Hell's Gate Chapter OneMature

Waking, she turned to look at him. When had it come to this? When had she ever been this in love? As if on cue, he smiled and sighed, turning in his sleep. Sitting up, she gazed around the room then looked down at her hand; the silver ring shone brilliantly in the moonlight. It had only been 1 year, and she knew he was the one. Getting up carefully, so as not to wake him, she crossed the room and padded softly down the hall. Entering the living room, she turned her attention to the left.

There in front of the patio sliding doors, sat her mother's grand piano. Though the keys were worn and it needed tuning often, she couldn't imagine getting a new one. Crossing the room she sat down, placing her hands on the ivory keys. Taking a deep breath, she slowly started to play the familiar tune. Entranced, she swayed back and forth lost in its somber, haunting melody. The melody she knew so well; the song from long ago lost somewhere in the recesses of her mind. After strumming the last chord she basked in her nostalgia.

Then rising like a ghost, she floated from the piano to the patio door. “The moon is incredibly beautiful tonight” she thought to herself as she gazed upon the night's sky. Reaching down, she clutched the door and pulled it aside. As if sensing her presence, the moon began to pulsate and emit a bright light as she made her way to her favorite spot. She sat on the porch swing, her legs dangling as she swayed back and forth. Her slight figure portrayed that of a doll; her porcelain skin glowing eerily in the moonlight as she hummed softly to herself. Staring down over the patio ledge, she hugged herself as the wind rustled her long, dark hair. It had been years since she felt so alive. So why was she upset? What was wrong with her? Slow at first, thoughts began prodding her mind; timid little whispers trailing through. Then, all of a sudden they broke through like a freight train; shards raining across her brain, etching their way in. Carving.......

Suddenly something snapped as the memories invaded one by one. Clutching her head, she screamed. “What's happened to me? What did I do..how could I?....John.....the child....” So forgiving... Why? why why why... The thought echoed through her mind over and over until it lost all meaning. With outstretched arms, she smiled to the sky. “*Kami-sama, I understand. It is your way of punishment. My destiny is my own; I cannot escape what I have done. Forgive me”. Rising up onto the railing, she stretched her hands up to the night. Closing her eyes she inhaled the wintry air. Then, smiling once more she made the leap. Like an angel she floated down to the soft earth, her gown flowing behind her like wings. The cold wind bit at her flesh as time seemed to flow more slowly. When had it gone so wrong? Why did she have this nagging feeling that something was missing….the pieces…wait!! Then, just as she slowly floated to the bottom, time sped up and she hit the ground head first with a sickening crack...


*Kami-sama is the Japanese term for “god” or all-knowing being.

--

The loud thud awoke her as she lay screaming in her bed. Snapping out of it, she looked around and wrapped her arms around her knees reality slowly setting in. She breathed a sigh of relief and touched her hand to her forehead. What a strange dream... Swallowing thickly, she tossed the covers aside and crept out to the kitchen. Her throat was dry and she was beyond shaken. Who could sleep after something like that? I don't even have the slightest of suicidal thoughts...what on earth..?

Shaking her head, she reached into the refrigerator and pulled out orange juice. She was in mid gulp when a tap at the door startled her. Who could be here at this hour? She wondered as she glanced at the clock. 2:15...who in the world? Slowly she made her way down the stairs to the front door. After reaching the bottom, she stood up on her tip-toes glancing through the peep-hole. Sighing, she unlocked the door. It was her neighbor, Sally Henderson. Probably heard me screaming my lungs out, she mused as she pulled open the door.

Standing in front of Celeste with her hands on her hips was a very unhappy Sally; arms crossed, scowl in place. “Celeste, what on God's-green-earth is going on over here?"" It's 2 o'clock in the morning and I have to take the boys to school in a couple of hours. Not to mention, oh I don't know, YOU SCARED THE HELL OUT OF ME...." Glaring, she went to say something else, but Celeste quickly intervened. "I'm so sorry Mrs. Henderson, I had a bad dream. You know how those can be." Nodding, she gave Sally her best ‘I'm sorry’ look and began to close the door. Sally, like Celeste knew she would, put her foot in the door to continue talking. She always had to get that last word in. "Well, alright. I just wanted to make sure you were OK. You know you can't be too careful these days. What, with all the murders going on....” Stopping, she ran a hand through her red frizzy hair and hugged herself tightly. "I just wanted to make sure, ya know...."

Peeking over Celeste's shoulders she looked inside. Standing at 5' 8" She was quite a tall woman, though it didn't take much to be taller than Celeste. At 25 she was a slight girl, standing at only 5' 0" with a small frame that most found adorable. She, however, didn’t find it adorable at all. Ah yes, good 'ole Sally Henderson. The nosiest most annoying neighbor you could think of. Ever since Celeste could remember it had been this way. Always at her front door, always asking questions about John like he was some kind of criminal; her father was right, people could never be trusted. Saying her good nights and apologies, she closed the door in Sally's face. She knew she'd hear it the next day but didn't really feel like dealing with her right now. Turning from the door, she went up the stairs, to her living room. Bed sounds so good right now. She thought as she started across the room.

She stopped in mid-stride and stared out the balcony to the open field with lush gardens and trees surrounding the property line. Papa had always been so good to her even though she was adopted. Her mother, a frail sickly woman, had never been able to bear children of her own. Celeste knew nothing of her childhood before them except that she was abandoned in Tokyo and later moved here with her new family. Anytime she would protest his gifts he would simply wave his hand and laugh. She smiled as she heard his proud booming voice,”As far as I’m concerned you are my flesh and blood. Never forget I love you, child. Nothing will change that.” Her adoptive mother kept her native language alive and taught Celeste everything she knew. She told her about Kyoto and explained that she later moved to Tokyo where she met Papa. He had come overseas on a trip when he first stumbled across her. Celeste would sigh in content as she listened to his story of how they met. His eyes would light up and sparkle every time he spoke of his wife and the way she could play the piano. Six months after she moved in her Mama became bedridden. She never forgave herself when Papa found her, cold and unmoving beside her piano. What if she hadn’t have come? Would Mama still be alive? She always thought of herself cursed, like a poison that slowly and painfully sucked the life out of others. Papa always scalded her and told her not to blame herself.

Her attention came back to the room as a loud wind beat against the window, blowing the wind chimes in an eerie discord. Just before reaching the hall’s entrance she had stopped in place and looked down at her mother’s piano. Going against her own judgment, she sat down and began to play; softly at first, then more intently as her feelings grew. Swaying to the music, she began to hum softly to the familiar tune. As she strummed the last chord, a deathly silence filled the room. The hairs on the back of her neck and spine stood on end as the feeling continued to wash over her. A sudden movement caught her attention to the right. Jumping, she knocked over her chair and fell to the floor, gawking at the glass doors. She sat for a moment terrified before realization hit home. Cupping her mouth with her hand, she fell back on the floor and burst into fits of giggles. I must be going insane, it was only my reflection.. A few last chuckles came out as she stood up and gazed once more at her own image; simply my imagination.

She turned to leave before stopping dead in her tracks. Though she had turned to leave, the girl in the reflection stood perfectly still. Everything inside her screamed to run, to turn tail and go after Sally; But some odd fascination kept her at bay. Her adrenalin kicked in and she resolved to turn herself around and face the glass reflection. Her eyes searched the glass on the other side to find that her image was replaced by another. The girl on the other side giggled as her short dark hair bobbed up and down, her eyes set in mocking laughter. With one long blink of an eye, the girl leaped off the balcony and slowly floated to the ground below. Her feet would not move, it seemed like they had grown root to the ground and she was their helpless victim.

Standing there for what seemed an eternity, she finally drudged forward to the balcony. Inch by agonizing inch she finally made it to the patio doors; shaking, cold and very alone. Steadying herself, she slid open the door and peered over the ledge to the ground below. The girl stood in the backyard, smiling her wicked toothy grin and waving. "Anata.. dare?" she slipped into her native tongue without realizing it. Shaking her head, she tried to form the words in English, her throat dry and cracked. “W-who are you?” Celeste choked out. The girl just grinned, her face contorting, changing into a ghastly image; her eyes and mouth becoming nothing more than hollow black pits. A sick popping sound escaped from what used to be its mouth. She called it “it” because it no longer resembled human, but more of a demon. And what came next was something indescribable.

A scream so terrifying, so mind numbing, it brought her to her knees; she clutched her ears as she herself joined into the scream; unable to stop. The screams invaded her mind over and over. Raping her into unconsciousness...

Ten Months earlier

"That is so not fair!" she exclaimed as the water splashed her face. Laughing, John dove back under the water; splashing his legs wildly toward her on the shore. "You jerk!" she called as she jumped back. They had decided to go out to her father’s summer home in Burnet for their two month anniversary. Her father, though a busy man, was a good man. She had barely begun to unpack that morning, when John insisted on going swimming. She initially protested, but he told her she could read on the shore if she didn't want to get wet. Apparently though, he had a much more devious intent. Popping back up from the depths, John broke the surface with a huge grin. "The water is freezing right now. Why did you pick today to go swimming anyway?" she asked as she shook her head at him. It was just barely March and even though it had been unusually warm it still was nowhere near hot enough. Even in Texas. Yet here he was, swimming in it like it was a hot spring. Shrugging he peered up at her with his deep blue eyes and smiled, melting a little of her anger away. “I don't know, I love the water and I really don't mind the cold. Unlike somebody I know."

Laughing maniacally, he swung his arm wide. "Dame!" she screamed as she turned to flee from the shore. "No trust," he laughed as he put his arm behind him and swam in a lazy backstroke. "I wonder why?" She asked sarcastically. She blushed as she realized that Japanese came out instead of English. No matter how old she became, the language never slipped from her. It didn’t help that she did translating on the side for her father’s business. Even though she was raised in America, her thoughts flowed in Japanese; it was the most puzzling part that reminded her of her past. She was relieved that John never made fun of her, he was so sweet. He even took classes so that he could one day learn to become fluent. Watching him swim, her mind trailed off to the first time they met. He had a way about him, an undeniable charm. His features were very striking as well and sometimes she couldn't help but just stare at him.

She instantly had fallen in love with him when they met three months ago. She was at her friend Justin's house celebrating his going away party, when in he walked. Standing at 5'9" he towered over her with black hair and the bluest eyes she had ever seen; a piercing blue that seemed to see directly into your soul and all of its deepest secrets. One odd thing she noted about him was his pale skin; it appeared delicate yet tough at the same time. He had that kind of physique that was lean, yet defining. You could tell he kept himself in shape. At the time of the party he was with a young, thin girl that she had spoken to a few times but really didn't know. Her name was Stacey. Staring across the room at them, she could tell they had just gotten out of a heated discussion. Every few minutes they were in a fight, or rolling their eyes at each other from across the room. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later they were over and she worked up enough courage to call him. (She’d gotten the number through Justin) To her surprise and delight, when he answered he told her that he was very interested in seeing her. The rest was history; here they were two months into their relationship as happy as could be.

"Hey, are you okay?" The voice startled her out of her thoughts as she stared blankly up at John. "Hmm…? Oh yes I'm fine, I was just thinking about some things." She said as she continued to stare at him. "It must have been one crazy daydream if you didn't hear me calling to you the last three times." He said as he reached down and gave her a big, wet squeeze. "I was just thinking of the first time I saw you." She replied smiling up at him. Smiling back, he tucked a dark hair behind her ear and trailed down her face. Without saying a word, he leaned in and gave her a gentle kiss.

Present Day

Warmth...

Warmth spread through her, burning her completely from the inside out. Fiery hands clamped around her body, pressing their hard weight against her vitals. Snapping awake, she instantly pulled herself upright gazing around. Almost as soon as she had done this, her head was filled with excruciating pain. Loud child-like giggles erupted around her, filling the room with its malicious taunts. She could sense its amusement as it tortured her, twisting her insides on a whim. Standing up, she clasped her hands over her head and screamed. "STOP IT! LEAVE ME ALONE." Then, as quickly as it had come, it went away; leaving her alone in the black, cold abyss. She stood for a few more moments shivering unsure of what to do when finally she opened her mouth to speak. "Hello?" Nothing; she tried again. "John…? Is anyone there?" A faint scuffling sounded just to her left. Panicked she spun around, her eyes wild searching the pit as she looked for the source of the noise. Her first thought was a rat but when she thought about it, it sounded more like someone’s feet shuffling across the floor at a very fast pace...an in-human pace. Shuddering, she pushed the thought aside and glanced in front of her.

Nothing but blackness....in front of her, behind her....it was everywhere... "Where am I...? Hello?" she called out several more times but to no avail, it seemed her words were swallowed as soon as she spoke them; like sound was absorbed into the walls. Stepping forward, she smacked headfirst into something hard. Crying out, she stepped back placing a hand on her forehead just as the warm liquid trickled down her face and fingers; it momentarily blinded her and she frantically tried wiping it away. Finally she ripped a peace of her shirt and tied it around the wound. She gasped as the blood soaked through the material and began running down the sides of her nose. She must have hit it harder than she thought. Just then a soft breeze blew across her neck; startled she reached up with her hand. Yes! A breeze! “Maybe there is a way out...” she thought as the blood continued to flow. Making up her mind, she turned to face the wind and took several steps forward; her arms outstretched like a child reaching for its mother.

This time she did not run into anything and a sense of hope filled her. If I can just find the source of the wind, maybe there is a hole or door that I can get through. No sooner had those thoughts crossed her mind, a pair of rough hands grabbed her from behind and pulled her down to the ground, dragging her across the cold stone floor. Crying out, she twisted her body around and began kicking her attacker as hard as she could. She yelled in frustration as nothing seemed to work; when all of a sudden she was tossed aside. More giggles echoed across the room, as if making fun of her defeat. Then, her attacker came back at her and began pulling at her insides once more. Fire erupted through her entire body, hot sears poking and prodding her. It was like nothing she had ever felt before. Pleasure mixed with excruciating pain. She laughed, she screamed, she wailed until there was nothing. Nothing but her and the blackest of rooms...nothing... her and this beast that enjoyed her every cry of agony. The thought of death crossed her mind and she cried unrelenting tears. This must be what hell feels like. She thought to herself. It is okay, I will be with mother soon. Just as she thought it could get no worse, the monster began to pull her apart. Organ to organ, it ripped and tore. Flying around her with its inhuman pace, mocking her every attempt to be free.

Finally, she could take no more and in her hysterics, reached her hands up to her face. Laughing she pressed her fingers into the soft flesh of her eyes; they sunk to the pressure and finally popped; the warm gunk oozing down her face. Laughter was the final thing she heard as she gave into the beast and fell to the floor defeated.

---

Gasping, she bolted upright and gripped her face. The sun spread warmly across her delicate skin and she felt a slight breeze stir her hair. It took her a second to orient herself before realizing where she was, the patio. What happened? There was a girl....and....she furrowed her delicate brows together as she pressed her mind to remember....the more she tried to think, the more it became a shapeless blur. Placing a hand on her head, she pulled herself up. Though it may have been a simple task to most, it took all of her strength to move, to will herself to stand. She stood on wobbly legs as a wave of nausea washed over her; pulling her hair back she leaned over the ledge to vomit. After heaving for some time, she finally leaned up and wiped her mouth. Clutching her stomach, she slowly made her way to the sliding doors.

A cool breath of air awaited her parched skin as she stepped into the dining area. Suddenly, a thirst hit her; a thirst she had never felt before in her entire life. Walking into the kitchen, she leaned under the faucet and drank hungrily, stopping between gulps for air. She stumbled back to her soft bed and collapsed, exhaustion consuming her once more....

----

"Celeste...?""Hello..?" Pulling his key from the lock, John stepped into the hallway as he tore the note from the door. Glancing over it, he sighed to himself. She must still be asleep, she missed one of her students today, he thought as he placed the key back in his pocket. Lately, she had a habit of sleeping in well past normal hours. Even though she hadn't really needed it, she taught piano to students who didn't have a lot of money but wanted to learn. Celeste was a strong believer in the arts with children; she felt it was a good way to help express themselves and open their minds. But lately, she seemed completely out of sync. It hadn't always been that way, but many things hadn't before the accident...

Sighing, he placed his jacket on the wall before making his way up the stairs and into the living room. He wasn't really sure why he brought it; it was a fairly mild day, a little chilly but not enough to have a coat. Stopping, he remembered that she didn't like shoes on the carpet. She'd kill me if I set one boot on the floor, he mused as he reached to pull them off. He began tugging and was half way done when something caught his attention. Looking to the right, he noticed the patio door was ajar and muddy footprints led in to the kitchen, in the living room, then to the back. Instantly, he became alarmed. He knew how uptight she was about her beautiful white carpet; something wasn't right.

Walking to the door, he pulled it shut and looked in the kitchen. The water was running and there was something that could only be defined as filth in the sink. What IS that...? He thought as he inched closer to peer down into the mess. A putrid odor filled his nose, bringing tears to his eyes. Holding his breath, he reached over the sink and turned the water careful to not look at the mixture again for fear of vomiting. What is going on? Turning, his eyes followed the footsteps all the way back to her bedroom. The closer he got, the more alarmed he became. Fear gripped him as he finally reached the door. Brown mud-like splotches completely covered it from top to bottom; smeared across in an erratic pattern, as if someone swiped at it to get in. Then upon closer inspection, he realized it wasn't mud at all. Thick chunks of dark red something mixed with blood covered the outside as if warning him to enter...”Oh God.." he whispered as he stood there unable to move, to make a sound.

Silently he began to pray, and hoped that he would wake up at any moment and this would all be a dream; a horrible, horrible dream. Please let her be OK, He begged silently as he turned the blood encrusted knob. Paralyzed, he stood for what seemed forever in the threshold; pushing himself to move forward but his legs wouldn't obey. All he could do was stand and stare in complete horror at the scene that lay before him. Blood...everywhere...It was then that reality chose to hit hard. She's dead...my God, she's dead...there's no way... Gathering courage, he gingerly walked into the room, careful to not walk on the blood, following its dark trail. He let out a cry as his eyes came to rest in front of him; the bed. Stopping, he knelt before the dark, thick puddle that dripped from the side. A thin, pale hand poked out from under the sheet as the deep red fluid wrapped around her hand, then fell to the floor. Drip… drip… drip. The blankets completely covered her...all that was visible was her beautiful, frail hand... "No..." he whispered, his breath becoming sharp and shallow. Closing his eyes, he willed the images away. This HAS to be a dream, he thought as he placed his hand over his temple. Pressing hard, he opened his eyes and began to panic. The scene did not disappear, it was not going away. There was only one thing left to do...a soft whimper escaped his lips as he shuddered uncontrollably. Fear griped him like never before and he didn't want to be here; anywhere but here.

Somewhere laughing and holding her hand. Why today of all days? He was going to propose, to look her in those beautiful grey-green eyes and ask her to spend the rest of her life with him. It can't end this way... He had gotten her a promise ring, just something simple, but she adored it and wore it everyday. How could someone take away his beloved angel? WHY? Who could have done such a monstrous thing? Maybe he was just panicking...maybe she was okay. He began to chew on this, his heart slowing a bit. There was only one way to know, and time was ticking. Building as much courage as he could, he stood and placed his hand on the soaked covers... Letting out a cry, he pulled them back and looked down. What he saw was impossible....how could it be?? Bending over, he vomited. After an eternity, he looked once more...Oh God, the blood... Placing his hands on his head he screamed... was it him who was making that terrifying noise? That bloodcurdling in-human yell?? He couldn't tell anymore, he had gone beyond his body into his own personal hell; then darkness...that was the last he knew...

---

She lay in the hospital bed like a perfect angel; her dark hair encircling her. After passing out, John finally had come to and called an ambulance. Laying there all cleaned up and fresh, you never would have believed that just two days ago she was the bloody pulp that arrived. It had been a complete mystery; the crime lab had explained that the blood had belonged to an animal; or more specifically a dog. Odd that she had been completely covered in the animal’s blood. The more he thought about it, the more it disturbed him. He knew her; she loved all living things. To think that she could have done that to another creature was out of the question. Reaching down, he caressed her cheek just as the doctor walked in. "Might I have a word with you?" He asked, his face filled with concern. "Sure doctor, no problem." Stepping out into the hall, the doctor closed the door, lowering his voice. “I know you want to be with her right now, but we'll need to go somewhere a little more-" He stopped as a nurse walked past and smiled. "Morning James" she beamed as she continued down the long corridor. "Good morning" he called back as he waved. Turning back to John, he placed a hand on his shoulder. "Come with me."

--

She laid there as her breathing became more and more erratic, her chest rising and falling rapidly as her eyes moved back and forth beneath the lids.

Breathe....

Focus...

Girl..........what was it?


Slowly, her eyes began to open. She winced as pain shot throughout her mind, reaching until it hit every corner and crevice. Struggling she pushed her way up and stared at unfamiliar surroundings. Taking a look around it didn't take her long to realize where she was. Not but a second passed before a knowing feeling washed over her. Gripping her mouth, she turned her legs off the bed and fled to the bathroom.

Bending over she dry heaved for several minutes before leaning her head down to the sink and feeding from the faucet. Returning to bed, she sat down and stared at the wall in front of her. How did I- her mind instantly flashed to John. He must have... Her thoughts were cut short as she recognized the sound of her love's voice followed by a stranger. "How long do you think?" he asked, his voice riddled with worry and exhaustion. "Not too far, maybe 10 weeks?" She heard a sigh escape from John followed by a long pause. "Thank you." He whispered finally. Soft footsteps padded into the room as she squeezed her eyes shut. She tried to steady her breathing as she felt him beside her. Leaning down, he kissed her forehead. "You can stop pretending, I heard you sick in the bathroom." Opening one eye, she looked up at him and smiled sheepishly. "I was never good at hiding things" She confessed as she stared into his soft blue eyes. Laughing, he caressed her hair and trailed down to her soft pale cheeks. Leaning over he wrapped his arms around her breathing heavily into her shoulders.

"We need to talk, don't we?" she inquired. Leaning him up gently with her hands, she gazed into his troubled pools of blue. He sat silently for a moment, stroking her hair like he always did when he was thinking of what to say. Finally, he opened his mouth to speak. “Yes, love. It's time we talked."

---

Several weeks later

Sighing contently, she lay in bed. Smiling, she looked at the delicate silver ring on her finger. It was a simple ring with a blood red stone, her birthstone. Closing her eyes, she pressed the cold, smooth surface to her lips, savoring the memory that came to mind. He had asked her the very morning they returned from the hospital. Down on one knee, beside her bed, he promised her the world and she accepted. He waited on her hand and foot and made her feel like a queen; staying with her as long as he could before returning to work. She couldn’t understand why he had been so attentive to her. Though she had a feeling it was something the doctor said. Still, no matter how hard she pried, all he would tell her is that she needed to take her vitamins and go to her evening sessions. He got cross any time she pried about it. The doctor she saw would ask her very strange questions that didn’t make sense, and then later he would have her lay down for her “sleep therapy”. Of course, she would ask to hear the tapes but he explained that she mustn’t listen to them right now, she wasn’t ready; whatever that meant. Well as long as it kept her away from the dreams. At times, she felt like she needed to be locked up. Things didn’t make sense anymore. After much deliberation, they both agreed on her having a cell phone to keep next to the bed should anything happen. Of course, he had argued that someone should be hired to stay with her, but she was stubborn and insisted that she would be just fine, besides, she had never asked her father for more than needed; even still he sent too much. John fussed over her a while more before finally leaving for work.

Sitting up, she turned her body over the edge of the bed and placed her feet on the floor; she gasped and pulled her legs up shocked. The floor was absolutely freezing. Getting up, she tip-toed over to the thermostat and checked the temperature. Maybe John turned it down. Gripping her sides, teeth chattering, she peered at the little box in front of her. Odd, it says it is 75 degrees in here...maybe I'm cold because I just woke up. She made her way to the living room, it seemed like ages since she had done anything on her own and she was ready to move about. Trying to shake off the cold, she walked briskly to the kitchen and reached up in the cupboard for tea. Her favorite flavors in the winter were jasmine with milk and honey and especially green tea; good and strong. This should warm me up, she thought as she reached into the cabinet for her kettle.

Setting the little packets down, she turned to fill the kettle with water when a sudden clatter caught her attention. It came from the living room just to her left. Since her kitchen was isolated by itself in the far corner of the house, she could not clearly see into the living room and would have to go past the wall that separated them. A blast of cold awaited as her foot stepped over the threshold. Letting out a whimper she fell back stunned. It was like nothing she had felt before, it completely took her breath away. Standing in the kitchen, she clutched her chest, unsure of what to do. What is going on? Gathering her strength, she closed her eyes, and pushed herself forward, embraced for a possible second wave. Surprised to find none, she opened her eyes and glanced into the living room. There on the couch was John; curled up and clutching his sides. "Lord, you scared the crap out of me! I thought you went to work. Did you turn on the air? It's freezing in here." Turning her attention to the hall, she walked over to the thermostat once more and frowned.

Huh, guess he didn't "Do you think maybe it's broke? It feels like it's below zero in here." Waiting on a response, she stood and crossed her arms. "John? Did you hear me?" After calling out to him a third time, she thought maybe he couldn't hear her and made her way back to the living room. Rounding the corner, she stopped. He was nowhere to be seen. Where did he go? I didn't hear the door open; he couldn't have gone out... Walking further into the living room, a sudden blast of ice hit her hard and she fell to her knees, clutching her chest. The wave passed as quickly as it came and slowly she pulled herself up. What the hell is-- Her thoughts were cut off as a fast movement caught her attention to the right.

Looking over, her breath caught in her throat. Hair askew and eyes wild sat John. He was not looking directly at her but through her, he seemed absolutely terrified. "John, honey, what's wrong?" He didn't even acknowledge her. Sitting there, he hugged himself and made soft whimpering noises. "John, hu- " I WON'T do it!" he screamed, his voice echoing around her. Surprised, she jumped back and gasped. "John, what's wrong?" she asked, her voice trembling. Ignoring her he kept muttering softly to himself. "I won't.....I won't...." Gathering her wits, she moved towards him and reached out a hand. "Come here, baby, what's wrong? You can tell-" before she could reach him, his face contorted and he let out a wail of terror; almost like she were burning him alive. Getting up, he grabbed his hair and pulled. She could almost feel the loud tear as he ripped and yanked it free. "John, STOP IT! What the hell is WRONG with you?"

What happened next seemed to go by in a blur. He ran for the kitchen, disappearing for a moment before she heard the clattering of drawers as he pulled them open. Walking out into the dining room, he glared at her. There in his hand was a small silver object. Looking down, she focused on it and gasped, it wasn't just any object; it was a gun. "John, honey, what are you doing? Put it down and just tell me what in the world is going on? What's wrong with you?" Raising his arm his eyes gazed into hers, a cold blank killer stare. Not John's beautiful pools of blue but instead a dark, steel gray.

Gasping she looked behind her, there was nowhere to go. She was trapped, with nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. "Please, tell me what's going on. Don't hurt me, baby, I love you...” His face twisted up into a horrible grin as he threw his head back and laughed. Finally when his silent joke was over, he stared menacingly at her once more. "I won't do it, I WON'T LET YOU. How could you? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?" he asked his faced screwed up into pure anger and hate. "Do what, I'm confused! What did I do?" she asked, her eyes searching the room for something, anything. "Now you'll know. You will know pain; just like the pain you caused me." Laughing, he raised the gun, raised it until it was level with her heart;

And pulled the trigger.
The End

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