Friday, 20 October 2017

#SpookyQuilling Entry 2: Prompt 3

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And this is my second entry (Prompt 3) for the #SpookyQuilling // A writing meme for those that love blood, gore and the undead by Savannah @The Book Prophet!

Here's the prompt that matches this story, I hope you like it!
"Prompt 3 – October 17:
Put together a narrative of survival. This can be anything from surviving from a kidnapping or even surviving oneself. Use your creativity in this one. You’ll need to rely on who your character(s) are and how they deal with the circumstances you put them in."

Here's the story:

"They’re after me. Left, right, up above. I’m surrounded.
Think, think. What do I do?
I scan the area. I’m in a corridor, stretching out in front of me as far as I can see. Which isn’t much considering the tear gas they used the minute they figured out what we were doing here.
They’re right behind me, I can feel it. I need to run, get away, before they do to me what they did to the rest of us.
I feel the hairs stand up on my neck at the thought.
Cort’s voice rings in my head, The time is right. We’ll strike, take what we need and then, be out of here before they know what’s hit them.
We thought it would be true.
That’s not what happened.
I close my eyes, a brief second of grief for those that we have lost along the way. Header, Yatu, Slath.
I don’t think about their end, but the laughter and drinks we shared, bonding over a shared enemy.

And then I’m off, leaving my memory of them behind.
Get your head in the game, Nate. Or this will all be for nothing.
I run down the corridor, trying to keep the level of panic down to a minimum. Running on the balls of my feet, I’m trying to find something, anything, for whatever the hell I might need it for.

Finally, I come to the end of the corridor. Grasping the corner wall, I peer back the way I came. Nothing.
Nothing, really? I could have sworn they were right on top of me, just a mere moment ago. Could they really have lost interest so quickly, or are they just leading me into a trap?
What the hell have you led us into Cort?!

I hear gunshots in the distance. Can’t tell what sort just from the noise, and I can’t tell if it’s from two sides, or if some poor person is being butchered.
Should I retreat or go and investigate.
I make a decision. Cursing myself for being the compassionate one, I run towards the sounds of gunshot, running the months and years of battlefield training through my head as I go.
Keep your head down, be smart, stand with your back to the wall, eyes wide open. Relax the muscles in your arms. If they’re stiff, you’ll hit a lucky shot, where you would have hit ten otherwise. Then he’d smack my head. RELAX YOUR ARMS. Take a deep breath when you shoot, it makes you concentrate just enough to get that head shot when you can. And sometimes, when’s it going tits up, that tiny bit of extra concentration can be the only thing saves you.
Thanks, Cort.

The gunshots are near. Just around the next corner. Taking a second my calm myself, I take a peek. Be smart. Don’t go running straight in before you get a good idea of what’s going on.
Quick and agile, I take a second glance.
And I see the last thing I expected to see. I’m so surprised that I almost lose my footing.
It’s Marcus, the last remaining member of our squad. And more than that, we were in the same class at training. He’s got a pistol in his hand, so small yet so powerful, like an extension of his hand. I remember he used to favour this gun in training, and I smile at the memory.
I thought he was dead.
Shaking my head, I try to focus. God sake Nate, get your head in the game- and keep it that way.
I run my fingers over my body armour. Gas in one pocket, explosives in another. For a last resort.
I draw my own pistol, check the bullets. 7 left. How many are there to shoot at?
Okay, 9. And with the two of us, hopefully I won’t run out. Hopefully.
I scan the scene. There are enough places for me to hide out so I can get a good vantage point at each of them. Gritting my teeth, I launch myself into the room of gunshot and yelling.
I take out, one two. Aim for the head, the heart if you get the chance.
Marcus hasn’t seen me yet. I risk a quick glance at him. He’s protected behind a desk. His head pops out, he shoots, then back to position. Polished and clean. He’s got that familiar crease between his eyebrows, the one that means he’s concentrating.
Head down, Nate. Come on.
And then, suddenly the bullets are flying in my direction too. God, they’ve spotted me.

When they’re all dead, I wait, unsure of what to do next.
Until I’m eye to eye with Marcus.
And then we’re a metre apart, Marcus having jumped the minute I reacted.
We lock eyes, neither of us wanting to make the first move.
And then I flash a smile of relief, and he does too.
And then we’re hugging, just out of relief and comfort.
And then I hear the words: “Come on, I’ve got something to tell you about this place.”
And I follow him out of the corpse infested room.

We sit down on the boxes. We’re in a storeroom, which I’m surprised to discover looks completely normal, like we weren’t just in a shoot-out only a minute ago.
“So, what did you find out? What’s with all this?”
“Okay, here’s what I got. They’re fighting us because they discovered something… twisted about the program.”
“What? That’s absurd.”
“It isn’t. I don’t know all of it, but apparently there’s something… that controls your brain. It looks like you’re acting this way, but it isn’t. And it slowly drives you insane.”
I can’t quite comprehend this. “But… there are security measures that ensure that that doesn’t happen. Isn’t there?” I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this.
“I don’t know, but that’s what they thought we were planning to do.”
Then something occurs to me. “But how did you find out all this so quickly?” We all got separated so quickly, I don’t know how he could’ve.
“I got separated from you guys, and I was trying to find my way back, and then I heard some voices, and with my telecom, I listened in. They saw me before I could escape and that’s when you found me. Simple.”
One nod in reply. “Okay… so say I believe you. Where’s the proof?”
He looks around, even though there’s only us in here. His body language says, nervous. Why is he nervous?
“Okay, fine I’ll show you. Do you trust me?” His question hangs in the air, begging to be answered.
Slowly, I open my mouth. “Yes.”
“Follow me.”

* * *

“Stealth.” He whispers into my ear. I nod my head once to show it’s understood.
Walk on tiptoes. Like you’re walking on air, Cort said to me once.
“Just down this corridor, third door on the right.” After looking around, I think: Why are all the corridors the same?
And we’re off.

I put the safety back on my gun and push it back into my armour.
Scanning the room quickly, I see a bed, a wardrobe, and a computer.
Marcus sits down and starts to type. I pop myself down on the bed.
“Now, I found out here. Look.”
I learn into the screen of the computer and see.
A brain. He clicks to another screen. Then another and another.
It all looks like jumble at first. I don’t know about science-y stuff, I was a soldier first and foremost.
But I can see what he means. It would be pretty hard to face this cold evidence.
“Wait here. I’ve got to get something.” And he leaps up, quick as a leopard. He’s gone.
I lean further towards the camera screen, eager for more details to take back later.
And then I see something in the corner of the screen. A message. I click it.
And I see Marcus’ profile.
He’s one of them.
Click, click, click. Things that don’t make sense. He said he’d eavesdropped, not on a computer. The computer was already on.
We didn’t encounter anybody on the way here. Where he got his favourite gun when we ran out of that model months ago.
Was it all a setup?

I’m jolted out of my thoughts as I feel the gun pressed against my temple.
“Don’t. Move.” His voice is hard as steel.
“Okay. But just answer me one thing. Why?”
“Why? Because it pays to be on the winning side.”
“But why make all of this up?” I can’t help asking.
“Mind control. Taking over the world. And I’ll live forever. Say goodbye, Nate.”

And the last thing I feel is the impact of the bullet hitting my brain."

So that is my entry! I hope you enjoyed the story, let me know in the comments if you enjoyed it, or any writing tips that you think could help, either's good, as I do enjoy writing!

So that is all I have for you today, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I will see you all on Monday!

-Abi xxxxx