Dark Places (A short story) - Paradigmthefallen Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Dark Places (A short story)

Another creative writing story for your entertainment. This one takes inspiration from Silent Hill, and like the other, is a standalone concept with no plans for continuation.

                   

***. All you can see for the entire sewer tunnel ahead of you is more and more ***. It's in the cracks of stone beneath your feet, it's clinging to the ceiling, it's on the walls, and its stench has probably killed your nostrils. Discarded junk floats alongside you, bobbing amongst the disgusting browns and grays.

You watch yourself, keeping steady on the slippery floor. There's a hand rail, but it actually looks dirtier than the ***-strewn walls. Your flashlight glances over a half-rotten rat. You resist the urge to vomit, and move on, keeping your eyes straight ahead.

 

Ten people go missing, all by an open manhole cover, and no one knows why. You joined the police to stop this sort of thing, but everyone keeps pretending like nothing's there. It wasn't until yesterday that you thought you'd get a chance to fix that.

A call at night, an anonymous tip, and it's urgent. Another person missing, but someone saw something. They tell you where to head, but they're gone too by the time you arrive. Now you're down here in crap city, trying to not hurl and hoping you aren't on a wild goose chase.

Either way, you're burning your clothes when this is all done.

 

You'd think eventually the stench would die out from exposure, but you just can't escape it. A new stinking pile of crap at every turn; you start to wonder why you even came here.

There's nothing here, you think. It's pointless, I should turn back.

Then there's a noise over the rushing water. It's subtle, you almost wouldn't have noticed, but it's very clear, something just moved down the tunnel. You quickly look around with your flashlight, and a shadow passes on the other side, turning down a different branch. You blink when you see how tall the shadow is.

There's no place to cross, so you jump over. Your foot slips and you fall head first into the wall. Your face screams out in pain and you wipe your face hastily with the inside of your jacket, pulling yourself back up with your other hand.

You get yourself standing, but then immediately hurl into the torrent of *** and water below. You barely keep yourself from falling in, but then press back up against the wall and try to breathe in. Then you smell the stench, and hurl again.

Your mouth and throat burn like they're on fire, both from the stink and the acid. You try to keep a clear head and go onward, heading after the shadow. There's another noise, and you keep moving, finally noticing the smell leaving you.

You notice the flashlight isn't hitting any path further ahead, and then there's a loud rushing noise. You reach the point where the light stops, and you see the water falling. It's a giant abyss, vanishing without an end. You move to turn around, but something collides and you go falling. You can't see what or who pushed, but you're falling. You keep trying to get something to appear on your flashlight, but only the water seems to remain.

You try pointing it downward but you can't see a bottom. It's just one giant expanse. You could scream but what good does that do you?

 

It's kind of funny, your life doesn't even flash before your eyes. All you can think of is that someone set you up, and now no one will find you. No one will know where you are. No one will remember you.

And then you hit a pool of water. It's like a truck hitting you in the face, and you go limp. Your mind goes numb, and time flies by fast. Before you know what's happened, you're out of the water, lying on the edge of another sewer tunnel right outside the pool of water.

Your neck aches and your head is pounding from the landing. You pull yourself up slowly and then check for your flashlight. It's still working, but it keeps flickering. You can't even imagine where you are at this point.

 

The headache gets worse the longer you proceed. You nearly fall over twice from losing your balance. It's like someone's slamming a pair of trashcan lids against your ears. And you aren't even sure where you're going at this point.

Every sound that isn't your own feet makes you wary. The shadows feel like threats of some new danger. The flickering of the flashlight is beginning to become as rapid as your own heartbeat. You didn't even know these sewers ran so deep.

Eventually the water starts to slow down beside you, and the rushing stops as the flow starts to even out. It slows to a trickle as you press on, your flashlight starting to abandon you.

You fumble with it, cursing. You can feel the hot, salty tears come down your face as you look at the growing darkness around you. You keep going, the flashlight on its last legs, fumbling along in the calico dungeon of a sewer.

It comes back on after a minute, the flickering stopping. There's a steel door, and you hastily try to open it. It refuses to open and you slam your side against it; your only reward is more pain.

You bang your fist against the door and feel more tears coming. You cry out for someone to open it, for someone to let you out, when there's a metal clanking noise from behind.

You turn around, and there's another door on the other side of the sewer. You see something move behind it.

Who's there!?” you cry out, but there is no reply. You try to make it across the water, but your shoe catches in something, as you try to get over, you hear the other door open behind you. You don't catch whatever came through, and the door is closed again. You frantically look around and then feel the grasp on your foot move. It's trying to drag you down.

You cry out and try to climb up, kicking away at whatever has a hold on you, but it refuses to let you. You feel a cutting sensation across your foot and then the grasp pulls away with your foot.

As you pull yourself out of the *** strewn water, you see a deep gash in your foot. You take out your gun and shoot at the water, the shots echoing across the walls and making you ready to tear your hair out in pain.

You notice the other door open, and quickly rise alongside it, keeping your gun ready. You move to the other side and come through the door, gun first. There's a bright light right in your face, and you struggle to keep your vision clear. You make your way over to a table at the end of the room.

You can see the lamp, still shining it's light on the door, and several pieces of paper on the table. You notice a chair next to it and pull it up. You sit down and let your body finally relax. After a minute of quiet breathing, you look at the papers on the table.

They're reports from the police station about the victims. They seem as clean as they were back before, untouched, and probably stolen. But how someone had gotten them down here was beyond you. How someone could even get back out was still unclear.

You hear a sound from outside and switch off the lamp. You get underneath the table, and you take out your gun, trying to hold your breath as the door opens. You hear footsteps, and press back against the wall without so much as a squeak.

The footsteps get closer in the dark, bouncing off the walls like a rhythmic beat, begging you to open fire with your gun. The footsteps get closer, and they're heavy. Whoever is walking forward is pacing themselves, and you hear a clicking noise. Your body snaps into action without a thought as you whirl out from under the table and fire off three shots.

Bang. It hits the door.

 

Bang. It hits whoever's there.

 

Bang. It hits the wall.

 

The person keels over and you run without a glance, shoving the door open. All you can hear from a choking voice on the floor is, “It's the killer...”

 

You get outside and the other door is wide open, and you can see blood trailing out. There are more doors now, and they all creak open. You go to the nearest one, and you see another table set. And there's someone sitting in the chair.

“Put your hands where I can see them!” you yell, gun raised, not all too steady.

The person whirls around, and it's some old woman. She looks terrified out of her mind.

“Where am I? Why am I here? Who are you?!” she cries, cowering.

“We're in the sewer, I'm with the police, and I'm here to find out why any of us are down here. I need you to come with me-” you can hear another set of footsteps this time.

“Quick! Get under the table!” you whisper, leading her under with you.

“What are we-” you put a finger to her lips, and turn off the lamp again.

“Someone's keeping us down here. They must have help. We have to stay quiet. If they get close, this gun's fully loaded, okay?” you say in the quietest voice you can manage. She nods an affirmative.

The steps are faster this time, but a little lighter. You hear the clicking sound like a gun again, and ready your shot, making sure to be accurate this time. Your gun gleams from a light outside the door, and you can hear some sound of alert and open fire again, quickly leading the woman out of the room. You both exit into the sewer, and check for any more of them.

“Ma'am, you need to tell me how long you've been down here,” you ask the old woman as you shut the door behind you.

“I-I- you shot them!” she says.

Great, she's hysterical. That's what you need.

“Ma'am. Ma'am! I need you to stay focused. How long have they been keeping you down here? I need your help if we're going to get out of this...” you say, keeping eye contact with her.

She just keeps burbling and crying, and you check the next door. It's empty, and the light's not on.

“Ma'am, I need you to stay in here until I'm sure it's safe,” you say, shoving her in. You check your gun and then move on.

The silence starts to creep in for the next few minutes. You feel as if a thousand eyes are upon you, and your foot is starting to burn from what is likely a very bad infection. If you don't get out of here soon, you'll no doubt die of some sort of disease.

You question leaving the old woman behind, but she was a liability outside of a room. Whoever had these rooms set up as makeshift prison cells clearly had a lot of time on their hands. How had something like this even made it this far? You'd think someone would have noticed by now that the sewer was becoming some sort of sadist's playground.

You hold that thought when you hear a gunshot ahead. You start at a run, keeping your pistol ready. You reach a door, and it's already swinging wide open. You glance in, but you can't see any movement. You notice a body on the floor. You hear movement and hang back around the bend. You can hear a set of footsteps run off, and when they're a good few meters away, you creep into the room. You avoid the body and reach the room's table. You turn on the lamp, keeping it turned to the corner in order to make it less obvious to anyone outside.

You wish you could hurl when you realize it's the old woman's body on the floor. She's got a shot straight through the head. Good marksmanship... you're in over your head.

You fall back against the wall as your body reminds you that it's not ready to go John McClane on whatever psychos are doing this. None of this even makes sense. The changing walls, the depths of the sewer... you feel like you're losing your mind. There's only one thing left to do... to try to find a way out. Take one of them alive, and force them to get you the hell out of here. It's the only way you can hope to get out with your life. Screw anyone else down here, you'll be dead soon if you can't get out of this hell.

You force yourself back up, and notice a single paper on the table. You look at it, and you realize that the profile seems familiar. Too familiar. It's of you. You've been declared missing.

But you've only been gone for one night. And they couldn't have gotten a copy of it that fast even if someone had reported you missing. How long were you out before? Did anyone even know where you are?

You take the paper and hold it in your free hand as you proceed onward. It's not too long before all the doors seem to run out, and it's just you and the walls again. There's no sign of the bastards, but the sound of the water is starting to get louder again. You then see one of them in the distance at a set of doors, entering the one quietly. You keep your steps as quiet as possible, but then your other shoe slides off by accident and you hit the floor.

You get back up one last time, cursing under your breath as you push onward, your body growing limper by the minute. You holster your gun and swap the paper just so you can hold yourself properly against the wall, and open the door. It's dark, and you get an odd feeling in your stomach. You keep looking, heading for the lamp to turn on the light.

It's in that moment that time connects and reality screams “*** it”. The bullet passes through your chest and punctures a lung, sending you crashing against the floor. The wind kicks out of you and you struggle to speak when it all becomes clear.

There isn't any psycho down here. No sewer has a convenient set of prison cells. As crazy as it sounds... it's the sewer that's doing it all, and it just set you up to kill yourself.

You don't how, you don't know why, you just croak out your last words.

“It's the killer...”

                                       Cheers,
                                       Paradigm the Fallen

You don't need something new to scare people. We're still scared of the same things we were frightened of as children. The only difference is, we're better at letting it get to us.

Trivia -- Dirty Jobs from Discovery Channel was actually a big help for finding reference in what it's actually like in a sewer.

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