Into the Darkness (Short)

Zombie or Post Apocalyptic themed fiction/stories.

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RingWraithsAnonymous
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Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead, World War Z
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Into the Darkness (Short)

Post by RingWraithsAnonymous » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:59 pm

Into the Darkness


I gazed down into a hole in the ground floor janitor's closet. It wasn't just any hole though; this one led to the basement levels of the building. Matt stood to my right, and Becka was to my left.

"How do you think the hole got there?" Becka pondered softly. "And where did the cleaning supplies go?"

"Does it matter?" I replied.

"Are we really doing this?" Matt asked.

"We have to." Becka told him, "Right, Ben?"

I nodded silently, staring into the void next to my companions. Matt was the oldest of us at nineteen. Becka and I were a year younger.

The sunlight from a window down the hall illuminated the hole. The bottom was littered with chunks of concrete, remnants of the floor that had been in the janitor's closet. There was about two, maybe three feet of dingy, mostly clear water in the bottom. Though it wasn't flowing anywhere, it rippled slightly. An old grocery bag was floating aimlessly about; with no current to take it, it had nowhere to go. A skeleton with tattered, discolored clothes was laying on the bottom; a piece of rebar was jutting through it's ribcage, the top of which was barely poking out of the water.

"Oh for fuck's sake." Matt protested, "Not tryna sound cliché, but there's gotta be another way to do this!"

"Is there?" I asked, "Look, we already talked about this. To grant our pardon and safe passage we need to do this job. To do this job we need to get the shit that idiot hid down there. To get said shit, and since the stairs are blocked off, we need to go down the hole...."

"And if we're going down there," Becka said with a sigh, "We need to be quick about it before anything down there finds out we're up here."

"Fine." Matt admited, "But that doesn't mean I've got to agree with it."

"Well?" I asked, "What are we waiting for? This is the only way in."

"I don't know about you, Ben," Matt interjected, "But I'm waiting for us to figure out how we get out once we get in."

"He has a point." Becka told me.

"You guys got any ideas?"

Their silence was my answer. I sighed, and continued to stare down into the hole. An occasional echoing splash would reinforce the fact that we wouldn't be alone down there.

"How far do you think that fall is, eight, nine, maybe ten feet?" Becka inquired.

"Eleven or twelve more like it." Matt told her, "Why?"

"We could just get the ladder we found down the hall. Slide it down there, we climb down, then later we climb up."

"Not bad." I told her with a smile. "Matt, what do you think?"

"Alright. Looks like we are going down into that nasty damp hole." he said with a slight grimace.

I turned around, looking down the hall "C'mon, let's go get the ladder."

---

"How the hell did you manage to do that!?" Matt asked me.

"I'm sorry, okay!" I said, "It just... slipped."

"Yeah so did your dad's wiener, and now we have to deal with you." Becka replied.

We were staring into the hole once more, and right next to the skeleton was our ladder. The splash had sent the grocery bag floating away. I thought I'd had a good hold on it, but when I went to adjust it so it would lean against the edge of the hole, the bottom caught on a piece of rubble, and I lost my grip.

"No reason to be pissy," I told them, "I'll..." I took a deep breath, steeling myself for what I was about to do, "I'll hop down there and set the ladder up."

Matt scoffed, "You'll hop twelve feet down there? Hope your parkour skills are better than what they used to be, it'd be a shame if you brake an ankle, or - God forbid - impale yourself like that unlucky bastard."

Becka put a hand on my shoulder, "Good luck." she told me before stepping back.

Matt stepped back as well.

I shuddered, getting down on the ground and setting my shotgun down next to me. I sat down at the edge, my legs dangling in, and my shadow blocking out most of the light. I turned and slid down, catching the ledge with my fingers. My hands strained to maintain their grip. I let go and dropped into the underworld, landed wrong, and crumpled.

I stumbled upright, gasping for air and leaning against a thick concrete support beam. The water was indeed three feet deep. I wiped the wet hair out of my eyes and saw Becka and Matt staring down at me.

"Hurry up and stand the ladder up will ya?" Matt hissed. Becka hit his arm and he grabbed it, wincing.

"I'm working on it." I whispered back. I took a few sloshing steps toward the ladder then stopped, hearing a loud splash echo throughout the basement.

"What was that?" Becka asked, concern evident in her voice.

Then I heard it. First it was just one, then there were multiple, accompanied by more splashes.

It was the feeding call of them.

"Shit shit shit..." I muttered, stumbling and rushing over to the ladder. As I raised it up, I heard the rustling of the chthonic creatures in the basement as they honed in on my presence. "Catch it!" I exclaimed as I sent it leaning towards my two compatriots.

It was about then I realized just how dislocated I was. I was a man from the world that - though mostly an overgrown postapocalyptic waste - had light and the sky. Yet there I was in their world, a world of darkness, a world with a ceiling. I heard them coming in my direction.

Matt grabbed it and held onto it tightly, "Come on!"

"Hurry!" Becka urged.

I gazed into the darkness, paralyzed in fear. I once made fun of those who got so frightened that they froze, calling them weak willed. I had never known such fear as this, as the creatures I'd spent so long avoiding came toward me in droves. I couldn't see them yet, but I could hear them coming. I could smell their chemical scent, and I could feel the water swirling around my knees.

"Bennn!!!" Matt shouted, "Climb up the damn ladder!"

I couldn't. Tears began to well up, my skin horripilated, and my lip trembled.

"Ben please!!!" Becka pleaded, "Snap out of it!"

"Oh God..." I whimpered, "Oh dear God in Heaven."

They were getting close. I could see faint silhouettes then, the shambling shadows splashing through the water after me. It didn't matter which direction I turned my head, I saw their bony figures. Their twisted countenances, and their mostly hairless, pale forms. Moss was growing on their discolored skin, and bits of trash were tangled up in them as they came ever closer, their crooked-toothed maws opening.

I couldn't face it anymore. I couldn't take it anymore, but at the same time, I couldn't leave either. I couldn't move. I was barely able to keep breathing, for Christ's sake, how was I going to 'climb up the damn ladder'?

"Ben! Hurry Goddamnit!" Matt barked

"Ben why!?!?" Becka demanded, tears beginning to streak down her face and change her voice.

"Ben, why?" the voice of Clara repeated in my head.

My head began to whip around, searching for her. Instead, all I found was them. They were getting pretty close. The closest was about twenty feet away

---

"Ben, you gotta go." Clara told me.

"No," I had told her, "I'm staying."

"You can't. They'll kill you."

"If I leave, you'll die." I'd told her, my throat beginning to choke up.

"If you die, it's over. If I die... you can still fix things."


---

"...can still fix things." I muttered, tears streaming down my face. That is what she'd said. Yeah right. I'd done one helluva job of 'fixing' things after her death all right.

"BEN YOU GET YOUR ASS UP HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!!" Matt roared.

"If I die," I shouted, "You two can still get the box! You can finish the job! You can fix things."

"Ben!!!" Becka screamed.

I ran at them head on. I shoved the one in front of me down into the water and ran it over, almost falling as it tried to get up underneath me. I pushed my way through the swarm as I ran into the darkness.

I managed to get past the crowd.

I turned around, looking at them as they slowly left the light, turning to puruse me.

"Come on you dirty bastards! You whore-mouthed motherfuckers!" I taunted, splashing water in their direction. "Matt! You keep Becka safe!" I hollered, "Promise me that!"

"Don't do this, Ben! That damn box isn't worth your life!" he hollered back

"You can still fix things." Clara told me.

I wiped away tears, "My life isn't worth a damn thing...!" I shouted. "Get the box!"

They were getting closer once more. Fear was starting to take hold of me once more as well.

Becka and Matt went silent. I turned and ran into the darkness, running blindly for a bit. I turned one last time, and saw Becka and Matt climbing down the ladder, heading quietly in the opposite direction. They didn't even see me. Hell, probably didn't even know where to look.

"I did what you asked...." I told my dead girlfriend.

I sneaked one last look at my friends before I turned away. I ran into a wall, then felt down it until I reached a corner of some sort, running into the darkness.

***

I don't usually put these at the end, but hey, why not change things up at least once?
I'm posting two things today, this and the start of Japanese Red. Hopefully you like both. Once again I'm thinking of reposting all of my shorts into one thread and just building off of it instead of making new topics for each one. We'll see. If you have any thoughts on that, or this tale, please let me know. As always, I hope you enjoyed and thank you for reading.
If you think about it everybody lives in the same place: somewhere between the Empire of the Penguins, and the Kingdom of the Elves.

My Fiction on ZS:
a Price for Every Head
Conspiracy
Dead Memories
Into the Darkness
Japanese Red (Ongoing)
the Bigger Monster
the Flesh Eaters (Hiatus)
the Watcher

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bodyparts
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Favorite Zombie Movies: land of the dead
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Re: Into the Darkness (Short)

Post by bodyparts » Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:37 pm

wow another great short, makes me want to know moar of the story ! thats how you know when they are really good ! leaves you wanting MOAR!!

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