*A Night at Slammers!

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Posts: 141
Joined: 16 Mar 2016, 13:12

*A Night at Slammers!

Post by Kuro » 20 Aug 2017, 19:00

I lay there on a small training mat, shoved in the back corner of a storage room at Slammers. The smell of sweaty gym bag, blood and alcohol permeated the air but I didn’t mind. I had a place to sleep for the night. The bedsheet was strewn across my body and a mismatched set of “lost and found” clothes that were too large for my slender frame lay stacked neatly in a pile next to me. My body ached as I tried to roll over and get comfortable on the thinning mat. Every move I made let me know of a new pang and bruise I had not realized was there earlier. The sound of the mat sticking to my body as I tried to adjust broke the silence of the small room as I shifted from left to right.

I was thankful that Vencer had allowed me this room, even If only for the night. I was still unsure if I could stay here longer, or even take up a job later, but I was thankful for his kindness, if it even was kindness and not just a way to keep a girl off the streets for one night. I sighed as I tried to close my eyes, and every time the excitement of the night wore into me. The ki-ball bringing back memories of training back at Karin-Sha. The movements coming more naturally as I gave it my all, or so I had thought. In the back of my mind there was a feeling. A sensation that felt as if I was holding back the entire time. As if there were some power deep inside waiting to be stirred. Laughing I reached up with a hand towards the emergency light and made a fist.
“Yea, Right. If that were the case I wouldn’t be in so much pain right now.” I don’t know when, but soon after I was asleep.

I awoke with a start. Gasping for air and looking around. The room was the same. The smell of gym clothes, alcohol, blood and...something else? I sat up, my interest peaked. The creaking of the mat as I rose off it it was like a jet engine in the quiet of the room, and the drag of the bedsheet as it stuck to my foot like a million children shuffling their feet. I paused as I quickly threw on the pair of oversized grey sweatpants and pink underarmor shirt, which was still too baggy even as it tried to shrink to fit me. The light flickered as I made another attempt to smell. The odor. It reminded me of something. I thought as I made my way around the room. Something familiar, then I remembered. It was that rotten eggs smell. The smell of Sulfur and burnt matches. I looked around for the source, but the only pipes in this room were the water pipes to the old sink in the corner.

Something tickled my ear on the edge of hearing. I held my breath, straining to hear it. Lub-Dub. Lub-Dub. Lub-Dub. My own heart beat was heard in my ears as I strained for it then something else. Whooosh. Lub-Dub. Whooosh. A breathing noise was breaking the silence between my heartbeats. But It couldn’t be mine. I thought as I released the breath I was holding. I wasn’t breathing. I turned towards the doorway and thought I saw the blinds covering the small window move. Someone was out there.

I rushed to the door quietly on my bare feet and pressed my ear against the door. The deep Whooosh of breathing was definitely there. Someone or something was out there. “Come on Rhevy! This is a business. I’m sure there are people out there.Cleaning, early morning training. Get a grip.” I whispered to myself as I was trying to rationalize these sounds. But no matter what I told myself, my body was still shaking. My nerves sending tingles from the back of my spine to my fingertips. The very fingertips that were now reaching for the doorknob. They scampered across the cool surface of the bronze knob as I struggled to get a grip on the smooth and worn surface. With a slow exhale I was able to steady my hand and quietly turned the knob.

Despite its appearances, the knob moved effortlessly and the breathing grew louder. As if whatever it was had just ran a marathon and was just behind the door. The sound growing deafening and I swear I could feel it on my cheek as I cracked the heavy wooden door open slightly. A peaked one red eye through the slot and everything was quiet. Opening it further revealed an empty hallway, dark, only lit by the emergency lighting, casting shadows into the corners and floor. It was then I heard it again. The Breathing.

I took a step onto the cold well used, but polished wood flooring as I made my way down the hall. Cautious step by cautious step. I didn’t realize until I made it halfway down the hall that my legs were cramping and I was getting lightheaded. Every muscle was tensed, trying to control every minute movement but I had to stop. Steadying myself against the wall with an outstretched hand I took a breath. My breath came controlled but large, my chest heaving. I took another step towards the noise and again braced. Turning my head back I noticed the wall, a wet handprint where my hand just was. Closing my eyes I tried to take control of the tingling and butterflies I was feeling in the pit of my stomach and noticed I was covered in sweat. My shirt already soaked, and drops were actively dripping from my forehead. My hands clammy and cold with sweat. I tried to take another step but couldn’t. Something was telling me that was not the way.

I turned, following my instinct. Well. More Fear than anything. I squinted my eyes in the dark haze of the hallway and I came face to face with a steel door.
“I swear that wasn’t there before” I thought outloud as with each raspy heavy breath the smell of Sulfur and heat blasted through the cracks of the door. The metal was pitted and gouged outward as if it were trying to contain something. The rivets on this old door rusted but strong. The hinges like a bank vault but there was a tiny slot, as if it were made to pass on food and drink, or inspect what was on the inside. “I thought these were only used in old movies, or those antiqued prisons I have heard about.” I muttered again but my thought process was cut short. There was a scratching noise like nails on a chalkboard followed by a knocking at the other side of the door.

My heart was beating in my throat was I tried to call out, My voice cracked and broken, and the words trembling with the vibrato of fear. “H..Hel...Hello?” I called out, unsure if I would even get a reply.

But the breathing stopped. The scratching halted and the hallway was left in silence. I heard a faint noise like a laughter almost. I took a step closer, the floor around the door warm. “Come, my Dear. I will not hurt you. I wish to speak” The voice was distinctly feminine, and it had a musical ring to it, honey for my ears.

I took another step and before I knew it my hand was trembling on the small notecard sized sliding view-panel. “Who are you….How Can….H...ow can I…” I was cut off by its reply.

“Trust you, my dear. Is that your question?” The voice replied. “Come now Child. Think. You are behind that heavy door. If I couldn’t get out before, why would I be able to now plus. I know what happened.”

(What happened?) I thought to myself. (Does this thing know about what happened. Why I am here.) Even with these questions of doubt I closed my hand against the small metal handle. It was warm and pleasant to the touch. “Tell me. Please.” I said false bravado overlaying a trembling child.

“Only If you open it. I just wish to see your face. Just a peek and I will tell you.” The voice replied seductively. Enticing. Ensnaring. I found it almost irresistible. My mind befuddled before I had to take a breath and clear it. The yearning of answers tickled my mind. I wanted to know. I HAD to know. With a heave I tried to slide the small index panel of metal and it didn’t budge. Not even grind. I grabbed it with both hands, my energy coursing through my body warming the bones and strengthening my muscles. I could feel the gentle course of energy fill me. With a giant heave I slammed it open. Silence.

I crept up, shaking and trembling and looked inside. Just peeking over the slit I looked into the room. At first I saw nothing but blackness. Not an empty room, but it was as if smoke and shadows masked everything. Then from the depths two beautiful amethyst eyes were looking at me through the darkness. Sparkling gems that gleamed in the dark around them. The surface radiating with in inner sparkle and danced with life. I wanted to see more. But I steadied my thoughts. The rhythmic chants of the Nine Paths escaped my lips and calmed my spirit. “Tell me Spirit. What do you know?” I said towards the eyes.

“You d…..” The voice said at the edge of my hearing. I couldn’t make out. I stood on my toes and brought my head closer to the opening.

“You Died...And now you are MINE!” The soothing voice turned feral as something gnashed at my head. I tried to back up but I wasn’t fast enough. A terrible claw of shadows shot from the opening. Scales like dulled obsidian and smoke seeping from the seams of the scales. Four fingers of a claw, cold to the touch brushed against my skin and I was chilled to the bone. I looked down and the claw had a grip on my chest. The sensation a strange mix of freezing cold surrounded by a layer of warm. With a gasp and a pain I never felt before I saw the arm rip back inside of the cell.

I awoke with a start. Grabbing my chest as if I could still feel the pain. I quickly ripped the bedsheet off of me and looked down. Smooth bare skin drops of sweat beaded over the blue. The only blemishes were the faded scars from the training in Karin-Sha and the new bruises from the Ki-Ball game. I groaned and rolled over, looking at the old yellowed circular clock on the wall. 3:34 It read.

My body was trembling still and my body dripping with sweat. “I guess I’m up now.” I said as I grabbed my pile of lost and found clothes and headed for the showers. (Time to see if I can get some work and a place to stay.) I said to myself as the hot water from the locker room showers hit my face. For the next few hours those amethyst eyes haunted my vision whenever I closed my eyes, but with time, as with all dreams, they faded away.

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Joined: 23 Jan 2009, 00:21

Re: A Night at Slammers!

Post by ikenbon » 24 Aug 2017, 14:50

Interesting read. I liked how you were able to tell the 'aftermath' of the kee-ball game without overextending for the details. This is a good example of less is more, it allows the reader to imagine how Rhevy performed based on your descriptions of your sore muscles from the exertion of the game as well as your inner thoughts on the hidden power within you coming to surface.

I think the dialogue with the phantom dragon has some innocuous implications if we pull apart their meaning. The hidden character (Elphlane) implies that it was "Rhevy" that died. She didn't say "We" or "I" died. That can be taken as a literal implication that the character faced their mortality or an acknowledgment that this inner force is awakening, knows that it gorged on the Red Queen's energy and that she is rising back to reclaim her own body from the Red Queen. If the former is true, it reads as a pretty generic "subconscious" stirring, but if the latter is true it would imply that there are two distinct entities now in possession of this vessel.

I'm probably over analyzing that little bit, but either way, you're making progress towards an awakening of one kind of another.

RPP rewarded.

Posts: 141
Joined: 16 Mar 2016, 13:12

Re: *A Night at Slammers!

Post by Kuro » 30 Aug 2017, 17:02

Thank you for the feedback. Awakening will.be fun a little gradual and a nice surprise later

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