I never realized how scary the darkness could be … if you’re surrounded by it against your will.
My body lies frozen on the cold, hard floor, my clattering teeth the only sound I hear for hours.
I don’t know where I am. Or how I came here.
All I remember is him.
The man with a smile so cumbersome it made mine disappear.
I lift my head. The door squeaks, and the lock unhinges. When daylight breaks through, a sliver of it blinds me, so I cover my eyes. The sun is so bright compared to the shadows I’ve lived in for hours on end.
“Wh-who’s there?” My voice breaks when I speak. My throat is so dry I can barely utter the words.
I try to peek into the light where a tall figure stands, clutching the doorway. I swallow away the lump in my throat. What are they going to do with me? Is it a man or a woman? Alone or with many? So many questions … and zero answers.
Someone steps forward, and I instinctively crawl away, fearing them.
That’s what this place does to you. No matter how much time you spend in the darkness, it always manages to turn you into an animal. Raw. Rudimentary.
It’s a man, his voice dark and low, as though to command respect.
How does he know my name?
“Who are you?” I ask.
“That’s not important right now. What’s important for you to know is that I want you to stay strong and survive.”
What is this?
“Survive what?” I mutter. “Please … let me out.”
The man stands there watching me for what feels like minutes, though I’m sure it’s only a few seconds. The lack of light is causing my brain to play tricks on me. I’ve lost all awareness of time.
They want me to lose my mind.
“Please …” I beg again, but the figure ignores me and turns around.
As he walks back to the door, he pauses for a moment. “Submit … and it’ll be over quickly.”
Submit? To what? This is insane.
I crawl across the floor as fast as I can, toward the door, toward freedom. But when I get close, it’s slammed shut right in front of me.
“No …” I whimper, my voice escaping me. My forehead lowers to the cold, concrete floor while tears travel down my face.
If only I hadn’t seen his name in the newspaper. If only I hadn’t been so curious and gone to see him speak. If only he hadn’t laid his eyes on me.
Layers and layers of secrets are hidden behind those eyes. Secrets I shouldn’t want or need to know.
But I did. And now I’m here.
Stuck in perpetuating darkness, surrounded by nothing but concrete walls and floors.
Caught by the devil.
Taken by his henchmen.
Just to become … his.