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Chapter 18

Houses of Horror



The days are growing heavy on me. I'm afraid I've now totally lost track on time. One hour seems to go on forever, and yet at the end of a week I feel as if it hadn't even began. There's no rest, not anywhere. Daytime I'm buried in work, nighttime means being exposed to the dread of dreaming. I can't escape. Last night I was running, running on an icy, snowy surface of a lake. It wasn't that big a lake though, just some hundred meters across. A group of foreign men were hunting me. I'm not sure of their origin but they looked like they came from an Eastern European country, or Russia perhaps? There were five or six of them. I ran as fast as the aloof ground let me, knowing instinctively that if they caught me something horrific would happen to me. Somewhere in the far away distant I could hear a bird sing, a spring sound from the deep forest echoing once again by this lake, as it had done for thousands of years.
          I ran, fear blinding my sight. I just had to get away, I had to get somewhere safe, but instead of running across the lake and into the forest, as I intended, I found I'd run in a circle. This roundabout movement brought me back to the house I'd absconded in the first place. When I'd fled from it, it was in a feeling there was something or someone in there, a threatening unknown. This house wasn't my home, the reason for my stay there was somewhat unclear but it had to do with me being on a vacation of sort, so I only resided in it temporarily. The house was big, a spacey timber house with large windows overlooking the lake.
          When I found I had come back to it I had no choice but to re-enter it, the men hunting me were close behind so this was my only getaway. Hastily I closed the door behind me, locked it and ran to lock all the other doors and windows, hoping that would help me keep the predators outside. Having locked every opening I walked down the hallway, when suddenly I heard a noise coming from
inside of the house. Apparently some of the men from the group chasing me had stayed behind. They were in the house waiting for my return. Before I had a chance to react in any way to this someone hit me at the back of my head, I felt an excruciating pain, I fell, and everything went black.
          When I came to it again the first thing I saw was a glimpse of what these men used to do with their victims. The leader of the group was some kind of a surgeon, and what met my eyes now was a person who'd been through one of his surgical procedures. Every part of the victim's body had been dismantled, and then put back on places where they didn't belong; a leg was attached to one of his shoulders; instead of a foot this leg ended with a hand; an arm stretched out from his spine; on his back the stomach had been inserted. The distortion of this persons' body just went on, each and every body-part had been cut off and surgically re-sited on a wrong place. When I saw him I knew this was what awaited me, I knew it was coming, there was no escape. I awoke. 3.45 am.

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I wanted to get up for a while to shake loose from this dream, I needed to get it off of my mind before I fell asleep again, but I was just too tired. The dream had really taken me aback and now, half asleep, half awake, I tossed and turned wearily in my bed. For how long I don't know, but after a while I fell back in a restless sleep and a new dream began. I saw a man tied up to a chair, I knew this was due to him having acted against a rule, a rule set by some kind of a private, and violent, organization, like the mob or a guerrilla or something like it. The man on the chair was placed at the centre of what looked like an abandoned warehouse, or maybe this had once been a big office but was now long since forgotten? I don't know. A man who appeared to be the leader of the organization approached the tied-up man and spoke to him. He told him that because his crimes had affected many different people, many different people would now be carrying out his punishment, each of them in his own way; each of them executing his punishment of choice.
          The first punisher to enter the scene was a man wearing a sadomasochist kind of outfit; his body was covered in a one-piece leather garment with chains, his face concealed beneath a latex mask. In his hand he held a knife, and whilst he told the man what he would do to him he ran his fingertips over the edge of the knife. I don't know if I could actually understand what he was saying, if the language he spoke were comprehensible to me, but I did understand what was going to happen: The s/m man would start off by driving the knife in beneath the fingernails of the tied-up man. I didn't see this actually happening, I think I must've passed out there for a long time, because the next scene I witnessed was one of the final punishers walking towards the tied-up man.
        As soon as he stood before him he began beating him with a large bat he'd brought with him. He hit him, again and again and again. And then I saw that the tied-up man had no longer a head, he was still alive but he'd been tortured and beaten for so long his head had been abraded. His neck looked like those tree stumps beavers leave behind after felling a tree. All the different torture methods, all the strokes delivered from all the different punishers had scraped down the head until the only thing left was a pointed edge terminating just above the throat. But they kept on punishing him. The man now hitting him with the bat wasn't the last one, I knew there were still some more punishers waiting for their turn to deal out their specific penalties. It was as if they couldn't see how far they'd already driven it, as if the only thing that mattered was that the man was still alive and hence he could feel every stroke of pain delivered.
          I just couldn't endure seeing this, it was horrendous and sickening beyond what I could take. I didn't understand why this was happening, I didn't understand how the punishers could be so blind, I didn't understand why anyone regardless of what they'd done should have to go through such a horrible ordeal, and I didn't understand why I had to witness it. I couldn't wrap my mind around any of it and the horror of being an invisible observer of it all, not able to do anything to prevent it, filled me with a panic I couldn't control. I woke instantly, 4.30 am.

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I had barely awaked when once again I fell back asleep and a third mind sweeping nightmare began. I was walking on a semi-gravel pathway in a dead end alley. The houses on both sides were uninhabited but their former tenants must have moved out fairly recently because the lawns looked as if they'd been newly mowed. I don't know why I did what I did next, but on my left I saw a staircase leading down into an outdoor basement. It just caught my and two with present arms. I couldn't tell for sure but I think they were all women, Eastern European stereotype kind of women. I laid perfectly still, knowing I was very visible in that short cut lawn and a single movement would easily be spotted. Having their eyes focused straight ahead as they marched down the stairs and into the basement they didn't seem to notice me though. I heard their footsteps echoing away.
          Just as I thought I could get back up on my feet again I heard the footsteps from the troop returning. They must've seen that someone had been down there, I had, after all, left the face lying on top of one of the baskets. And so they came back up to find whoever it was that had caught sight of their secret. They had to find this person because what they had done was for no one to see. No one should live to tell their horrific deed. As they came up they spread over the lawn looking for suspects, their rifles ready to shoot at sight. To my surprise there were a lot of people lying hiding behind bushes and trees all around the place. As soon as someone was spotted they were shot. It all went so quickly, often the targets didn't even know themselves they'd been found before they were shot, giving them no chance to plead for mercy. I remember thinking that maybe they would miss catch sight of me since there were so many others around.
          But I wasn't the last to be found. I felt someone's presence near me, I looked up and into the eyes of a non-seeing military representative and the barrel of her rifle. I didn't have time to think anything before she pulled the trigger.
          I never felt the bullet hit me, I just saw blood pouring down my chest and I knew I was going to die. I wasn't scared, I wasn't struggling to survive, I wasn't doing anything. I just thought, in a surprisingly peaceful and sort of exploring kind of way: "So, this is what it feels like. This is what it feels like to die." As life deserted me I turned my head to the north and I saw a sun setting far away across from me. It didn't, however, look like the sunset used to, it was more like had the sun descended from the skies than went down in its natural orbit. It shone in strong colours, a wonderful blend of crimson, gold, and warm amber. The last thought passing through my mind was simply: "I want to go there." 6 am.


Author: Parallel Reversed

Takemehome Book Cover, Foreword and Table of Content Chapter 17
Chapter 19

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