She had awoken, her long blondish hair curled beside her warm breath. As she had gasped over and over again for the same satisfaction that the others were given. She was given no word on whether she could awake or even die. She was told multiple times, over and over; ‘You will not leave this place.’ The words echoed in her encased mind. Her skull was covering up the words she wished to speak. Being held back for so long, is it any wonder why she couldn’t speak? Perhaps not. She awoke with her hands fiddling together whilst she smiled with her beautiful lips touching once more. She grasped her pillow with frustration and threw it to the other side of the room. As the pillow landed, the white door sealed with barbed wire had opened.


16. CHAPTER 16


- CHAPTER 16 -

Dark gradients everywhere! I could’ve sworn I’d see more, I’d see so much more! – Then again, if I was nothing but a figment of some kind of hallucinations, a spoiled little stick man with slender-like body. Wouldn’t it be cool to see all those drawings on the wall? – She had a beautiful voice, and I can only love her for who she is not for what she was to me. Dark times for them. Dark times for us? Do you ever ask yourself? I must. I must. It’s like this infection in the mind. You bring it out of nowhere, and look what do I find? I find paintings on walls, scribbles on desks. Fire that would soon be over and I could finally rest. A little kid, a pest if you will. It spoke down to me like I was under the grill. My anger management was little to nothing, I met her under a rock, funny how that works, right? She stabbed me five times in the back. It wasn’t pleasant, but I never said anything back. It was a dream, a dream of all things ravelled into one. A giant spider once told me it was her not me.

- Jason W Christopher

“It’s an admirable view if you were to ask me, that is. I would be grateful you know? I wouldn’t just throw it back in your miserable face.”

“I know you wouldn’t be grateful to us.”

“If you are the one. The one that I must seek, and I have found the thing I seek, would you be the one to bleed for me?”

“Blood on those hands? – Ha, you don’t take me for a fool do you?”

“Not at all… I take you for what you are. Your parts are pretty much needed downstairs, I wouldn’t have to lift a finger for you.”

A scream that echoed for miles, a deep voice continued to speak with the sound of a terrifying shriek.

“These metal branches, I built them myself. – It’s what holds it all together, keeps everything locked inside.”

“A tree made of metal?” She replied.

“It’s more of a joke. I don’t find it funny, though. Step inside and try for yourself. It’ll be sure to wipe grins off faces, and those things wrapped around your teeth. What is it you call them again? – Oh yes, braces. They must come off with a simple operation, we’ll have you back to full health when you’re in need of some concentration.”


She awoke again, the room was dark and gloomy, a few cobwebs left in corners and dust surrounding the cracks in the walls. Dried coloured stains were shuffling ever so slowly, and the mixture of a pure red with a pure orange had developed into a new saturation of blood. Drooling down the wall like it had slipped off her tongue, it connected to the carpet – leaving nothing but stained walls behind. The cracks she could see, so broken and ran up and ran down, so many different directions a crack would travel towards. North was the obvious, south was a little out of it. East was pretty much going towards North, which only happened to be near the dark grey carpet? Several smaller critters made some sounds near her standing point, as she moved her eyes onto something more attractive; a vision of someone she knew.

“Take a good look, tell me what you see?” It screeched.

“I-I see you, you standing there without me.”

“Feed such information into the pores of another? – You are sickening, a cruel violent girl who has a lust for her family.”

“I have no such thing! – I’m an emotional freak…” she bit her bottom lip.

“Emotional? Good. You seem to be learning better in here than out there.” It laughed. “If you were to claw out the bones of one of those, which one would you choose and why?”

The little girl stood confused, her head posing for a new camera shot. It soon became clear that the figure was no more than The Top Hat Man. He was back, it was back to make a return again. It spoke to her as if she was the crazy one. She gathered that he was going to bring her to another floor. Wrong, she had been mistaken again. The creature had nothing more to say after saying such a taunting comment to her. A question lingered in her mind; if you were to claw out the bones of one of those, which one would you choose and why? – It rang in her mind, it became a serious bad phone call. It became a taunt of some sort, it made her think with a solid mind holding the nerves together.

“Welcome to the place where all children smile. It’s a wonder to why you never visited us, meanwhile… you should probably surrender, fall to their commands. Let them sink into you, surely you’ll let them with those small tender hands. It wouldn’t be a sad way to go, it would be the expression on your face that remembered so much from a pathetic little girl trying to ask us to hush.”

“Pathetic? Is that what you think I am?” She spoke with decency.

“No words can match your identity.” He whispered. “Pathetic? It’s a word I use in a harmful manner, I don’t mean no trouble to you or your Hana, and it would be manageable without you. I’d face your own demons, and even that wouldn’t push me to the breaking point of a new dawn.”

The little girl sat down on the bed she had woke up in, sitting on the side of the bed looking down in sorrow. The Top Hat Man smirked as he clicked his fingers together. His skeleton-like body shifted with shadows following, while several small figures with bright yellow eyes shined through the darkness, breaking through with dim lighting. Their eyes reflected static television screens, the sound of buzzing and distortion in their voices echoed the room. The Top Hat Man looked pleased with the small beings coming out to play. The little girl had nothing to say to them, she was going to get to know them whether she liked it or not.

“Ma-ma, you c-came back for us, Ma-ma?” A small distorted screech reached out from the darkness.

“Don’t be afraid of them. There is an awful lot of them within those dark clouds. – It’s the beauty of nature, ha, and the darkest density of a feeling you get from them. I know what you feel, it’s regret. They shall burn you inside out, torch your hair, and possibly make you became more aware. You won’t be afraid of them. Don’t be afraid of them. D-dark clouds are the visions inside your head!”  

The small shadow-like children shuffled out of their packs, pulling themselves out of the dark fog that had surrounded the rooms around them. Distorted giggles, the sound of a baby cooing and the strangest screeches all coming from one area of the darkness. Within in the grey smoke; children were crying, some looking badly injured and others almost dying. Some on the verge of surrendering, and others wanting protection and a way to live their lives in peace and harmony. The Top Hat Man continued to smirk, he screeched into the darkness, making sure that every last child with the hellish eyes walked free from their chains and stepped into the light for the first time in their lives.

“Rebirth, it’s not something I truly believe in… it shall become part of that ceiling and soon the walls shall shatter, clatter, clatter, autism, blah, blah, death. – Daddy would walk to the tree – he’d step on a needle, one or three? He’d climb to the top of that dying Oak Tree. An apple would fall onto you or me! – She’d smile with grief, feeling a sense of despair, a failure in her heart? Or is she truly trying to dare? No matter what she does, she’ll always be there. A creature inside of her is making her beware. Aware of so much death, and so much blood. You should. You should. Come back to me, my dear.”

“These are children! Why are you bringing me these children?” She cried.

Ma-ma, D-daddy told me about so much blood.

  Da-da, it is that t-thing that kept us away from the monsters.

   Those creatures of death, is it any wonder why we are the only ones left?

Several children stand in a line. One falls out and kills a mime.

The children had a lot to say; each would speak with different tones. Distortion in their voices would continue to spiral out of control. Twisting words into different words, causing slight violence in the kind words they’d speak. The little girl was afraid of them, The Top Hat Man wanted her to go to sleep. It was sleep or die, as he would put it wisely. It was a matter of seconds that led them to their crazy, crazy, fallen ones. A splinter was all it could take for a child to be screaming in tears. The Top Hat Man was pleased with the sounds of sadness, he was pleased to hear the screams of dozens.

“Why are their eyes so… hollow?” She had to ask.

“…nothing… there is nothing inside those eyes.”

“I know that. W-why are you not listening to me?” She shook his arm.

“There is something in those eyes.” – “A darkness within, a creature that can spin. I wouldn’t count them, there are so many willing to melt away. And some of the children, if you don’t choose them. They are left here, in this room, to smile and make you cringe. Decay.”

“You c-can’t leave kids in a place like this!” She was fighting for what she believed in.

“No, you are right, little girl.” It screeched. “Which is why there is nothing. Nothing and nothing can help them. Nothing has the power to change a smile to a frown. Not here at-least. Why make them smile? – Does it keep them alive? Or are these children so dead and decayed? They are in nothing but denial.”

“Melting them, decaying them… what will this prove to you?” She asked.

“Nothing. It’ll prove absolutely nothing! – It shall burn in their eyes, or, they can see the darkness fulfil that child-like Birthday surprise.”

“That’s not possible. Not all can have a birthday today!”

“Death doesn’t have a special day. It is chosen by them and only by them. It was nothing, just like you, you are nothing. Empty, so stressed, I wonder so many times how you keep up with the rest! – How you fail to see what’s right in front of you. How you can’t understand Death. Is it wrong to be so deaf? Quiet, silent, whatever you wish. Would it be Death at your doorstep? Or, am I the one who just fills in these lost memories, breaks them down and turns into these decaying children? Little girl, don’t let your mind run off now.”

The little girl had an urge to scream at the Top Hat Man. She remembered Sleepyhead; a strange human-like creature that had transformed into something beautiful but happened to go bat-shit crazy! It was a matter of time for them together, she kept it quiet. The memories of all the ones she watched be killed in front of her; humans like her, thrown around, ripped apart, torn in pieces by the creature that stands next to her. Watching her from a distance, lurking in shadows, hiding away in darkness, knowing all but not sharing anything with the others. It had annoyed her the whole time. The real reason to why the Top Hat Man has been killing so many, and hurting her feelings for more to see.

A little girl stood next to her, dark eyes, hollow eye sockets. Dark greyish hair, looked very much like a child, though. The face looked young, several scars down the neck. Deep cuts and painful looking bruises all around her body. Her feet looked quite dead, skin falling off near the heel. Her forehead revealing metal-like rims and small metal pipes that connected into the flesh. An illuminated bluish colour cut through the flesh, burning through the skull to meet the face of the little girl. She was shocked to see another small girl, a girl who looked her age. She held its hand and sat it down on her knee, wanting to speak to it, to understand why it was willing to die and decay in complete darkness.

“Waste your time. The ticking sound, it really will burn your mind. – There is no alarm, there is nothing to keep you awake. You let go of the little… brat! – Let it rot in the ground, let it soil in the gardens of Ed—Death! Let it just vanish, just melt away in your hands.”

“It’s not a brat, you looney! – It’s a girl who has feelings.”

“No emotions? Dark times for you, little girl. – You obviously don’t see the light on me! Is it that difficult to see the darkness around you? I lit up this world for you. Not for you to be happy, I don’t want any kind of smile. Nothing will do, nothing is what I want from you.”

“Ma-ma, sister! – Y-you, y-you are n-not what I e-expected…” a malfunctioning girl screamed.

“W-what did you just say?!” The little girl shouted.

The Top Hat Man interrupted. “Nothing. You hear nothing, little girl. – You just hear the same dying words of everyone here. Those words will soon decay over time, I got over it, and this little guy? He got over it, I made him over it.”

“Ma-ma-Sister! H-E-L-P-M-E… p-please, w-welcome to the land we call H-Heaven!” A sobbing voice mixed with an attitude emitted from the poor girl’s voice box.

“Sister? I d-don’t have a sister—“

“That’s right, and the more you think, the more you’ll swallow that guilt inside of you. – There is nothing to be afraid of. A small hand is right in front of you! – Do you always grab the ones that fall? Are you a little bitch too? Cry, cry, cry, look at you—you are a sickening little girl.”

“I have a sister? I have an s-I-s-t-e-r… don’t I?!” She screamed.

“This is why the floors change. You were not meant to meet her! – A simple change for simple life? She won’t need a sister, she may just need peace after-all. I won’t let her die alone, I never make you sad. I’ve always kept that promise to any good person here. The others are sick of seeing such happiness in you. The others wish to meet an early grave, I could carve your initials, your hand prints all over her.”

The little girl shoved the Top Hat Man out of the way, feeling terrified of what she had heard. She was furious with the creature that did this to her. Her sister is all that remained to her knowledge, she remembered loving a family, just not a very big family.

“Sorry, it’s y-o-u. It’s always you. Nothing is nothing, you are you. It is all one massive hallucination! You are fooled by the devils drink? – Death would offer you peace in return for such a favour. You should be honoured for even meeting her at all! I could’ve made this so much more painful. I guess, seeing her like this, it really kills the mood. Don’t you think? Never-mind, I don’t believe in happy funerals…”

The little girl dived in front of her sister before the creature could strike its sharp claws into her ribcage. She shoved the creature again, trying to conquer her fears, face her demons and actually destroy the fear that this creature was sending out to the others. It tried to claw again, missing twice, a third swing of the corner of its claws dug into the little girl’s shoulder blades. Her sister fell to the ground with her jaw colliding with the burnt carpet standing underneath them. The Top Hat Man calmed down, letting her speak to her sister in peace. It continued to watch from a distance, standing there in the darkness, knowing exactly when to strike, and when to hack the fear into their hearts.

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