Few people notice the absence of Victor Lewis, an Urbex that targets one building a month, taking pictures and recording video. Two weeks ago, he targeted an abandoned mall, and told friends of his plans – only they made the connection to his plans and disappearance, and share it on a small local forum. As the rumors spread, more follow after Victor’s footsteps.
Mature | Death; Body mutilation; Body horror;
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I remember being in a fight.
Some kids came up behind me, pulled a knife – I pulled a gun on them.
And I was the one that gor shot, with my own gun.
I remember it tore through my chest and after that came the copper taste, snorting blood as it fills my mouth and nose. Hard to breathe – rolling over was a bad idea, it made it worse. It’s so hard to take a breath through so much blood, I can still taste it. Dragging, clawing at the floor. My chin digs in as deep, pain clouding over sense.
I’m so sorry, Sarah. I’m so sorry that I wasn’t want you needed, what Henry and Rebecca needed. Please, something stop the pain, I can’t hold on for much longer. I can feel the hole, the ribs, a bit of air rushing past fingers. I taste the acid and the coffee. It mixes with the copper. So horrible, stop it, please help me.
Help me, someone.
I can’t die here.
The pain drains, but I am still here.
Spiraling, my mind spirals down, down. It stirs, Sarah is holding the kids and beckoning me closer, her arm held out – I can’t see her face, but it’s her. I feel her close, arms around her, smelling her sweater – I want to stay, hold her again, and apologize for everything. Take the kids to Cedar Point again, watch as they beg to ride the bigger rides, drag us off to the rides they can get on, and ride them until the sun sets. I want to have a home-made dinner and sit in the kitchen, asking Henry about soccer, color a book with Rebecca. Laugh at movies, sit through the movies, and make bad jokes. And Sarah would sit in another room with Rebecca, and I’d sneak Henry games too mature for him. That is where our first fight started, and I lost my office job…
I just want to apologize, please, I just want to stay alive.
My head swirls, I can’t see, it feels like it was slammed. Rolling over should fix it – something is wrong, everything is wet. Getting up should not be hard. I can’t see. Pushing, my head rises, and I throw up, oh god, what’s wrong with me; heaving each breath, throat constrict, I cough and spit.
I’m sick. I breath in deep and throw up again, and I lay my head down.
If I can just sit up, I’ll be fine. Something wets my back, puke still sliding down my front and my chin. I arch my back and push off the floor, my face to the sky.
I can see the clouds, they are bright against the sky, and the glass above is broken. It’s beautiful, I can see the sky and reach to touch it. Curling one finger at a time, pain returns. My hands, they are red, they are dripping, and it’s blood.
Blood. My blood.
My chest hurts, there is something wrong. It’s wet, a hand moves to it, there is chunks on my shirt and they are sticking. A wet hole – this can’t be my chest – fingers wiggle in and feel air rush past them and something spatters my fingers as I breathe.
I scream, there is a hole in my chest.
I can feel my lungs!
Looking for any sort of help, someone, behind me is two kids that are just staring, standing still.
“Help me,” I whisper.
“Help me,” I whimper. I stand and reach out to them; they must be here to help.
“Help me,” I take a step and a liquid splashes at my feet.
They are still standing there and staring, why aren’t they helping? “Help me!” I scream and hold myself up against a bench. My legs, they ache. I swallow back blood when they run, grabbing a flashlight and going into the darkness. I need to follow them.
I fall down, there is liquid rising in my throat, oh god, I’m going to puke.
“Oh god, I’m going to die again,” and the puke forces itself out. My hands, my bloody hands soaked in my own blood, they hold my face and run through my hair. I can’t stop the tears anymore, “please,” I let my arms fall and stare back to the sky, “help me, someone.”
I can’t handle this, why am I still alive, I sob into my hands. Why didn’t they help me, why did they run? I want to sleep, I want the pain to go away, I want to disappear.
I want to die. I wish I were dead.
I’m walking in darkness, the dim traces of sunlight fading out of the sky while clouds cluster above. Beneath my shambling steps glass crackles and snaps, blending in with the tiles and trash that builds against the sides of the empty shops. Boarded doors and store windows meld with the darkness and I struggle to see in the small trace of twilight.
Pain forces me down with each step and I listen to the blood falling to the floor, a sick plop that swings in tandem with the sharp breaths, air leaving through the slop of drying blood and soaked clothing. I swallow down blood even though it hurts, I can feel scratching in my throat for every gulp. The directory is a few more steps away, I can see the outline of the building, its bulbous chain store pointing from an uneven shape.
I can’t stop falling into it, my head slams against the metal backboard and then to the floor. Blood drips over my sight and I push back up, snorting out blood and tiny shards of glass. I can’t help but lean against it as I rise, my head spinning and my vision a fog of darkness and little light. I turn into it, my head knocking on it again, and I struggle to stand and look at it.
A big hole breaks away part of the map where tiny trails of blood drip down, a finger drags down the trail and follows to a bottom section, numbers I can’t read printed across it among the dust. The dust and blood trails over to the side, following the finger down the list of blank names and stores, and sections.
“Garage,” I barely breathe out, coughing blood onto the board and among the dust. I can’t stop coughing, I double over and hold my gut as it twists inside, and I wheeze. Nothing is going to come out, I throw up only blood from my lungs, and my chest caves in each cough.
Help, help could be there
I can stumble out and get help. An ambulance will come, I will pull through.
Sarah will be there, Henry will be there, Rebecca will be there.
I turn around and start walking, legs trembling in each step and blood is spat out every few steps. My gut still twists, wants to spill itself, but there is nothing.
There is only me in the darkness, the glass whispers as I pass and wind twisting against my back. Fresh blood still rises and overlays the dry and sticky branches, the dry blood cracking off my arm and falling among the trail I have made. I am a ghost, trailing red tape that will lead me back to my start, where I should still lay dead.
I need to get home and apologize to Sarah.
The faint echoes of voices bounce around the silence, crackles of laughter and coughing down the stairs. Dragging my legs, holding the hole in my chest, I barely hold onto the railing to the side of the still escalator without slipping. If I get down there, I can get help, can return home.
The first step is easy, lowering myself slowly while listening to the distant voices. Another step and blood squirts through the hole in my chest and down across my shoe. The next I barely make and fall backwards, barely screaming before my head smacks against the metal, following close behind is my face, my legs, my arms, an ankle twists and the searing pain keeps me silent. Face to the floor I lie still, papers sticking to my face, pain searing through my stomach before moving to a sitting position. I heave and spit blood, turning over to my knees before nausea hits me – I grab my throat and squeeze before I puke blood. The nausea passes, waiting for my eyes to adjust and for the papers to fall away.
The voices are still there; they are still laughing and someone coughs. The homeless, or the veterans, whomever the other group said before. They know the in and outs, they can get me out. I stand on weak legs and slip back to the floor, pain twisting through a broken leg and both hands hold tight. It’s survivable, but I should be dead. As the voices start to dim I struggle back to my feet, leaning against a pillar before I move. Limping, smearing blood along every surface I touch, I try to work myself to speak. There’s light ahead, small cardboard boxes, mattresses, and chairs sit gathered around it, shapes of bulky figures break from the darkness in the fire. I could yell, but my throat is raw.
So I keep limping, dragging the twisted ankle forward in every slow step I take, letting blood spill down from my lips instead of spitting, or hacking, I need help; not another death. Though some are starting to lay down on mattresses in sleeping bags and sheets, few stay sitting up, speaking low beside the fire and breaking glass bottles.
I don’t care what they are saying, I just need help. My pace remains slow, the limp remains and with each step work up my throat a little bit more. Liquid flood my eyes, my chest breaks out in pain. I want to scream, I want to shout, but only a tiny “please” starts at a whisper – the second time it’s heard
The two still awake turn, their faces mute in their shadows. “Oh my god!” screams one of them and it stands. I’m overcome, the twisted ankle returns, the bubbles rumble out my chest, and I fall face first and lay on one side. “T, there’s a bleeding guy!” the same person screams while I stare at the floor, still bleeding, blood leaking through my nose and mouth. I cough.
“He’s still alive,” a person whispers, there is a hand on my side and it moves along my back. The hand pounds against my spine and I cough, spit, heave, I can’t open my eyes through the pain. “Lill, can you get a blanket?”
“What happened,” whispers someone in the distance.
“Don’t look,” repeats the person from before.
Their words are blurring. Hands are pulling at my bloody clothing and they turn me over, and they tear at the buttoned coat, tearing it away from the hole still bubbling up. I just want to die, I can’t take living anymore. Sarah can live in comfort now, I wish I were dead.