Horror and Thriller Fiction posted May 29, 2014


Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Revenge is as random as the wind

The Hole Truth

by Fleedleflump

Horror Story Writing Contest Contest Winner 










The hole blurred in my vision as tears flooded my eyes.

"Please, no. I'm begging." My voice sounded reedy in my ears, stripped of its depth by panic. My muscles were full of water, my arms unable to fight the grips of my captors. My feet fought as best they could, bracing themselves in the sandy gravel. All they did was kick up pathetic little clouds as the hole drew nearer. A black gash in the ground, it didn't look man-made - more like the earth suffered a stab wound and it went bad.

I threw my head back, trying to bash the face of one of them, but pain exploded in my skull. Dots flashed in my vision and a wave of nausea swept through my stomach. If my captor even noticed, he showed no sign. The implacable fingers shoved me onwards with more strength than I could fight. Before I knew it, my toes were dangling over black space, the inky gap shimmering like a lake of crude oil.

"Please," I repeated, sniffing. "I'm nobody. I'm-"

My heels slipped from the precipice and my legs disappeared into nothing. I felt a breathy shriek tear across my throat as my stomach leapt into my windpipe. My backside crashed into the jagged edge of the hole and pain spiked up my spine into the back of my head. Then I was bouncing forwards into nothing, body screaming and mind recoiling as I sank into the abyss of shadow with no idea how far I had to fall.

*****

I shook my keys to untangle the bunch, tutting as they slipped from my grasp and rolled in the dust like pigs in mud.

"Bloody things," I muttered. "Anyone would think you wanted to be dirty."

First, my afternoon meeting overran, then I spilled my coffee on my new shirt, and now I had a hand covered in dirt. This day was turning into a nightmare. I traversed the remainder of the construction site car park in a fit of righteous indignation, kicking my feet unnecessarily. It was only when I got to my car and pressed the sandy key into the lock I realised I still had my hard hat on. What a plonker I must look! I sniffed in irritation, reaching up to lift it from my head. What was for dinner tonight? I couldn't be bothered to cook so the only real question was which nationality the delivery driver would be.

Blissful air ruffled my hair, cooling the sweat on my scalp.

Then something hard and heavy slammed into the top of my head. I felt the ground hit me and saw shadows moving around mine. Another impact, and all thought was lost.


*****

Ghosts of noises danced around me, a susurrus of threats and violence haunting the wake of my dream. Pain rippled across my body in waves as new injuries presented themselves. I was aware of a wet smacking sound like concrete pouring from a construction truck. When it didn't stop, I realised it was a stream of liquid hitting something semi-soft. My shirt, I thought, connecting the sound to a sensation against my arm.

The stream halted, replaced by someone whistling. I tried to open my eyes through a layer of grime, and then realised they were already open - there was simply nothing to see. Another stream started, tickling my leg and winding its way up my body until it splashed in my upturned ear and hair.

"Pissing in the dark," chuckled a faint voice.

All at once, the smell hit me and I understood what the stream was. The strength of revulsion infused my muscles and I scrambled out of the way until my back pressed against a solid, rocky barrier.

A laugh echoed from above. "I get you, boy?" The sound of a zip being pulled. "Just you wait."

"Why am I here?" I croaked, but got no answer.

Hours passed with nothing happening. After spending some time moving around, I decided I had several damaged ribs and a sprained ankle. I'd also taken a bang to the back of my head. The space of my confinement was narrow, rocky and utterly without light. If I strained my gaze upwards, I could just make out subtle outlines around the edges of the hole. It was probably night but that didn't change how frightening it was. I shouted for a while but only succeeded in hurting my throat. In the end, I slumped down on the ground and simply waited. Whoever took me, it must be for a reason. Presumably, they'd let me know it when they saw fit.

*****

I knew morning came because the outline above took on a slight orange tint. I still couldn't see anything much - the shape of the gap they'd thrown me down effectively blocked my vision. Two different guys pissed on me but this time none spoke, despite my attempts to start conversations.

By that night, I was wishing it was all just a dream. By the following night, I wanted to escape the nightmare. My throat felt like sand paper but nobody gave any indication of providing food or drink. Another night passed without anybody saying anything. The extent of my human interaction was being their toilet. I gave up dodging the streams of urine - they were all that broke apart my day, a reprieve from the desolation of my neverending thoughts.

At one point, I caught myself sucking the moisture from my shirt after a fresh toilet break. It might have worked, horrid as it sounded, but I kept gagging at the ammonia and coughing hurt so much, I wanted to bash my head against the rock until it all ended.

I came to the realisation they weren't going to ask for anything - they'd just leave me down here to rot. I'd have taken a million tedious meetings, a billion spilled coffees, and all the dirt in the world if they'd been on offer. Instead, I lay in the detritus of my life, my clothes saturated by other mens' urine and waited for death.

*****

It was night when my life changed again, but by then it was all I could do to raise my head.

"Hey."

"Sod off," I muttered to my dream, wincing at the pain in my throat.

"Hey, can you walk?"

I shook my head, pulling my fists in front of my face. I might have cried but my eyes just dry-heaved, sending imaginary droplets across the salty tracks on my cheeks. I let out a groan, pulling into a foetal position on my side.

"Get up. We don't have much time." A hand shook my shoulder.

The voice was real! I cracked an eye but all I could see was shifting shadow. Strong hands dragged me to my feet. Agony speared through me but I didn't have the energy to cry out. I tried to take my own weight but ended up slumped across somebody else.

"Bloody hell, you stink," he muttered.

I felt myself being lurched upward. When a gust of air slid across my face, I felt hope for the first time in ages. The sounds around me changed from insular to open - it was the only way I knew we were above ground. I couldn't open my eyes. Beyond the energy required, I didn't want to open them and discover this was another dream. Soon, we were lurching across flat ground while I flopped across my rescuer.

The unique sound of a car door opening filled my ears and I collapsed onto a cushioned seat. When the engine started and we shifted into motion, I felt a tendril of determination thread through my veins. A plastic bottle landed on me, hurled back by the driver onto my prostrate form.

"Drink. You sound like you swallowed a desert."

It seemed like the hardest ordeal in the world, but I got the screw lid off the bottle and slurped at the nectar inside.

"What the hell did you do to upset the Bakkus brothers?" asked the driver. "They might be crazy since their brother died but they ain't criminals."

I blinked, feeling moisture seep into my eyes. "I ... nothing." I slurped some more water. "Who are the Bakkus brothers?"

There was an extended silence. "You're shitting me, right? I know those guys. They wouldn't do that to someone for no reason. Come on, who are you - a boss who kicked them off a site, someone who stole from them? You call their mum a whore?"

"I swear." I blinked some more, enjoying the view of the car's interior. It certainly made a change. "I've never heard of them."

The car pulled to a halt with a crunch of gravel. "You're lucky I found out about you, man. You look next to dead. What does a man even think about, stuck down a hole in the ground with only his own shit for company?"

I didn't answer. Instead, I studied the sensation of tears running down my face and thought about how quickly water finds its way through the body.

The door opened and my rescuer helped me to my feet. I sniffed in a deep breath of the gloomy night air and something twigged in my thoughts. All I could smell was dust. Then I saw it - the hole, gaping in the floor.

"Yep," said the guy holding me. "You're a lucky fellow, alright."

Terror flooded my lungs and I felt all the will drop from my body. "Nononoo. Not the hole, not the hole. Please."

"No. Not the hole." He turned us round and aimed me at a portable cabin lurking twenty feet from the car - my car, I realised. "Big bro wants a word with you."

I didn't have energy to fight him so I allowed him to steer me into the temporary building. There, sitting behind a foreman's desk, was a huge guy with small eyes and an imposing forehead. My gaze tracked immediately to the gun on the table but it was the glare he levelled at me that inspired a gulp. I was parked upright before the desk, swaying on legs with jelly for muscles.

Big Bro glared at me for a few moments before glancing at my escort. "He say much?"

"He, err." The voice was softer, more timorous than it was with me. "He says he never heard of us." My heart sank when I heard those words. These, then, were the Bakkus brothers. "I think he's telling the truth."

"Bollocks!" Big Bro leaned forward on his elbows, intimidating and terrifying. He stabbed me with his little eyes. "You seriously telling me you ain't James Benson?"

I staggered but caught myself. "Who's James Benson?"

"Don't mess with me! I didn't go through all this just to get the wrong man. Fess up! You killed our brother. Your idiocy took him from us." A line of snot was dribbling from his nose but he didn't seem to notice. "Then ... then you LIED! You blamed him to save your own worthless hide. You deserve to die like he did, alone and scared, in the dark you BASTARD!"

Tears flooded my eyes as helplessness washed over me. "I don't know what to tell you, man. I'm sorry your brother's dead. I'm sorry it was unfair and you've been left without justice. Nobody deserves that. Nobody." I sniffed hard and tried to blink my vision clear. "But it wasn't me. I'm just a guy who had a meeting at the site, a guy heading home to an empty house and a shitty dinner for one. I'm nobody, guys. You have to believe me." A sob escaped despite my best efforts. "I'm nobody."

Silence ruled for more than a minute and I reconciled myself with death. These guys were convinced -- they had their guy and nothing I said was going to make a difference. Then, from nowhere, salvation came in the form of the other brother.

"I believe him, Bro. We grabbed some poor sod who looked like Benson." His voice was quiet but determined.

I looked at Big Bro, his brow furrowed. "I agree," he said eventually.

"We made a mistake."

"Well, shit," he said, sighing, and picked up the gun from the table. "I guess we did." His gaze pinioned me. "Sorry, mate." His arm swept up and I looked death in his black, cylindrical eye.

Images flashed through my mind - their brother's face as the wall toppled towards him. The violent, slow agony of his death, body crushed irreparably by a collapsing building. Me, watching, frozen to the spot, knowing it was my fault. Me telling the inquiry board he'd been negligent and caused his own death. He was dead - what did it matter to him? I had my life ahead of me. A sense of absurdity hit me as I looked at Big Bro's tearful, thuggish face and I almost laughed.

"Alright," I started to say.

But with a flash and a bang, he cut me off.






Horror Story Writing Contest
Contest Winner

Recognized


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Sometimes, no matter what twists and turns life throws our way, we're still utterly helpless, at the mercy of inevitability. To me, that's the very essence of horror.

I hope you enjoyed the tale.

Mike
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Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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