Here is a piece I wrote…
Chapter One: Wooden Walls
Opening his eyes, Remedy recognized nothing around him. When he fell asleep just minutes before, he fell asleep to a dark bedroom. The strong beam of moonlight hitting his window but dimming to all but a small trace of light passed the black blinds. However faint, the light cast enough brightness into the room so that a trained eye could see its surroundings. There were posters littering the walls of various rock bands. One poster features a sarcastic inspirational quote in mockery of the ones found in school classrooms.
In the corner furthest from the window was a television and video game cases scattered on the floor. Another corner of the room had a transparent plastic desk that held a laptop and stacks of paper. Some of the sheets were old homework assignments he had never finished; others were drawings Remedy worked on but never put into his portfolio.
A door creaked open in between the television and desk. The fake wood and rusty hinges of the closet door moaned quietly enough so not to wake him.
And in the weak, pale moonlight that barely lit the darkened room, a black shroud hovered out of the closet. It maintained no distinct shape as it made its way to Remedy. It was smoke but it couldn’t be smelled. It was black but it could be seen through. It was quiet but sinister in its intention. It was an external being, but it was Remedy.
Sifting and pushing itself under the lone sheet that covered Remedy’s tear stained face, the cloud compressed itself into a narrow tornado of blackness. Once it became slender, the shroud disappeared as it forced itself into Remedy’s mouth and down his throat.
Remedy immediately woke up tasting pure charcoal in his mouth. Licking his cracked lips, he tried to cause his glands to salivate and relieve him of the terrible taste. Nothing. His mouth remained as dry as sand under a desert sun. He opened his eyes and found nothing he recognized. He was no longer in his bedroom. If he weren’t so disoriented he would have noticed the deadening silence that rang off each surface. However there was no reality that hit Remedy that what he was seeing was real.
Remedy closed his eyes and let his eyes moisten so he could better see his surroundings. But when he opened them again, he found the same…room?
There were no visible windows. Each wall had large pieces of plywood nailed so that no actual wall was able to be seen.
As his senses returned to him, Remedy noticed more things. He was on the floor. There wasn’t a bed in the room; or anything for that matter. The air was thick and musty with a foul stench that he couldn’t quite place. Looking down at himself he suddenly fully awakened. He was naked down to skin and bones. He instinctively sat up and slid himself backwards until his back touched one of the wooden walls. Curling up and wrapping his arms around his bony legs, fifteen year old Remedy looked spastically around the room to find a way out. However when he looked around with frightened eyes, he found nothing. The room was completely enclosed with the plywood. It didn’t make sense how it should’ve been complete and utter darkness but somehow there was a dim light that shone.
The concrete floor beneath his bottom and feet grew warm at an alarming rate. It went from a cold to the touch temperature to an almost burning heat. Within five more seconds, the red hotness against his hindquarters was too much to bear.
Remedy jumped up hugged himself as he shook. He kept taking lifting each foot off the floor for a moment before switching trying to keep his skin from burning. Soon it became too much. Rapidly switching feet and taking steps in random directions, he started looking around again for something, anything. Nothing had changed though; the room had no exit.
The skin on the bottom of his feet became so hot that they itched. He felt like he could rip the skin off his feet and the only emotion he’d feel would be relief. Remedy opened his mouth to yell in panic and tasted the charcoal on his tongue again.
Should I yell for help? He thought. Who would hear me? I’m nowhere.
Remedy started running all over the enclosed room hoping to find that when he returned to any certain wall that a door would be there. He ran in circles looking at the floor, the walls, and the ceiling; but nothing changed.
Remedy looked down at the floor as he kept running and saw bloody footprints on the concrete floor. All of the sudden, the room lit up, blinding Remedy. He closed his eyes as his eyelids began burning. The ends of his eye lashes lit up like the small cherry on a cigarette. They burned down until the skin where each strand used to grow from. When they burned completely off, his eyelids sizzled red and the first layer of skin began to burn off.
Hearing glass break, Remedy tried opening his eyes again, he saw broken glass scattered all over the floor. However he couldn’t stop running. Standing in one place wasn’t an option. His first step broke a piece as large as light bulb.
Remedy screamed until his vocal chords burned with the same intensity of the rest of his body. He saw the floor turning a bright red like a brand ready to sear into an animal.
The nerves on the bottoms of his feet were being destroyed and charred till they were gone. His blood on the floor began to bubble at boiling point.
Falling down, Remedy writhed and screamed flipping from his stomach to his back. Glass stuck to his melting skin and within seconds his entire body was covered with glass. Each thrash upon the floor the glass pushed further into his skin.
His eyelids had burned off. He knew his eyes were next. As he rolled again onto his back, Remedy saw the wooden walls set ablaze. The bright flames danced high against the ceiling.
Remedy had a thought. If I could survive until the walls burn themselves down, maybe there would be a way out.
However just as he finished the thought, the large section of wood closest to him fell from the wall and crashed down on top of him. The flames from the wood raved inside Remedy’s eye sockets. Black ash rested where his eyes used to be and Remedy stopped moving.
Suddenly, the wood on top of him disappeared and the fire stopped. The floor returned to a bearable temperature and the glass that wasn’t inside vanished as well. Remedy was left with a thread of life remaining. His skin was no more and all that was left was a blackened and charred surface.
Please die, please die, please die. Remedy’s mind was left crippled and all but dead. The only life remaining was the repeated last message, asking for an end to the pain. The humanity inside him, the strive to live, the desire of life were no longer alive.
He continued laying there on his back with no vision taking shallow breaths. The feeling of dust and ash reached the depths of his lungs when he inhaled.
“Remedy,” something spoke. The voice was more like a hiss rather than a solid sound.
Remedy didn’t make any reply for the simple reason that he was dead. His body was just hanging onto the last seconds of life.
“Stand up Remedy.”
Remedy began moving but not by his own power. He was a puppet and the voice was the puppeteer. His head lifted up and the black on the back of his neck cracked seeping with blood. In moments, he was standing, frozen in place.
“See Remedy.” Instantly, Remedy saw – his eyes returning to life. He would have been confused if his mind were alive. All around him was white. He was standing outside in a snowy forest. As the snow fell, the flakes melted before they hit Remedy. The heat from his body radiated around him and melted the flakes as well as the snow beneath him.
Ahead of him sat a statue that stared into his eyes. The stone statue stood at the same height as Remedy. It was a man’s body with legs that turned into branches running into the ground. Its head was that of a jackal. The narrow slender head looked menacingly at Remedy with black eyes. The eyes themselves looked alive somehow while the rest remained stone.
It spoke four words and the ground, it shook. Its solid stone jaw moved up and down finishing the words and then smiled.
“Unhallowed be thy name.”
As the ground shook, the branches from the statue’s legs extended further into the ground. Movement stirred underneath Remedy’s feet until the stone branches sprung free and latched onto his legs. From where they touched him around his ankles, his body turned to stone. As his black remains were replaced with gray rock, the branches pulled him into the ground.
Remedy’s right hand twitched with a sign of life. It opened up and rotated outwards in a gesture of “help” before turning to stone. His jaw became unhinged and hung open with ash falling towards the ground.
“Help,” he breathed.
The only part of Remedy’s body above the surface was his head. It stayed just inches above the ground for an extra second. The puppeteer that controlled him twisted and jolted his head backwards, snapping bones inside his neck. With his head turned backwards and sideways to face the statue, the jackal stood up. Stone grinding against stone, its smile was gone. It outstretched a hand that had a hole in the palm and opened its mouth again.
“Welcome Remedy. Welcome.”
Remedy’s head grayed out and disappeared under the ground. The soil was hot under the snow, but Remedy didn’t know. He was dead.
Shooting underneath his blanket, Remedy thrashed in his bed and screamed.
“No!! Get away!!”
He threw fists in every direction, hitting his headboard, bedframe, and bedside table. As he raged, the closet door across the room creaked close.
Chapter Two: The Absence of God is…
Thank you for reading…