"I have two hours to find everyone before we all suffocate. I'm down to about 55 minutes. I've only found Frank and now you." I took a deep breath and held it for a moment.
"You still awake?" I asked Frank as I carried him down the hall of doors.
"Yeah." He mumbled. He was holding onto me a little tighter now and his voice was slightly stronger; but not much. Frank's breathing was getting slightly stronger and more regulated; his chest pushing into my chest a little as he held onto me.
"Stay awake, ok?" I told him and he nodded. I was down to little over an hour when I reached the end of the hall; finding a flight of marble stairs. This house was huge and whoever was doing this clearing didn't want us to live. I had maybe 7o minutes to find the other three, play the 'games', and figure out how to get out of this place; alive.
Very carefully, I stared down the marble stairs. I saw the front door but I didn't even try it because one, I knew it would be locked, and two, I couldn't leave without the others (or while wearing a shock collar). My back was starting to hurt but I couldn't leave Frank somewhere in the house because he needed someone to make sure he was still alive. He's still fighting off his death. But he was getting stronger and maybe he'll be strong enough to walk on his own soon. For now though I'll just carry him.
With an hour left, I stood at the base of the stairs and looked around. To my left was a hall of doors; another to my right. Behind the stairs was a single door. I didn't want to start there so I shut my eyes, flipped a coin in my mind, and headed to the right. I was so pressed for time that I resorted to kicking doors open, glancing around quickly, and moving on. The rooms were usually filled with doll paraphernalia or completely empty. I was still getting nowhere. "Where's everyone else Gee?" Frank asked as I made it a little over half way down the hall.
"That's what I'm trying to figure out." I told him with frustration as I continued to search. Almost at the last door in the hall, I heard someone's voice. Quickly I headed to the door and tried to open it but was unable to. "Frank, I have to set you down." I told him, gently lowering him to the ground. Once I was freed of his body weight, I raised my leg partially then forcefully slammed it into the door knob; busting it off. I pushed the door open and looked inside. It was completely black and I couldn't see. "Hello?" I called into the room.
"Gerard?" A frightened voice called back to me. Again, a recognizable one. Ray. "Gerard, where are you?" He asked. His voice was shaky and full of fear. I moved my hand along the wall by the door, scanning for a light switch. I managed to find one, slamming the switch up and causing the lights to burst on.
"Holy fuck..." I basically gasped as I looked inside.
"Gerard, I can't move." Ray told me. He was blind folded which was probably for the best.
"Don't try." I quickly warned him. "I'm going to help you."
"Frank, don't move." I told Frank who was propped against the wall next to the door. "Don't go to sleep either."
"Mmmkay..." Frank told me, taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly. His eyes were shut and his head rested half on his shoulder. I didn't want to leave him alone but I had to help Ray too. He should be fine. He's right by the door and he's strong enough to call for help should he need it. I nodded to myself, took a deep breath, and went into the room.
Whatever Ray was in scared the fuck out of me. He was tied to a large board or something in the middle of some contraption that was lined with large pins; spike size. There was barbed wire tied around his wrists, waist, and ankles so he couldn't move. Fortunately, there was only a strap around his neck. Even more fortunately was that he was blind folded so he couldn't see how terrifying the situation was. "G-Gerard?" Ray called out a little hesitantly.
"I'm still here." I reassured him, walking farther inside. Before Ray was a table with about five little dolls and another note. I picked a doll up and examined it. It was a floppy doll with button eyes and a stitched smile. The hair was yarn and there were no clothes. Pins were pushed into its body all over; except for the head. I laid the doll back down and grabbed the note to learn the game. I already knew it wouldn't be fun.
One of the most mystical and terrifying practices that goes back to ancient times is the practice of voodoo. The idea is to make a person pay for their unfavorable actions. The concept is actually quite simple. My stomach tightened as I read the 'rules'. What you do to the voodoo doll is ideally what happens to the person the doll is made after. My heart began to race again and I dreaded reading any farther. Ray is your voodoo doll Gerard. On the table are a few dolls, one of which is the key. No, not a normal key. See, to release Ray, you need to move the pins just right. One of the dolls before you gives the exact position the pins need to be in the release him. Can you spill his blood to save his life? Don't forget about my other dolls. Tick tock, tick tock. I let the paper fall to the ground.
"Ray," I started hesitantly, "you know I would never hurt you on purpose, right?"
"Gerard, what's going on?" Ray asked with more fear. "Where are we?"
"We've been kidnapped and stuck in a series of set ups like in the Saw movies." I told him. "This is completely real too. I don't want to take your blind fold off because I don't want you to see your set up."
"Am I going to die?" Ray asked, trying not to cry.
"Not if I can help it." I told him, looking at his contraption one more time. "But it's going to be painful."
"Just do whatever you need quickly please." Fear absolutely consumed Ray's usually sweet voice. My heart was still racing and I looked at the five dolls on the table. Each one had pins stuck in different positions; some sharing similar positions amongst the dolls though. To my relief, none of the pins looked to be placed in vital organs.
"Ok." I said with a heavy sigh. "Try not to move too much. You're being held by barbed wire everywhere but your neck. I don't want you to bleed more than you have to."
"I-I have to bleed?" Ray asked almost silently.
"You're completely surrounded by large, sharp pins. A few are going to end up in you." I regretfully told him. Ray was crying now. I didn't blame him though. I was doing all I could not to start crying myself. I didn't want to hurt Ray; especially not make him bleed. But I had to free him and I had to find Bob and Mikey still. "I'll try to make it quick." I promised and he nodded. Before figuring out which doll held the answer, I walked back to the door. "Frank, I'm right inside here. I have to shut the door for a few moments but I won't leave you. If you need anything just yell and I'll hear you."
"Ok." He mumbled to me. I shut the door and went back to my current 'game'. I didn't want Frank to hear any more than he had to. It was going to be loud, bloody, and extremely painful for both of us (him physically and me emotionally). I examined each of the five dolls, trying to figure out which one I needed. I picked the one that looked the most unlike the others then walked up the platform to where Ray way. He was breathing heavily and fearfully.
"You ready?" I asked him.
"No." His voice was heavily weighted with extreme fear. "But I never will be so just get it over with." Ray told me, trying to be brave and confident. In all honesty, I was trying to be brave too. The note asked me if I could spill his blood to save his life. I didn't want to hurt Ray. "You know I love you like a brother." Ray told me as I compared the needles surrounding Ray to the ones sticking out of the doll.
"Same." I told him with a troubled smile even though he couldn't see me. A few more tears ran down his face; some running down mine as well. "You're going to be fine. There will be pain and blood but it won't last forever." I tried to make him feel better. I rested my hand on the first pin. "I'm going to push this one a little to see what happens. I have no clue how this works and the clocks ticking."
"What clock?" Ray asked while I started to push the pin a little. The thing was as big as my hand.
"I have two hours to find everyone before we all suffocate." I continued to push the pin slowly, stopping before I touched him. "I'm down to about 55 minutes. I've only found Frank and now you." I took a deep breath and held it for a moment. "Ready?" I asked again and Ray nodded. "The pain will be in your right arm." I warned him. Ray nodded again and I shut my eyes then pushed the pin until I heard a 'click'.
Ray screamed and I squeezed my eyes shut tighter. He was breathing really heavily now and after a moment I was able to open my eyes again. Crimson blood ran down his arm; seeping out at the spot the pin punctured his arm. "You ok?" I asked even though I knew the answer. Ray couldn't reply as he bit down on his lip. I looked to the doll again to find the next position. "I'm going to try the next one. This will be near your waist." I told Ray as I located the pin that lined up with the one in the doll.
"Fast like you just did." Ray told me. I started to push the pin and Ray started to cry again. "The wire on my wrist is tightening!" He told me and I stopped, noticing the blood start to slip out his skin around the barbed wire. I tried to pull the pin back but it wouldn't budge. Now I knew what happened when I moved the wrong pin.
"Do you want me to take the blind fold off and put it into your mouth for you to bite on?" I asked Ray after angrily throwing the doll at the wall. Ray nodded so I carefully moved my hands into the contraption and untied the cloth. Once off, I balled it up and put it into his mouth. He kept his eyes shut; afraid to see exactly how bad it was.
When I pulled my arms out, I suddenly felt a wave of electrical shock shoot through me. I apparently broke a rule. I didn't know how but I didn't have time to object. Slight pain pulsed through my body now but I knew Ray was hurting a lot more. I went to the table and located another doll which had a pin in its shoulder. I discarded the one that didn't. I was now down to three dolls and forty five minutes. I went back to Ray.
"Now your shoulder." I told Ray. He squeezed his eyes tightly, thick tears running out. While Frank almost died, I think Ray's situation was a hell of a lot worse. I started to push the pin forward, looking to his wrists to see if any more blood came out. He didn't cry again so I knew I was right. With a quick shove, I pushed it forward; listening to Ray's muffled screams as the sharp point dug deeply into his shoulder. It was lined up just right and missed bones. His shirt started to develop large wet spots of blood around the pin's entrance into his body. I waited for Ray's breathing to calm down before moving on.
"Ribs." I warned Ray, pushing the pin forward. Ray screamed into the cloth, clamping down his jaw as blood began to drip to the floor. I was wrong again. I threw that doll with frustration, heading quickly to the table. There was only one doll left now that matched the two pins already sticking in Ray. "I found the right match." I said a little happily, returning to him yet again. Ray opened his eyes now and looked at me. They held fear, extreme pain, and a little joy. "I'm going to do it all quickly to get it over with." I turned the voodoo doll around in front of him to show him where the pins would go. Ray nodded then took a deep breath, shutting his eyes again.
As fast as I could, I started on the next pin. I shoved it forward forcefully; ramming it into Ray's side. I didn't even wait; just moved on. The fourth pin pierced Ray's abdomen and the fifth his thigh. It was all over and I was breathing just as heavily as he was. Tears were streaming down his face and blood was pooled on the ground. But when the last pin clicked into place, all the pins were pulled back to their neutral positions and then they all fell so they were facing the floor. Like a porcupines spikes when he's not afraid; all pointing in a non threatening position.
I quickly slid behind Ray to figure out how to release him. It was just like a doll in a box. The barbed wire was twisted in the back and the strap around his neck was sewn tightly to the board which held him. Without hesitation, I grabbed each end of the barbed wire with my hands, the jagged edges cutting into me, and untwisting them; breathing through the pain. When both wire strands around Ray's wrists were undone, I moved to his ankles as the strands fell to the floor; splashing his blood a little. After his ankles I undid Ray's waist; my hands ripped up unbelievably now. Once his waist was free, I yanked the barbed wire until I was holding it with my bloody hands. I started rubbing the sharp edges against the back of the strap securing his neck until the string snapped and he was completely free. My hands felt like I had stuck them in a blender but I didn't care about myself right now. Ray fell to his knees, breathing heavily, and I quickly went around the board again to join him.
"Take off your shirt." I instructed Ray, my hands burning with pain. I wiped them gently on my jeans as Ray slid his shirt off, staining the denim material a reddish brown color; blood and rust from the wire. Ray was covered in blood and his wounds continued to leak. I saw a small bulge in Ray's pocket so I slid my hand, painful tears running down my pale face, and pulled out a lighter. "Go lay on the table." I told him as I stood back up. Ray silently obeyed; standing and stumbling his way to the table which he sat on then fell onto his back. I grabbed my strip of barbed wire again, holding that in the hand which I held Ray's shirt in the relieve the sharpness. "We're not done yet." I told Ray miserably as I stood next to him. He looked almost as exhausted and pained as Frank did. "I have to sear the cuts to stop the bleeding so keep that cloth in." I had to use the lighter to burn the wounds.
I stepped on the barbed wire then dragged Ray's shirt along the course edges until the fabric ripped a little. I repeated this process until I had the shirt in strips which I laid on the table next to him. "Don't move." I told Ray exhaustingly, grabbing the lighter again. I flicked the top up so a bright flame danced on top. Grabbing the last doll, I yanked the pins out then lit it on fire, pressing it to Ray's shoulder wound first. Ray screamed and his muscles tightened, his back rising off the table a little, but I couldn't take the flame away until the trickling blood ceased. I did this for all his pin-wounds. When done, I proceeded to throw the burning doll at the pool of Ray's blood on the riser then started to wrap his burned gashes with the strips I made. "There..." I told him when I tied the last not; extremely exhausted myself now and my hands still stinging. At least they stopped bleeding.
Ray sat up slowly and spit the cloth out; breathing heavily still. "Thanks..." He told me and I just nodded; shutting my eyes for a brief moment.
"We have to go." I told Ray, turning to head to the door. "We have to find Mikey and Bob." Ray slid off the table and followed me; tears still escaping his eyes. I opened the door and quickly remembered Frank. He was still propped against the wall. "Frank!" I said, kneeling down by him. "Frank, you awake?"
"Screaming..." He mumbled, opening his eyes about half way and looking to me with terror.
"It's ok Frankie." I said softly with a tired smile. Ray appeared and his jaw dropped when he looked down to Frank. I stood up again. "I found him like this. He's so weak that he can't even stand." I told Ray with a heavy sigh.
"I'll carry him." Ray told me; his voice almost holding as much strength as it normally did.
"I'll carry him." Ray repeated sternly. He bent down and slid his arms under Frank; wincing from pain but just took deep breaths and fought it off. Ray lifted Frank into his arms, cradling him like a baby. Frank instantly put his arms around Ray's neck, closing his eyes and pushing his face into the wound on Ray's shoulder. I saw pain shoot across Ray's face but he didn't say anything. "We have to get him out of here and to a hospital." Ray told me as he fought off the pain.
"We have to find Mikey and Bob." I told Ray, watching him a few more moments to make sure he would be ok carrying Frank. I turned back to the stairs. "And we need to hurry." Ray nodded and we started for the other hall of doors.
I had two 'dolls', 5 more failures until I'm fried, and thirty minutes to find two more people plus get them to safety. Ray's bandaged and weak; Frank's sewn and extremely weak. My hands were on fire and I was pretty damn exhausted myself. Escape was starting to look impossible.
A/N--- can they make it in time?
Two people left; 3o min on the clock. that's 15 per person; but Gerard has no idea what 'games' are next.
stay tuned for the next chapter ^^