Bergen Catholic Talisman

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Escape from the Void


Robert Hartley

 

Escape from the Void

 

Adam was on leave from his university with a group of friends for his vacation. They had decided to go camping in the woods about 150 km from Munich, a city in Germany. The place where they were going to was known for suspicious activity, and he had been there before. He knew it was safe. Teresa, Adam’s girlfriend, and her friend Marissa, along with Matt, her boyfriend. They all decided to go camping to get away from city life and to enjoy the great outdoors. At 5 pm the first Saturday night that they got there, they had only just set up camp and were just starting to gather sticks for a fire, two went off in one direction, while the other two went in the other direction to gather some sticks so they could be warm that night. Suddenly somebody heard a loud screech and the sound of something exploding.

“Hmm, wonder what that was.” Matt said. He was walking with a pile of sticks in his hands with an orange jacket on.

“I’m really not sure, do you want to go check out to see what it was?” Adam asked. He knew both girls had gone the other way to gather the firewood, and that the explosion they had heard clearly came from the direction that they were walking in.

They walked in the direction of the screech for about 15 minutes, and after that they both decided to head back to camp, because it was starting to get a bit chilly because it was still spring. Adam could see the sun setting through the branches that had not yet grown leaves. Every tree was either budding or naked, expect for the pines, which lasted all year round.

“What took you guys so long? I thought you said to stay close to the camp to gather fire wood. I was starting to worry about the both of you an..” Marissa was cut off by Matt.

“We had heard an explosion, so we decided to go see what it was, but we didn’t find anything.”

“Well Marissa and I didn’t hear anything, are you sure you two weren’t imagining?” Teresa said sitting on a log facing the soon to be camp fire; the evening sun hitting her face, exposing her beautiful brown eyes. She took her hand and stroked the hair out of her face because of the brisk breeze passing though.

“It wasn’t too loud when we had heard it, it was probably nothing. So anyway, now what we got firewood, who wants to cook?” Matt said to the group.

“Wait, it’s not a campfire without the keg” Adam said.

Everybody enjoyed their campfire and ate until they were full. They drank until they no longer remembered anything, and told stories and did things that nobody would remember in the morning.

As the sun crested over the horizon, a bear wandered into the campfire and ate the remnants of the feast from the night before. The ground was still wet with dew, and the birds had not yet started to sing. The big brown bear let out a bellow.

“Oh my god, what the hell was that?” Adam jolted awake to find himself sleeping in Matt’s and Marissa’s tent. He was only wearing pants, and he had a terrible headache. He unzipped the tent only to find the bear prowling around the site. He was afraid that he attacked the others. Adam thought quickly and found fireworks inside Matt’s bag. He knew he wasn’t allowed to use them, but he brought them in case. He took a second to wonder if he had used any of them the last night. He didn’t remember. “How I just need a..” lighter. He remembered he had one in the other tent, which was about 40 feet across the campfire, with the bear in between.

Adam took the sack and ran for it barefoot across the camp site. The bear noticed him, and turned around. It stood up on its two feet and it looked like it was trying to intimidate Adam, but Adam knew better. He had made it to the other side, and to the tent, which he was supposed to sleep in. The only fear that he has was opening the tent to find Matt and Teresa sleeping together. There was no time, the bear was heading towards him. He opened the tent with a sigh of relief. There was no Matt or Teresa sleeping at all. In fact Marissa wasn’t even there, the tent was empty.

He worried for a moment and thought that they had most likely had run from the bear. Adam reached for his bag to get the lighter, and as the bear was a few feet behind him, he lit the fireworks. Sparks went all over the place, and the noises bounces all around also. It felt like the blast of a billion suns to Adam, who was still pretty hung-over from the night before. When the noise wasn’t as violent and the bangs died down, Adam opened his eyes only to see a wall of smoke. He stood still for a second. He began to walk out of the tent when he saw the last glimpse of a bear running into the bush. He breathed a sigh of relief, and sat for a moment.

He slowly dozed back off, and a few hours later, he awoke over a bright sun beating down on him. “its pretty hot for early April” he thought. He got up and walked around. There were the remnants of a probably awesome party, with trash lying all over the place. He found his digital camera lying on the ground and stuck it in his pocket. He was wondering where everyone had gone. He looked around, yelled their names, and even called them. No response. The woods were dead silent.

It was early afternoon when the sun had just started its descent from the hottest point in the afternoon when Adam had really started to worry. He walked around nervously, and that’s when something caught his eye. It was almost like a path. But it wasn’t. He walked towards it. Something that had gone through the forest leaves had created an indentation in the leaves making a trail that went into the woods where He and Matt had only walked out the night before to gather fire wood.

Knowing it was a bad idea to just leave the camp the way it was, and follow the path into the woods, he did it anyway. He walked and walked, and the faint path was still there. It must have had been about half an hour by now. Then he noticed something. A red mark on a tree. He walked up and examined it.

It wasn’t just a red mark. It was a bloody handprint. Adam was starting to get scared now. He was wondering where his best friend and his girlfriend had gone. He started to run. He followed the path deeper into the woods.

It was about 5 minutes before he saw that the faint path was becoming fainter and fainter. Adam thought where else they could have had.. He tripped. He fell to the ground and hit his nose on something metal. As he got up he saw that he had tripped on a hinge. The type that open up a large secret door that opens upward from the ground leading into a room with an elevator.

Adam got up, he only had a scratch on his leg. He heaved the door open, with the help of his strong arms. He climbed down inside. It was dark. The buzzing of an automatic light turned on. It was a blue white light, and that revealed a room with a broken chair, it only had three legs, and an elevator. There were no buttons.

The door shut behind him. It created a loud boom that was very similar to the one that he had heard in the woods the night before with Matt. It became cool. Adam was glad that he decided to bring his sweat shirt, but it didn’t stop the goose bumps from this eerie place. Suddenly there was a small ping. A light above the elevator lit up. It opened up. It was a large industrial elevator, the ground was dirty with years of use, and there was almost no light in it. Adam walked in. He looked for a button to press, or anything, there wasn’t As he was just about to walk out, the doors started to close. It’s about time. The elevator started to make its decent. It crept down, slowly, almost if it was trying to avoid its final destination.

After a while it stopped. The doors were still shut. Adam though that he got stuck, but then the doors slid open with grace. It revealed a long hallway. There were doors on either side. The walls were concrete painted white with a grey stripe going about three feet up. The lighting here was also warmer, with golden yellow light bulbs hanging naked from the ceiling. He walked down the hall. There were empty rooms on either side with a wire mesh clear window on the doors so it couldn’t be broken. He went to go investigate a room. Inside he saw a hospital bed. It was clean. That was it. It was locked.

It was them Adam heard a cart rolling around a corner. Oh no what should I do? The door was locked so that was out of the question. He passed more doors and looked in. He saw someone. It was a woman lying face down strapped down in one of the hospital beds. She was wearing only a gown. He couldn’t see any other detail. This really scared Adam. He finally found a door that wasn’t locked. He opened it quietly, then closed it the same way, and hid in the corner.

He breathed a sigh of relief, but he was still scared about what he had just seen. The cart rolled by the door, and suddenly he wasn’t as scared anymore. Adam heard the man, or woman who he had not seen walk into a room with the cart. Suddenly there was screaming. Adam covered his ears. He became really tense and he could feel the hairs on the back of his neck. When the screaming stopped, he un covered his ears. He then heard a distant but unmistakable “Help! Please, No!” And he knew who had said that. He jumped up. He knew what he had to do but he was too scared. He reached for the door handle, hand shaking and opened it. He crept towards the room where the screaming had come from. He got there. It took a lot of courage for him to peek through the window. He didn’t want to see what was going on. The buzzing of a bone saw then just came on, and with that he knew that there was no time to waste. Without even seeing what was in the room, he burst through the door.

Adam saw a figure with a mask and plastic apron stained with blood. The person was covered from head to toe in protective wear. Below to the left of her was Teresa. She was blindfolded and squirming on the bed, with the straps holding her down, she wasn’t going anywhere. When Adam entered the room, the bone saw was about a foot away from her chest. She was screaming again. Adam ran and tackled the figure, who apparently didn’t even notice his entrance. The screaming became louder and she started to yell the usual phrases. The person who was on the ground tried to fight back, but Adam got on the ground and fought back. After fighting for a few minutes, Adam got a hold of the still on bone saw and pushed it into the persons throat. The person screamed and blood went all over the place. Adam stood there for a second in disbelief. No, I did not just do that. He had thought. He was soaked in blood, and so were the previously immaculate white sheets and Teresa. Oh no! Is she okay? Adam stood up and took off the blind fold. She stopped squirming and in disbelief she said “How… how did you escape?”

“I never got captured. I woke up at the camp site and nobody was there. I was terrified.” He said that while un strapping her. She was covered in blood, but thank got it was not hers. She was only wearing basic undergarments, and her clothes were nowhere to be seen, expect for the gown that she was wearing.

Adam gave her his sweat shirt. “Thanks. So if the other weren’t at the camp site, then they must be here. I’m just hoping that we’re not too late.” She got down from the table, and they walked into the hallway. “What do we do now? Should we look for them? How did you even get in? The only thing I remember is waking up here, strapped onto that damned table”

“Shhh… It’s all going to be okay, I’m going to go look for the others, I want you to stay here..

“No! I’m going with you, I don’t want to be left alone after what just happened” She was almost in tears.

It didn’t sound like a good idea, but reluctantly Adam said “All right, fine, but stay close, and quiet. I really don’t want to get caught again.” Adam walked to the cart, he found a nice knife on the table. He found a smaller one and gave it Teresa “Here, only use it if you have to, I really don’t want you or me having to kill anybody else.”

“Mmmhmmm” She put it in the sweat shirt pocket.

“Ok, let’s go then, we can’t waste any more time.”

 

They walked down the hall. It became more and more deteriorated as they went down. They encountered a section with broken glass. Adam carried Teresa over the gap since she was barefoot. He set her down on the other side. Then came the fork in the road. “What do you think” Adam asked.

“I don’t know, my sense is telling me we should go left.” The left side of the hall was darker and older than the right side.

“I think we should go right”

“Okay, I was just telling you how I felt.”

They ventured down the right side of the hall. A fowl odor started to become more present. It smelled like blood and something else. Neither Teresa or Adam could place the smell. They came across another string of rooms. This time they weren’t as pretty. There were bodies sitting in metal tubs. Some were being drained of blood as there was a trail of the crimson liquid leading to a drain in the center of the floor. “It’s okay, be lucky it’s not us” They were both extremely scared beyond anything that they had felt before. The rooms with the metal tubs seemed to go on forever. Just then Adam saw something that he didn’t want to see. “C’mon let’s turn around, I don’t think there’s anything down this way.” He was hoping that she wouldn’t see what he just saw.

Teresa let out a shriek. Oh no. It’s too late. Adam thought. He was right. Lying in one of the tubs was Marissa’s body. It was almost unrecognizable, expect for her signature ankle tattoo. Teresa started to cry. She cried into Adams shoulder. He tried to calm he down, but it was fruitless. He was mad at himself and he was mad at whoever did this. He didn’t care what he had to do to get out of here alive.

Some time passed. Teresa finally was able to keep going, but she was devastated after what happened. “What do we do now” she asked.

“We just need to find a way out now. I hate to say it, but the same probably happened to Matt” Both of them knew that he was right, they just didn’t want to admit it. They headed backwards in the direction that they were going. They eventually came back to the same intersection that they were at before. This time Adam listened to Teresa and went left, even though it looked more scary. The hall was darker and more ruined than the other way. They went down anyway.

“Shh… Did you hear that?” Adam asked. It was a beep. It came from the direction Teresa was , standing behind him. It sounded close.

“No, I didn’t hear anything. Can we just keep going?”

“Alright, but stay close, like I said.”

The end of the hall yielded a door that led into a massive room. They trekked inside the room; full of surgical supplies, painful looking metal objects, and many out of place objects such as prewar paintings and Egyptian statues. Above all of this was a Nazi flag. It was stained red with blood.

“Look at all of this stuff, there must be thousands of dollars of artifacts here”

“What is this pl-“ Adam heard a noise. “Quick, we need to hide, I think I hear someone walking.” There was taxidermy elephant with armor on it. They hid behind it. It was a group of those strange doctors walking past. They were still all covered the way that one was in the room. It doesn’t look like anybody has discovered the body yet. They were pushing a cart with explosives.

“What do you think those are for?”

“I’m not sure, but I really just want to get out of here, something isn’t right, and I don’t want to find out that it is.” Just then Adam had heard another beep. It came from the direction where Teresa was standing, she was standing next to a wall, he didn’t know if he was hearing things, but that was odd also. He didn’t mention it though.

They both waited for the group to pass by, I don’t think that anybody else felt like dying. After that they started their journey to escape again. “Hopefully there are no more road bumps” Teresa said “I just hope the exit is close, where did you even get in from?”

“There was an elevator, but it just comes, you don’t call it or anything, it was surprise to me”

“Let’s go to it, maybe there’s a chance it might come.”

“I don’t know, that doesn’t sound like a good idea…”

“We have to, it’s the only way we, I mean you know of out, after all, you did come in on it.”

Adam sighed, he wasn’t to enthused about the idea. He knew that Teresa would get mad if he said no. “Fine, okay, let’s go back”

“Look, I just have this feeling, it’s usually right, after all this place is a lot better than where we went first.”

They left their cover, and started to walk briskly to where the elevator was. The made the right at the hall, and all the way down the hall was the elevator. It blended in with the wall, but he knew it was there. It was a straight shot to their freedom if all went right.

Adam heard another beep, he convinced himself that he was hearing things and chose to ignore it. Just then another group of figures came from around the corner, they were spotted! Adam yelled “Run, c’mon let’s go! There’s no time to waste! Adam and Teresa started a spring towards the elevator.

It was about 500 feet down the hallway, every step was closer than before, but it still seemed so far away. They both ran. He looked back and she was still keeping up. They were still being chased by a group of three figures. Suddenly, Teresa tripped over the patch of broken glass on the floor that she was carried over before.

“No!” Adam yelled.

“Go on without me! I’ll always love you!” She was on the ground, feel all cut up, and blood spilling out from the bottom of her feet.

The figures were getting closer by the second. Adam knew that he wasn’t leaving her to be taken by those people. He ran the other direction, and he put her arm over his shoulder and started to carry her. They were so close, yet still so far away, and the elevator wasn’t even there. It almost seemed useless.

The figure then gained up on them and brought them down to the floor. Adam remembered the knife he had before. He whipped it out and stabbed the figure in the leg. It let out a shriek, and a steady stream of blood started to squirt out of the leg. They were still both on the ground. One of the other figures standing up dragged the fallen one out of the way. Adam got up and was ready for a fist fight with one of these people. He let out a punch, and with that the figure went down. Adam though did he really just go down with one punch? There was still one more. As he was about to give the third figure a good rib kick, he fell. Standing behind him was Teresa, and in the back of the third figure was a knife. It was dead, he was sure about that.

“W-what did you just do?” Adam said. He put his knife back into his pocket, wiped his blood stained hands on his white shirt, and gave Teresa a hug.

“I was only helping” They both let out a chuckle. “I want to see who these things really are” Teresa walked up to the figure who was stabbed in the leg. It must have had died by losing to much blood because of the knife wound. She took off the mask, and to their surprise, it was just an ordinary woman who was probably dragged into this hell by probably only the devil himself. “I was expecting to see an alien or something, like in the movies or something, you know?”

“This isn’t the movies, this is real life. Let’s see who was under this one” Adam took the mask off of the figure who was merely punched and had died. It was a red creature. It had dark blue eyes and looked very similar to a human. “Oh my god. What is this?” Teresa walked over, feet still raw and bloody from the broken glass. It took effort for every step that she took.

“What is it?”

“I don’t know, I was asking you”

“Its obviously an alien, or a creature of some sort, but I was just joking when I had said that.”

“I think we’ve wasted enough time, let’s just get to that elevator”

They both didn’t even want to know what was behind the third figure. Human? Alien? Both?

“I can’t walk myself, do you think you can carry me?”

“Sure” The elevator was about 200 feet away It was all good. There was another beep, but Adam wasn’t worried about that.

With Teresa being carried by Adam, and the elevator just a hop skip and a jump away, it was looking good. It was. No more trouble.

There was another beep, this time it was accompanied by a small vibration. Adam didn’t mention anything. They had gotten to the end of the hall way.

“Now what? See, you can’t just get into the elevator, there’s no button”

“Hold on, maybe its powered by a motion sensor.” Teresa waved her hands. Nothing happened.

“Its not, I know it’s not. Its random. It comes when it feels like, it knows.”

“Knows what?”

“I’m not sure, but it sure knew when I got here, it came by itself.”

“What did you do for that to happen”

“I walked in, and it opened, I swear”

“Well if there’s no sensor, then how could have it had opened!”

“Look, I don’t know, all I know is that-“

The elevator door opened. The opening of the door might just have had been the gate to heaven, because they were almost free. They both looked at each other. “I think I owe you an apology” Adam said.

“It’s alright.”

They both got in, and the door slid shut. The dim light in the elevator was enough to see the tears of joy forming in both their eyes. Also sadness. Her best friend had just died, and nobody knows what happened to Matt. He might still be down there.

There was another beep. And a beep close to that again.

“Okay, now I heard that” Teresa said.

“What is it? It has to be coming from you.”

“I’m not sure, it’s making me nervous, really nervous.”

The elevator had finally reached the top. The door slid open, and the blue-white lit room was revealed with the broken chair to the left, and the ladder and hatch in front of them. They both got out. Adam opened the hatch, climbed up, and grabbed Teresa’s arm and pulled her up. She couldn’t climb up the ladder because of her feet. The humid night was the best possible thing they could feel even though it was sticky, because they knew it was the weather of freedom. Adam closed the hatch for good.

They both fell to the floor and laid next to each other. All was at peace. Adam started to doze off when he heard the beep and another vibration. Then another, and then another. Teresa woke up. She had felt it also.

Just then, Adam saw the most horrifying thing. He can’t believe he had missed it. There was a large scar on her back. Under the skin was a red glow from an lcd screen counting down. There was something in her. The timer read 00:04:07. It got to 00:04:00 and there was another double beep.

“There’s something in your back.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“There’s a timer on your back. It’s counting down.”

Teresa became teary eyed, and there was horror in her face “It’s what?”

Adam hugged her. “I’m not leaving you, whatever I do.”

“No! You can still go and.. and” She wasn’t able to speak anymore. Her throat closed up from the horror. “Why would they do this to” me. The me wasn’t heard.

00:03:00. Another double beep.

“I’ll be with you until the end. Everything is going to be okay.”

They stayed there, on the floor, speechless, in each other’s arms. Nothing mattered anymore expect for the two of them.

“Adam, I’ll always love you”

“I love you too sweetheart”

 

After that, there was no more Adam and Teresa.

 

 

Far off the distance, a group of hikers had heard a sound.

“Did you hear that?” One of them asked.

“Hear what?”

“Nothing, it must’ve been the wind.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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