Cracks

Prompt: He pulled against the ropes with all his might, but they wouldn’t give. “Don’t bother,” a voice said. He looked up to discover a thin girl bound with the same rope. Although it was dark, he could see her bruised eyes and bloody wrists. “I already tried.”


He pulled against the ropes with all his might, but they wouldn’t give. 

“Don’t bother,” a voice said. 

He looked up to discover a thin girl bound with the same rope. Although it was dark, he could see her bruised eyes and bloody wrists. 

“I already tried.”

He tilted his head, squinting in the darkness. She seemed distinctly familiar to him, but he couldn’t place where he had seen her before. 

“Do I know you?” he asked. 

She shook her head. “I don’t think so.”

“How did I get here?”

“I don’t know. They just threw you in.”

“Who’s ‘they’?” The dark room was slightly too warm for his liking. He strained against his bonds once more.

“I don’t know,” she said nervously. “I’m sorry.”

He shook his head. “No, it’s… it’s okay.” He lifted his gaze to the walls, the ceiling, the floor, trying to find some sign of where they were. “We’ll get out of here, I promise.”

He craned his neck, examining every inch of the ceiling until-

“What is that?”

The tiniest crack. It was unusual, it seemed to flicker in and out of view, and he thought he must be dehydrated and probably in shock because it also seemed to move briefly three inches to the left before snapping back. 

“What is what?” she asked.

“There’s a… crack, or something. In the ceiling But it’s… it’s moving.”

“I think you’re going crazy.” She laughed. It was a strange sound, just a bit too high and far away sounding. 

He glanced over at her, and jumped. Her face had changed. Her eyes weren’t bruised, they were… black. Empty eye sockets, just barely visible in the darkness. Her lips weren’t cracked, her face was, split and fractured where her mouth should be. And she was taller and thinner, limbs tangled awkwardly behind her, stretched beyond what should’ve been normal. 

Then she flickered, like the crack, in and out, a few feet to the left, then back again. The fissures in her face split open wider, like she was smiling, and her head cocked several degrees to the side, her neck bending unnaturally to accommodate. 

“I’m glad you’re here,” she cooed. Her voice was distant and high-pitched. “I’m sorry for all the deceit, but I know how distressed you humans get.” She unfolded her long limbs, revealing two extra arms and foot-long talons. She skittered slightly closer, her form becoming more corporeal with each step. “I tried to make everything seem more human. Did you like it?”

He swallowed. His throat was dry, and when he opened his mouth to respond, no words came out. 

She giggled and crawled closer to him, reaching out to touch him with one claw. He flinched, struggling against the ropes, trying to inch away from the creature, with all her angles and protrusions. It was no use; her claws found his face, stroking hazardously across one cheek. 

“Shh….” she crooned. “Everything’s okay now. You’re safe here.”

He tried to scream, but his voice failed him.

“I’ll protect you now.”

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