A Night To Remember

by Anne Marie Gibson © 2002

The cold seemed to permeate deep into his bones, it was gloomy and damp with a disgusting musty smell, there were no windows, and his only escape had been blocked.

He didn't know how long he had laid there it felt like hours; time seemed to have no meaning down here.

The pain in his right leg was unbearable and he had a killer of a headache. He was lapsing in and out of consciousness. His mouth was dry and he could taste blood. At least I'm alive he thought, but for how much longer.

He tried to roll from his side over to his back, he gritted his teeth together so hard it felt like they were all going to break. A horrendous pain shot up his leg, he cried out, then no more.

When he awoke he was on his back, he could see the ceiling with its multitudes of cobwebs and spiders, his eyes moved around the room to a set of shelves on the wall. On the shelves were several tins and jars. He was in his basement. He had been preparing for the Halloween party, the food was all ready the decorations were up and the sound system was all finished, it was going to be the best party ever. He still had to go out and get the wine but Richard had a key and he'd told him to start without him he if wasn't back in time. He was about to go out the door when he remembered a box of lights he had down in the basement if he got them out now Richard could put them up. He opened the basement door and rushed in shutting it behind him, and then as he ran down the stairs his foot must have slipped and next thing he knew he was tumbling down the stairs to the concrete below.

His head was fuzzy he couldn't think straight. Then he heard a scuttling noise to the left of him he turned his head and strained his eyes to see, there was something in the far corner. The noise again, this time closer, what the hell was it. As it got closer he saw the rat. He yelled at the top of his voice over and over, the large rat scampered back into the shadows. His body was shaking, he hated rats but it wouldn't have been as bad if he weren't lying immobile on the floor. Wasn't there a movie where a pack of rats ate a human being alive - he had to get out of here. Bracing himself he started to move, trying to get up on his hands, inch by inch waiting for the pain to increase and now he was even more scared to pass out with the rats nearby.

He had done it, he tasted fresh blood and realised he had been biting on his lip to stifle the pain. Now he could see his legs the damaged one was laying at an infeasible angle.

Suddenly he looked up he thought he heard a noise upstairs, a creaking like someone walking on the floor. Help! Help! please help me please, he stopped and listened, no more sounds maybe it was jut house noises.

His only option was to climb the stairs to the door at the top. He longed for a drink, his mouth tasted like metal, he felt sick and his head was pounding. Very slowly he pushed on his good leg and tried for the first step. The pain, the pain, slowly, slowly, finally he was there it felt like a sweet victory. His leg now felt like a burning hot poker had been driven into it. Only thirteen more to go.

While he rested he heard another noise upstairs only it was louder, someone was definitely walking around up there. He took a deep breath and yelled Help me, help me he yelled till he could not yell anymore his throat felt raw he needed water.

There was no answer.

They must have heard him its not as if walls were soundproofed, why hadn't someone come to help him. The scurrying of another rat made him turn and scan the floor, nothing. Then he turned his attention back to the sounds in the house he was sure there was someone there, why couldn't they hear him.

Then he heard music, the stereo a loud vibrating monotonous thumping in his head mingled in, were peoples voices, lots of voices and laughing more footsteps and thumping.

A party, the party had started, no one would ever hear him with all that noise. He had to reach the door.

Another move, more pain more screaming his bad leg flopped around like a rag doll. He reached the thirteenth step twelve more to go he was feeling very weak he put his hand up to his head there was a lot of blood.

Up and up he dragged himself higher and higher every movement excruciating pain after what seemed like an eternity he reached the last step. He had made it, relief flooded through his body, his hand could reach the door, now all he had to do was keep banging on it, someone would hear that eventually.

He felt dizzy and so cold, his whole body was shaking, he had lost too much blood he started to sway, his head, if only the pain would go away, and then it did.

This is the best Halloween party Jason has ever had said Richard he has outdone himself. That he has, agreed Peter the decorations, the food everything is perfect but the best is that sound effects tape he was working on, you know for a minute there I really thought someone was calling out for help and screaming, I bet Jason won't forget this night for a long time.

x x x

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