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In the dark | Suspense/Mystery; AU


George Hardwick III
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TOTAL DARKENESS

 

A knife-like pain seared through his brain as he 'came to'... George heard a groan, was it his? Where...am I?

 

He blinked into the darkness; nothing, nothing but darkness. Where am I? His mind, strangely sluggish, tried think back to before this. His side ached where he'd been laying, rolling over he stared upward. Or was he staring? He thought his eyes were open, but black black black was all he could see. His wrists hurt too, bindings there were too tight. Bindings?! "What the?"

 

The dull unease he'd felt as he'd awoken to mystery begun to accelerate to alarm. "Where am I? What' the hells going on here?!" his voice shouted out, or would have shouted out; but all his ears heard was a raspy dry whisper... I've worn my voice out shouting already? But when? He had no memory of what had happened, where he'd been, who he was with.

 

Cognizant thought was slowly returning though, and George managed to focus enough to begin mentally counting off his limbs. Feet: he bunched his toe, discovering his shoes were gone, and talc-fine dust slid between them now. The floor is dirt?

 

George then froze as as he heard a noise...

 

[tag:open]

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"Sphygmomanometer, sphygmomanometer, sphygmomanometer, sphygmomanometer," a voice kept half whispering, half pleading into the darkness, in desperate shaky whimpers. "Sphygmomanometer...." a few half-sobs.

 

What day was it? The woman had always been there, for the past few minutes. Spiders? Everywhere, crawling, she was shaking uncontrollably, laying in the fetal position somewhere on the ground. There was wet, was she bleeding, what was her blood pressure? "Sphygmomanometeeeeer," her voice caught in another pathetic sob. Where was she? It was cold, stiflingly cold. The dust rubbed against her cheek. Was she going to die? So thirsty.

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He'd drifted off again, this time awoken by a feeble voice. Sphygmomanometer? The word was repeated, over and over, though frequency did not make him understand it any better, and only increased the awful feeling he had in his gut.

 

His hand reached out across the dirt, patting, feeling for the others form, ""Wake up..." he hissed, intent to break this other out of their waking nightmare. Her form was soft, and chill. "Come here... everything is going to be all right." Hitching himself closer, he moved to embrace. "Share body heat." that was the voiced reason, but at that moment George just needed know he was not alone. Where the hell were they? Who was this woman, some sort of nurse? That was not the name of her pet cat she was calling out...

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Her whole body tensed when someone whispered to her. Were they back to finish the job? However, Gwen was soothed when the tone of whispered implied no harm would come to her for the moment, the owner, a man, sidled up behind her. One of the few times sharing body heat was an acceptable excuse.

 

It was so still in here. A grave, a coffin, God they were going to die. They were all going to die, well, the two of them? Three of them? How many more were there? "Why are we here?" she had become oriented enough to the situation to question it, nothing made any sense. She remembered a few odd telephone calls on her shift, someone had seized her from behind.... and then nothing. Where was here? It was so dark. Her shoulders were stiff from laying on her side, wrists strained against bindings.

 

Her question had been asked out of optimism that perhaps the man beside her had been able to reflect on his situation in the amount of time he'd been trapped there. Perhaps he'd gained some insight, enlightenment in the pitch darkness.

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"God knows." his voice rumbled... snatches of memory came to him, but not enough to make sense of this mess, this dark. "Are you hurt? Have they don't anything to you? There... there is a 'they', somewhere, right? They, are coming back, yeah?" He did not know which thought was worse, being left abandoned to die, or that someone might have further plans for them.

 

"Last I can remember I was at the work Christmas party..." blurred memories of yellow and gold festivity, music blaring, glasses clinking, voices laughing. "Down at The Hub. Yeah, we were down at the hub, all of us. Where is everyone? Brian? Jorge! Tanya!?" But there didn't seem to be anyone else around. "What happened, and who are you?"

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"I don't know," it was indeed terrifying to contemplate being left to rot there, but she couldn't piece together what purpose they could possibly be serving. Her breath sounded loud to her, though it was slowing..... "Someone...grabbed me...I didn't see." In her mind she knew she'd closed her eyes though there was no difference in the amount of light filtering through her pupils.

 

Good. Maybe they were figuring things out. They were going to get out they were going to get out. "Gwendolyn Llywelyn, I'm a doctor....I work at the asylum..." God, she hoped her son was alright. "Who are you?" what connected them? Why were they both there?

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"What did they..." but before he could ask for a description, the woman said she'd not seen who had grabbed her. "Damn." he cussed under breath, "can you remember anything else, anything?"

 

It was good she could not see his expression as she explained her job, everyone knew people who worked at the nutters were as mad as their charges. Great. He too sought the clue that might exist between them. "Ahh, err, nice to meet you... ahh err... Doctor Llywelyn. I'm a school teacher, George Hardwick, high school teacher down in the valley, I teach art. I've got no idea what I've done to deserve this..." unsaid was that Gwen might have done plenty. Everyone had heard the stories of abuse that went with asylums.

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"There might have been....more than one," she was trying to think back through the ether-induced haze, or it could have been double vision as she lost consciousness. "I was on night shift, someone paged me to the trauma ward three times and no one was there. Then when I was in the locker room...." was she still in her scrubs? No, she'd changed. "I was by the scrubs machine and they just grabbed me, I think they used chloroform ...." And that was all she could remember. "What about you? Anything else?"

 

Unable to see the unsaid judgments filling the darkness, Gwendolyn might have been adding a few of her own. A schoolteacher named Hardwick? It sounded like a man trying to leave behind life in the porn industry, as though no one cared to watch candle dipper pornographies. And if it wasn't a Catholic priest on the news, it was a school teacher, buggering their young charges. And then who got to deal with the aftermath? She did. Subconsciously she shifted away from his form.

 

"What's around our wrists? Does it tie? We could try to untie each other..." she suggested as though that had been the reason for her shift and not a sudden distrust. Of course no one would -think- they deserved this. Very few people did, the exception of child molesting teachers and priests and Hitler, of course.

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