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  • The terrible smell of rust and burnt metal wafted into Carol’s nostrils as she wrenched open her eyelids. They throbbed painfully for a few seconds, trying to adjust to the haziness in front of them. She was lying on something cold and metallic, pressing into her wrinkled skin. With laboured breaths, she turned on her back, only to see an abyss of darkness above her. This wasn’t her bedroom. Or anywhere she knew. Hadn’t she just been walking home from the-

    Oh. Oh no.

    Carol sat up as fast as an old woman could, a wave of frightened adrenaline coursing through her body. There wasn’t a sound in the air, save for the low buzz of something electrical. Terrified, she tried desperately to make something out in the pitch black, but nothing could be seen. Her laboured breaths seemed to echo all around her as she picked herself up from the ground into a standing position.

    Suddenly, the room lit up. Fluorescent lights flicked into action with a powerful flash, nearly blinding Carol as she shielded her delicate eyes. The humming grew louder, and as the sudden brightness died down, she gasped in terror.

    In front of her was a young man of about 16, strapped into a gut-wrenching mechanism. Lay on his front on a table of sorts, he was elevated off the ground at waist height, his head drooping down over the edge as if he was asleep. There were tight clamps on his legs, keeping them next to each other whilst his hands were outstretched in front of him on a separate table, lying limply through a pair of wooden stocks, like the ones used in medieval times.

    The room was barely bigger than a hotel elevator. Carol pushed herself up against the wall, shaking her head in disbelief at the situation. The walls were brown and rusted, like those of an abandoned factory left to rot.

    “h-hel-hello…” Carol tried to yell out, but her throat was coarse and dry. She didn’t have the strength in her. Why would anyone kidnap a frail, elderly woman?

    With a soft spluttering, the boy in the mechanism began to stir. He lifted his head to reveal a dark black hood pulled over his face. Carol crept slowly to him, her legs weak already.

    She reached out and peeled the hood away. A pasty, freckled complexion showed itself to her, with a blindfold bound tightly around the boy’s eyes. He looked strangely familiar to Carol, but she couldn’t quite place where she had seen him from. There was a dirty cloth stuffed into his mouth, and his mumbles grew increasingly frantic as he realised his situation. Carol too was panicking as she scrambled in her mind to figure out a way to calm him down, but all she could think to do was stroke his scruffy ginger hair.

    The boy flinched at her touch. Carol could not find the courage to speak as tears rolled down her cheeks. She tugged firmly at the knots of the cloth, but they would not come loose.

    Eventually, the boy’s cries died down, turning into fearful sobs. Carol stepped back and glanced back at the contraption he was in. It looked new: the metal was clean, and free of rust or dirt, a stark comparison to the brown-streaked walls that surrounded her. Gradually, she inched around it, approaching where the boy’s feet lay.

    Carol’s heart sunk down even further. There was an axe laying upon the floor, with two sheets of paper next to it. Cold sweat ran down her back. Her eyes wide, Carol stretched out a shaky hand to pick them up.

    The axe was heavy, with a red blade. It swayed lightly in Carol’s weak grip, dangling above the floor. Turning the papers over, the first one was of the boy on the table. It was his mugshot, displaying him in a black hoodie with a disgruntled frown spread across his face. Below was his name: Peter Davis, along with a police report of the charge: vandalism. Carol raised an eyebrow, her memory slowly reforming in the back of her mind.

    The second picture was of a tweet. From Carol’s Twitter account.

    “Just saw the nastiest piece of graffiti on a WW1 memorial. Hope the scumbag behind it gets his hands chopped off.”

    Carol froze. In one terrifying moment, it all made sense.

    Choking back vomit, she dropped the papers and turned her achy head back to Peter. There was something etched at the base of his hands. Leaning in, Carol made out a dashed line wrapped around both his wrists. That was it. That was how she earned her freedom.

    No. No, she couldn’t. Not in a million years.

    Feeling a great heaviness wash through her body, Carol struggled to stay standing up. She felt sick to her stomach.

    She had done this. It was her fault, the entire time, it had been her fault.

    Carol lifted the axe in front of her. The blade shone with an almost beautiful gleam. A glance back to the mechanism reassured her there was no way she could dismantle it.

    Wasn’t there any other way? Did it have to end like this?

    Lifting it above her head, Carol turned her face away, wincing. She held the axe firmly, sweat pouring down her forehead.

    She was a monster. She was going to take the life of a 16-year-old to save her own. She’d never forgive herself for this.

    For a solid minute, nothing happened. Carol was stuck between her own conflicting thoughts, her conscience melting away to primal instincts. The axe lay still, hovering above her skull agonisingly while Peter moaned and cried.

    Without warning, the lights flicked off, and Carol collapsed in fright. The axe clattered to the floor, and there was a mighty thud, followed by an immediate crunching of flesh and bone. Two wet and meaty splatters echoed across the room, followed by a blood-curdling scream by Peter. Carol held her hands to her ears in a futile attempt to block out the noise.

    After what seemed like a lifetime, Peter’s screaming became tearful whimpers, and then absolute silence. Carol sat in the dark, numb. The electrical humming had stopped. A crack of light appeared in one of the walls, catching Carol’s eye. The crack grew wider and wider until it opened up completely, and a whiff of fresh air caught Carol’s nostrils. She crawled to the gap, staring out into a lonely street below the starry night sky. A single streetlamp illuminated the trees and grass around it, showing a field just a few miles away from Carol’s home.

    With blood and tears stained on her face, Carol pulled herself up and stepped out. She spied her groceries laying in a plastic bag by an abandoned car. Picking them up, Carol took a deep inhale of the sweet night air and set off.

    Taking one last look at the room, Carol could just make out Peter shrouded in between the darkness and the doorway, stood with his severed hand held up, the finger pointed straight at her.

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    • Interesting... I liked it. Takes a lot for me to like a story, good job.

      Didn't really see anything wrong. See what the other guys think.

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    • This is heavily 'Saw' inspired. Now, I like those movies well enough, but they're extremely ubiquitous, and they've killed the genre of 'gore porn as penance'. Beyond that, there's no mention of the person that put Carol there in the first place, which is a major part of the story, unless we are to believe it was Peter, but that raises a host of other questions. It's basically that part at the beginning of the movie that sets up for the larger plot, but there is no larger plot after this; this is the whole story.

      Don't take this the wrong way. I just think there needs to be more emphasis on the situation, rather than the nasty act. Even something as small as a mention of eyes watching from a peephole across the room as she leaves would be enough to throw a little more suspense in there.

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    • TheWizardOfTheWoods wrote: This is heavily 'Saw' inspired. Now, I like those movies well enough, but they're extremely ubiquitous, and they've killed the genre of 'gore porn as penance'. Beyond that, there's no mention of the person that put Carol there in the first place, which is a major part of the story, unless we are to believe it was Peter, but that raises a host of other questions. It's basically that part at the beginning of the movie that sets up for the larger plot, but there is no larger plot after this; this is the whole story.

      Don't take this the wrong way. I just think there needs to be more emphasis on the situation, rather than the nasty act. Even something as small as a mention of eyes watching from a peephole across the room as she leaves would be enough to throw a little more suspense in there.

      Well look who's back.

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    • Indeed. My hiatus was unplanned, the result of being burned out. I am working to rectify that.

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    • Well like Wizard said, it's a lot of "Saw" in one story. The thing with this series is that you can sum it up pretty much as "You see what you Saw them all" yes the pun is intentional. Gorno isn't very interesting. This isn't very interesting to be honest, sure it makes sense and it's properly described... the emotional toll on Carol is front and center as it should be. 

      Other than that, there's not much appeal to this to anyone who's not huge on gorn. 

      The ending does not add much, if anything, it can subtract from the value of the story, Peter seems to be inhumanly tolorant to pain and somehow managed to untie his legs with a single hand while lying upside down and heavily bleeding... It's just not doing anything good, plotwise. 

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    • The ending is meant to suggest that Peter was behind the whole thing from the start. Considering that the lights go out when his hands are allegedly cut off, it's entirely possible that they were never cut off at all. I might not have made this clear at the end, but when Carol looks back, Peter is holding the fake severed hand with his real hand.

      Thus, Peter was never the one being punished, but instead, used as a way to psychologically torment Carol. If Peter is the person who organised the trap, he definitely would have a way to escape it.

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    • Just a Guy That Likes Creepypastas wrote: The ending is meant to suggest that Peter was behind the whole thing from the start. Considering that the lights go out when his hands are allegedly cut off, it's entirely possible that they were never cut off at all. I might not have made this clear at the end, but when Carol looks back, Peter is holding the fake severed hand with his real hand.

      Thus, Peter was never the one being punished, but instead, used as a way to psychologically torment Carol. If Peter is the person who organised the trap, he definitely would have a way to escape it.

      maybe flash out the fake hand thung. You have a knack for writing very vague stories it seems

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    • I agree. Add a little bit to indicate that he was behind it. There was just shy of enough to point in that direction, at least for me. That's my only major suggestion, though. The writing itself is pretty good.

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    • Everyone else has said it and so will I. This is pretty much just a Saw fanfic without Jigsaw.

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    • NedWolfkin wrote:
      Everyone else has said it and so will I. This is pretty much just a Saw fanfic without Jigsaw.

      Wouldn't call it a fanfic, especially since the last movie is without Jigsaw (the man). It's heavily inspired I'd say. 

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    • I think this is well written. I enjoyed it despite its resemblance to Saw. I only watched the first two movies and it was a long time ago, so maybe that's partially why I didn't care if it was similar. Some creativity and work could steer the story away from that comparison if you preferred, but there are plenty of mediums that serve up pretty much the same thing all the time.

      Some people don't dig that kind of drudgery, but plenty seem to. Why has NCIS been allowed to run on television for so long? Eh, somebody seems to like its hugely recycled and rehashed plot lines. I've watched more episodes than I'd like to admit.

      Ah screw it! I admit it. Leroy Jethro Gibbs is a fictional badass and his name kicks ass too. The same basic story arc told over and over again hasn't negatively affected its viewership as far as I know.

      You wrote the story you wrote I'd assume because something Saw-like was what you were aiming for or you at least clued in at some point but kept writing anyways despite the similarities. Ain't no shame in that as far as I'm concerned. Some will criticize it negatively, but some will like it. Some will criticize it and still like it. Write whatcha wanna write, man.

      I'd be hard pressed to find an example of anything in the world that doesn't have people on both sides of the aisle. Some people like Nazis and for lots of different reasons. Go figure.

      Sure, there are a few minor typos and some sentences could use some editing. A few examples for your perusal.

      • “h-hel-hello…”

      Capitalize that 'h' that's all by itself.

      • Fluorescent lights flicked into action with a powerful flash,

      I think flickered would work better here, but maybe I'm just being pickered.

      It seems to me like you mix up the narrator's voice with Carols throughout the story. I didn't find it hard to follow, but some quotation marks and such would clarify things a bit. Here are two examples, but there are other points where this happens as well.

      • Oh. Oh no.

      It's not too confusing, but those three words could belong to anyone since it's so early in the story. "Oh. Oh no, they got you too Grandma?' cried Carol's long dead poodle, Sigurd.

      • Why would anyone kidnap a frail, elderly woman?

      Who wouldn't? No, seriously, the narrator should know who would and has kidnapped the old bag, so she must be the one thinking or saying this. The clearer you make it... the better.

      The ending is a bit vague. This is a site where ghosts, zombies, and plenty of other maimed souls reside in large numbers. I'd work on clarifying the fake hand gag, but I'm not the first one to mention that. I wonder why Carol bothers to grab her groceries after what she has been through instead of running into the street screaming, "Help me! Help me!" and also neglects to immediately act on Peter's behalf.

      I can't say as to whether this will make it onto the site because of its similarities to Saw, 'cause I just don't really know. Clean up a few minor issues like the ones I mentioned and it certainly won't be the writing, grammar, or punctuation that keeps this story down. Keep writing. :b

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