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by grinch 

Posted: 27 June 2005
Word Count: 3963
Summary: a first attempt at adding characters, do they seem real? your comments greatly appreciated. I know theres a few typos too!
Related Works: Taken • 

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Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.


Chapter One

He felt the syringe pierce the skin on his arm, unable to resist, his wrist tied

solidly to the arms of the wooden chair he was now sat in. He felt the liquid

enter his blood stream, felt the burning sensation that crept up and along his

arm reaching his shoulder, within a few seconds it was in his heart. He could

feel the exaggerated rhythm of its beat dramatically increase as the fluid

entered the chambers. Its rhythm became distorted; it felt as though it was

missing every second or third beat. He felt the beads of sweat dripping from his

forehead such was his fear. The fear of the unknown.

What was this liquid that was being forced into his body? A chemical? A drug? He

didn't know. Who was this stranger that had taken him from his slumber and

dragged him from his bed to the chair he was now tied to. He was strong, with

the biggest hands he had ever felt. He hadn't seen the perpetrator's face due to

the lack of light in the room and that he had been in a deep sleep. His attacker

hadn't said a word as he had forced him into the chair, holding him down with

one hand, had tied one wrist then the other with a nylon rope that was now

cutting into his wrists as he struggled to break free.

The fluid was now in his head and brought with it a pain so indescribable; unlike

a headache this started at the base of his neck and crawled its way upwards into

his skull. His face tightened, the muscles contracting as they became overtaken

with the liquid, his eyes felt as if they were going to explode and force their way

from their sockets to fall upon his cheeks, hanging by the very sinews that were

now on fire. He closed them, hoping against hope that his tightly closed lids

would prevent it from happening.

The liquid was beginning to work its way around his body, and he felt it's every

move, slowly taking him over from the inside. He felt movement on his left side,

felt a warm sensation of breath on his cheek, a stale, rotten odour similar to a

decaying animal filled his nostrils, it made him wretch. He tried to take in air,

clean air to fill his lungs, but it was slow in coming. He realised then that he had

been gagged. Crazily he hadn't thought to cry out, to try and alert someone in

the adjacent rooms. To late now anyway. He tried to take in some clean air by

turning his head away from the stench and breathe through his nose; he didn't

want to throw up, not with the cloth gag across his mouth. He wasn't prepared to die choking on his own vomit, although the alternative wasn't much better.

The stench followed him, enveloping his face and filling his nasal passages,

seeping into his lungs, burning, doing as much damage as twenty years of

smoking Marlboro's.

The strangers face was only inches from his own, opening his eyes, still hoping

that his eyes would remain in their right place, he stared into the eyes of his

subjugator. He saw in the shadows a pale glint of yellow between the slits of the

flesh that were his eyes. He saw the thick wire like hair that surrounded them,

heard the deep raspy breaths through his mouth and was grasped by a fear

unknown. Unable to distinguish many features in the poor light he knew that

whatever he was, he wasn't human.

Desperately trying to look away from the hideous image before him, he turned

his head, this way and that in a violent motion, closing his eyes, yet the inside of

his eyelids held the fearsome image, the image of the creature not of this world.

He felt dizzy, nauseous; the putrid smell of this things breath still filled his head

and lungs, unable to wretch, unable to move, his body did the only thing it could

do in its circumstances.

It shut down.

Darkness closed in around him, starting at the edge of his vision and rapidly

closing in, he became light-headed, his resistance gave up and the will to fight

drained from his limbs as the darkness took him.

Is this the end? He asked himself while still conscious, expecting to see his life

pass before his eyes in a slow motion of blurred events. They never came. He

felt grateful in a way that he had never felt before that maybe, just maybe he

wasn't going to die, and his life wasn't to be taken from him by this creature of


At least, not yet.

As the light faded to a dim pin prick in his distant minds eye, so the pain ebbed

away from his body and he slipped into unconsciousness.

He awoke, sat bolt upright in bed and immediately saw his reflection in the

mirror perched above the small wooden dresser at the foot of the bed. His first

thought of the new day was "Jesus I look rough." His black hair was soaked with

sweat and was matted to his scalp; his already dark eyes looked black. Had he

aged? He certainly looked like he had, only twenty eight but going on forty he


"What the fuck happened to me?" he said out loud.

He reached to the small bedside cabinet to his right and lifted the beaker of

water he'd placed there the night before. Taking a sip he rinsed his mouth and

swallowed hard, replaced the beaker and rubbed his eyes. They hurt, the ache of

a hangover, catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror again he let his mind


The images came to him, slowly at first, then flooding back. The fear he felt as

his mind replayed the events turned him deathly pale, the reflection that looked

back was drawn and tired, it wasn't him. He closed his eyes, reopened them and

avoided the mirror. He raised his left arm toward him, his eyes were drawn to

the puncture wound, barely visible but definitely there, he inspected his wrists

and noted the red graze marks left by the ligatures that had held him down. The

shock swept over him, the things his mind had recalled he wanted to dismiss as

a dream, a nightmare. The human thought process couldn't begin to imagine

that what had happened had been real. He looked again at his wrists and rubbed

at the puncture mark, his eyes wide open now, any remnants of sleep most

surely gone.

"What the fuck! What the hell happened to me?" he thought aloud.

"Surely Not?" Questioning himself, he gazed at his arm in disbelief. "It was a

dream, it didn't really happen"

But the evidence was there to be seen on the surface of his arm. "So what the

hell did that, that thing pump into me" He said into the mirror struggling to find

the words. The mirror didn't reply. The ghost like figure staring back began to

blur, fuzzy around the edges. He rubbed his eyes again trying to focus. The

morning light was poor through the thin dirty curtain that covered the only

window. As he stared, the shape of his face became distorted, its form becoming

that of another, the features melted away only to return more pronounced. The

horror that was unfolding in the mirror was only in the mirror, it wasn't his face

changing. Was it? He couldn't feel anything, yet he daren't lift his hand to his

face for fear that he be wrong. The image grew, larger, filing the mirror, spilling

over it's sides into the room, a face of dark deep features, of thin slits for eyes, a

dirty yellow colour protruding from the eyelids, its skin dark, leathery and scarred

with pot marks that rippled as it grew. He continued to stare, almost drawn to

the hideous figure. Yet in its features he saw resemblance, resemblance of

himself. This creature of hell that had come to him, it was him, and it had Taken


Sweeping aside the covers he dashed through the bathroom door and knelt

before the bowl, he wretched, his stomach contracting as if squeezed by a

powerful hand deep within his body, crushing his stomach from within and

forcing its contents out through his nose and mouth. The thick viscous bile

stinging and burning the passages from which it flowed. Cold damp sweat

formed on his brow as a shiver swept through his whole naked body and he

collapsed breathless onto the cold tiled floor. He could taste the bile in his

mouth, the acidic liquid had left his tongue raw and his teeth felt stripped of their

enamel. Trickles of bile ran from his nose and onto his top lip, its vapour finding

its way back from where it had came, stinging the nasal hair again, as it had on

its way out, only this time he smelt it, a familiar pungent rotten and decaying

odour that worked its way to the back of his throat. Desperate for air after his

violent out-pouring, he sucked the vile odour deep into his lungs and felt it

coarse its way down. He wretched again. Unable to lift his head to aim for the

bowl he lay slumped on the floor, bringing up his knees to somehow counteract

the abdominal pain as the hand within squeezes again. He struggled for breath,

no air went in and nothing came out, his stomach empty, yet the convulsions

continued unabated for what seemed like an eternity.

He lay weeping on the tiled floor unable to comprehend what had happened,

what was happening. The odour had subsided, or was he just slightly

accustomed to it now? He couldn't move, his limbs had frozen into the foetal

position, knees drawn up against his torso and hands cupped together in front of

his face. A face twisted with fear and unknowing, a face pale a clammy with

tears rolling sideways across his face, forming a small pool where his head met

the tiles.

He didn't know how long he was there, didn't really care, he knew he had work

to do but that thought dissipated as quickly as it had formed. He was alone,

alone in a motel room in an unknown town, in a country unknown, well, it was

unknown to him. He'd arrived two days ago on a flight from Heathrow, London.

Why? They'd asked. To get away from it all for a while. He'd replied. If the

separation had hit him like a freight train then the sacking the shame and the

stigma that came with it hit him like an asteroid falling from the stars at a million

miles per hour. And so he found himself boarding a plane for America. He

wanted to chill out, spend some time doing nothing, planning to leave his

problems an ocean away.

Right now his problems were just beginning.

Chapter Two

How he found himself in the Diner, he wasn't quite sure. Sitting in the one of

the dozen or so booths he still felt sick and in need of fluid. He had cleaned

himself up in the bathroom when he felt he had recovered enough to drag

himself from the cold tiled bathroom floor, dressed and headed straight out of

the room, the cavern of demons.

The diner was a polished silver affair on the outside, not unlike a railway

carriage, built in the 1950's by O'Mahoney it had a long red line running its

length at waist height. Inside was very dated, a dozen or so booths lined the side

against the windows and a similar number of high stools stood against the tiled

counter opposite.

He caught a glimpse of his reflection in the glass window, only briefly, as he sat

staring at his hands, and regretted for a moment that he hadn't showered and

brushed his hair and teeth. He felt a mess and looked filthy.

As he stared at his own reflection the image began to cloud, a shiver ran down

his spine and he let out a quiet whimper. "No, not again" he said almost in a

whisper. Turning away, he thrust his head into his hands and closed his eyes.

The image slowly dying from his mind.

He was confused and couldn't understand what had happened the night before,

had it all been a dream? No. The puncture wound from the needle in his arm

was real enough, and he scratched sub-consciously at the mark. But what had

he been injected with? A poison, a drug? He had no idea, only that whatever it

was is coursing its way through his body, contaminating his internal organs and

his brain. He was scared and alone. Unsure what to do or who to tell.

Who would believe him?

He tried to focus, gather his thoughts and decide on some sort of positive action.

Gather his things from the motel room and head of in the hire car?

He did not want to go back to the room but he needed the few belongings he

had left there. "I'll be quick, in and out, while its still light, throw my things in the

boot of the car and get the hell out of dodge" He told himself.

“You Okay honey?”

He didn't hear the voice or even see the waitress stood at his side, pen and pad

at the ready.

“You want coffee?” she asked “You don't look so good” she added.

Still nothing. Getting impatient she jab her pencil into his upper arm. “Coffee?”

she asked again. Looking up at her was the colorless face of a scared and lonely

man and a shiver ran the length of her spine. She'd seem that look before.

“Coffee? Yes, strong and black” he asked her and turned his face away as she

moved away, realizing that he was in such a state that she might call the cops

on him. That'll be all I need he thought to himself. Being locked up as some sort

of tramp, no, not a tramp, I'd be a vagrant here, wouldn't I?

The waitress returned less than a minute later with a cup balanced within its

saucer in one hand and a glass pot of coffee, the type that sits beneath the filter

machine. Placing the cup and saucer in front of him, she poured and filled the


“It's hot and fresh” she said “sugars in the pot” and pointed at the glass pot

sitting on the table close to the window. He reached out his hand to take the

sweetener and looked up towards the window; taking the sugar pot in his hand,

he glimpsed himself in the window. Only it wasn't him, it looked like him but it

wasn't, looking back was the creature of the night before, somehow it had taken

his form and in the split second there eyes met, the creature smiled.

The sugar pot hit the table and toppled over scattering its contents as he let a

whimpering cry and threw his hands over his face to hide his eyes from the

hideous sight of himself. He was shaking, the fear had returned to torment him

and take him.

Hand written on the nametag pinned to the apron she wore was her name,

Shelly. Startled by the sudden movements and the spilt sugar over the yellow

plastic table top, Shelly regained herself, she moved the coffee cup away from

her customer, save he sent that crashing across the table, or himself, and placed

a hand on his shoulder as she crouched down to his level.

“Hey honey, you Okay? What's up?” she asked him, staring at the shaking

hands still covering his face. She felt his sobs through her hand on his shoulder,

using her free hand she took hold of one of his wrists and gently pulled his hand

away from his face “It's okay, come on Hun, tell Shelly what's up?” She saw the

look of terror on his face as he moved his hands away, saw the bloodshot red

eyes, saw the tears that ran from his eyes and gently slid down his cheeks.

The fear she felt shook her to the core, was it happening again? She couldn't be

sure but she was sure she'd seen this look of fear and despair before.

“Hun?” she said, “Look at me, tell me what it is? Tell me what's happened?” She

almost pleaded.

“I can't” he replied “it's nothing, just leave it. I'll be fine, okay” He didn't sound

convincing and Shelly wasn't about to let it drop.

“I'll let you be if you talk to me huni” She tried to sound reassuring despite her

own fears. She lowered her voice and looked him straight in the eyes and said

“Demons?” he said.

She watched his eyes as they met hers, wide open and glassy. He didn't have to

say another word, his face confirmed what she already knew and the cold realization

hit her full on.

He saw it in her eyes. She knew what he meant.

“How do you know about" He paused "about the demon?” he asked.

“Demon?” she said puzzled.

“There's more?”

She didn't answer. She knew there was more than one.

“Huni, where are you staying?” She asked, already knowing but wanting to

confirm more of her fears, knowing where he was staying, and even which room he was staying in, because

that's where it happened before.

“Over in the motel, why?” He said jamming a thumb over his shoulder in the direction of the motel.

“Which room?” please don't say room seventeen, she didn't add.

“Room seventeen” He replied. “Look,” he said noting her name badge for the

first time. “Look Shelly, what the fucks going on? What do you know?”

“I can't tell you…”

“What do you mean, you can't tell me? I'm going out of my fucking mind here”

“Not here, okay. Listen, sit tight and try to stay calm okay, I get of my shift

soon, we'll talk then. Just wait for me here and” she paused “don't look at your reflection in the glass.” She didn't wait

for a reply and left him with his coffee.

Shelly made her way back behind the counter and through the door that led to

the staff room. Closing the door behind her she sat in her chair, a thread bare

old armchair that she'd made her own when she'd started at the diner six

months ago. She looked at her hands held out before and couldn't control the

shaking, they felt cold but clammy. Covering her face with her palms she

sobbed, uncontrollably, her whole body rocking in the old chair as her emotions

took over, the tears flowed and the memories of her brother flooded back.

Carly was the epitome of the dizzy blonde, tall, skinny and very pretty with a

mass of golden curls so long that she could actually sit on them. As she breezes

into the staff room she brought with her a verbal tirade of the continuing saga

between her and Johnny. Johnny was the latest love of Carly's life and if her past

romances were anything to go by this one was due for the big bust up. As she

readied herself for the start of her shift, tying up all that hair took at least fifteen

minutes, she chatted to herself in front of the mirror for several moments before

catching a glimpse of Shelly in her chair, it was only now that Carly realised her

friend was rather distressed.

“Hey babe, what's up?” She asked turning to look at her.

Shelly moved her hands from her face to reveal her smudged face, her dark hair

stuck to her reddened cheeks by the wet tears that crept from her tired eyes

“They're back!” she said.

“Who is?” replied Carly, looking toward the door expecting to see faces of the


“Them” she said, the raised pitch in her voice showing the panic and

desperation for Carly to understand without her having to spell it out.

“You mean, "them" from Room seventeen, don't you?”

Shelly nodded.


The scene that met PC Pollard when he entered the room brought his breakfast cereal straight back up. He managed to turn quickly enough to step out of the bedroom before emptying his stomach contents across the hallway and halfway down the stairs.

Brian pollard had been a police officer in London’s metropolitan police force for over twenty years. Yet nothing he had faced in that time could of prepared him for the scene he'd met in the bedroom of the quiet semi' in London’s leafy suburb.

Tipped of by neighbours, Brian was tasked with making the house call to investigate the strange smell that had been reported. Unusually he was alone today, his partner Debbie, to snowed under with paperwork to join him on a trivial complaint. Probably a blocked drain he'd told her. He'd investigate it file a report and meet in the canteen at lunchtime.

As he sat shaking on the bottom step of the stairs he thanked those higher up the chain of command for beaurocracy.

No way should a woman witness that, he said to himself.

There were three bodies in the room, he knew that only because the heads were the only distinguishable parts left. A woman, long dark hair and make-up. Two children, only young, nine and ten perhaps. He couldn't tell the sex. They all had there eyes closed. But there was something not right about there features, they looked drawn, the cheeks had no plumpness to them. They looked almost hollow.

The remains of the three were scattered around the master bedroom, lumps of flesh, some small, some large but all unrecognizable were everywhere. The blood had spayed up the walls and across the ceiling. The deep pile carpet was sodden and sticky.

Taking a handkerchief from his pocket and holding it across his mouth and nose Brian climbed back up the stairs. The images of the faces on the heads had stirred him.

He entered the room, stepping carefully to avoid the pools of damp sticky blood. He approached the wall where the decapitated heads were hung. The wall below each head was thickly coated in the victims blood, it had run in thick rivulets down the wall and formed thick puddles on the carpet.

Brian noted that the wounds on the neck wasn't a clean cut. To his untrained eye he thought the heads had been torn from their bodies.

He sucked air in through the handkerchief, trying to block out the stench and control his retching at the same time.

He stooped a little to look at the wound of the woman. Her head was higher than that of the children’s. He found himself looking up into the neck wound of the slaughtered woman.

A length of bone, possibly from an arm or leg, had been driven into the wall and the head was hung like a picture on a hook. The facial features of this dead soul were etched with horror and pain, the lifeless dark eyes screamed out in terror from the pale face.

His stomach gave way again, this time he didn’t make it out the room. His vomit hit the bloodstained carpet and splashed up the sides of the white duvet covering the bed.

Brian shot from the room and down the stairs again. Still retching he flung open the front door and out into the front garden, gulping down mouthfuls of fresh air as he sank to his knees.

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Comments by other Members

ang at 16:35 on 05 July 2005  Report this post
I've just joined this group and read your chapters. This is definitely very exciting stuff and quite the thing I like to read. I don't know whether you have yet to proof read, but there are quite a few mistakes (you use of when you mean off and to when you mean too), but this is just minor stuff and I'm sure you'll find these easily enough.
I loved the second chapter, this really grabbed me and made me want to read more.
I don't know what sort of critique you want, but to be harsh the first chapter although very fast and exciting didn't grab me in the way it should have. Maybe it was because there is no characterisation, so therefore no one to really care about??? I think maybe if I knew a little more about the character it might make me care about him more. Just a thought! Ignore it if you don't agree.
Would like to see more though.
PS If you get a chance could you take a look at my work 'The Lodge'?


Sorry just read your summary at the top that you know about the typos, so ignore that bit!

robski at 19:06 on 28 July 2005  Report this post
Like ang, i found the first chapter was tense and fast paced although it was hard to get to grips with at first, but once you reached the second chapter it became an easier read. good stuff other tahn that, but maybe you should rejig the first chapter so the reader can get into the story faster. i think i know what your trying to do here, and forgive me if i'm wrong but by trying to introduce pace and tension you might be losing the reader at the begining. not good if it an agent who's reading it, they might only give you a couple of paragraphs to hook them in.

paul53 [for I am he] at 10:41 on 03 October 2005  Report this post
Hi Richard,
Reading this reminded me of driving off in a cold car. There is a definite sense of changing gear and powering up with each successive chapter.
The first chapter is a bit of a mess with a great deal of repetition and muddled sentences.
The second chapter is where you find your stride, and by the third you are moving along briskly.
Though I am avidly awaiting reading more, I suggest a rewrite for the opening chapter and a pruning of the second. Stopping it at:
“They're back!” she said.
would help, as we already know the remainder.
Chapter 1:
He felt the syringe pierce the skin on his arm, unable to resist, his wrist tied solidly to the arms of the wooden chair he was now sat in.[/I]
This sentence sounds awkward, and the repetition of arm/arms doesn’t help. It needs something like:
“He felt the syringe pierce the skin on his arm, but was unable to resist as his wrists were tied solidly the chair he now sat in.” The reader can imagine how the guy must be sitting if his wrists are tied solidly, leaving the injection point easily accessible.
felt the burning sensation that crept up and along his arm reaching his shoulder,
“sensation creep up to his shoulder” as we know it went into his arm.
He could feel the exaggerated rhythm of its beat dramatically increase as the fluid entered the chambers.
There’s too many “feel”s and “felt”s here and throughout the chapter. How about:
“The exaggerated rhythm of its beat dramatically increased as the fluid entered the chambers.”
Who was this stranger that had taken him from his slumber and dragged him from his bed to the chair he was now tied to.
“Who was this stranger, so easily dragging him from slumber to the chair where he was now tied.”
hoping against hope
Darkness closed in … and rapidly closing in
Chapter 3:
Brian pollard
just “semi” as it is now a word by itself
leafy suburb
is a cliché
Unusually he was alone today, his partner Debbie, to snowed under
his partner Debbie too snowed under...
They all had there eyes closed
The images of the faces on the heads had stirred him
“The images of the faces had stirred him”
Unless they’ve been removed, we know they are on the heads.
Sorry there seems to be a lot here, but this piece has the potential to really shine with a good rewrite.

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