Preparing for Scaring, Writing

Preparing for Scaring 4: Something's Fishy...

Day Four of the Preparing for Scaring daily blog series is upon us! I fear I'm getting a bit formulaic, so my goal going forward is to change things up a bit and still keep them spooky. As always, any input is appreciated!

This one, much like Day Three's Post, had grander schemes than could be realized inside of 15 minutes, so your brain is left to wonder about where exactly I was going! MUAHAHAHAH! Anyways, enjoy!

He woke up and knew at once that he was in a place that was entirely new to him. He didn’t recognize anything; not the cold, hard floor beneath his stiff and aching back. Not the stale, stagnant air that seemed thick and tasted vaguely like copper. Not the sight of the paneled light in the ceiling above, a single spot of bright white shining out from a surface of corrugated metal, industrial and heavy.

He lifted his head, and felt the sharp pain behind his eyes, surging into his cheek bones and through his teeth. He reached up and clasped his head in his hands, and his fingers brushed across what felt like his hair, only it was matted and wet, flattened and then dried. He had hit his head on something, or someone had struck him in the head. Either way, there had been blood, and a lot of it. That could explain the pain.

But where the hell was he? He leaned up on one elbow, wincing and clenching his teeth as his entire cranium screamed with pain. He opened his eyes, glancing around the room he was in. It wasn’t big. In fact, as his eyes adjusted and the double vision slowly merged into a single view, he saw it was actually quite small. Lying on his back, his feet were almost touching one wall, and when he looked behind him he saw that the other wall was just inches away from where his head was resting just a moment ago. It was a tiny room, with a door to his left, closed, dark, and windowless.

He pressed his hand to one wall and forced himself to sit up, grunting in pain as he head throbbed and pounded like it had never done before. He looked at the door again, and saw a large, metal crank in its center. A strange way to open a door, he thought. It looked almost like something you’d expect to see in some military base on some shitty science fiction movie. Where the hell was he?

He slowly rose to his feet, knees trembling as he leaned heavily against the wall opposite the door. He held himself there, suspended in a half-bend, top of his head resting against the cold, hard metal, face looking down at the floor below him. He struggled to keep his bearings, to keep the pain from rolling over him and forcing him down to the floor again. He burped and tasted bile, and realized he now had to concentrate on not throwing up.

After a few deep breaths, and with a thoroughly clammy forehead, he turned and looked at the door once more. He didn’t have any other choice. It was try the door, or sit here in pain and confusion until the door opened itself. And he didn’t expect that to happen.

He reached for the door, and felt his body fall forward, all of his weight pressing against it as his hands fumbled and dragged across its surface, searching for the crank. They found it, gripped it as tightly as they could. He felt his stomach lurch again, but he clenched his teeth and forced his throat closed. He wasn’t about to puke all over himself, not in this small room. He needed fresh air first, something other than this cold, dead cell.

With a deep breath, he wrenched on the crank, pulling it hard to the left. He must have overestimated its stiffness, for it swung around easily and the door arced open, dropping him onto the floor with a surprised yelp. The floor beyond was dark metal grating, beneath which was too dark to see, but judging by the echo his fall had made, he knew the chamber was big.

He squeezed his eyes shut and felt the bile, and whatever was left in his stomach, pummel up through his throat and force his mouth open, spewing out over the floor. It stopped, but his body didn’t, and he followed it with three violent, wrenching dry heaves, and finished with one more wet and sloppy spray of stomach fluid, only to be caught off guard when he felt something, small and hard, hit the back of his bottom teeth and rest on the end of his tongue.

Repulsed, he coughed it out onto the grated metal floor, and his eyes only caught it for a brief second before it fell down into the darkness below. A strange thing, looking like some sort of small shrimp or cockroach, clattered out, motionless, rolled across the grate a few inches, and then fell down into the darkness below.