Tidbits from Gary

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Whispers in the Darkness, part 2

"Whispers in the Darkness"
part 2 of 3
Gary Baker, February 2013

The screen flicked on. A scratchy scene glazed in apple green.

Along the back wall a bed hung by chains, holding a woman with a swollen abdomen breathing in heavy gasps and pants. Her legs had been propped up and to the sides where a bald man with dark skin knelt between as though looking into a television screen.

"Look, Kara," the man paced with his words while he wiped his forehead with the back of his wrist, "I need you to keep breathing and stay calm until the contractions start."

A woman with her blonde hair a mess stood from the pregnant woman's side and stepped to the counter top.

The camera turned to face the woman as she sat down. Her face was sallow and her eyes deep with shadows.

"Kara is in labor," she stated. A twinge crossed her face and she leaned into her uplifted palm to rest her chin. She seemed on the verge of tears, the corners of her eyes shuttering with hints of liquid breaking. "God help the newborn."

A scream broke the sullen silence. Two people behind the blonde woman, both along the wall nearest the cell door, startled from waking dreams.

A select group of people watched intently, the rest avoided the bed at all costs. It was the few who knelt and leaned closest to Kara that seemed the most worried.

As the blonde woman looked on, one of the helpers nodded. "Got it," he said, then paced a few steps back and bent over to drag shriveled-yet-hydrated bodies out of the way.

"They died of starvation," the woman closest to the camera shook her head from side to side with tears threatening again. For the camera she motioned to the bodies. "The smell is the worst part."

An impossibly baritone moan broke the otherwise eerie calm, sounding out the pain of the universe trying to stave off it's eventual demise. The voice shuddered and broke into a viscous scream.

The woman shot her gaze to the bed and the woman in labor. "Kara I'm coming," she called just before her hand reached up to the camera.

With a soft scratch, the scene suddenly snapped to darkness.


The screen flicked on. A scratchy scene glazed in apple green.

The lone lamp in the room stood like a sentinel to the left side, illuminating the nearest space despite a lack of cords. Along the back wall hung a prison bed with people watching the lone woman enrobed in darkening bloodstains.

Her fierce tears kept others away and left the space for herself.

The woman's arms cradled a lump of what should have been purple flesh if not for the green overtone that turned it black. Her eyes never left the rounded end, while her free arm caressed the places her tears fell upon.

Her voice echoed slightly, the anguish plain in her tone while she almost chanted "I'm sorry" as though with each newly spoken line another chance at the baby's life was given.

But no matter how many times she said it, the newborn's eyes wouldn't budge.

Suddenly the camera turned on it's axis to face a blonde woman, her hair unraveled into segments with blood streak highlights. Fear shone in her eyes like light from the lamp.

"Our captors are back," she wept without tears, though her eyes seemed ready to flow like the falls of Niagara. "The dying moans echo to us each and every waking moment."

She shook her head and wiped mucus from dripping over her lip and her voice cracked, "the screams are maddening." The blonde woman looked around sharply to peer at any close enough to hear her. "...and some of us have already been lost to them."

With a heavy exhale, she let her face fall into her open palms then sat there staring at the camera for several moments before she blinked and unglazed her eyes. "Kara's baby was stillborn," a quick glance to the mourning mother on the bed, "maybe it's for the best...."

The blonde distractedly rapped her knuckles on the counter top  Her forehead wrinkled in thought, "and it sucks that she won't last long anymore... she was one of the best of us...." She shrugged slightly. "Simply stated: it's obvious that she lost too much blood, and by her constant whimpering her afterbirth must be causing infection."

The blonde woman reached for the camera then slowly turned it to face Kara, still voicelessly whispering her sorrows to the fetus.

"She's been like this for more than a day, by my guess." The woman closest to the camera whimpered to herself, "...won't be long. Oh god, it won't be long."

Then a hideous scream broke out, an echo to curdle the blood followed by the sounds of men and women in their dying throes mixed with more guttural barks.

The camera forgotten, the reporter froze with her eyes locked to the side, toward the door where the noises came in from. More violent screams, that of full disembodiment by what could only have been limbs being torn from their living counterparts, and gurgles of voices choked in liquid.

The woman's skin went sheet white, and her breathing rose rapidly. "Oh, god," she breathed fearfully, "that was no more than two cells away!"

She reached back to turn the camera to face her, leaving her hand at the top of the view, as her pupils dissolved her irises. "We're next...."

People on the floor crawled over the starved bodies to get further away from the doorway.

"...I just know we're next."

With a soft scratch, the scene suddenly snapped to darkness.


The screen flicked on. A scratchy scene glazed in apple green.

Along the back wall, a flat bed of steel covered by a slim mattress pad hung by thick chains with the slumped body of a woman and her dead baby. The mother's eyes held onto her kin even after death had brought them back together.

A featureless lamp stood to one side with it's light reaching out to make deep pits of the mother's eyes. Despite the number of starved people that clung to the light like a fountain of life, the lamp stood as sturdy as it ever had.

Even the death of a mother and her infant couldn't move this beacon.

As the camera turned to face the reporter, the door burst open behind her.

There in the light of the open airway beyond stood several massive shadows, featureless as clay thrown together last minute. Something came over the people within the cell. Something hit them more brutally than had their abduction and subsequent starvation.

Then the shadows moved as if to come in and the inmates panicked.

In mass understanding, the human-kind within the cell scrambled over bodies living and long-gone to reach the safety of the light.

If anything could save them, clearly it was the sentinel of a wireless lamp. Nothing else mattered. They threw each other out of the way to get there first, smashing fists and heads in the process.

The shadows grabbed the slowest and tore them from the floor with hideous gurgles. Flesh flew, trailing crimson mist through the stagnant airway.

But it was the thundering tones of the shadows as they seemed to enjoy their carnage that struck chords much deeper than the predeceasing howls of human horror.

And just as quickly as it had begun, the shadows were gone.

The door slammed shut and left them in absolute darkness. Somehow, in the heat of the fray the last beacon of hope for them had been taken.

The camera's recording light illuminated the reporter's face as she leaned close to the lens again. In a panic, she had lost her chair and now sat on her knees to reach the camera view.

"They took John!" She shivered  a new sense of cold coming over her as she wept over the man who'd helped birth Kara's child. "Oh, why did they have to take John?"

She turned to face the remaining people crowding the wall furthest from the door. In the sheer darkness, the recording light indicated details as far away as the bed.

"I have to stay strong," she wept, "I have to stay strong. I have to stay... oh, god why?"

She broke down then, weeping into her elbow as shudders of trauma took over.

With a soft scratch, the scene suddenly snapped to darkness.


The screen flicked on. A dark, scratchy scene glazed in apple green.

Along the monotonous back wall lay the remains of a smashed lamp with people cowering against the nearest corner. Two of them held each other, shivering dramatically as their weary eyes darted about as though watching flies.

Suddenly the camera slowly turned on it's axis until it faced a blonde woman with her hair a mess and the bags beneath her eyes taking over her cheeks.

On a bed behind her, one held up by thick steel chains attached to the ceiling and bedside, lay a ghostly sight of the former mother, Kara, and her stillborn child. The blood had turned black long ago, and her skin had gone pale.

Nothing could wake them now. Nothing could change the way their eyes seemed to stare out and bore into those nearest the bed.

It appeared that this was the reason why the others avoided the bed. Even those nearest the bleak furnishing looked anywhere but toward it. It had become the obvious sign of what it was that they would ultimately become.

The woman closest to the camera winced, looking longingly around at her companions' dwindled numbers.

A child leaned against his mother's emaciated living corpse to the woman's left, with a multitude of others huddling against walls for support.

Finally the blonde woman spoke up, clearing her throat before speaking though her voice still rasped like a lifelong smoker. "We're starving," she breathed, "why wont they feed us?"

In the background, near the cell door, a lean man with a scar on his face like that from a rake scowled at the man next to him. After the lesser man wouldn't look away, the man with the scar let his fist rocket into the smaller man's face.

A loud crunch foretold the whimper and spray of blood that followed.

The injured man jolted his hands to his nose as he quickly dragged his sorry form deeper into the darkness across the floor from his attacker.

Another whimper echoed out as the smaller man audibly attempted to realign his broken nose. The whimper turned sour when another crunch emanated out, and quickly became wails of horrific pain.

Like a snake the brute vaulted from his wall position and dove into the darkness. The injured man screamed in fear, and was drug out from the wall and into the camera's sight where the larger took the smaller man's neck in hand, twisted sharply, and let his victim fall to the floor with a sickening smack.

The blonde watched it all from beside the camera, her eyes transfixed on the freshly deceased man's gaping eyelids. In the light of the recording indicator, two dead irises gleamed like gems stuffed into an over-sized human doll.

"The aggression is getting worse," she told the camera as she turned back to look her lifeless companion in the lens. "It feels like we have become animals, wild and insatiably savage."

As if on cue a terrifying, hideous, high-pitched wail echoed into the cell through the door window.

Someone was being attacked in another cell out there.

Several other screams sounded out, some men, others clearly women, but all invariably human in origin.

The blonde woman gasped with a hand to her mouth, panting breathlessly. "Oh, god, they're coming back!"

She turned back to the camera with a pleaful wince as her hand reached up to the side of the screen and noisily felt around in the dark.

With a soft scratch, the scene suddenly snapped to darkness.

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