A Skittering Heart


The smell. It was the smell that got to her more than anything. The cramped, choking, space; the blackened, used tampons; the horrifying wetness of rotten blood; the chittering, skittering bugs crawling in her hair, down her neck, inside her clothes… It… it all failed to reach her as deeply as the over powering stench. A deep twisted rot that burned her nose and seared her brain like the bile still dripping from her lips.

Taylor had long given up screaming for help. The air she so desperately needed to make noise had quickly filled her lungs with putrid fumes. She had no room, couldn't even turn to beat at the door. The only sound the dull thuds when her sore, abused elbows clipped the door as struggled to not begin thrashing again.

Now she just stood there, slumped and shivering against the wall amidst the rot and the blood and insects and stench twisting inside her head. She was damaged. Broken. Inside as well as out. Not that this was a new thing for her. Taylor had long slide into this monotone life; doing nothing but surviving one day to the next, one torment to the next. The locker was just the red, ripe cherry on top.

Sophia, Emma, Madison… They had really outdone themselves and turned insults, pranks and casual abuse into… this. A waking nightmare. Taylor was just unlucky enough to be part of their stroke of originality for the year. Not that there was ever any doubt that this locker would be saved for anyone else.

Things... slid and slithered around her, beneath her, as Taylor began to crumple to the mush filled bottom.

She, Taylor Hebert, was going to die here. She would die all alone, trapped in the darkness. She would leave her father all alone, waiting for her to come home to a pasta dish that would go cold. That… that thought upset her. Leaving her father all alone like when her mother died… She, she couldn't do that to him. She couldn't leave him too. She was all he had now. So she struggled… She struggled back up, feet slipping amidst the waste.

"Fuck you." She hissed. She wouldn't… She wouldn't let them win.

Her leg jerked and rammed her heel into the metal door. Pain blossomed in her foot up but she gritted her teeth and viciously pushed it aside, bracing one foot against the door and the other the wall infront of her.

"Fuck you!" She screamed. They wouldn't win! She never let them win!

Taylor raised her hands and placed them on the wall despite the filth and bleeding knuckles. Then she pushed. She shoved off the back of the locker, hands and feet buried in trash whilst her limbs strained. The door creaked but wouldn't yield. She felt better though; she wasn't just going to wilt and die. Not now. Not ever! She would either escape on her own or, if she must, she'd die free atop the remains of her prison, the door broken beneath her. Either one was just as important to her now; to show reach her father or show him she'd died trying.

Pads and tampons slopped around her and her shoes squished amidst unspeakable things. Taylor ignored it all. What did the condition of her prison matter? She would be free! She would escape this prison, this darkness. She would get out and find her father and tell him she loved him with all her heart. And then…

Then she would find Sophia, the one who had dared trap her here and rip that smirk off her face! She would find Madison, and make her innocent smile fall, make her weep as Taylor had wept! She would find Emma and put her fist where Emma's heart used to be!

Another cry came from her lips. but now it was a war cry instead of terrified screaming.

Taylor wanted freedom. Her back hit the metal again then her vision swam.

Things… Beings she could not describe. Twisting, shifting crystals that drifted into and out of each other. A tesseract brought to life, fragments combining to make a whole. Impossibly large, they flew through the ocean between the stars. A pair. Two. Together. Always together, until the end of time itself.






Then Taylor fell. The black ocean rushing past amidst a thousand specks of light. The creatures faltered, tried realign themselves but Taylor lost sight of them, falling away into the abyss. Something pulled at her from below, as if she had been weightless but now felt gravity. She fell from the ocean of stars and crashed into the sea.

She fell for so long and so quickly.


Then… Her feet touch something solid. She looked around, water swirling about her and yet she could breathe… She couldn't see. Darkness surrounded her. Shaking she took a step forward. As soon as her foot touched the ground the darkness exploded, peeling into white doves that flew away and above her, carrying the water with them. As they fled, the birds revealed a circular platform, stained glass now beneath her feet. Standing on the brilliant glass Taylor Herbert looked down at her own sleeping face as she cradled herself around her mother's flute.

A voice came from everywhere; both outside and inside her own head.

"Don't be afraid. Time is so very short… but take your time. You don't understand this yet but you are the key."

In the isolated hallway lined with lockers the darkness was disturbed as a single locker glowed with a brilliant white light. With a screech of metal a giant key head pierced through the door.

Posted over on Spacebattles, and was suggested I try it here, hope you like. Chapters up to 9, so expect a rapid upload up to there.