Stumbling through the hallway nearly collapsing unto your knees as you propel forward you begin to regain your position against gravity. An unfamiliar hallway surrounds you, the cheap wallpaper stained yellow from age is peeling off the walls to reveal a layer of underlying stone.
Gasping to regain your breath, you stop for a second, looking forward at the ground reveals the words “Don’t look back” spelled out on the concrete in front of you. Normally you’d be skeptical but something in your gut tells you to listen.
You press forward, the light in the hallway growing ever dimmer with each step. It’s at this point you begin to wonder where the light is even coming from. No electronic or natural light source can be detected, nor any breach in the hall.
Thoughts begin to barrage you pertaining to your whereabouts and how you got there, but ultimately you suppress them; deciding that they would be counterproductive to any potential of survival at this point.
Contrary to hope, a dead end is reached. Nausea begins to ensue as you see both corners filled with a mysterious dark red liquid. A loud piercing D minor Chord emanates from the back of the hallway, and you feel your body becoming light as a sack of feathers. The cold hard ground starts to look really comfortable. A warm disorientating euphoria comes over you as your vision begins to fade.
You slowly begin to open your eyes. You have no idea how much time has passed but you are no longer in the hallway. Upon fully opening your eyes you realize that you cannot see the ceiling, Rather than looking around you close your eyes and once again succumb to that warm luxurious sleep you were just experiencing.
Another unknown amount of time passes. You snap out of the trance and your parasympathetic nervous system begins to catapult you into fight or flight mode as you begin to take notice of your new environment.
Only two things linger in the mind at this point.
1. Find an escape.
2. Find some answers.
Propelled by your drive to survive you begin to collect your bearings. You look about the walls and notice it is covered with thousands of names. Most of them you don’t recognize but a few belong to people you know from television and other media. A lot of the names are crossed out, some are circled, some have stars, exclamation points, or question marks next to them and some are underlined.
You notice a couple of wooden tables. All of which are covered with drawings and printouts of documents with major sections redacted. Most of the names of the documents were also redacted so It was hard to tell what most of them were about though they looked like transcriptions of court cases , interviews, and military commission reports however this is just a guess.
You find a wooden door on the west side of the room but it doesn’t open. You find another one on the east side of the room that also doesn’t open, luckily a large portion of the bottom half of the door was kicked out and you were just barely able to squeeze through.
You find yourself at the bottom of a staircase. The words “Watch your step” are painted on the right side of the wall. You cautiously ascend the staircase. Noticing a few steps are coated in an unknown dark slippery looking substance you skip them and reach the top. A door awaits you at the summit. This one is unlocked.
You enter through and are met with a blindingly bright flash. Your memory and consciousness fade to black before you even see the other side.
You awaken again in a strange beat down motel room. All these spontaneous blackouts and location changes are really starting to get to you. You wonder what kind of sick joke is being pulled here, and Thy you of all people were selected to undergo it. The sickening irony is that you cannot discern whether you were selected because you are lucky or unlucky. As to where that thought arose from you have no idea. The mere pursuit of that line of thought caused a drastic turn of the stomach, and so it was completely brushed over.
You quickly notice a piece of what seems like old dried notebook paper is taped to the front of your blank gray shirt. On one side it reads You Won in large bold letters. The other side reveals a weird sort of prose. It reads:
“Madness is a bit like love
They run your life,
They’re rarely enough.
Both the madman and the lover,
Bend their minds with endless lines.
Trying ever hard to find,
The sweetest bits of word and sound,
For reasons equally profound. ”
While fairly thought provoking he had a hard time understanding how it fit into the situation. Considering it a souvenir of sorts he folded and tucked into his pocket. It’s at this point he begins to question what the words “You Won!” on the other side of the note meant.
You look around the motel room for any other clues that you might be able to find before departing. This is when you notice the bloody boot prints that littered the walls and began to wonder how and why they would be there.
Weirder yet the floor was completely clear of them. You notice a weird smell in the air coming from the motel rooms bathroom. You hesitate but ultimately decide to investigate. You turn cold and pale as you open the door, and you nearly slip into shock at the scene displayed before you.
A strange man had hung himself from his shower using some sort of cabling. There was blood all over the room though this man though clearly dead appeared not to have a scratch on him. You closed the door, not wanting to investigate any further.
Your brain tries to make you vomit several times but your stomach is empty and you merely dry heave while trying your best not to curl up in a ball and scream. You open the motel door and run like you’ve never ran before. You briefly take notice that this hotel must be completely abandoned, you aren’t surprised.
You waste no time looking in the other rooms and make it to the staircase, slowing your pace down a bit due to remembering what happened on the stairs earlier, you descend down to ground level and find sprint down the hallway, into the abandoned lobby and out into the fresh night air of an unknown city.
[The End of part 1]