CutFreeze – Chapter 1 and 2
Caleb’s hands were numb. The ropes cut into his wrists that were held by a metal ring on the ground. He lay over this ring, facing up to a high cavern ceiling that supported several long stalactites that hung there like silent knives. Moss grew on rocks and walls and the only light they were allowed came from a tall, thick candle that was lit 24/7. The candle was so big that it gave off enough light but sometimes he preferred to be in the warm embrace of darkness. The dark, at least, would protect him from viewing what he had desperately tried to erase from his mind over the past three weeks. One day it would be his turn, and he dreaded it. No one went lightly.
The rhythmic clicking of the creatures’ pincers interrupted his thoughts. Small feet shuffling on the cold floor, clicking and clacking of bone grinding on bone. He knew what it meant, and he couldn’t take it anymore.
He had lost count of how many had perished. Now, who would be next? Last night, they had taken a young woman from Terraria. Even in the utmost silence he still heard her terrified screams, reverberating in his head, torturing him over and over again.
Sometimes he wished they’d take him so that this nightmare would end, but he still clung to life with all his might. He hadn’t lost hope. Chloé had last seen him near the swamp. Surely, she had reported it and sent out search parties. She wouldn’t just give up on him. Even if she could be condescending and arrogant, deep down she had a good heart, but she liked to keep that hidden away.
He had not been pleased when they became partners after they graduated, but in a way, she had grown on him. Although it was clear that she had obtained her high grades thanks to Daddy’s interference, she was observant and inquisitive. She just needed to learn to exist without running to Daddy for any minor inconvenience.
Two creatures appeared in the cavern and rested their black, beady eyes on Karen Mumbo. The woman froze, knowing what awaited her.
They moved on their bony claws, looking very much like oversized crabs, approaching Karen with urgency. Although their eyes were void of expression, their rush indicated that they were famished and eager to devour this human.
She began to pray, but Caleb knew that no prayer could save her now.
The crab-like creatures fell on her and started to gnaw on her feet. Karen screamed in pain as they slowly ate her, starting with her feet and slowly working their way up to her head. Karen’s screams echoed in the cave for several minutes until death finally took her and her ordeal was over. When the creatures were done, nothing was left of her. No bones, no flesh, not even the slightest drop of blood.
It was as if she had never existed.
Caleb turned away and stared at the wall, wondering when they would come for him.