Imprisoned by her captors, Saylem must find a way out in this Post Apocalyptic Horror short story by Sara Difrancesco.
Post Apocalyptic Horror
A Tree Falling
By Sara Difrancesco
The sound of a tree falling, somewhere in the darkness.
I don’t know how long I’ve been here.
The sound of it crashing to earth.
Barely remember anything at all.
The sound of birds. That sound of a bubbling brook.
Just the long walk out of the last failed town onto who knows where in this burnt out world.
The sound of a buzz saw. It persists for what feels like eons. For the eternity that waits. Then silence.
Two pairs, I think. Two voices. The door creaks open.
“Good, you’re awake,” the first voice says, it is cold, like iceflow.
“Where am I?” I ask the blankness. I’m not even sure if my head is pointing the right way.
“It asks ‘Where am I,’ the second voice has the same drawl as the first, but it is higher pitched, like the buzzsaw. “It should be asking, “What am I?”
I know what I am. I am Saylem, daughter of Shayla and Brim.
“Hush Mercutio,” says the first voice, taking on an educated inflection “Go and fetch your handiwork. Run along.”
The broken sound of uneven footsteps scampering away.
“I’ve prepared something special for you while you were sleeping. It’s quite a marvel, really.” – The sound of lumber scarping on wooden floors. – “Let me just remove that blindfold. There we go. Now you can see my creation perhaps you’d like me to put the blindfold back on?”
The man who had spoken to me, my captor, stood tall and gaunt, his long face half hidden in a gray and threadbare cowl. His assistant, the one called ‘Mercutio,’ stood behind it, a horrible assemblage of misshapen appendages.
The figure was carved from the lumber, it stood screaming, a look of horror etched too well on it’s wooden face. The figure was me.
The tall man began to disrobe.”If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is around to see it, does it still scream?”
Mercutio began to dance around manically, slapping his bald and misshapen pate with wild, flipper like hands.
I had heard the people in this part of the world had lost their souls. I hadn’t beleived it until now.
The tall man was naked now, save for a horribly stained loincloth. His body was pallid and scarred, and his rubbed his distended belly gleefully. I understood, perfectly, that these two that had once been men were cannibals.
Throwing all my weight backwards, I fell to the floor, the chair splintering beneath me. ‘Mercutio’ began to scream “Stop it master! STOP IT!”
The thin man flailed at me, but my left foot was free and I caught his shin with my boot. He howled in pain. Pulling my arm free, I snatched the splintered chair leg from the ground and thrust it deep into his belly.
“Uhhhhh”, was all he could manage as he slumped to the ground, blood pooling out onto the floor.
“NNNNNOOOOOoooooooo,” the freak Mercutio screamed, scampering to the corner.
Feeling myself from my bonds I got to my feet and stood by the strange totem carved from the tree. Sunlight came in from the window, casting a shadow over the whimpering Mercutio. I placed one hand on the totem and let it fall.