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-   -   "Gateway to the Unknown" a short story by LuvablePsycho (http://www.horror.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68723)

LuvablePsycho 11-03-2018 09:52 AM

"Gateway to the Unknown" a short story by LuvablePsycho
A man wakes up on a gurney in an empty room with a feeling of confusion. He can't seem to remember who he is, what he was doing, or how he got there. "Hello?" he calls around, but nobody answers. He gets off the gurney and notices the leather straps and IV tubes connected to long needles. Staring at the needles sends a chill up his spine. As he looks at his clothes he notices that he is wearing a white jumpsuit with no shoes. "Am I a prisoner?" he thinks to himself.

He walks up to a glass window and sees a row of empty chairs, and then he notices a large one way mirror next to an door. As he enters the room he sees a set of medical instruments and chemicals, but as he picks up the chemicals he feels an intense feeling of explained panic and decides not to look at them.

As he exits the room he looks at a row of cells. All of the cells are locked shut except for one empty room. He goes into the cell to find a bed, a sink, a toilet, and a tiny table. "Is this my cell?" he wonders to himself. "Where is everybody?"

Thinking that if this really is an empty prison, he decides it might be a good idea to try and leave the horrible place with no guards around. But as soon as he makes his way to the front gate a strange fear overcomes his senses. He can't make out what is outside of the gate. Where does it lead to? He decides not to leave yet.

He makes his way back to the empty prison cell he where he finds the strangest thing: a metal tray has been laid out with a warm meal. Puzzled at seeing the food laid before him he calls out "Who did this?" but nobody answers. Feeling his stomach growl and not remembering the last time he ate he decided to eat.

After finishing the food he laid in his small bed trying his hardest to remember. He closes his eyes and falls asleep. During a strange dream of sorts he sees terrifying images of a cashier begging for his life before being shot multiple times, a familar looking woman crying, prison guards with a grim expression on their faces, and last he feels the pain of needles sticking into his arms as he looses conciousness and feels his last breath escape his body.

The man wakes up feeling a cold sweat and gasping for air, as he finally realizes what he was doing in this prison. "But where is everybody" He thinks to himself. The cell door is still unlocked so he peaks into the dark, cold prison. For sees what look like shadowy figures lurking around. He then hears faint noises of people shouting.

"Prove that you exist!", "Do something!" Make some noise!" The man in the white jumpsuit is fearful of these strange voices and runs back into his cell and shuts the metal door which causes a loud sound. "Did you guys hear that?!" the voices shout Seeing the blurred shadowy figures enter his cell he puts his hands over his face and begins to whimper in fear. "Please make it stop!" he says in a trembling voice. One of the voices say "I got something! Listen to this!"

The man can't remember how long he stayed awake in fear, but eventually the shadowy figures went away. He was surprised to find another tray of food laid out before him consisting of breakfast meals. Feeling too nervous to eat after his experience, he decides to wonder the prison which is now lit up by daylight. He takes a walk into the prison yard but feels the same strange sense of blurryness and unable to recognize the world beyond the barb wire fences.

He then walks back up to the front gate but feels the same sense of unknowing fear he felt before. He really wanted to leave this horrible place, but why couldn't he? Seeing nothing better to do that day he decided to hang out around the gate. At dusk he began to hear the same voices again and saw another shadowy figure standing in front of another shadowy figure holding an object.

"The spirits of these evil men cannot leave this prison because they know that once they step outside these gates they will go to hell." and after hearing this the man in the white jumpsuit looked at the gates with a feeling of dread. "Am I really evil?" he wonders to himself. "I did something evil to get here, didn't I?"

After another restless night a mysterious man appears in front of the cell door wearing a guard uniform. The guard appears to be dumbstruck as he looks at the prisoner. "It's you..." he says to the man in the white uniform. He looks at the guard with a very puzzled expression. He appears to be an older man with a big potbelly and white hair with a matching mustache. "Who... who are you?" the inmate asks. The guard looks just as puzzled and asks "You... don't you remember? When you were.. "

The inmate realizes what the guard was talking about when he has a flashback of that gurney with the IV tube needles in the room he woke up in. "Who am I? Why am I here? Where is everybody else?" he asks the guard. For a brief moment the guard has a sad look on his face as if coming to some sort of tragic realization. "That night... when my chest started hurting... I guess I didn't make it... my family... they must still be..." he goes quiet and walks away. "Hey wait! Please don't go!" the inmate yells. He tries to follow the guard but finds his cell door is somehow locked.

He bangs on the cell door pleading with the man to let him out but gets no response. "Please! Come back! Don't leave me in here! Please!". Pretty soon the inmate gives into sobbing and curls into a fetal position on the floor. There are no dreams that night, but the next morning he sees the same guard. He looks at the man in the white jumpsuit as if unsure what to say. "I guess we're the only two people in this prison. I guess... we're both dead" the guard says.

"I was executed by lethal injection, wasn't I?" the man in white asks the guard. "Yes... you were." the guard says. "And me... I think that night... I must have had a heart attack while working the graveyard shift... and didn't make it. I don't remember much about it. But my doctor and my wife and daughters had both been warning me to take it easy..." the guard looks at the inmate and asks "Do... do you remember or know anything about me?" he asks.

The inmate looks at him and says "You kind of look familar... but I don't really know you." he says. There's a long awkward silence between the two men. The guard then says "Maybe there's a reason why you and I are the only two here then." before walking away. The inmate feels confused at what he meant by that.

The next day the inmate goes back up to the front gate and sees the old guard standing in front of it. "It is kind of scary isn't it?" he says while looking at the inmate. "But I bet you really want to leave this prison though wouldn't you? It seems very unfair to me that you are still in here after you paid your debt to society." the inmate doesn't know exactly how to respond to what the guard says. "I think maybe now I know why we are here together. There's something I have to do, not just for me but for you too."

The inmate is puzzled by what the guard is saying, and next thing he knows he grabs the inmate by the arm and starts pulling him. "Hey wait! What are you doing! Let me go!" the inmate screams. "Hey come on! Don"t you want to leave this horrible place too? Let's get going!" the guard says as he drags the man. "No! Please don't! I don't want to! Please! I'm begging you! Please stop!" the guard is unable to bring himself to force the prisoner anymore, remembering a similar expression on the inmate's sobbing face that night he himself injected the lethal chemicals into his body.

"I'm sorry" he tells the wheeping prisoner. "If you really don't want to go through that gate I won't force you. But why don't you want to go through it?", the prisoner looks up at him with red puffy eyes and explains "Because I'm going to Hell for what I did. If I leave this prison... I'll go to Hell. I don't want to go to Hell!" the guard doesn't know what to say to the man so he escorts him back to his cell. Another meal is brought to the prisoner but instead of showing up mysteriously in his cell it is brought to him by the guard. The meal consists of a big bowl of chocolate icecream.

"What is this?" the prisoner asks. The guard smiles at him and explains "Do you remember what you wanted for your last meal? The night you were executed? A big bowl of chocolate ice cream was all. I guess I'm bringing this to you to show that it really wasn't your last meal". The guard watches the prisoner as he eats in silence. "You know, I think we all have a fear of the unknown. But what if it really isn't so bad on the other side of that gate? What if there is actually a better place waiting for all of us on that side?"

The prisoner looks up from the finished bowl. "But what if I go to Hell? I know I did something very evil. Nobody will ever forgive me...", the guard rests his hand on the inmates shoulder and tries his best to comfort him. "I really do think it will be OK. I've worked in this prison for many years and have seen a lot of prisoners come and go. Some were very bad people, but some were just like you. I believe people who truly are sorry for what they did will be forgiven. Plus you've already served your time here. So what do you say? If you are ever ready to leave let me know. I will wait for you and we can leave at the same time together.

After countless days of following a similar routine over and over the prisoner decided to take the guard up on his offer. The two walked in front of the gate staring into the dark blury abyss beyond it. "Are you ready?" the guard asked. "We will both be freed men after this." the man in the white prison uniform nodded nervously. As they opened the prison gates and walked into the abyss, both men saw a flash of bright beautiful light before they vanished and the prison became completely empty once more.

LuvablePsycho 11-03-2018 10:10 AM

Sorry if this isn't the best story this was my first attempt at trying to write something. ::big grin::

Morningriser 11-03-2018 01:00 PM

It was a pretty good story. You're pacing was well but I feel like it lacked substance. You did describe things as they were happening but I felt like giving us more of an idea of the surroundings such as details, whether they be big or small. That gives it atmosphere and a bit of a life of its own. it's something that takes practice. That's why so many people, including myself edit the absolute hell out of everything until they feel like everything from the pacing, character development, details of surroundings, like how did it smell, what was the tension like? How clean or messy is the area your character is in? It's the little details that all work together to create a believable atmosphere that people can Envision in their minds. You want to make everything as Vivid as possible for the reader. Another good tip is to start your story, whether it be the first paragraph or so in a short story or the first page or two in a full-length novel or novella, start off with something exciting or questionable or something that will hook the reader and make them want to turn the page rather than think to themselves this is going to be boring and put it down. And read my book because you will fucking love it. Think of it as you being the Snake Charmer and and your readers being the snake. Keep up the good work man. Do you know how to get into Taj Mahal? Practice!

LuvablePsycho 11-03-2018 01:07 PM

Thanks for the criticism! :D Yeah I guess it didn't have enough detail because I tried to fit the entire story into a single post and I actually had to go back and remove entire paragraphs just so I could post this story. ::embarrassment::

Next time I might try to write my story down on paper first and then post it without trying to fit it all in one post. I'll make a few posts if I have to. :)

And I'll make sure I spend longer than a couple of hours on planning the story. ::big grin::

Morningriser 11-03-2018 03:11 PM

Just to clarify to everyone else so I don't sound like a complete fucking asshole, he messaged me earlier and asked me to critique his story. ::big grin::

LuvablePsycho 11-03-2018 03:20 PM


Originally Posted by Morningriser (Post 1034718)
Just to clarify to everyone else so I don't sound like a complete fucking asshole, he messaged me earlier and asked me to critique his story. ::big grin::

And I want to clarify to everyone that I welcome any healthy criticism to what I've written so maybe I can improve the next time I try to write something. ::smile::

I didn't expect this to be perfect because it was very rushed. I think I could do a lot better if I actually took time to plan a story. ::wink::

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