It’s the time of week again, where I write an improvised (in the sense that it’s unplanned and unprepared for) short story on this here blog. As no one replied to last week’s one with a suggestion (you bastards!), I shall have to just run with something this week. I think, pulling this from my magical hat of whatever I’m thinking right now I like to call ‘my head’, I’ll go with the theme of isolation. What follows may shock you. It may intrigue you. It may make you regret ever eating baked beans. I really don’t know. But we shall see.
They had stopped trying. The doors were silent and dead once more, no longer shaking and rattling incessantly with every moment that passes. He knew they would find him eventually, but for now he was safe. His legs drew up against his chest, his arms slipping around his knees as he shivered slightly. So this is what it felt like to be hunted, this wierd mix of excitement and blood-curdling fear. With every instant he wanted to bolt out of his hiding spot and never more again. Maybe it was this contradiction that gave birth to fear, the confliction of rationality and instinct.
His eyelids slipped down, cutting off the laticework of light that gave only a paltry illumination to his surroundings. As the clothes and walls dissapeared, he let out a long, slow breath. It was an effort to keep it silent, the urge to just blow his lungs empty a difficult one to resist. He narrowed his focus, making it consume the entireity of his attention. Long, slow breath in. Hold. Long, slow, breath out. Hold. Rinse and repeat. This wasn’t so hard; he could do this all day. So long as the rattling didn’t start again.
His routine was disturbed by the sound of footsteps on the carpet. Eyes snapped open, wincing ever so slightly at the sudden glare of light. How long had he had them closed? Irrelevant now, he glanced at the shafts of light, seeing them dissapear one by one as something covered the light source. The shivering started again, and he struggled to maintain his steady breathing. The fear rose in him like bile, leaving a sour feeling. Hands gripping the sides of his legs, knuckles white, he tried to keep from making even the slightest sound. The thing on the other side had stopped, paused in front of his hiding spot, as if it was contemplating opening the doors. He closed his eyes, squeezing them shut.
There was movement. It wasn’t the rattling again, a much slower, more deliberate movement. He quaked, uncontrollable trembling slipping through his limbs as he tried to will them not to open the door. A low creak; the handle was being turned. His eyes stayed shut, as if by not seeing them they would simply cease to be. The hinges whined as they were swung open. Slowly, he opened one eye. There was laughter.
“Oh, finally. You got any idea how long we’ve been looking for you? It’s time for dinner. We stopped playing like an hour ago, you silly.”