I awoke to bloodthirsty screams that morning. Just like every morning. I actually had no idea if it was truly morning, but I always guessed it was. It sure felt like morning to me. I sat up from my bed and yawned softly, looking around the red tinted room. The wails continued when I got out of bed, looking for the other human being in the room with me. No, the screaming didn't belong to this human, I already knew this.
"Liz, are you awake...?" the man's voice on the other end of the room asked. I looked over, finding Richie standing there beside the cage, a smile spread across his face. "She's already awake, must be hungry."
My throat went dry, nodding at him as I walked over. I felt nasty, my hair unwashed for months and clothes being the same as I've worn for ages. I couldn't help but shudder as I heard Richie's snickering. I always felt like he was laughing at my suffering, laughing at my fear. I finally reached the cage, kneeling down to peer into the bars. The figure inside was curled into the far left corner, screaming at the bars as if it was her only way to survive. The screams made me feel so sorry for her, but it was only for a moment until I remembered the horrors that happened to anyone who entered the cage.
Richie's hand soon touched my shoulder, causing me to stand back up and look at him. He looked about as dirty as I felt, both of us covered in small bloodstains and dirt. "This is an unpleasant job for you, I know. But someone has to do it." His voice was almost sympathetic, but my hatred for him could not die down. I just wanted to leave this basement; be normal again, find my home and forget about the things that happened inside of that cage.
"I- I know," was all I could say to him before turning around and looking around the small red room.
The room was red because of the dim lighting and also because blood stained every wall. Bodies of the other people who had worked on this project with us hung from the ceiling by hooks, skin and body parts torn or cut off of them. Some of those bodies had been mutilated by my own hands. These people were once my friends, people who had helped me throughout this nightmare, but since they turned against Richie, he had them killed and used as either food for the girl in the cage, or material to make the girl... "better." Richie was the only one who could add anything to her, my job was to feed her. To feed the rotting, screaming, living lump of flesh that has caused me so many nightmares. I walked over to one of the hanging bodies, grimacing when I saw the flesh had been invaded by maggots. Not a huge surprise, since the bodies were usually invaded by the baby flies after a while. I put on my mask to cover my face from the rotting smell and began to cut into the flesh. I felt tears fill my eyes, remembering that this body had once been my sister, who had gone into this project with me. If only I hadn't talked her into coming with me, she wouldn't be here, getting eaten away by maggots and that damned thing in the cage.
I finally got a good slab of rotted meat from the corpse and carried it to Richie, who was kneeling by the cage and talking to the screaming girl like she was a newborn baby. I couldn't help but growl softly to myself, hatred building up inside of me as I neared Richie and that monster. "I have the food..." I said softly, holding out to show him. Richie only nodded and kept the girl inside distracted. Quietly, I did my job. I opened the cage door, trying not to alert her that I was opening it. If I did, she could get out again, and Richie would rather avoid that. Although, the bodies from the aftermath were used to evolve the girl into something more grotesque. As the cage door opened slowly, the girl continued to look at Richie. I swallowed hard and tried to quietly put the flesh inside, but I froze. Looking up, I saw her staring at me now, and so was Richie. My heartbeat quickened as they both just stared at me, unmoving. But what made my blood run cold was when Richie spoke. "Yes, Emily," he said softly to the girl-like monster. "This is your mother."
I quickly took my head out of the cage and fell back to the ground, staring at the opening of the cage with wide eyes. I cursed myself for not closing it as I saw the girl inside slowly crawl to the opening. This was the first good look of her I've seen, my eyes unable to look away from her. Her eyes were stitched wide open and black like the night sky. Her nose was nonexistent and mouth halfway stitched closed. The other half of her mouth was made into a wide smile and the teeth were filed into little sharp knives. The posture she had was like an animal and the way she crawled showed every single deformed bone that was wrapped in other people's skin. How was she alive?
"Mama?" the girl said in a raspy, scratchy tone. As if nails were being scraped on a chalkboard soaked in concrete. I flinched at the name she gave me, instantly looking away from her. Richie put his hand on the girl's head. "Mama looks... scared..."
Richie patted her head softly. "Liz, calm down. Emily won't hurt you. You've cared for her, haven't you?" He sounded as if this was a real child we were talking about. As if she wasn't a man-eating monster. "Emily just needs a mom and a dad."
"Emily... wasn't that the name of..." I cut off, my eyes darting from "Emily" to Richie, "your daughter..."
"Our daughter now, Liz," he said softly, taking his hand off Emily. The creature began to crawl towards me again, causing me to scream and frantically move away from her, kicking my legs violently. "Liz!" Richie screamed. "You'll upset her if you act like this!" I shook my head quickly, tears streaming down my face as I scrambled away from the horrifying beast.
Emily made a soft sigh which soon turned into a growl. That was it. That was it for me. In the matter of seconds I was once again on my feet, running to the door of the basement, attempting to leave, but Richie was already there blocking my escape. "We could be a family!" he shouted. In panic mode, I grabbed the nearest pipe and slammed it against his head. A sickening crunch echoed through the small red room. Before I even checked to see if he was dead, I opened the door with my spare key and ran as fast as I could. The bright light of the sun blinded me for a few moments, the fresh air making me slightly dizzy. Before I could realize it, I began stumbling forward, out of the dreaded house. I had left every door I passed through open, but I didn't care. I had seen the sun again; I had smelled the trees again. I was alive again.
And right then, I heard the monster named Emily charge out of the basement with the speed of a starving wolf, and charge right into me. I fell harshly to the ground and stared at her, tears once again forming in my eyes. Her disgusting breath tickled my cheek as she leaned close to me, sniffing my flesh and hair. She bared her teeth and locked eyes with me, giving me a wide toothy grin that chilled me to the bone and with a blink of an eye, she lunged forward and things went black.
Next was light. White, blinding light against my sun deprived skin. I squinted and sat up, looking around to see no signs of anyone or anything. Not even the cabin was there. I had shrugged it off though, and got up to run back toward home. The home I could barely remember but still had warm memories of. I dreamed maybe I would go back and get help. Tell everyone of the horrors I went through and maybe they would get me the help I needed. Therapy, maybe even a detective to investigate the cabin, if I could find it again. Maybe I could write a book. All the thoughts of home and my future ran through my head as I made my way back, stumbling and holding my stomach, but when I got into the city... everything was way too different.
I didn't get it at first. Why it was that when I got back to civilization, no one recognized me. No one looked at me and asked me why I was filthy. No one even looked at me or spoke to me. Why? Why is it not a single person noticed something was wrong? I was about to scream for help. Grab someone and ask them why it was they were ignoring me. Until, I saw her. Emily stood the best she could anyway, in the middle of the sidewalk. So many people passed her, but not a single person glanced at her. They all avoided her like a river going around a rock. And as we were ignored by every living creature around us, we made eye contact and I realized how lonely I was going to be.