Entry for the A Different Kind of Fear contest
Summary: Four walls. Darkness. Bella might be Victoria's prisoner, but is it possible that what looms within the darkness is her real enemy? .AU/OOC Rated M for language and gore.
Word Count: 3,224
Disclaimer:***WARNING: Rated M for Mature Audiences due to language and gore. 18 and over ONLY!***
SMeyer owns it. I just like to torture her characters.
I quickly lifted up my makeshift mask, pressing my nose into the small crack, my only source of fresh air, before inhaling deeply a few times. I held my breath again, and then tied the tiny rag securely around my nose and mouth. I squeezed my eyes shut before turning around and slowly slumping down in the corner of the tiny wooden outbuilding, pulling my shirt up over my head, not only to shield myself from the insects, but to let everyone know I wasn't in the mood to talk. I hadn't opened my eyes for more than a few seconds at a time for days now. I'm not sure how many. I would have to count the discarded water bottles in the corner to know for sure, and that meant opening my eyes, which wasn't going to happen unless absolutely necessary.
I didn't want to see what was around me. I didn't want those images burned into my mind. I didn't want to think about being surrounded by death. The incessant buzzing and trilling of the flies, the beetles, the wasps, and all of the other insects made it difficult to think while simultaneously keeping the reality of my situation in the forefront of my mind. I tried to escape by delving deeper and deeper into my brain, into any happy memories I could find. There weren't many. They had all been tainted by what I had seen since being thrown in this hellhole.
Every time I tried to remember my father, remember how he would get tiny wrinkles around his sparkling eyes whenever he would smile, I would instead see his lifeless body staring back at me, his eyes glazed over. The life gone from them forever. I would remember trying to beat back the flies that crawled over his body.
So many flies.
Victoria had killed him on our first day here. She hadn't tortured him or drained him. At least his death was quick. At least he didn't have to suffer like I was. She simply broke his neck and threw his lifeless body on the floor. She said it would be more torturous for me that way; she was right.
She still believed he would come for me, although I kept telling her they had all left me, abandoned me because I couldn't manage to open a present without injuring myself. She laughed and argued that she knew they were still around, still checking up on me, which proved the extent of her insanity. If any of them were still around, they would have come for me. Even if they didn't want me, they would have saved me. I knew this. But, they were off somewhere else with their distractions, while I struggled to keep alive.
I was surprised yet relieved that the pack hadn't found me, although I knew Victoria was terrified of the wolves, so she would do anything in her power to keep them from finding her. She had snatched us during a particularly strong thunderstorm. The rain was coming down in bucket loads, and I knew from my conversations with Jacob that this would wash away our scent, making it almost impossible to track us. At least they wouldn't get hurt trying to rescue me, because the last thing I wanted was to be responsible for someone else's death. I only craved death for one person: myself. I yearned for death, begged for it, but it never came.
Tears seeped from the corners of my eyes and I reached up through my shirt to wipe them away, still keeping my eyes closed as tight as I could manage. I hoped no one else would notice I was crying, while I remembered my last conversation with Charlie. Victoria had thrown us in this little shed in the middle of nowhere. The small, dirty light bulb cast shadows on his face, illuminating the uncharacteristic fear dancing in his eyes. She had given us five minutes to say our goodbyes, giving Charlie the choice to die in my place. She told him she would let me live if he sacrificed himself, which was exactly what he did, without hesitation. He told me he loved me, he told me that I was his everything, and if I survived that it would all be worth it. He made me promise to go on living; he made me promise to survive.
He didn't know Victoria considered this living. He wouldn't have made me promise if he knew I would be stuck in the same room where his life ended, watching his corpse decompose. If I could find a way to end my misery now, surely he would understand. I had tried escaping a few times, but Victoria was always there. I had even attempted to goad her into killing me by punching the wooden structure until my knuckles bled, hoping she wouldn't be able to resist draining me dry. Of course, that was the day she came back with bright crimson eyes, laughing at me as she unceremoniously threw another body in the room with me. This time it was a girl about my age with empty blue eyes and curly blonde hair. She told me her name was Cindy.
Victoria continued to use the shack as a makeshift morgue, bringing all of her coven's victims to me, torturing me more and more with each corpse. Bobby was next, and then Greg, Jan, Peter, and Marsha.
I helped situate them when Victoria first brought them in, blocking my view of Charlie. I couldn't handle looking at him anymore. His eyes had turned from the same brown as my own to a milky white, and then they started disappearing all together. I didn't want to watch the maggots wriggling on his body, I didn't want to see his pallor turn from white to black, and I didn't want to watch his body bloat as his skin peeled away from the muscle.
"The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out…"
Shut up, Jan.
Jan was the talker of the group, and I couldn't wait until the beetles ate her big, fat lips so I wouldn't have to listen to her snarky comments any longer. At least the bugs were good for something.
"Did I strike a nerve?"
"Let her be, Jan. She's having a tough time right now."
"Who asked you, Greg? I'm bored," she pouted. "I just want to have a little fun."
How about you all shut the fuck up!
"Wow, Bella, I don't think Charlie would appreciate you using such language."
Charlie is dead and I'm stuck in here with all of you! I think I have a right to be a little depressed, so SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Our conversation was cut short by the sound of the door being wrenched open and slamming against the wall. I pulled my head out of my shirt and opened my eyes, the light blinding me momentarily and making me squint. Through the swarm of insects, I managed to see Victoria standing there, a smirk on her face and a hunk of bread and my daily bottle of water in her hands.
"Here you go, Bella. We wouldn't want you starving to death before your knight in shining armor arrives."
She threw them at Marsha before slamming and locking the door. They ricocheted off her head and landed next to Greg. My body was still stronger than my will and I had a promise to fulfill to Charlie, so I scrambled up and took my mask off before snatching them off of the floor, wiping the maggots and beetles off of the bread. I tore off the part that had hit the floor because it had already soaked up some of the purged fluid from Greg's body before tearing off a chunk with my teeth and chasing it with a swig of water.
The tiny hunk of bread wasn't much, but she only fed me once every two or three days, so I took what I could get, and it tasted so good. I tried to hold my breath as I ate, so I wouldn't smell the sickly sweet, putrid stench of death and decaying flesh. I licked my lips after wiping the gnats off of my face, enjoying the feel of moisture on them. I wasn't about to tell her that what she was feeding me wouldn't keep me alive much longer. I could feel my body growing weaker, but I knew from experience that vampires really had no clue how often humans ate.
"Ration your water, Bella. If you don't, you'll regret it later."
I'm so thirsty, Cindy. I can't help it. Just one more big drink and I'll save the rest for later.
I took one last swig and walked carefully back to my corner, trying not to slip in all of the body fluids mingling together on the floor. I sat the bottle down in one of the few clean spots as I finished off the bread I tied the rag around my nose, wiped as many insects as I could off of my face, and pulled my shirt back over my head.
I would be paying for the two minutes I had spent without having my face covered for the rest of the night. I wiped my hands on my pants, trying desperately to rid them of all of the flies and gnats before reaching under my shirt to dig all of the insects out of my ears, nose, and eyelashes. Even if I wanted to keep my eyes open, it was nearly impossible to see anything. The swarm of flying creepy crawlers took up the entire room, taking over every available surface, flying in one large, undulating mass. I had gotten used to the wasp stings, they barely registered anymore, but I still couldn't stand the feel of them crawling on my face or making their way into my ears or nose. I wouldn't let the bugs get me, not until the very end.
Not even taking into account how it felt to have a fly crawl into your ear, remembering what it looked like to see maggots crawling out of Charlie's nose and mouth was too disturbing. I knew that would be me soon, but not yet. At least I wouldn't be able to feel it when they were wriggling around in my insides, eating my organs before bursting out of my stomach. Just like they had with Charlie.
"Your guts decay, your chest caves in, and out runs pus like fresh whipped cream."
SHUT UP, JAN!
"Can't you just leave her be, Jan?"
"Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, I'm just trying to lighten the mood a little."
"Well, you're not lightening anyone's mood. Why don't you just keep your mouth shut? Can't you see what you're doing to her?"
"Actually, I can't, Greg. The maggots finished my eyes two days ago."
"What did I miss? Can y'all speak up a little? I'm having trouble hearing over the popping noises."
"You can kiss your ears goodbye, Bobby. That's the sound of the wasp larvae bursting out of the maggots. They'll be munching down on you next. Unless you can pick them out of your ears."
"Jan, that's not very nice. You know he doesn't have any fingers left. The damn beetles ate them."
"Duh, Greg. It's called a joke."
"Well, it isn't funny. He can't help that he can't hear. Why do you insist on picking on everyone."
"It's not me. It's the maggots in my brain. They whisper evil things to me. Bwahaha."
SHUT UP! I can't take it anymore! If I have to hear one more comment from any of you, I'll….I'll…Well, I'd kill myself if I could, but I can't.
"Why can't you, Bella?"
"Jan, SHUT UP! She doesn't need to be thinking like that."
"Who asked you, Greg? I just want to know why she can't kill herself."
It's okay, Greg. I promised Charlie that I wouldn't; I promised him that I would live. And even if I could kill myself, well, there's not much in here to do it with, unless I was going to try to choke to death on gnats.
"She really is clueless, isn't she?"
"SHUT UP, JAN!"
"Oh, you shut up, Greg! Hey, Bella, isn't Charlie still wearing his gun belt."
Y-yes. I hadn't thought about that.
"Now who has maggots for brains?"
"Stop picking on her, Jan. She's been through a lot. And she promised Charlie."
"Oh, I'm just trying to help her along if she really wants it, Marsha. Give her an out. I'm sure Charlie won't mind. Why don't you ask him Bella?"
She was right; Charlie was still wearing his gun belt. I remembered him unholstering his gun and pushing me behind him when Victoria left to give us our last five minutes. I told him it wouldn't work- the bullet would probably just ricochet and kill us both. I told him that she was a vampire, and from what he had seen, he believed me. He had reholstered it and told me to take it with me if I managed to escape. I had completely forgotten about it, or maybe I just didn't want to remember that it was there..
Ch-Dad? What do you think? I tried, I really did. But, I just c-can't take this any longer. P-please Daddy.
He didn't answer. He never did. Of course, he never was very talkative. Usually, he only spoke if he wanted to discuss my decisions, if he thought I was making a bad choice. Why would that change in death?
I sobbed as I contemplated my situation. No one would ever find me. They would've saved me by now if they could. They wouldn't have left me here for so long. I didn't know how long it was, but the last time I had counted water bottles, I had over thirty. It didn't take a month for a rescue mission. I was either going to die from starvation or dehydration. I could speed things up a little and give Victoria one last fuck you.
I took a deep breath and slid up the wall, pulling my shirt down and opening my eyes once again. I walked over and grabbed Bobby's ankle, trying to ignore the maggots that I could feel moving underneath his skin, as I pulled him out of the way. Next, I moved to Jan, giving her a swift kick to the ribs, feeling her body give under the force like jelly. She fell to the side, and Charlie's body was no longer obscured.
I gasped at the sight of his blackened body, causing me to inhale a few gnats that had worked their way underneath my makeshift mask, making me sputter and choke. Once I caught my breath, I bent over to find his gun, trying desperately not to look at his face, but I couldn't help it. He was hardly recognizable. His eye sockets were empty and his lips were gone, exposing his pearly white teeth. I quickly turned my head and shuddered as a large beetle skittered over his teeth and disappeared into his eye socket.
I shook my head, trying to focus on the task at hand. I reached down between Charlie and Greg to grasp his holster. I unsnapped it and quickly removed the gun before retreating to my safe corner. I took the corner of my shirt and wiped all of the goo off of it that I could before sitting on the floor once more, just staring at the weapon in my hand.
"If you're going to do this, make sure you put the barrel in your mouth, not against your head. It's the best way."
I pulled down my mask and used it to wipe the gun off one more time. I found the safety and clicked it off, bringing my shaking hand up to my mouth. I opened my mouth quickly and placed the barrel in it before clamping my lips shut around it.
You can do this, Bella.
I closed my eyes.
I took two deep breaths and placed my finger on the trigger, trying not to think about the salty, putrid taste permeating my mouth.
On the count of three, Bella. One…..Two….Three.
It didn't fire.
Damn, I forgot to put one in the chamber.
I cocked the gun, and then started the process all over again.
It still didn't fire.
I pulled the cartridge out, silently thanking Charlie for teaching me how to disassemble a gun, and found that there were bullets, but they were covered in a gelatinous mess that used to be my father. This gun would never fire.
"Doesn't he carry a backup, Bella?"
I hurried back over to his body and pulled up his right pant leg to find his old six-shooter attached to his leg holster. Thankfully, from the way he was positioned, it didn't look like it was covered in any residual body fluid.
Thank you, Dad.
I took it and ran back into my corner, placed the gun in my mouth, and began my countdown.
I pulled the hammer back, and slowly squeezed the trigger.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I felt something wriggling in my mouth. I pulled the barrel out and spat out a maggot. It must have been in the barrel of the gun.
I pulled the pin and exposed the cylinder as it fell to the side. There was no way this gun would shoot either. It was completely full of maggots, flies, and those damn gnats.
"Guess it sucks to be you, Bella."
Yes, yes, it does Jan. Now shut the fuck up.
I leaned my head back, banging it against the wall multiple times, letting the tears flow down my cheeks. I reached back and untied my mask, throwing it to the side.
"Letting go doesn't mean giving up, Bella. It just means that you've accepted that this is the way things are supposed to be."
I stripped off my over shirt, throwing it to the side as well, and I leaned back, focusing on the feeling of the insects scurrying over my skin. I relished in the feel of their bites, because at least I was feeling something.
Then Jan began to sing once again, and this time everyone joined in the deathly chorus.
The worms crawl in; the worms crawl out.
The worms play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes; they eat your nose.
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes,
Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And pus pours out like whipping cream.
You spread it on a slice of bread,
And that's what you eat when you are dead.