I never believed in monsters, until I met one.
Waking up in a cold cell with no windows or light, the first feeling that rushes through you is panic and fear, sometimes I think I felt more than that.
I never knew monsters existed, until I met one. Was it a grotesque being from another plane of existence, and did it have disfigured features that make men falter at the very sight of them? No, they were just like you and me. They laughed, cried, loved and lived just as we all did. In this story, the why doesn’t really matter, the only thing that matters is that it’s happening.
I am afraid I’m getting ahead of myself; think Martin think, the beginning, oh yes, I remember the beginning, the time where I found proof monsters walk among us. I remember being very cold lying on a stone floor which I would now call my home. This room, this cell, had no windows or lights just darkness and despair. Why I was dragged here is a question I am unable to answer. One day I was coming home from work, the next I awoke in this desolate chamber, but I was not alone; no, there were others there as well.
Talking, screaming, crying. The captors usually would take a prisoner somewhere; I dare not imagine but the screams could tell it all. When they were brought back it was odd. They were as silent as a mouse, as if whatever atrocity that had been committed upon them had no effect.
A new guy was dragged in to the cell next to me; we did not know his name besides the title “Subject 6.” What we found peculiar is that he didn’t make a sound when he was brought in. No desperate attempt of knocking down the door, no screaming or crying, he didn’t even want to know why he was there. Who was this man?
All the guards have taken away the rest of the prisoners besides Subject 6. My day was ridden with fear and anxiety. There are two factors torturers rely on; fear and the victim’s ignorance to their motivations. They achieved both goals. It wasn’t too long until my cell door unlocked and the blinding stream of light stung my eyes causing me to squint them nearly shut. I held my hand out, as if it would stop the light from reaching me, to protect me from it. Two masked, armored men approached me and simply said, “It’s time.” I would protest but I didn’t feel like arguing with the sub-machine guns that they had on their person so I complied. The halls outside were much more vibrant and detailed than the “Detention Area.” The walls were metallic silver delicately touched with white from the bright lights overhead. I regretted looking to the left to see what seemed to be a torture room where unspeakable contraptions were placed. I saw a man strapped to a coil bed frame. Smoke came from his body, his eyes were white and his tongue turned to coal. I screamed and struggled but their strength was too much for me.
“Where are you taking me?” They remained silent. “Goddamn it, where am I going, you sick bastards?”
The guards smiled at each other and stood the prisoner up, “We’re going to make you better,” he said before ramming a club into my abdomen, “on your feet.”
My stomach winced in pain and I felt I might vomit all over the place. It wasn’t until we reached what looked like a laboratory that we stopped. Through the glass window I glared and saw a metallic table with built-in shackles stained with the blood of the last poor sod that had to deal with this. Around were surgical tools and various monitoring devices.
“New meat today.” The guard was met with a slap to his remark.
“These aren’t ‘Meat’ as you would call them, you brainless inbred,” an old balding man in a white coat said in authority. “These beautiful, magnificent subjects are the future. The sooner you realize that the more you may qualify for more than just a mundane security job, well don’t just stand there secure the subject.”
At this point I couldn’t help but break out into tears. What were they going to do with me? Why do this to a mere clerk of all people? I guess after this I’ll never know. A mysterious man came in, his name was Jerald Gandling; he had a slick mustache and hair parted to the side, one of those rich roaring 20’s kind of looks. He excused everyone but me and him. For ten silent seconds he looked at me in anticipation, as if he was waiting for me to do something; it went on this way until he spoke.
“I feel fear,” he said in a soothing, deep voice, “do you fear us?”
“You kidnap me, throw me and a stone cell, I see a man who had been tortured to death and I’m lying on a table covered in blood and you’re asking me if I am scared." Sarcasm wasn’t my best choice but I feel if they’re going to do what they wish to me I should say what I wish about them.
“I see,” he laughed heartily, “it seems my employees have been less than, hospitable; for that, I apologize.”
“What the fuck do you guys want from me?” Jerald starts to pace back and forth.
“I believe that’s the wrong question, the real question is do you want to live forever?” My eyes widened and I remained silent in shock.
“Make sense, please.”
“We may have perfected a virus you see, a benevolent one. Whenever an infection gets into your system or you sustain a wound you cells kick into action to get rid of these ailments. Well imagine these functions as your local police force. What if this virus was your body’s own personal army?”
“You mean to heal faster and get over sicknesses faster?”
“Yes!” he said enthusiastically, “Accept this gift and you may become a god walking among men, you will never have to worry about death again.”
“A gift, sounds more like a curse to me.” Immortality, they wouldn’t just give that out there must be something more to it than that.
“It is a limited-time offer: take this or you’ll be used for the lesser more, unsuccessful experiments.” Jerald threw on a reassuring grin making the offer.
“I don’t want any of this!” I yelled, “Why are you doing this to me?!”
“Bad luck, Mr. Himmelberger is it, has no target; it wanders aimlessly and today it decided to land on you, it isn’t a question of why Marvin, you just have to understand that it had to have been someone.”
The only one response I gave was spitting in Jerald’s face and spewing vulgarities.
“Punishment room,” he looked at the guard. Being dragged away I fell deep into my most pleasant daydream, hopefully if I open my eyes I will be back home to my beautiful wife, but fate chose a different destiny from me. The pain that they caused me, the feeling of being electrocuted is still fresh in my mind; I can still hear the whirring of the machine as they drilled away my teeth. These memories still followed me when they threw me back into my new home, my new hell.
I couldn’t sleep, it was either the cold stone floor or the immense pain I went through but I think mostly it was the quiet. The dark cold of the night shrouding all around me waiting for me to go mad; it almost succeeded if it hadn’t been for the man in the cell next to me. Slowly he started talking, the man who didn’t scream started to speak in such a calming tone, as if this whole place was invisible to him. He told stories of his brothers and what kind of trouble they would get into, he wasn’t even talking to me or anyone for that matter he was just, talking. It was his hearty laugh, his joyful stories that drew me away from the darkness and filled me with more life. It was this part of the world that they couldn’t take away from him no matter what they did. Then eventually he stopped.
I don’t remember ever sleeping this good.
The next day he returned to his usual routine of deafening silence, I can see him now staring off into the distance leaning against the one thing blocking us from freedom, counting the blessings he once had. What was his name, where was he from? Questions that emboldened our curiosity, these self-inquiries were interrupted by a small sliding door on the bottom of the door opening and a tray was pushed in. It looked like mush with meat chunks in it with a slice of bread.
“Yes, my favorite,” an inmate at the far corner exclaimed, however, this is my first morning. As we were eating our less than stellar meal one of the inmates started to complain that he was getting the shakes, maybe a cold or perhaps he isn’t properly insulated but I heard a chuckle coming from the cell next to me, the silent man.
“There’s only one kind of meat that gives men the shakes,” all of us including me were still wracked with confusion, “I’ll give you all a hint, it’s illegal to eat it.”
All of a sudden you hear metal treys drop to the floor, a clanging sound that could be heard throughout the entire building.
“Oh my God!” one of the other prisoners yelled, “It’s…”
“The failed experiments, it’s people we’re eating!” another yelled horrified. I didn’t eat for the rest of the day.
Later that night I noticed a small note slip through the hole in the wall between me and Subject 6’s cell. It was scrawled on old toilet paper, desperate for conversation I reached for it. It explained who he was: he was a simple college student studying the arts of chemistry, a regular man like us. A boy I should say at least. He too is plagued with the confusion and fear we all share; he, however, had an idea.
They get to play God, that’s not something you give up lightly. From then on in we exchanged notes between each other, saying what we did outside of this wretched place in between torture sessions. We even conjured plans of escape, of us going out into the world and making it. Such dreams we had together.
Everything changed a week later, the man from room three refused to go along with the guards yelling that they will no longer take his freedom away. The guards told him he didn’t have a choice, he protested and said he did.
“I can either follow your sickness, or be killed right here, my last freedom.” A loud crack was heard throughout the halls; it wasn’t gunfire, it was freedom. Did this affect these monsters in any way? Yes it did. After the consuming madness of the night, Subject 6’s hearty stories and a deep slumber we woke up with a six shot .38 caliber pistol with one bullet with a note the last freedom you’ll ever have. Those bastards, a man's rebellion against these demons and they made a mockery of it. I pushed it away but after being fed human remains, the countless torture sessions that gun became really friendly. I think today is the day.
“This is it guys: if these monsters plan to take my life, I will not give them the satisfaction.” All the prisoners opened the sliding door on their cell. “My one and only freedom.”
“Please Five,” Subject 6 protested, “this is what they want don’t you understand”
“What and be tortured, be their lab rat, their slave? NEVER!”
“We were going to escape together old friend you and me!” Six’s words touched me but my decision was final.
“These men will pay for what they’ve done, Six.” I cocked the gun, “and you shall be their retribution.
I squeezed the trigger and the whole world went black.