Story By Brian Caesar
Through the constant ringing in his ear, Jon could faintly hear the resonance of screaming voices outside, ever so slowly opening his battered eyes one by one to a single beam of light that stretched across his face. He could see the dust glistening in the air as it circulated seeming as if he was glimpsing heaven’s angels from above. His arms were bound and cold with what could only have been steal chains and with every small attempt to fight his aching body loose, he was pinched by the splinting armrests restraining him in his current prison. “Break up the boards and seal up those windows tight” to Jon, the first attainable tone from outside stated as the hammering sounds began their relentless knocks against the cabin walls around him. “Pour till those cans run dry.. and don’t slow down, nightfall is coming!”
The last remaining bit of light went out briefly when a silhouette from outside quietly peered in at “the victim”. Jon could see only a small bit of the white of his eye. With the darkness that surrounded him and the awful pain that filled his weakened muscles, he couldn’t help but hope that he was in a dream. He began to whimper “please wake me up!.. what the hell is happening here .. sir please help me!!!” The shadowy figure removed itself, revealing its humanity as Jon could now see a tear roll down the pale face of his silent visitor. “Please”.. Jon gasped as the last glimpse of civilization was stolen away by this stranger with a board and nail.
His senses seemed to broaden themselves in the moments the room went black. Through the commotion outside Jon could now make out the creaks of the settling wood as his chair stopped its rocking across the hard floor. He could hear the perfectly timed drops of the blood from his bound arms hitting the ground and trickling beside him. Jon could smell the wet cedar piled behind that had taken on a musky scent after being overcome by mildew. He could make out the decaying odor of an elderly man who must have once lived there. The discoveries of his environment made for a quaint distraction until they were descended by the feeling of a cold puddle touching the bottom of his naked feet and were soon accompanied by the stinging smell of gasoline taking over the room. “Help!! ..Someone help me” he cried as a small wave of an orange glow presented itself through a seam at the bottom of the door he was facing.
As the flames began their crawl up the bulky red curtains, the room became visible by the smoke filled luminosity. He found himself able to make out a familiar shadow standing before him. “Eden?” he asked with a newfound glimpse of hope in his tone. He was calmed as the now discernible figure made her way towards him. “Oh Jon,..Jon my love..God , I have missed you. I couldn’t find you after that night at the lake. ” His swollen lids combined with the cavernous smoke filling the room blurred her , but through his memory he could make out every single crevice. “Eden.. Oh my god ..I love you.. how did you get here.. what is happening.. we have to get out of here.” His voice filled with a grave fear, not for himself, but for the harm of losing her again. “We can’t leave Jon, we are taking responsibility for what we have done.” “what are you…I don’t understand Eden.. please.. help me get out of this chair.. please help!” She stepped closer splashing gasoline that trickled down a steady stream on the ragged floor below on her leg. “Do you remember what happened at the lake that night?”She continued her approach as Jon exhaled a deep sigh of frustration. “uhh.. umm.. I don’t know!.. I’ve tried and tried but can’t seem to quite remember.” She grasped his blood drenched hand. “Try harder Jon.. you must try harder” her serene voice commanded. “Uuumm.. you.. you.. you were staring at my eyes.. and the moon was above you and..then.. then you said ..” Jon watched her undersized fingers as she slowly pulled her hair back behind her ear and knelt down in front of him. His heart sank as he could now make out the thick blood-lined ruptures that were pulled from her once angelic face. The growl of an all too familiar being quickly came to mind as she whispered to the hair draped over his ear..“With no one left around… who are you?”