Router completely crapped out for a long time. Got it back online, had a virus. That virus overran my computer. Now I'm back and here's a oneshot to make up for it.


WARNINGS! Excessive gore, Language


~.:. As The Bell Tolls .:.~


Tangy, bitter, red blood.

And it was everywhere.

I stepped precariously along the path, my toes clenching against the cracked and dirty stone ground for better grip. It was cold, half coagulated blood, my feet slipping along through. With barely a shift in my posture, my balance was thrown off kilter and my footing was lost. The blood squelched as my feet scrambled for purchase.

Desperate, my fingers grasped for the walls. Rust and grime cutting into my palms, decrepit paint peeling off under my fingernails.

Where the hell was I?

Everything was so dark, dank, frightening. And the smell. That horrific smell, of rotting flesh, of copious pools of blood, of musk and mold, of dirt, of rust, of excretion.


It permeated everything. My throat was tight with it, my stomach assaulted by it, my nose filled with it.

My body was weak; trying so hard to stay on my feet, knees fighting not to buckle. I clenched my eyes shut.

Was this a dream?

If so, was a horrible nightmare. When I opened my eyes again, I saw a light, an iridescent light, at the long end of the constricting tunnel. At the end, I vaguely heard a bell toll.

I used the wall for balance, using it to push myself along. And that's when I felt it. My body froze with fright, ice pulsing through my veins. Behind me, behind me I could feel it. There was a presence, swirling around, gaining ground, coming closer. I could practically feel its breath on my back. Fear turned to adrenaline and I began hobbling for my life, whatever it was approaching fast.

The bell tolled again, louder this time. I swear to god I heard laughter echoing around with it. Then I heard the breathing. That terrible labored breathing, raspy with only god knows what. I let go of the wall, feeling the beast just inches behind me, the stomping of what I believed to be feet echoing off the walls. I pushed away from the wall, using the momentum to propel me forward and broke out in a cold run, feet slapping and sliding through the blood.

More than a few frightening times, I almost fell. My heart was lodged in my throat, my lungs burning for more air, my legs screaming for reprieve. Was I even any closer to the way out?

Was the damn tunnel stretching along with each step I took?

I couldn't help it, I sobbed with uncontrollable fear, my eyes watering with it. I heard the bell toll again, louder this time and I heard the breathing behind me hitch and the stamping of feet stutter. I screamed with fear, a whoosh of air blowing my hair about my face. I leaped forward and pushed harder, the red glow filling the passage, growing brighter. I wanted to sob with relief, my arms flexing back and forth to help move me along.

And then I hit the light like a brick wall and pain tore through me. I screamed in agony falling to the ground and above me I heard the scream of anger behind me. I writhed on the ground, trying to slide onto my back, blinded by the red. Looking around frantically for anything I could see, I heard the grinding of rusty gears and chains crunching and clunking into place; that inhuman scream still ripping around in the red lit chasm. The light grew brighter, and I shielded my eyes with my arm, body burning with sudden heat.

And then it was gone. Just like that, it was deadly silent and it was pitch black. All I could hear were my gasping breaths. I looked around hoping to see something, anything. For what felt like hours I sat there, waiting for something to happen, too scared to move.

Then suddenly the bell tolled, the ground pulsing slightly with its force. And like that, the light returned to the world and I wished it hadn't.

Soon as the lights flashed on, screaming. Oh god the SCREAMING. Inhuman, agonized, horrific SCREAMING! Everywhere. EVERYWHERE! Scream. Scream. SCREAM.

And the rattling, the obsessive deranged rattling. In the dim lighting I could see it with frightening clarity. Torn fingers clenched at rusted bars to suspended cages, the walls filled with cells, gratings for the prisoners under the floor. I could see them. All of them. Grasping and pulling, pushing, fighting, biting, breaking, GNAWING at their grates; drowning in blood. The captives under my feet splashing blood everywhere, all over me, pulling at the grates above their heads. I could hear them gasping, fighting for air.

Their tortured and agonized screams filled my body with icy fear. Their eyes were feral and wild. Their bodies were twisted, mutated; missing vitals parts. They lurched and squirmed towards me, eyes holding hunger and anger, bodies naked, skin discolored or even missing. Snarling filled the cavern with their screams. I shuddered and turned back to the now inviting tunnel I had just come from.

I stopped dead in my tracks, heart palpitating painfully with fear. I began to hyperventilate, my nose running, tears rolling in fast rivers down my cheeks.

There were rusted, bloody bars wrapped in chains blocking the way. I moved forward and fell to my knees grasping at the bars, sobbing. I leaned my head against them looking to the ground seeing blood, hearing screams, smelling torture, feeling lost. Losing hope.

What the hell kind of place was this?

I shuddered with repressed fright and sniffled, looked up and down the dark tunnel, ignoring the aching fear in my stomach making my muscles twitch with jittery senses. The blackness in the hole seemingly swirled about. The bell tolled again, shaking the ground.

What was that? I scrunched my eyes. There was something moving in the far end of the tunnel, moving closer. I clenched the bars tighter, suddenly fearing what it could possibly be. I could feel it moving towards me and then, my eyes widened as my heart stopped for never ending seconds.

A smile. A bloody, broken smile. It lurched closer, growing, widening, laughing at me. I felt air push violently into my face, stale air filling my senses, laughter trickling into my ears.

I clenched my eyes shut hoping to god I was simply dreaming and that I'd wake up any second. When I opened them again, long bloody broken fingers were clenching the bars next to my face.

A half torn face smiling at me, skin peeling off in convoluted chunks, smile pulling the straining muscles tighter; the sound of skin tearing. The blood dribbled off its chin and its eyes were sunken in and grey, its eyelids gone. Tuffs of blue hair poked out from under its long, pointed hood. I was frozen stiff in fear.

It huffed a laugh and blood splattered all over my face. I screamed and my body set into motion. I turned and ran, not looking back, not paying attention to the screaming beasts grabbing for me. The little squares in the grating hurting my bare feet. The laughter echoed along in the hallway as I ran, the monsters inside frothing with anger; driven mad with the sound.

Claws swiped and snatched at my face, venomous cries of frustration filling my head. I turned around an abrupt turn in the hallway, sliding along the floor and into the celled walls. Instantly, hands were all over me, trying to pull me closer. I screamed and fought.

"NOOOO! UGH! NOOOO! GOD, HELP ME!" I struggled desperately, pulling away. Their fingers pulling at my arms and hair, I could feel their fingernails scraping skin off in bloody rivulets, my shirt tearing. With a pained shriek, I lunged forward, ripping my shirt clean off, yanking strands of hair out of my head as I fell free. I shoved away from the other wall as soon as I touched it and limped down the hallway. The bell tolled.

I looked around frantically, my heart thumping against my chest, nostrils flared with my heaving breaths. I knew my eyes were fantastically wide with my hands grasping tightly against my bleeding arms. The pain was lancing through me like hot iron.

Blindly, I began to run. No. No. No. No no nonononononononono! I started sobbing, heaving pained cried of despair through the tainted air. The monsters continued to howl, somehow it all sounded like sick, twisted laughter. Their distorted faces were definitely smiling.

A door. Oh thank GOD a door! Pushing forwards, the beasts under me slashing desperately at me and flinging blood everywhere, I leaped over a hand that came dangerously close and kept running. Faster. Faster. Faster. The bell tolled.

I hit the door like a jackhammer and broke it off its ancient hinges. I fell with it, air knocked mercilessly from my lungs with the impact. My eyes shot up, wildly looking about for anymore twisted beasts.

Nothing. Just a dark, empty room. There was another door right on the opposite side. I stood up and gingerly stepped towards the other door, fearing something else would hop out, spitting effluence everywhere. I'd hardly taken three steps when, with a yell, something hard collided into my side like a freight train. I fell to the ground with whatever it was struggling on top of me.

I screamed and began kicking and hitting, eyes clenched shut in fear.


Instantly, the monster on top of me stopped moving, shifting into what felt as a sitting position. I cracked open an eye and saw long red hair hanging wildly down a dirty and bloody but thankfully human face. With shock I pushed myself up on my raw elbows.

"You! Someone else is here? Where the hell are we," I all but yelled in aggravated relief. The man sighed and relaxed, shoulders slumping. I was impatient. I wanted the hell out of there now. "Well? Do you know or not?"

He lifted his head and swiped his arm under his bleeding nose smearing dirt and vomit across his cheek. "I don't know where the hell we are. All I know is that we gotta get the hell out."

His voice was gruff, as if he hadn't spoken for a long time. He stood up and looked around calmly, eyes tightened in a glare. They turned to look at me and I stiffened. He shifted to help me up. "Name's Renji."

I grabbed his hand and let him pull me up. "Ichigo."

He nodded thoughtfully and stopped, tilting his head, looking curious. "Can you hear the bells?"

Tilting my head as well, I nodded. "Yeah, what the hell do they mean? What the hell is going on? Where the fuck are we and why is everything like this?"

Renji shook his head slowly, eyes looking forlorn. "You have been taken, called. He has called you. That's what's going on. You are in his lair and you will play by his rules." The man put his hands on his hips and sneered.

"Tch. And he doesn't play fair. Tell me, have you seen him?"

I watched him in confusion. "I've been called? Wuh-What the hell are you goin' on about? Him? Who the fuck is him? And lair? What are you saying! You're making no sense!"

The man scoffed and rolled his eyes, leaning forward impatiently. He pointed to his mouth. "The smiling fucker. Ya seen him? That's who him is."

The blood drained from my face and I suddenly felt woozy. Renji snorted and shook his head.

"I'll take that reaction as a yes." With a quick turn he cussed, hand reaching up to grasp his chin. "He's jus' fuckin' with us! He's been chasin' me around this whole damn place. And every god damn time he gets close enough to kill me, he disappears."

"What? Kill you?" My voice shook with my trepidation. Renji turned to look at me, his expression asking if I was born stupid.

"Well yeah. Why do you think everything's like the way it is? Ya think this is some fuckin' test before we exit into paradise er some shit? No. This is his lair. This is what he does to people. He likes to hunt them down, play with them, and then torture them. It's his own sick little game.

"And you know it when he's comin' too. He's got his little calling card: the fucking bells. He likes it when his prey know that they're gonna die, makes it that much more satisfying when chasin' 'em down. And he's always. God. Damn. Smiling. Ya know why? Cuz he loves his job and he loves killing people.

"And ya know he only kills the ones he loves."

I swallowed the rock in my throat. "H-how do you fucking know all this shit about him?"

Renji just turned and stared at me with a blank expression, looking very much like one of the soulless monsters caged in the hallway. The darkness in the room basked half his face in horrifying anger, the other dimly illuminated to look weary and even bored.

Suddenly I didn't feel so safe in the company of this man.

The bell tolled and I jumped, surprised. He just turned to stare blankly to the ceiling. Then an alarm went off, red lights flashing. He looked around and I watched in fear.

Then, the sound of cages opening. We both turned to gape at the open doorway, my body shaking.

"Shit." Renji ran for the fallen door and began to heave it up, grunting. "Don't just fucking stand there! Help me out dammit!"

Quickly, I ran over and we both hefted the heavy door into place as he bent over and tried to reinsert the hinges. Sounds of groaning and shuffling feet came towards us, growing louder. I looked up with wide eyes, horror flooding my senses.

"No…" I whispered, stepping away from the door, shaking my head in fear. I stepped further away. Renji looked up at me and scowled.

"Dammit, Ichigo! Don't just walk away! Help me!" I couldn't hear him. The rushing of my blood in my ears drowned him out. Bloodied fingers began pinching the rim of the door, twitching and scratching against the metal. Renji's head shot up to stare at them.

"SHIT!" He let go of the hinges and took off running past me. "Fuck that! C'mon!"

I just stood there watching the door in awestruck horror. I heard skidding of feet behind me, cursing, and then a hand was yanking me backwards and out of the room, just as the door fell and all hell entered.

Oh god. The writhing masses of flesh stumbling and screaming after us.

I stopped breathing and then I turned and ran, Renji letting go. We ran and ran, the hallway straight and narrow. He was in front of me and I couldn't help but to keep glancing over my shoulder to the beasts behind us.

The bell tolled.

Without warning, Renji stopped and I collided into him. It was too dark to see around him.

"What? What's wrong?" I couldn't keep the panic out of my voice. "Why did you stop? Those things are right behind us!"

He shook his head. "There are stairs…"

He turned to the side and there I saw them. Bloody, grated stairs leading up and up twisting around the room. Up and up into the blackness. I looked to him, my heart trying to hammer its way out of my chest. "So what are you waiting for? Go up! Hurry!"

Renji shook his head again, eyes haunted. "Never go up the stairs…" He stared up as if transfixed. A hiss sounded very close from behind and I swore.

"Just go! We don't have a choice!" And I shoved him up. After stumbling a couple times, he took off at break neck speeds, myself close behind. The stairs shook and creaked, some pulling loose and falling beneath our feet.

His foot fell through and he yelled, ripping his foot back out. Blood dribbled from his torn pant leg and flew with each labored step. We could hear them moaning behind us, the entire structure shaking with their frenzied steps.

The bell tolled and everything began to change. With each flight of stairs, we pulled further into the darkness, and everything turned… darker. The walls began to crack, blood spewing from the holes. The rust covered everything, stained brown with age. The floor was broken and black with soot. Everything pulsed as if it was alive, everything shifting beneath our grasps. As if the building had a heartbeat, the walls shifting as if they were muscles flexing.

And it was cold. Snow began to fall on us. Scrunching my eyebrows I looked up confused, reaching out to touch it. It didn't melt in my hand but smeared?

What the… Ash?

Renji scoffed loudly, angrily. "I fucking told you! Never go up the stairs! Look at this! It's getting worse!"

"What would you have done? Those fuckers had us trapped!" I snapped back. "It was either this or die!"

We kept running. Renji said nothing more.

And we ran for an eternity. Our chests were heaving, our legs and stomachs filled with cramps. Grasping his arm for support. "When does it end?" I yelled, breathless.

Sweat was pouring down his face. He yelled back, "I don't fucking know!"

And so we continued to run for lifetimes. Finally, a door. We stopped and stared at it, awestruck. It was huge, took up the whole giant passageway and the bottom of it was swathed in blood, the metal ridges holding it in. Frantically, Renji looked it over.

"How the hell do we open it?" He ran forward and began feeling around. "Dammit! We're too far to die now! Not like this!" He pushed his fingers under the seam and began pulling up, grunting. "Ichigo! Help me lift this thing!"

Nodding, I ran over and we both hefted it up slowly but surely.

Renji shifted his position. "Alright, I need you to hold it up on your own for a sec. I'ma go inside and hold it up from that side so you can get in. Got it?"

I nodded hurriedly. I could hear the monsters approaching.

On the count of three, Renji let go and ran through. For a second I felt my body go numb, believing he'd left me to die when fingers wrapped around the bottom edge from the other side.

"Okay, NOW!" He yelled and I took a deep breath and ran through. Soon as I did, I heard the door slam shut behind me and Renji collapse to the floor gasping for air.

"God… damn it.. Let's not… Do that again, okay?" He panted between gulps of air. I was doubled over, holding onto my shaking knees, sweat dripping from my forehead. I nodded and then hefted over, throwing up. So much… Too much.. Too much… I couldn't take much more…

Renji picked himself up off the floor and looked towards the new… room? I stood up, running my bloody arm along my stained mouth, gasping for air.

It was a rusted bridge. In a room so big, the walls couldn't be seen. Nor the bottom. It was a bridge over a black. Abyss. I looked across, squinting my eyes, hoping to see.

My eyes shot open. "There! Across the room! I can just make out the other side! C'mon!"

Renji nodded and we stepped onto the bridge. It shuddered and for a second we feared we would fall. Renji shook his head. "Maybe we shouldn't cross. We should rest here and then figure out what to do later… I have a bad feeling about this."

I opened my mouth to agree when the bell tolled, the whole bridge shook violently with its loud ring. Dust fell from the ceiling, Renji angrily swiping it out of his hair. We looked around with shifty eyes, grimacing at the loud sound.

In the background, we heard grinding as something huge and metal lifted. Something like the door. Both of us turned in horror to stare at the lifting portal, antsy feet moving about on the other side. I saw some of them staring at us, mouths open wide and screaming. They began to crawl through.

I shoved Renji towards the bridge. "No time to worry about that now! Move!"

We began to run across, hell's fury at our heels. The bell tolled again, the bridge shuddering violently, pitching us off balance. We grasped at the floor for balance and took off running again. Like the sound of a wet whip, slithering was heard.

I heard a loud snap and a scream of agony. I stopped, skidding, and looked in time to see Renji fall to the ground, a huge tentacle wrapped around his ankle. His fear stricken eyes looked into mine and then he was hauled over the edge.

"NOOOOOOOOOO! RENJI! RENJI! RENJIIIIIIIII!" I looked over the edge, on my hands and knees looking desperately for him.

All I saw was blackness.

"RENJIIIIIII!" I was hyperventilating again, my hands pulling at my hair. "GOD DAMMIT! NO, RENJI!" I sobbed, slamming my fists against the bridge, screaming out my anguish; trying to manifest it into physical pain. My knuckles throbbed but my heart throbbed harder still. It wasn't fair… It wasn't RIGHT! No… Oh god no… Renji… I choked back my sobs, my throat swelling with painful lumps.

Moaning grew louder, interrupting my debilitating sorrow and I looked up and saw the monster just starting the trek across the bridge. I felt so much anger and fear; so much righteous fury. I stood up and the bell tolled again, the whole bridge shivering and causing us all to be tossed around like dolls, monsters falling to their dooms in the chasm. I yelled in anger and took off running, tired of everything.

"You mother fucker! If yer gonna kill me, quit fuckin' around! Get it over with!" I rushed across the gap, pushing to make it across before it collapsed, the horde of creatures shaking it free of its connectors. With a giant leap, I landed on the solid ground and kept running towards the other door. Without preamble I shoved it open and slammed it shut, running forward.

And then pitched over and fell, screaming hitting with a splash, head hitting the ground with a resound thunk! Paddling to the surface I gasped for air, splashing liquid everywhere. I grabbed at my skull yelling in agony looking around horrified.

It… it was blood. A room full of blood. I looked down and trembled. It... it… it was up to my chest.

"Oh… oh my god." Sloshing around in the water, I tried desperately to leap for the edge just above my grasp, the thick liquid pulling me down. I stopped and screamed, looking around frantically. I had to get out! I had to get out! Blood. Blood! I was bathing in blood! Sickness rose in my throat, my hand covering my mouth to try and hold it in.

In the peripheral of my eye, red light. I turned to look.

Exit. There was a door with the blinding red letters above it. EXIT.

Crying out in relief, I started pushing through the blood towards it. Halfway across, the bell tolled amd horror filled my soul, choking me with its grasp.

I scream, the whole room vibrating like a glass about to shatter, the tone so loud. It tolled again, and again and again. Constant assault on my ears. Yelling, I covered my ears, writhing.

Something slithered across my ankle. I yelp and start running again, the blood sloshing in waves with the vibrating walls, my footing shaky at best, the blood slowing my movements. I reach out to the knob, fingers brushing, hope filling my heart.

Suddenly, the world is spinning and my eyes are burning with red. And hands are pulling my further down.

Is it deeper than I thought?

I'm being pulled further away from my freedom, bell still painfully tolling. I struggle to free myself and my lungs are burning. Laughter in my ears. Freedom! No! My freedom was right there! Right. THERE! Gone… Numbing shock fills my mind and as I'm pulled deeper still, squirming all the harder to get free.

"…. Yooou…. Aaaaaaare… Mmmmmiiiiiinnnnne…." he whispers in my ear. My body is screaming for air, frantically fighting for the surface. His hands running down my chest, pulling me deeper, my body being turned into his own. Lips press to mine and I gasp for air, unable to hold it in any longer.

Blood fills my lungs and I gag, choke, cough, inhaling more. I'm kicking frantically, trying to escape, to breathe; my body DESPERATE to live. He just laughs and holds me tight as my head goes light and the world swirls around me, time seeming to slow.

I open my eyes and I can see. I see a room filled with chains and bodies lay around. I see the monsters as the lost souls they once were, bloodied and torn in the way they had died. I see Renji, his eyes blank, lifeless. Just like all the others. They stand there, unmoving. His head was cracked wide open, blood running down, his arm hanging limply in an impossible twist, his legs cut and gashed, one near torn right off. He was standing still. Standing. Staring.

They were all staring. At me.

He turns me around and I see shockingly blue eyes staring back, a jackal smile to match, his blue hair hanging in soft strands. Blood dripped from his lips, eyes shining, teeth stained red. Bloodied tears running from his eyes.

"Welcome… Home... My love…" He whispers, pulling my head closer. I feel my heart slowing… Slowing… stopping… Thoughts… Leaving…

His lips touch mine again, I close my eyes, and the bell stops.


~.:. End of As The Bell Tolls .:.~

Yes… This was a dream I had EXCEPT originally it was myself and a friend and another friend who were "played" by Renji, Ichigo, and Grimmjow. I just twisted it to fit those three in.

I do realize this is very much like Silent Hill.

You would be correct. I had a very Silent Hill-ish dream. Oh well. Love it anyway.