up at it, observing every shade and tone of the moon, while attempting to see whether it was rising or setting. He had stayed like that for hours, with no hint the moon would ever move. The tilted smile seemed to taunt him, proud of its immortality. Though the boy was vaguely aware he'd seen the golden pinstripes on the soil, that felt like weeks ago and who knew if the sun would ever come back. Which way did the sun leave? He hadn't paid attention, assuming there was no way she would just leave him down here to die.
Now, he wasn't so sure.
He couldn't die. His father hasn't even taught him how to shave yet. He hasn't even grown facial hair yet. He'd never get to meet his birth mom or become a renowned photographer or find "the one" or even turn fifteen--
His eyes burned and something close to a sob bubbled in his throat.
The wind grew louder, laughing. He wasn't completely sure if it was the wind at all. If he listened to it closely, the gutral wheezing sounded more like long, shallow breaths.
In. . . . . . . . . . . Out. . . . . . In. . . . . . . . . . . Out. . . . . . In. . . . . . . . . . .
It would've been soothing if it didn't sound like an elephant with crushed lungs. Always about to take its last breath. Never taking its last breath.
It was a lot better than thinking about dying though, so he clung to the sound like gospel. Every stall of breath grew in his stomach like a thousand weights pulling tissue, leaving his throat tight. It was the only sound, and he was terrified to know what the silence would do to him.
He could feel everything around him. The cold stone through his shirt, chilling his back as if made of ice blocks; the soil between his toes, itching as if there were millions of microscopic roaches covering him; the air, heavy and potential like static, making every breath unbearable. The room was waiting for something, for him to do something. Perhaps perish.
With that tragic thought, he bounced up to his feet and went through the cycle again: check the door, pull at every plank and splinter of the stairs, run his hands over every inch of the walls, digging as deep as he could. And he did the cycle again.
Again, and again.
And five more times.
The stairs were old wood, creaking and crying with every weak step the boy took (at least he'd know what to listen to next if the wind took its final breath). The door, however, was solid (shiny and smooth like obsidian); silent every time he drove his underdeveloped fist or bare foot against it. The walls were less impenetrable, though still too intimidating for him to even dream of breaking though. Instead, he dragged his stubby fingernails over it incessantly. The wall was partially above ground, just enough that the bottom windowsill was parallel with the grassy outside, so he pulled at the window in some feeble hope it'd give.
He dug under the stairs this time, though he got about as far as all the under attempts before he felt like his arms and legs were being chewed at by a quadrillion tiny fangs (he knew there was nothing in the room alive besides him, the wind, and mayhaps the room itself, but he couldn't tell his body that as he dug his fingers into his limbs like he'd done to the wall).
By the end, he was half raw; his feet dotted with splinters-- some smaller than a pin, others as big as a nail, thick lines of ragged red ran up his calves (his arms were so bad, it looked like he'd grabbed a marked and scribbled on himself until he made bad abstract art), most of his fingers didn't have much nail left, his were fists battered and crooked, and he was pretty sure his left big toe was broken (he doesn't remember it having that many notches and bends).
And nothing to show for it.
This time he didn't really care to hold back his sobs. Looking down at himself, he realized just how far he went past Too Far. The room was doing something to him, breaking and bending him to its will.
He let himself fall to the soil, and he shakily reached to grab at the slanted ceiling. He stared at the red paths trailing down his arm-- toward him, and in a moment of harrowing clarity he realized that the wind was not wind at all. It was indeed breathing, the sharp intakes of breath just out of reach.
And he was in the stomach.
In his sudden lucidity, the door swung open as if made of paper. His eyes strained to a sudden yellow light, yet he was unable to look away. An ethereal silhouette made slow, deliberate steps down the stairs; silent. As it got closer, the yellow dimmed and there stood the figure, two feet away, staring down.
The figure looked like--
Yes, the woman that raised him, standing before him not unlike a Greek goddess about to make a horrid deal. Standing tall, dark hair, green eyes like an olive of peace.
The boy didn't trust it. Whatever it was.
Slipping back against the wall in a messy crabwalk, "You're not my mother."
"Honey," the mimic spoke softly, clearly unaware his mother was always business and never soft. His distrust must've been obvious. Either that, or it had crawled in his head.
Now, he could see that the space surrounding the Mimic was oh-so-slightly twisted, as if the air made itself into a labyrinth in a failed attempt to fully grasp the being's image.
"Please, darling, this is so unlike you." Stern, cold, unfeeling. There was an underlying sound as if the Mimic had no clue how to be human.
"Lemme go," he tried, with a failing voice.
That certainly did not come from the Mimic, sounding as if it were all around him preoccupying every atom.
Fearful, the boy screamed. "LET. ME. GO."
The air around him stiffened. The Mimic moved closer.
The boy screamed again, this time gutual and demanding. "Let me GO!"
The room was turning white as he felt something behind him growing stronger. He squeezed his eyes shut, bracing for the Mimic to strike. The wind had stopped and in its place the low screeching buzz. The inside of his eyelids flickered red and black. He opened his eyes once more, curiosity and terror trembling his body.
The Mimic's mouth was open, jaws unhinged. The boy flinched, but realized it was about to eat him.
It was screaming.
The white light continued to devour the room and the yellow light of the creature flickered between neon and pastel.
Not even risking a glance back, the boy ran for the stairs-- through the creature. Climbing steps by two and stumbling on a few.
He didn't bother with the door, running despite pain vibrating throughout his body.
The halls were thin and dark, though what he could see made him wish it was darker. Turns and dead ends blurred by until finally there was a double door, wooden and red. It was far, probably ten meters.
Abruptly, the Mimic's piercing cry got louder. He could hear thuds and rips grow with the screeching. He glanced back and tripped over his own feet in petrified shock.
The creature was fast approaching, crawling on long, mangled limbs that slammed and banged against walls. Anorexic hands with boney talons for nails tore up the carpet as it launched itself toward him.
He snapped out of his shock, shooting into a sprint and made it to the door, grasping the handle, before a talon dug into his Achilles heel.
The Mimic yanked him back.
Holding on strong to the golden knob, he was knocked off his feet. The eldritch creature pulled harder, burying its other hand into the arm not holding onto the door.
The boy twisted the knob, not caring how a pop sounded from his wrist, or the pain that followed. The Mimic pulled again, assisting in opening the door.
A full moon shun on both of them.
The boy relaxed in the comforting light, barely aware that the Mimic had let go of him. His body seemed to move on its own.
He felt dewy grass on his feet and looked down at the frosty-tipped blades. Looking back, the boy saw his own house.
He sighed, and sat criss-cross on the hard cement path leading home.