Caged. Short Story.

I am going to kill myself, it is the only way. I write this in the hope that should someone read it, they know why I’ve done this to myself, to my friends and to my family.

There is no escape.

I have been trapped in this house for months. It is very cleverly designed, like my house, but not. At first I didn’t notice the differences but the longer I am here the more apparent they become. The curtains are shorter and a lighter colour, the fireplace is larger, the fridge makes a strange humming noise. All these things and more made me realise I was not in my house, but that I was alone and abandoned.

I woke up here one morning, with no idea anything was wrong, it was just a nice, ordinary day. I got up with the alarm, showered and dressed, then went downstairs for breakfast. I suppose my mind was elsewhere, that I was thinking of how to deal with some miniscule problem, though what it might have been escapes me now. I noticed there was something, off, about the windows, that there was something there, just out of my vision. I of course, discarded this and continued eating my breakfast, It was stupid of me to think something was wrong, after all, I was looking out the window and could see what a fine day it was shaping up to be. Putting my bowl in the sink, I went to the door, grabbing my briefcase on the way, but, when I turned the handle of the door, nothing happened. Strange, I thought, and tried again without success. Leaving the briefcase down, I went in search of the keys, normally I grabbed them without thinking, but today I didn’t. At first I believed this to be fortuitous, I would have been locked out, again. My ex-wife was always annoyed when I needed to ring her to come over to let me into my house. What I wouldn’t give to hear her again, even if she was shouting down the phone at me.

After searching and finding nothing, I thought to myself it didn’t matter too much, once I got out, I could swing by Fran’s and pick up the spares but that damn door still defeated me. It just would not open no matter how I twisted and turned the knob or tried to jiggle it free. It was most unusual of course because I have never experienced this with the door. Giving up, I realised it was probably broken and I would need to ring someone to fix it, glancing at my watch, I saw I didn’t have time to be waiting around, I was already late. I could hop out the window, though undignified, then ring someone when I got home. It seemed the best course of action as I could not miss work, but, to my surprise, the window was also locked and refused to budge despite my efforts. I checked the back door and other windows, each time becoming slightly more panicked. Once I had ascertained all the doors and windows were locked, I realised that I could break a window if needed and that I could still leave. Going back to the kitchen, I picked up the telephone and started to dial, but as the phone reached my ears, I heard nothing on the other end, it was dead.

I gently placed the receiver back into the cradle and wondered what I should do. Though I could see other houses through the windows, I had yet to see anyone pass by. Finally, I made my decision to break the glass, people would understand when they were told of what happened. Unsure of exactly how to do it, I picked up one of the smaller tables as it was a perfect size for a mini battering ram, it would go right through the window and I would be far enough away that the falling glass wouldn’t cut me.

After taking a steadying breath, I heaved the table at the window, pushing with all my might, it connected solidly, then painfully rebound, flying backwards and hitting me in the face. The pain was exquisite, the table catching the bridge of my nose, there was an explosion of pain, followed by a great river of blood, it ran down my face, into my mouth, onto my work clothes. Hurrying back to the kitchen I quickly got a cloth a tried to stem to bleeding, it took a few moments to stop, but when it finally did, I found an ice pack in the freezer, hoping to keep the swelling down. My eyes were continuously watering in time with the dull throbbing, all I could do was hope my nose wasn’t broken, after all, it appeared that I had no contact with the outside world.

I went back into the sitting room and began to slowly clean up the blood that had spilled, it was a long process made longer by my frequent breaks, but when everything was done, I went upstairs again to change. There was no point in staying in soiled clothing I no longer needed to wear and instead opted for a comfortable pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I wandered from room to room, not really knowing what to do, but I found the pacing calmed me. Despite looking from each window I could see no people and no moving cars and try as I might I couldn’t quite see into the other houses. It seemed as though I would be stuck, at least for a little while.

Around noon I felt hungry and decided that I should have lunch, I didn’t bother going all out with cooking because I was tired and my nose still hurt. I was only a few bites into my meal when I began to feel faint, everything started to spin before black and red dots appeared in my vision, exploding into one another. I tried to stand but my legs couldn’t support my weight. I don’t remember falling but when I woke up I was in the kitchen, on the floor. I was confused and it took me a few minutes to remember what was going on and where I was, at first I thought that maybe it was my injury, perhaps it started bleeding again without me noticing or maybe I had already lost a large quantity of blood. I stood slowly, feeling slightly nauseas and went to the bathroom.

To my great surprise, my nose looked fine. The swelling was gone, as was the pain. I touched it gingerly, expecting to have to pull back my hand quickly but there was nothing, only the slight pressure of my fingers. I poked and prodded for a few moments longer just to be sure, then left the bathroom. My meal, a sandwich, was lying on the ground and covered in dirt. Sighing, I placed it in the bin, then went back to the fridge. I was hungry, hungrier than I was before, the nausea had faded completely. When I saw the clock on the oven I got a fright, I had been unconscious for almost five hours. Feeling slightly hopeful, I checked the phone again but it was in the same state as before and resigning myself to at least a night stuck here, I went about cooking dinner.

It occurred to me, as I sat down to my meal of spaghetti Bolognese, what about food? If I couldn’t get out and no one could get in, what was I to do when it ran out? I had access to freshwater still as the taps were running, but beyond that, a man cannot survive on water alone. I ate my food but the enjoyment was gone, though I had been looking forward to it, I didn’t finish as much as I could, rather, I placed it into a plastic container and placed that into the fridge, it would do for dinner the next day too. I wandered around the house while it was getting dark, looking for something to do, the television still worked, but it was boring and I was getting restless. As it grew darker I turned lights on and eventually, ended up sitting on the couch, trying to watch the television. As the night went on I became more tired, and eventually decided that I should go to bed. I was about to stand when I heard it, a faint, dull tapping, like something was banging on glass. I turned off the television and looked toward the window, the streetlights had come on and I could see nothing outside, but the lights inside provided a glare, giving me poor visibility. Perhaps someone in one of the other houses was banging against their window, lord knew when I crashed into my own it made a loud enough sound. I felt some trepidation, though I did not know why, as I approached the window, but, steeling my nerves, I went directly to the glass and, placing my hands around my eyes, I tried to look out. What I saw was horrific.

It took my eyes a moment to adjust, then I saw them, strange twisted creatures, staring in at me, gesturing. I jumped back, and looked out, but there was nothing. Moving to the window I again placed my hands against it and looked. They were there, pointing at me, rustling and jostling one another to get a better view. They looked like nothing I have ever seen before, giant misshapen creatures, thousands of them, all different, staring in. I am ashamed to say that when I realised they wouldn’t break in, I went upstairs to bed and cried myself to sleep.

When I awoke the next morning, I realised that I must have been having some weird dream or hallucination as anyone could see that there was nothing outside in the bright daylight. It was a Saturday so I did not have to go to work, I took my time getting up, having a long shower and putting on some comfortable clothes before finally going downstairs for breakfast.

I opened the fridge and found it stocked with plenty of food, food that I didn’t quite remember buying. I felt slightly homesick, and taking out foods from the fridge, I started to make a large breakfast for myself, rashers, pudding, sausages, hash browns and toast. When I was younger we would cook everything up in the morning on the weekend and then eat it throughout the day. I would make a few pancakes for dinner and then eat them with some rashers and maple syrup. The food was quite enjoyable and after finishing I went to the sitting room, there was usually a good movie on on Saturdays and I wanted to check the TV guide. I sat down and had just picked up the remote when there was that noise again. The same light banging. It put me on edge and slowly I stood. I did not check the doors or windows that morning because I was scared, although at the time I made justifications. Of course they would open, why would I  need to check.

I moved toward the window slowly, trying to regulate my heartbeat which was thumping madly in my chest. Taking a deep breath, I cupped my hands and again looked out. They were still there.
In every window, behind every pane of glass there were these creatures, standing there, staring.

There is no escape from here. Everyday is the same. I wake up and bathe, eat, then watch television or read a book. There is nothing else here, just these same things. There is no one else, the outside, the other houses are just projections or paintings. There is no one to contact, there is no way of communicating with anyone. Every day my fridge and cupboards are stocked with food, filled as I sleep. I have tried to stay awake, to watch them being filled, but it never works, they are filled by unseen hands.

I lived like this for almost a year, but it is too much. I cannot take it. I need to be free. Anytime I have hurt myself I’ve blacked out, only to awaken and find nothing wrong. I never hurt myself on purpose before and wonder if they will allow me. Do they know what hanging looks like? Would they be able to repair a slashed throat? I do not know but there is only one way I can find out.

If anyone finds this, I am sorry, but I cannot take it anymore. I just can’t.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
This entry was posted in Horror, Short Stories, Suspense. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Caged. Short Story.

  1. Something real good for a halloween day. LOL

  2. True, Though I think “They Live” is creepier personally. Thought I was gonna throw up writing it! 😛
    The idea behind it is just eurgh!

  3. Graham says:

    That was really good I enjoyed it, but, what had happened then 🙂

  4. Thank you 🙂
    I don’t really know to be quite honest, in my eyes it is the end of the story and it’s down to the reader to decide what happened to him. Though I know he attempts suicide, well after that it is anyones guess. He may have died, or escaped, or been let go or been trapped there forever and strange as it sounds, I don’t really know which happened.

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