@MattCSullyTweet won the Twitter giveaway for when I hit 2000 followers. As such, he won a customized flash piece based on a series of questions I sent him.
WARNING: I write horror. If you do not like horror, please avoid this piece. Otherwise, happy reading!
Lanie Goodell copyright 2018
Matt stared at the darkness surrounding him. He could hear the gentle sobs of a child and hoped, prayed, begged for it not to be his child. He had to keep reminding himself that his children were not with him. They were safely tucked away with his wife at home. They had chosen not join him as he made his way across the expanse of ocean between his home in Georgia to the vast desert wasteland of Australia. It was not his first choice, nor was he the company’s first choice. The trip had fallen to him after not one but two other employees bailed on the project prior to the trip.
Dripping through the abyss of blackness caught his attention. Had the dripping been there before? He struggled against his restraints, the skin of his wrists burning as the rope drew blazing lines across them. The child’s cries grew louder, echoing through the quiet space. Matt stared into the darkness, trying to force light into the space. He had no idea where he was and it terrified him as much as the knowledge that he was being held captive. He was powerless, an unknown force gaining complete control over him.
A breeze from somewhere tickled his neck, sending a shiver across his heated flesh. The room (was it a room?) was hot and his body burned from within. He’d long since stopped sweating. He knew that was a bad sign. There was no way for him to know how long he’d been there. Hours, maybe? Days? Did anyone know he was missing? The last thing he remembered was the smile on his driver’s face as he left the airport in Sydney. Surely he couldn’t be too far from the city. But it was blisteringly hot and the city had been cool.
The room rocked gently. Matt’s stomach rolled with nausea as he fought to control the wave of bile that rose in his throat. His stomach, cramping with lack of food or drink, cramped painfully. The child screamed and the bile won. Matt rolled onto his back. For the first time he could hear the waves hitting the wall behind him and he knew he was on a ship.
Metal scraped against metal as a door he’d not known existed was suddenly pulled open. Light blinded him as Matt struggled to sit, fighting against the ropes that bound his legs. The light, painfully cutting through his head after the total darkness that had enveloped him, hid the person standing in the doorway. A low chuckle rang through the space. Matt winced as the screaming grew louder now that the door was open.
“You’re next,” the stranger said with a gleeful laugh. Matt fought against the light, barely making out his driver from the airport. His muscles screamed as he moved, their hours of confinement slicing through him.
“For what?” he asked, sure he didn’t want to know the answer.
“To die,” the stranger said simply. Matt cast an eye around the empty room. There was no escape. As the man approached he finally realized he’d been drugged. There was no way to fight. There was no way to escape. This was the final moment and he was helpless to save himself.
The screaming suddenly ceased and he knew it was over. He hung his head, silently screaming his goodbyes as he was dragged from the room.