This contains graphic nastiness. Just so you are pre-warned.
Mr Hobart's body is suspended from the ceiling by heavy steal chains. Hooks sink into the meat of his shoulders, dragging at the skin and flesh, drawing it into thick folds. Blood drips slowly, coagulating, viscous. It is everywhere, smearing the bare concrete floor, the walls, the metallic tang of it sticks in the back of my throat, choking me and I have to swallow back bile while my head spins. Blood is all over my hands where I touched the walls, rusty and tacky, drying on my skin to flake away. It's on my face, over my eyes where I rubbed them. How could I be so stupid?
I have seen a lot of bad in my lifetime, as you might imagine, but I have never seen anything like this outside of the movies. I can't believe in it. I can't.
And there's more.
The room is papered floor to ceiling with pictures from glossy magazines. Not from magazines I've ever seen on a shelf however. These magazines would disgust Neo-Nazi's. They would horrify the KKK. They would be reviled by the inmates of a high-security prison. Censor's, immunized by years of viewing filth, would faint. The Marquis De Sade would be appalled. Vlad the Impaler would run screaming. You get the idea. I looked, and I wish that I had not.
The bile rises again in my throat, my stomach cramps, heaving. I have to turn away to avoid splashing my shoes. I hunch, my arms trembling, holding my knees, and say goodbye to my supper.
From this angle I get a great view of the floor. There's more.
The floor directly under Mr Hobart's gently swinging corpse is painted. Thick swirling lines in red and black coil and tangle, creating a maze, a fractal pattern like an Escher drawing. It hurts my eyes, I can't see where it begins and where it ends. It seems to suck inwards, a black hole of a bottomless well yawning under my feet, and at the same time it explodes outwards, pushing at me, as if it's trying to hurl me away. It weaves and spins and is alive. It hurts my eyes. I feel as if they burn but I can't look away.
I force my eyes away eventually and reel, my vision swimming. I feel drunk, and not in a nice mellow way. I feel the kind of drunk you get when all your friends have vanished and you're freezing cold, and you know dimly you have that awful long walk home ahead of you but you can't tell which way is up so how are you going to get there?
The light that came on is from a motion-sensitive halogen lamp fixed to the opposite wall. The moaning sound, is it the wind? I still feel a breeze.
I want out!
I really want to run. I really do. But I need to go slowly. There is another door behind Mr. Hobart's body. A way out of the insanity? Oh god, I hope so. I may start praying to the God I don't believe exists if this situation gets any worse. Maybe now I need something to believe in just to get myself out of here. Like a drowning man needs a life-belt, I need something to hold.
And I still don't know what's going on. I still don't know who brought Mr. Hobart down here. I haven't a clue how it was accomplished. It seems an impossibility. Whoever has done it I do not want to meet them. Not for anything.