Friday, September 27, 2013

Halloween Stories: Part XII

We received a lot of stories for our Halloween Hunt Writing Contest, and from September 16th we're publishing one each day until October 6th - when the Winner's story opens as a hunt!

Read them all and stay curious.. whose story got turned into the hunt?

The stories released are unedited and pasted as submitted to us.
- Kiana -

Today's story is by Ravenstarr and it's called

Experiment 5704 

The gravel crunched under my boots as we walked down the path lit by only moonlight. The acrid smell of cigarette smoke mingled with the crisp earthy Fall air as one of the guys in our group tossed away his spent cigarette into the darkness. A loud clang of spray cans hitting the dirt path followed by giggling pierced the stillness. I turned to the offender, “Hush! Do you want to get the cops called on us?!” She turned to me with a sneer, “There are only a few closed stores down here. And all the trick or treaters are long in bed.”

We continued down the path a little further. The ruins finally rise up black against the moonlit sky. Being the bravest of the group, I pushed my way to the front and cast my flashlight across the broken down building. Katie turned to me with a whisper, “What was this place?”. I shrugged, “I don’t know. Some kind of government building at one time.” I stepped gingerly through the doorway, the floor creaking in protest as I slowly made my way through the darkness into the main room. I could hear the rest of the group following behind me timidly.

I turned to Peter, “Throw me a can. Let’s get this over with.” Peter reached into his backpack and pulled out a spray paint can and threw it to me. I caught it with a clatter and turned to the wall in front of me. Years of grime and paint peeled and bubbled across the surface. A metronomic tink-tink filled the stillness as I absently shook the can and studied the wall. With one motion, I sprayed a swoop across the wall. I took a step forward to spray another when there was a sharp crack. Screams filled my ears as I felt myself falling through blackness. My breath slammed out of my chest as I hit the ground.

I could hear my friends calling for me in the darkness and a couple of the girls crying. I just lay there for a couple minutes taking ragged gulps of air and listening to my heart pound in my ears. I gasped into the darkness to my friends, “I…..I’m ok. I’m ok.” I breathed deeply, trying to calm my paralyzing fear. The air was palatable…..damp age, a metallic tang of something unidentifiable and….blood?

In a panic, I patted the ground around me in search of my flashlight. Relief flooded me as I felt the cool steel cylinder and fumbled for the button. I swept the beam of light through the pitch black around me as I rose to my feet. I was in a large room that was mostly empty except for a couple of metal beds pushed into a corner. Along one wall was a bank of mirrors. As I walked closer to them and tapped on the glass, I realized that they were windows. I turned and looked around me, realizing that I must be in some observation room. My light passes over large dark stains on the floor and smears on the walls. On one of the far walls, I can make out symbols painted on the wall in the same dark color that is on the floor.

I make my way across the room, avoiding the dark puddle shapes on the floor, like a kindergartener on a cracked sidewalk. I peer closer at the symbols on the wall. They appeared to be painted in blood, dried black with age. What did they mean?

I shine my light into the pile of beds and notice a file cabinet shoved in the back. The metal legs screech across the floor as I shove beds out of the way to try to get to the cabinet. The drawer doesn’t budge as I tug on it. Years of age and rust have sealed it shut. Remembering my small pocketknife in my pocket, I pull it out and scrape the blade around the edge of the drawer to try to get it to release. With one more strong tug, it finally slides open.

Eagerly, I peer inside to find a few files scattered inside. Flipping open files, I try to read, but most of it has been blacked out, I assume for security purposes. I see Experiment 5704 on one of the pages along with a list of subjects. I scan the list and read Prisoner W37264, Prisoner X58552……the words blur a little and I shake my head and blink a few times to get them back. I reach into the cabinet and grab another file. Opening up, I see Prisoner X58552. There is a snapshot of him strapped to a metal hospital bed screaming. Suddenly my vision blurs again and I feel the world falling away.

Madness Sequences

[Senses heightened from the leftover gas in the room. Each madness sequence goes into the mind of a prisoner through one of the five senses and explores what they went through. You are searching for a cipher from each prisoner’s mind to decipher the symbols written in blood on the wall]

Prisoner X58552- screaming

Screams fill my ears……my mind seared blinding white. [Hunt Cipher: scream]

Prisoner W37264- metallic gas

The metallic gas smell fills my nostrils as the hiss echoes through the room. I feel it seep into my pores. The room smells like the jar of old coins my grandfather kept on his dresser. [Hunt Cipher: coin]

Prisoner C90113- restrained

I strained against the leather straps used to hold me down on the hospital bed. The stiff straps cut into my flesh. [Hunt Cipher: leather strap]

Prisoner K80021- salty tears

My mouth fills with the briny taste of tears streaming down my face. My eyes sting as they trickle down into my mouth frozen in a voiceless scream. [Hunt Cipher: pickle]

Prisoner T47258- sticky blood

I look down at my hands covered in sticky red ooze. I watch it slowly trickle down my arm as I smear my hand down the wall. [Hunt Cipher: jar of honey]

Prisoner L97002- heartbeat

Blackness surrounds me as the room echoes with the sound of my pounding heartbeat. Between the beats I hear the whispers….nevermore.. [Hunt Cipher: raven]

Prisoner H21736- bitter

Bitterness floods through me with acrid sharpness. The taste of resentment, bright yellow anger and jaundiced broken dreams. [Hunt Cipher: lemon]

Prisoner J30263- white coats

I am surrounded by faceless people in blinding white coats. They are jabbing me with pointy fingers and insinuations. [Hunt Cipher: lab coat]

Prisoner U26649- whispers

The hushed whispers insistently buzz in my head. I put my hands over my ears to try to shut out their shocking demands. [Hunt Cipher: bee]

Prisoner B89204- searing pain

Blinding pain sears through my body as fingernails rip open my flesh exposing my organs. [Hunt Cipher: heart]

Prisoner F54720- chew

Muscle grinds between my teeth with animalistic instinct, blood dripping down my chin. [Hunt Cipher: bubble gum]

Prisoner R66412- red puddles

I see the red puddle spreading out around my body like petals. [Hunt Cipher: flower]

Prisoner Y44238- rotting flesh

The sweet, putrid stench of rotting flesh surrounds me as it wafts up from the flesh dripping from my bones. [Hunt Cipher: skeleton]

Prisoner P74328 –slow motion

I see the shock spread across the faces of the doctors in slow motion. Visions pass slowly by me like time trickling through the hourglass. [Hunt Cipher: Hourglass]

Prisoner K27906- malodorous death

The smell of death permeates the air around me, thick and stifling. [Hunt Cipher: skull and bones]

[After hunters find all the ciphers, they come back to the observation chamber to decipher the message from the prisoners.]

“We are the animal that lives within you all begging to be freed in your darkest hour.”

Background:Prisoners were used in a secret government experiment, testing the effects of a gas. Prisoners became self-cannibalistic under the influence of this experimental gas. The madness sequences delve into the minds and senses of the prisoners to take the hunter through the horrifying experiment. In the end, hunters decipher the message from the prisoners stating that we all have the potential to become monsters.

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