After Party. Short Story.

Becca’s head was pounding steadily. She groaned and rolled over. The ground beneath her was slightly soft and warm, there was a blanket on top of her. She stretched, yawned then went back asleep. She woke again a short time later. Eyes still closed, she didn’t want to get up and she knew the light would be too bright for her eyes. She took long, slow breaths to try and calm the nausea. She needed water but that would mean getting up. She had a blanket over her so someone had taken care of her, probably Jenna or Sandy. God she didn’t even remember leaving the club last night. She nestled in a bit more under the blankets, it wasn’t worth it. Nothing was worth this kind of pain. Never again, no more booze. Well, maybe a few drinks, but never to excess. Then again this was a promise she made to herself after every night out. She yawned, then stretched, it was time to get up, she had most likely passed out on the landing and they just left her there. Not that she blamed them. Preparing herself for the flood of light she opened her eyes. The light was dull, she squinted, was it still night? Her pounding headache was starting to recede a little, she rubbed at her eyes, something was weird, this place wasn’t familiar. Did she go home with someone last night? She looked around, her heart beating faster. She was in a cage, the floor had thin carpet, there were three walls and a small light above her. As she sat up the blanket fell from her, she was still wearing the same clothes from the night before. That was a blessing. Beside her was a bottle of water. She picked it up and took a sip, it was cool and soothing. “Hello?” Her voice was weak and croaky, she coughed, cleared her throat and tried again.
“Shhh. He’ll hear you.”
The voice was thin and high pitched, “Who’ll hear me? Whose there?” She squinted, there was another cage across from hers, there was a shadow hunched over in the corner.
“He’ll come back. He doesn’t like loud noises.”
Becca stood, her muscles aching as she did, this was crazy, this didn’t happen to people, not in real life. She took another sip of the water, her stomach was starting to feel a bit better and the headache was dying down.
“Who are you? Where are we?”
The hunched figure giggled, “You don’t want to know.”
Becca moved closer to the bars, “Look, we’re in this together, maybe we can figure something out, a way to escape.”
“There is no escape. Better people than you have tried. I’m the only one who stays here. You lot come and go. What do I care?”
Becca felt the nausea rising again. “How many people?”
“Too many to count.”
Her stomach clenched and before she could stop herself, she started to throw up. The figure giggled again. “He doesn’t like messes either. He might make you eat it all up. He’s done that before you know.”

After a moment her stomach stopped clenching, she needed to stay calm, be rational. She took a long slow breath, she would get out of this, she just had to stay strong. “There’s two of us and only one of him right? Are the cages ever open at the same time?”
The figure snorted, “He’s not that stupid.”

“Well, we have to figure something out right? You can stay here if you want but I’m getting out of here.”
The figure started to turn slowly, Becca gasped, taking a step backwards as she did so. The figure was thin, his cheekbones looked as though they were trying to split through his skin. His chin jutted out into an almost unnatural point, his nose was long, his eyes sunken, his hair was greasy and straggly. He reminded her of someone, but she couldn’t pinpoint who. As he turned further she realised he was eating something. He smiled at her, his teeth and gums were stained a dark red.
“No, you’re not. No one gets out of here. He makes me watch. That’s why I’m here. I’m safe. I just have to watch. He doesn’t even make me do anything.” He grinned at her again, “I do that all by myself.”

Becca sat down on the blanket, she had gone over every inch of the bars and none were loose, the walls were all sturdy too. The man across from her had watched the entire time. Occasionally he would take bites of what ever it was he was eating. She could feel his eyes on her as she moved about her cage, never looking away.

“He might like you you know. He liked me. That’s why he kept me. If you’re good he might keep you too.” Becca gritted her teeth, he had been talking like that for at least an hour now. She had continued to pace the cage, looking for weak spots. She couldn’t stop herself, she knew once she stopped it’d all sink in and become real. Somewhere above a door clanged as it shut. The man across from her moved back, huddling into a corner. He met her eyes and raised a finger to his mouth in a shushing gesture. Becca moved back towards the wall, getting as far away from the bars as she could.

When he stepped into the light Becca recognised him, she had seen him at the bar a few times. He was tall and handsome, but was always a little too well groomed for her tastes. He smiled at her, “I’m glad to see you’re awake. I trust my friend here has filled you in on everything. I’m looking forward to getting to know you better. You always looked so interesting. I’m going to enjoy seeing if you live up to that.” He took a step closer to the bars, his eyes sparkled in the light, full of mirth and mischief. “Yes, I’ll enjoy it very much.”

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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.
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