Authors: Sean-Paul Thomas
Tags: #Suspense, #Sci fi, #Mystery
Table of Contents
by Sean-Paul Thomas Cairns
© Copyright 2012 Seanpaul Thomas Cairns
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author. Cover design by Andrew Cairns.
I awoke to find a blanket of steam engulfing my entire vision. I think I was lying down inside some kind of tight, narrow but comfortable for sleeping, sealed box of which the roof had just been lifted fully open from above me. Where the hell was I and what the hell was I doing inside this box? I couldn't think, not one bit. My mind was tangled in a web of throbbing darkness and I had no idea of how I'd ended up inside this little coffin. The steam finally evaporated up and out of my comfortable cage. Up and out into a much larger and darker room above me and finally up into some kind of strange sucking device situated on top of the dim ceiling above which drew all of the remaining steam deep inside its flapping machine like jaws. I attempted to sit up now with great difficulty. Wow, my head was hurting and thumping wildly like something far too big to fit inside was trying desperately to burst out. I tried to stand up onto my feet with even greater difficulty and when I finally did, I realised that I was naked from the waist up and my only item of clothing was a white pair of trouser bottoms. Oddly enough I didn't feel cold.
I staggered out of the strange peapod shaped box and balanced myself against the front length of it feeling more and more disorientated by the second I was finding it very hard to balance myself. Jesus, I felt like I'd been asleep for a whole entire dark eternity. I raised my hands to my head and held it in great discomfort, wincing out in pain before steadying myself. As the pain began to subside I took a slow and bewildered glance all around the dim room with its faint flashing lights and screens which now surrounded me. I hazily noticed another five long and narrowly shaped peapod boxes all in a row beside me, but unlike my own pod, their roofs were still sealed tightly shut. Right now though I paid very little attention to them. It was the light seeping in from the corridor beyond the room that caught my eye now and like a moth to a flame I moved towards the exit doorway. The corridor outside seemed to be a strange series of two continuing brightly lit corridors which were covered all over, floors, walls and ceiling, with a decoration of plain and simple white tiles. Where I had exited the dim pod room it seemed to be at a right angled point in the corridor which stretched out in front of me leading towards a black window in the distance. While the second corridor stretched even further down to my left. My mind though was completely blank. Nothing came to me to remind me of where the hell I was or how the hell I had ended up here... Jesus Christ I couldn't even recall my own damn name. I stepped out into the first corridor in front of me. I took a few seconds to shield my eyes from the bright ceiling lights so that my eyes could gradually adjust. Man, my eyes were hurting so bad. I began to make my way along the corridor, still trying desperately to remember exactly where the hell I was, but it was no good. The harder I tried to remember the more my head pounded insanely from inside. I tried my best to stop thinking about anything and just concentrated on what was in front of me. Along this corridor I noticed there were four closed doorways on my right which I instinctively tried to push open one at a time, but they were all sealed tightly shut and from what I could see there didn't seem to be any kind of handles or indeed any simplistic way for my primitive imagination to open them. Eventually I approached the end of this corridor where I was confronted by the black, rectangular window and a new corridor which continued along and down to my left before seemingly branching off sharply to another left. Suddenly my attention was caught by a reflection of myself moving towards the black window and I took a few seconds to study this image as if it were the first time I had ever seen myself in person. I glanced strangely and curiously at the alien being reflected back at me. The naked upper body looking fit and toned before my eyes glanced up to a face which I did not recognise. It was the face of a ruggedly handsome man, but looking very pale and tired, hidden behind a scraggily old beard. I moved my face closer towards the reflection, trying to get a more up, close and personal view. I was right up against the window now trying to focus on this strange being in front of me. Then something caught my eye! Something beyond my reflection and the reflection of the lighted corridor behind me... It was something behind the black window, something in the blackness, something behind it. Oh my! It wasn't the window that was black. The window was clear, clear as my breath. The blackness was coming from outside, beyond the window, everywhere behind the window. A whole entire massive area of darkness outside, top to bottom, left to right and as far and as wide as my eye could see. It was just a vast enormous void of emptiness. I stared harder, trying to make something out, anything... And then my eyes adjusted and something else caught my eye. A tiny little pin prick of twinkling white light, almost appearing out of nowhere like someone had just stuck a tiny little pin in the very back of the black blanket to let in the smallest and faintest pin hole of light. Then as my eyes focused more another pin hole appeared, followed by another and another then another. What kind of trickery was this. Suddenly there were hundreds and then thousands and thousands of dotted little pin prick holes of twinkling little lights decorated all over the black blanket of endlessness, leaping out at me from every possible angle imaginable. My eyes widened with fear and dread and I backed away quite suddenly from the window feeling horrified at this new sight and revelation. This chaotic twinkling darkness that had just sprung to life before my very eyes. I had no idea what the hell was out there. I was scared, and my blank imagination gave me no clues either. I took some deep breaths trying to calm myself down before turning my attention to my left and glancing along at the next descending corridor leading towards the front end of wherever the hell I was. I peeled my eyes and thoughts away from the blackness and started walking towards the end of this corridor, keeping my head and eyes focussed straight ahead of me, but still aware of the trailing window of blackness following me down the corridor on my right. I reached the end and made a sharp left turn with a great thankful relief to be away from the window and continued my jaunt down this new corridor which led me towards another darkened doorway right in the very centre of it. I slowed down my pace and came to a gradual halt outside the new doorway and peered long and hard into the eerie and unfamiliar room, taking an overly long moment to study the large vast and wide area inside. This dark room seemed to be filled with flashing screens and buttons. I think I kind of recognised them as a type of advanced computer system, but I didn't have the first clue about how or where to begin using them in the slightest. The largest of all these computer systems appeared halfway down the room on the left and seemed to stand tall and proud all by itself. I noticed six small lights on this main computer, one flickered out green, while the five other lights beside it flickered out wildly in a flashing red. I finished studying the room and cautiously stepped inside approaching the first row of inactive computer systems. A closer glance at these bizarre digital screens revealed that they had been very badly damaged at some point in the past, but by whom or by what was an unanswered question to me right now. I turned my attention towards another huge spanning window situated right at the very front of this room. This massive front window was many times the size of the one in the previous corridor and seemed to take up the entire front wall like some kind of viewing gallery, but behind the crystal clear screen there still remained that horrifying but sadistically peaceful twinkling darkness that was beginning to give me an even greater feeling of dread and despair deep inside my gut, every time I glanced upon it. In fact the word hopelessness was the first word that flashed throughout my mind every time I thought about just what the hell could be out there.
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I began to make out a row of three large chairs at the far end, just lying in front and below the large viewing window. Here I studied the three seats from behind, one by one until suddenly my eyes widened in shock as I gradually made out a shadowy outline of a very dark and faint figure slumped over the side of the third seat. It was a shocking sight and coming to me completely out of nowhere. I remained where I was for an overly long moment, frozen in shock at the sight of this eerie figure just sitting there. Was this somebody who could perhaps help me, was my first thought. Perhaps even tell me who I am and where I was. I called out to the figure without thinking.
'Hello!' Wow my voice sounded horse, dry and croaky, like I hadn't spoken for a thousand years. So I tried again. 'Hello.' This time it sounded much clearer and audible for the figure to hear, if indeed it was listening to me, but there was no reply. So I edged closer towards the row of seats, moving slowly and cautiously towards the back of the dark seated figure until I was standing almost directly behind it now, but it was still so dark that I could barely make out the outline of its upper body and head. 'Hello.' I said again, but once more there was no reply. So I pushed on the back of the chair which to my surprise easily swivelled, swinging the slumping figure around to face me... I gasped in terror as I was suddenly confronted by an old and hideous looking frail, decayed skeleton. I couldn't stop myself from jumping back in fright. At the same time and across the room behind me, a small fiery spark spurted out from one of the damaged computer screens. Quickly I turned for a brief moment, distracted, to glance anxiously over to where the spark had came from... but it was gone now. I turned back to face the hideous skeleton creature, but with the speed of which I turned I swung my knee hard into the side of the chair with a crunch and the skeleton crumpled down into itself, collapsing into a broken heap upon the floor below. I hurriedly stepped backwards in fright at its sudden collapse and turned fast to rush back over towards the corridor doorway just wanting to get the hell out of here now, but instead I clumsily tripped over a small step upon the floor in my panicky state and fell down harshly. Anxiously I scrambled back up onto my feet and hurried back towards the exit where I stopped right in the middle of the doorway. I glanced back towards the dark computer room's row of chairs which had faded now, back into the eerie darkness. Quick as a flash and from behind me, a blurry and darkened shadow passed by the doorway back out in the corridor. It caught the corner of my eye for a brief second, but as soon as I turned swiftly around to face the lighted corridor there was nothing and no one there at all... Shit, I had definitely seen something. In a split second I rushed, adrenaline pumping through my veins, out of the dim computer room and back out into the main corridor. I looked left then right, but the corridor was empty in both directions, so I turned sharply to my right and without a second thought started running down the rest of the corridor as if giving chase to an invisible assailant which seemed to have disappeared into thin air, but more than likely I thought, down into the next turn. I quickly ran down this next corridor noticing two more open doorways leading into another two new lighted rooms. I sped past them and finally came to the entrance of the dim pod room where I had first entered into this strange series of continuous turning corridors. Still though I ran, turning sharp left and back down the very first corridor leading back towards the long black window with more of the twinkling darkness behind it. Finally I re-emerged back into the third corridor with the dim doorway leading into the dark room with the broken computers, viewing window and broken skeleton remains lying inside. I came to a breathless halt outside the doorway from where I began my ghostly chase. I gasped and wheezed for my breath back. Whatever it was, a trick of the eye perhaps or perhaps not... it had gotten away from me.