Darkness Reveals – Instalment One –
Un Safe Room
A Short Bite Horror Story by B.D. Scott
“You owe us. Pay up, or die!” Blaze angrily commanded through his android smart phone. He represented the most reliable but toughest loan shark in Nantown, Chicago. Terry panicked, shut his cell phone and the conversation down. Trying not to choke down his morning coffee, his nerves ramped up several notches.
“There’s no money left. No money left,” he nervously muttered to himself.
Sudden, insistent banging on his front door did Terry’s thinking for him.
“Damn these rickety stairs, “ Terry verbally assaulted the mediocre craftsmanship he installed some years ago. Frantically running down to his cellar and trying not to trip and fall, Terry unleashed his pocket flashlight to seek refuge inside the structure he suspected might save his life. Off in the distance, the pounding on the front door got more insistent, and louder.
“The code. The code.”
Terry fumbled on his cell phone like a wild ape using its thumbs. He kept vital information like special codes encrypted on it.
“Open up!” the loud but muffled command erupted from the main level front door.
“24, 12, 4…”Terry muttered, hoping his lips would will the correct combination into existence.
The entrance combination was new, as was the safe room. It was installed ten days ago. He put it up in response to rumors of an impending economic collapse. It was suggested that neighbours would be hoarding from other neighbours, so he required safety.
He had it custom built. The loan he took out was for this room. The payent issue remained because his room never got properly broken in. That pun was no joke though as Terry forgot part of the entry code.
“Reset? Son of a …”
While waiting for the reset to take hold, there was sudden knocking on two-foot by two foot inch cellar window. Terry jumped! He then peered to see who it was. He could see a fist knocking but nothing else.
The door to his safe room clicked while at the same second a larger object hit the small window from the outside.
“Come on! 4, 6, 12, 76, 89, 0,” Terry echoed in spite of an intense need to collapse.
His tunnel vision nearly caused him to mistype. With a few more taps onto the keypad his safe room door finally opened.
“Yes!” he yelped. A split second later, the small window broke and glass crackled all over the cellar floor. Miraculously he stumbled forward and locked himself inside the safe room. His momentary sense of safety was interrupted from his cell phone ringing.
“No!” he scolded the phone and its unknown caller.
The soundproofing of this room made Terry oblivious to anyone or anything outside. Only one scenario was erupting in his head. He was being hunted and now he was untouchable.
After a few minutes of unbearable silence, his phone buzzed from a text. “You might as well come out,” was all it said.
Terry scolded his phone without answering the text. Terry then realized that he hadn’t stocked this room with any water, food, batteries, or supplies for basic needs.
“Crap,” Terry conceded while sitting back against the inside wall. Exasperated and despondent, he looked down with dejected eyes. He saw a flicker if light shown off the safe room floor.
“Cheryl?” Terry asked out loud to the video feed playing on the widescreen on the wall opposite to him.
He had inadvertently powered up the video screen showing Cheryl, his next door neighbor, just outside the safe room. He carefully rose to his feet, deeply suspicious that this might be an act to draw him out in the open.
She was frantically waving, yelling and jumping for his attention. He couldn’t read her lips. A cell phone was in her hand. For some reason, his curiosity trumped his fear. He unlocked the safe room door and partially opened it to hear her.
“Terry, Terry, are you alright?”
“Um, yeah. What’s going on? How did you know I was in here?”
“I let the workers in when they did their work on your safe room while you were working, remember?”
“You didn’t answer my question. Did you break my window and get in?”
Ignoring his question, her answer took hold of the moment.
“There was a knock on my front door this morning, Terry. They were looking for you. These people were furious and intimidating and said they’d hound you. I figured you might hide. The front door was dead-bolted. I will pay for your window. I have a question though; did you give them a wrong address on purpose? ”
Terry opened the safe room door completely now and half-walked, half-crawled his way out.
He then sat and calmly explained, “No, no. They cross-check everything, including neighbor information, before they offer their, um, services.”
Cheryl retreated in concern and felt unsafe, “What service might that be? Are you in with the mob or something?”
“I’m not sure. I’m in trouble and I can’t figure a way out.”
She then asked with suspicion, “But why hide from me?”
“I didn’t know it was you. I thought you were them, trying to find me and kill me.”
“Kill you? What kind of trouble are you in? ”
“Loan repayment trouble. This situation could be illegal for all I know. I don’t know. Just call the authorities and get it over with,” Terry surrendered.
“Wait here. Don’t move.” Terry waited and started to whisper to himself, “Now she’s calling the cops. What a crazy way to go. I’m done for.”
His chest instantly tightened as if a three hundred pound football lineman tackled him. Stress kicked in. Gasping her name and wheezing uncontrollably, he then remembered leaving his medication on the kitchen table. She told him not to move. Where did she go?
“Air, I need air and my meds.” Terry whimpered as his legs refused to move. His body was working against itself now by giving in to all of his weakness.
Terry whimpered as his legs refused to move. His body was working against itself now by giving in to all of the panic. The moments waiting for Cheryl seemed to last forever. He began to lose consciousness.
Rushing to him, Cheryl caught Terry before he completely passed out, “Oh my god Here, take these now, slowly honey. ” Cheryl propped him up gently and offered a glass of fresh water to wash his meds down.
“Mmmmmm.” Terry somehow managed to swallow his medication. Several minutes passed. Terry regained his senses enough to breathe normally.
Within a moment, Cheryl showed him something else. His eyes opened wide in complete surprise. With tears in her eyes, Cheryl offered softly, “Do you remember that night?”
“What night?” Terry struggled to recall. Shaking his head to regain mental focus, Terry began to recount the night she mentioned. “Do you mean the night that escaped convict loudly broke into your home?”
“Yes, that’s the one,” Cheryl nodded with even more tears in her eyes.
“The night that same asshole thief nearly took your life?”
She was holding a blank check for him.
“Fill this in. Pay them off. Not only are we even, you know you can come to me for help. Got it?” Terry nodded like a child to its mother as he completely recovered from his missed medication episode. Their heads gently leaned against each other, their mutual emotions swelling and settling.
Cheryl’s cell rang out. She answered it on the third ring, just as Terry wilted into permanent unconsciousness.
“Your payment is inside your mailbox. You only have minutes to get the organ collateral while it’s fresh.”
Cheryl produced from her coat pocket the rubbing alcohol and scalpel, along with a precise illustration of where to cut.
More Horror Bites Are Being Composed. Stay Tuned!