The Nightmare Room
The Nightmare Room
"We Call to YOU!"
"You walk without a care in the world, no fear or concern; we will STOP IT!" I heard hissing as
cold breezes pinballed from wall to wall; I sat calmly on the dirty floor of the derelict room. My
eyes closed and my legs crossed as I breathe deeply; standard martial arts sitting position. They
think that they have me cornered and scared; well they are about to be surprised. I am not alone
here; there are 2 bodies of others who were tested; one poor soul hung himself by his belt while
screaming and flailing around. "Get away!" were his last ever words. The other guy just sat crying on
the floor; "I can't believe this...who would do this?!" he sobbed. Hours later, he killed himself by
breaking his head on a corner of the room. I was the only one left.
The cries of desperation, the words of total hopelessness and paralyzing fear took their toll on
me before; I grew accustomed to it. I learned not to let them in; drowning them out by the Iron
Maiden records playing in my head. Fear takes control away, it failed on me as I countered it will
power and disconnection from the darkness. Whoever is trying to break me, he has a sick mind
but a weak body because he is trying to break us to the point of removal of the desire to fight.
I opened my eyes and returned to their domain; it was dark, cold and foreboding; like a
heavyweight boxer moving in on a skinny nerd. The walls appear to have everything that scares
the unprepared mind; images of sodomy, violations, taboos, demons, pain and death; things like
this are welcoming to the degenerates of this world who either try to scare us into submission or
convert us to their side. My top priority is to preserve my sanity and get out of this alive; put them
back in their place.
Fighting over Meat
It all happened very fast; loud thump in the dark, unintelligible mumbling noises, cold blade to my
throat; at least 2 of whoever/whatever they were walked out limping and nursing their
appendages. It was dark so I defended by reflex; the second I felt something wrap around me I
figured it was a hand hence a wrist-snap was executed followed by a flurry of desperate punches
and kicks; holding them back for a whole minute. Though I was still overwhelmed and thrown into
yet another place; this time it had cages that went all the way to the ceiling.
Picking myself up, I realized I wasn't alone and the cage doors now flung open; a part of me
almost broke and let fear in. Fighting it off with a clenched fist, contortion of my upper muscles
and a deep breath; I saw something I thought was only real in horror fiction; I was face to faces
with what looked like sentient apes (at least that's what they resembled to me) muscular arms
and legs, yellow enraged eyes and an upright walk-cycle akin to that of a human; there were
about 5 of them in the dark. I can't beat something like that, especially with ape-like creatures
who would rip me apart if I make a move on one of them.
One of them moved closer to me, growling and sniffing as it sized me up; maintaining eye
contact I walked clockwise akin to a normal fight. Suddenly, I caught sight of his "pack" moving
towards me as well, their limbs were covered in blood and one of them was holding....it was a
human hand! They were fed people!
"GET THE MEAT OR THERE WILL BE MORE" I heard from the top, a voice sounding like a
broken speaker. Given no choice, I had to face the apes to save others so I took another deep
breath, found the one who held the hand and springing off the cage railings, I leaped forward with a
knee strike; I wanted to disable his teeth. Shockingly, the creature recoiled and dropped the hand; fast
as I could I threw it outside the cage. Now the whole pack was on me; growling and baring their
More meat rained from the ceiling; it was indeed human remains as there were parts I
recognized to be as such; I guess the more I save the fewer victims there would be; there was a
lot of it. Since they were similar, in body structure, to humans I could use pressure-point attacks
since their muscular frames would be more resistant to blunt force. If I was to die, at least few will
follow so with another deep breath and scan of meat locations, I sprung back into action.
Expectedly, the whole pack jumped at the piece I went for, quickly throwing it outside the cage,
physics betrayed me and I fell from trying to throw it as hard as possible; now one was looming
over me. Pushing his "hand" away so that the elbow joint was vulnerable, I pushed into the bone
and with help from my foot; I cracked it; following it through with a heel kick to his eye area.
The image of a massive ape creature recoiling in pain and nursing his broken limb has lifted my
morale and I was back on the attack; dodging charge attacks and with more confidence, throwing
meat outside the cell. They were strong but they were stupid, charging into me as I sidestepped and
hence, making them kiss the cell bars; damaging their fangs and claws. I must not lose focus now,
especially when there is only one-piece left. The creatures, it seems like, knew that I had offensive
capabilities, they were less eager to attack. Grabbing the last piece of meat, I suddenly felt furry arms
wrapped around me and forced to the ground. Using both my elbows on his ribcage, I barely escaped
with a roll to the side, meat in hand and making the last throw.
Covered in blood and cornered against the cell, I scanned around in case I missed a piece; I
didn't. Now, however, I started to ponder if I was tricked. Would a live human be next to fall from the
ceiling?! Suddenly, to my relief, the cell was opened and something threw me backward. Never did I
welcome being grabbed and thrown from the dark.
Hitting the cold, dusty floor, I immediately felt a storm of kicks as I lay on my back; elbows
covering my ribs and head between them away from incoming strikes. They didn't want me to
make it out alive. Suddenly, another silhouette barged in and pushed my attackers away,
gesturing towards another door. I was picked up and dragged to where he pointed. I was already
spent after the deathmatch with the apes, my focus was on gathering whatever I had left in me to
at least win by attrition; losing would mean innocent deaths. Feeling cold steel against me once again,
I saw that I was chained to a circle on a wall; I was on a stage where I spied a crowd of silhouettes;
all eyes on me. A bigger one appeared, he brandished a set of knives. So, I knew I had to dodge and
somehow, get out of this. "Survive or should someone else take your spot?! I heard the same voice
that scratched me inside the ape cage.
Deep breath, eyes wide open and muscles contorted; I braced for the first throw. It was accurate
but I barely dodged it as it flew towards my right eye; the thrower wasn't pleased so he threw one
more albeit less accurate since they all missed me by a large margin. I take it victims don't last
long and I was the first and only one. He ran out of knives and at this point, wanted to kill me with
whatever he could grab. To my surprise, he turned away and walked slowly towards the opening
"IT'S NOT OVER!" I heard as something approached me from the side; it unchained my arms
and slammed me down. I rolled to the side, picked myself up and the moment I wanted to strike
what was to my side, it calmly stepped backward and gestured nonchalantly towards something;
as if oblivious to my capability to retaliate. Turning around, I saw 3 more figures; they wore goat
heads and were standing over 2; a man and a woman; both were scared. The goatmen held
what looked like branding tools and butcher knives.
"Go ahead," the silhouette hissed, "Take their lives in your failure of an attempt!" I was lost, what
could I do now? It was risky and it was stupid too but what I did was effective and deadly
considering they didn't expect this kind of retaliation. I went for the silhouette's pointing arm,
locked it so his elbow joint was under my control and put him to the ground using a leg sweep
while controlling the arm; executing a straight armbar takedown commonly used by police and
security forces. The silhouette was surprised and so were the goatmen; I had their undivided
attention now; after all, I could handle ape monsters.
"You will release them!" I yelled applying more pressure to the silhouette's palm, he was in
serious pain but didn't show it, he squirmed trying in vain to get away. The goatmen were also
shocked; they never had a victim fight back before; let alone with the boldness and skill that I
displayed. Both were confused, they placed the butcher knives on throats of their victims; without
hesitation, I snapped the arm of my captive. Screaming and nursing his destroyed limb, the silhouette
rolled about crying in pain; bone exposed.
Switching to fighting stance, I sized up the goatmen and approached both; showing no concern
for the victims; at this point, I was mad with power; grabbing evil by the throat and putting it in its
place was intoxicating; like a shot of epinephrine. Close enough for a roundhouse kick, I
executed it; the first one was out cold; got him below the ear; instant knockout. In quick
succession, I grabbed the second one by the neck, locking his head and my elbows restraining
him; I swung him around to get him off balance and knocked him out with a hard kick to the
forehead; leaving a blood-covered hole.
Hang on for Dear Life?
My assailants were disabled and their weapons were at my disposal now; 2 butcher knives;
deadly in the right hands. I didn't need to control my fear anymore as it slowly became a part of
me; like getting a new skill from the RPG games I played; it's constrictive and has a learning
curve but when you get to grips with it; it is devastating. This place is going down in flames and
rubble. By now, I have taken out many in this dark, dismal place; from the shadows, they hide in
right to open confrontations. None of them could stop me; this evil place of fear is my home now;
I am hunting them and nothing they had could outmatch me.
"Daniil Shilov formerly worked as a content writer in the maritime industry in Dubai, UAE. An enthusiast of warfare, 1980s action cinema, gaming and heavy metal; all of which inspire him when writing his adrenaline-charged short stories of action and adventure.