Kara’s chest heaved and her breaths got shorter. The room she found herself in was pitch black and eerily quiet. She tentatively took a step forward, wincing at the echo of each movement. She blinked rapidly, trying to work out what she was supposed to do, but nothing immediately came to mind.
“Hello?” she whispered, unsure of how loud she should talk.
She was answered by a resounding silence. Certain she was alone, she continued moving with more confidence.
She ran her fingers along the ice-cold wall, trying to find an exit. The dark was disconcerting and, to be honest, creeping her out a bit. She much preferred being able to see what she was doing.
Suddenly, her fingers stumbled across a steely metal. Kara jumped back, panicking for some unknown reason. When nothing happened, she continued to move her hand along—what was becoming obvious—a chain. As much as she was confused by this, she was also curious, excited almost. Her lips started to tremble, but this time because she was sure she was about to be free of this constricting blackness.
A noise reverberated off the walls and Kara span around, hands in front of her face. This action was completely pointless of course, she still couldn’t see anything. As her heart rate slowed down, she started to think she had just invented the noise. That or someone was just trying to mess with her. Her palms were sweating as she fumbled frantically with the chain, shaking and pulling it, no longer caring how loud she was. She just needed this nightmare to be over.
She gave up tugging, tears threatening to spill out, and simply started screaming for help. Her panic levels had reached hysteria and she felt like nothing was going to shake her out of it. She shouted louder and with more determination. Why was everyone ignoring her, God damn it? She was absolutely sure someone could come and help her if they really wanted to.
A growl emanated, so low it could have been in Kara’s imagination. The overwhelming stench of rot that accompanied it stunned her into silence. She couldn’t even breathe. It suddenly became very obvious to her what was happening, and even though terror filled her entire being, she didn’t move, cry, or even really feel. She was just numb and frozen.
The chains started rattling and Kara let out a whimper. She suddenly realised what she had been messing with only moments before, how could she have been so stupid? She staggered backwards, the knowledge that she would only hit stone wall doing nothing to stop her. Her body was just reacting in a natural way, trying to escape danger, even if there was no real option left for her. Her legs felt heavy and her lungs tight. What now?
She slumped to the floor, her back to the wall, not even noticing the cold anymore. Her mind was racing, trying to come up with a solution. She had a little experience in this area of course, but to be honest, up until this point she had been really lucky. Why had she thought this was something she could do?
The circular design of the room meant she had no idea where any of the sounds were coming from; there was just no way of telling. Even though her body had well and truly given up this fight, resigned to its inevitable end, her mind was screaming at her, begging her to fight back. She started whispering to herself, the first sign of madness coming through thick and strong, telling herself there was no point, there was nothing she could do anyway.
Suddenly a drip of pus fell onto her bare shoulder. Kara screeched and cowered away, crawling at the speed of light across the floor, knocking into her attacker’s legs on the way. She knew she was quicker, of course, that was common knowledge, but she also knew there was only so long she could avoid it. She would get tired long before that bastard would. Many people had been taken out using that tactic.
The growling and movement became more frequent as if realising she was definitely there had set a firework up her assailant’s backside and now it was honing in on its opponent. She stood up, fists flailing in all directions. She knew hand-to-hand combat wasn’t exactly ideal, but she just needed to buy herself some time. There had to be something in this Godforsaken room she could fight with, that was the point, wasn’t it? She wished her eyes would adjust to the dark, but it was so black in here, she had no hope of that.
Her toe smacked violently into something wooden on the floor. Kara screamed out in pain and started hopping around. How was it possible to stub your toe in a circular room?
That was it!
She suddenly remembered them saying there was always something you could use to defend yourself, however difficult the situation. She bent down and wrapped her hands around the cylindrical piece of wood, a newfound hope filling her heart.
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a gun or a machete, but at least she was no longer completely helpless. She swung the wood aimlessly, a smile playing on her lips. She was going to get out of this mess alive, whatever the cost.
Finally, she connected. The squelching sound and splat across her face, of what she could only assume was blood, confirmed this much. The thing grunted as she swung repeatedly, determined to finish this off quickly.
Suddenly, a glaring white light filled the room and she was momentarily blinded. Kara span around, confident of her achievement. She waved the stick above her head, imagining cheers from an invented audience. She stepped towards the light, wondering what her future held…