This story is by Peter King and was part of our 2020 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Eyes of Isolation.
A dirty faced-adolescent girl clung to her grungy blankets, pretending to sleep with the presence of the two men. They brought her cold stale food during the day and changed her toilette pot. They were creepier, less scary than the ones that visited her in the night.
“We should clean her up?” The room stunk of uncleanliness, sour sweat, and vomit. No clean water to clean up. This small cement storage room used to store hazardous material in the past made a perfect inescapable cell. The metal symbols attached to the cement block walls for exploding dangerous goods were the only remaining articles in the chilly room.
“She’s not our problem. Look at her, a scared little cat. We fed her. Now let’s go! We got a lot of chores to do or we won’t get fed by nighttime. I have a good agreement going with these Night kids, you want to blow it go ahead. I’ve been out beyond the fences, it’s ugly. This may suck, but it’s better than being on their dangerous side.”
“Nobody would care if I came later on and paid her a visit.” Weaving his last words.
Turning on the other man, “They may keep us here to serve them, but don’t you forget they have us locked up in here. We can’t just come and go as we please. It’s bullshit! There aren’t many of us. I’m not touching one of them creepy children of the night. Chosen Ones. They call themselves the chosen ones. They can’t get mad at me for taking care of my needs. We are work slaves to them, doing all the dirty work.” He spits on the floor to emphasize his frustration.
“They want her blood. They think the cure is in her.”
“She’s a half-breed freak.” Bent over the bundled girl, he whispers. “How would you like it if I came and paid you a brief visit later? Would you like that? Maybe when they’re done sucking all the blood out of you, I can keep you as a pet.”
The grimy sheets did not move.
He leaned in close enough for her to smell his sour breath.
The man let out a sick laugh. The girl shook under the dirty blankets, hoping he never saw her fear, or the goosebumps shivering on her pale, unwashed skin.
“See you later kitty cat.”
Only a sliver of light pierces the darkness from the corners of the steel door that holds her in the confines of the concrete and mortar. She knows daylight because the two smelly white men come. Time is unmeasurable in the room’s confinements. She had no inclination of the time they had confined her. Two weeks? Perhaps four?
Holding her ear to the door for any sounds. The cold and whispers from the wind, small whimpering whistles, her only companion. They forced her into this room around the same time winter delivered its chilly winds and snow. Only slight echos beyond the door and shivering thoughts in her mind lingered.
She needed to get out.
This room once had shelved chemicals, or cleaning supplies, she guessed. The marks of where the shelves once stood left blemishes in the grey cement blocks from missing brackets. She let her boney fingers drift along the harsh walls. She sat on her stiff bunk staring at the odd symbols, one of a rock exploding, the other sign read “Caution Chemical Storage Area”, with a familiar picture of some black barrels. The letters were bright red and the wording dark black.
The dim light from under the door gave a long sliver of bright white flash off the letter “E” in the word storage. The letter “E” was of no insignificance. The sparkle of the bolt holding the sign caught the girl’s eye. She placed the stale bread down, slid to the sign, tapping her dirty hand over the metal bolt, letting the warm light shine over her fingers.
The bolt moved in her scrawny fingertips, freeing itself from the cement wall, followed by crumbs of white powdered dust. She sat down on the bunk, rolling the two-inch bolt in her fingers, blowing the white powdered dust free from the mini grooves.
She twirled the silver bolt in her fingers.
With no other plan, she worked on another bolt. Banging it with the free bolt, working the edges of the metal bolt till her fingers bled. She worked tirelessly, patiently, in silence.
The familiar sounds of whistling and the scrape of heavy boots made her heart skip. Frozen in horror, she pulled the second bolt out, jumping down back into the rough bed and under the safety of her messy covers. Why was he coming back? It was not food time? Did they want more blood?
Her bony frame shook like a leaf under the grimy covers. Tears formed in her light green eyes. She rubbed them away with the back of her dirty shirt. Scared is good. This was no time to cry. Nothing good would come of crying. Her grandmother told her crying was for scared baby girls. Crying represented weakness. Whatever this foul man wanted or why he was coming, she needed stamina.
Shadows of his bulky boots under the door’s edge. Why was he here? He whispered in the door’s crack. “Hey, little kitty. Are you awake?” he giggled at his own clever words.
The key slithered in the lock.
He sits on the edge of the bed. The girl’s skin prickled at his closeness. She closed her eyes, praying he would leave.
Gently putting a hand on the blanket. She cringed at the touch of his hand causing her muscles to tense up and her upset stomach felt it might heave any moment.
“You’re so small. I thought you might like some company. Look at me.” She clung to the blankets for protection. Passing his sinister fingers in her long dirty black hair. “Look at me.”
Roughly tossing her, she sees his wicked grin. Yellow stained teeth, unshaven face, those never bothered her, the eyes, evil hallow blackness. Her body went rigid, horror flashed in her green eyes. “He will hurt me,” she thought.
“This will be our little secret.”
She swung an angry fist at his ugly face. He easily stopped her little hand, grabbing her bony wrist. “Now, now, no need to be rude. I’m trying to be your friend. Nobody else wants you. You’re a freak. What do you think they will do with you when they no longer need you? You will need friends. I can be that friend.”
She struggles to get as far away from him as possible. He laughs, enjoying the struggles. Grabs a chunk of her hair in his fist. She twists and bites his hand.
“Oww! That was not very nice.” He smiles, let’s go of her hand slapping her in the face.
The slap rattles her head. Immobilized stars rang out in her blurred vision. Numbness stung the side of her face. Frozen, looking up at the grinning man, she let her body relax, re-coiling.
The creepy man keeps one hand in her hair, smiling down on her from ear to ear with his yellow teeth as he relaxes his grip on her wrist, smoothing out her pale skin. She lay still on the grimy bed.
I will not let him get to me. She tells herself.
“That’s a delightful girl. We will get along just fine.”
Releasing his firm grip. He strokes her hair, sending goosebumps on top of goosebumps along her skin.
Swinging her left hand in his face. He grabs her hand again, looking confused at the metal bolt wrapped in her fingers. His instant of confusion is his downfall. She drives the second bolt in his left eye socket. Blood gushes over both of them. Red syrup pouring out of his eye, he cries out in pain, cursing out into the room. Falling backward onto the cement floor the girl jumps on top of him swinging her small fists into his grisly face. The metal bolts splatter blood on the cement wall, each strike rips a gash into his wounded skin.
Fixed over the mutilated corpse, the blood-covered girl opens her red bloody fists, letting the bolts plop in puddles of sticky blood. The man whimpers, blacking out.
Unnerved she bends down, retrieves the keys, locks the door quietly, walks calmly without fear bare feet down the hallway. Covering her eyes, she shelters her face from the bright light, her eyes unaccustomed to the light. She pauses at the first window. Sheltering her eyes, she peeks at silver snow through bloody dirty fingers. Bloodless snow drifts in heavy sheets, covering the entire bleak world, a small smile creeps along her bleak face.