“Nghh…” Groaning in pain, I somehow manage to open my eyes despite the splitting headache. Groggily, I raise my head to look around. “Where am I?”
My surroundings are unfamiliar, but I’ve seen them before somewhere, although probably from another perspective.
“It was high time you woke up, boy.” A spine-chilling voice makes its way into my ears. I search for the source... a skinny, tall man in a white robe, with short hair and thin rectangular glasses.
“Who are you?” I immediately stand on guard. Yet I notice my movements are somehow restricted “Why am I tied up?!” I hiss.
Despite my threatening tone, the man turns around with a vicious sneer “So you won’t escape, obviously!”
At the sound of those words, panic starts creeping into my mind, I frantically try to break free, but my hands and legs are tied tightly to the chair by a pair of sturdy leather straps each.
“Still going to resist, huh?” The man suddenly turns to stand before me, blocking all the light coming from the lamp completely, as he towers over. His stature is too thin and too tall for a normal man, and his face is weathered, yet not old. Like melting ice.
“What the hell do you want from me…?” I mutter, preparing myself for the worst. He might very well be the last monster I have to face in this school, and I just walked right into his lair.
“Hahahaha!” With a hysterical cackling laugh, he throws his head back “Hm, excuse me…” He abruptly stops and clears his throat “It’s been a while since they brought someone alive down here… I can’t quite contain this excitement of mine…”
Someone alive? Does that mean he’s been having his way with… corpses all this time? I already feel sick to my stomach.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“That means I can have all the fun in the world with you here…” He fixes the glasses up the bridge of his nose, the reflection of the light making the lenses shine brightly but only for a second. “I have never turned anyone into one while still being alive…”
With that sinister phrase, he turns to the table, and picks up a midsize syringe, twisting it around.
No, no, no! I need to keep him talking!
Searching through my mind, I recall his words and attempt to distract him. “”One”? What do you mean by that? What are you turning people into?”
“Heh, if you’re here, that means you’ve already seen them…” A smile spreads across his face, like a virus as he turns back to me, syringe in hand.
“Seen what?” I’m aware I asked that question myself, but I don’t like where this is going one bit.
With an even bigger, more malicious smile, he voices “The monsters caged on the basement… Don’t you recognize them?”
What does he mean? Surely he can’t…
“I turned the dead bodies into those… creatures. Aren’t they pretty? Soon, I’ll be turning the rest of you too…” With a toothy grin he continues looking into my eyes. His remorse while answering my questions is non-existent. He can’t be human, there is no doubt.
All those monsters in the basement… used to be students of the school? And he turned them into those mindless, flesh craving creatures…
Despite the terror settling within my heart, and the chill that runs down my spine, I press on. I need to keep him talking.
“And what about the rest… Like the Janitor?”
I recall the way he killed Tanaka-san…
“Oh I didn’t make HIM. He’s the one that brings the bodies over here…” He turns to the table once more, rummaging around his tools. “And oh am I grateful… for I get to enjoy myself.”
“And… that spider in the basement?”
“Heh…” He cackles “That’s the guardian. So nobody attempts to take those bodies away…”
This is unprecedented… Who would have thought that these creatures would have formed an ecosystem like that on their own? What even ARE they?
“And…” I gulp, hesitant to ask the last question on my mind. “…who are you?”
“Me?” he points at himself with his index finger, narrowing his eyes. “Just a biology teacher… born from the fantasies of a scared little girl.”
I suddenly recall Misaki’s diary entries. The spider. The model in the biology lab, The nail. The fire. Drowning in water… The biology teacher. Everything is a part of her experience. Everything has taken shape and form, and is now against us.
As I ruminate on that, I let my head hang low.
“Hehe…” With another cackle, the biology teacher picks a tool off his table.
Shit! I forgot I was supposed to keep him talking!
“But before I turn you into one of them…” With a spring in his step, he turns back to face me, towering over me once more. “Why don’t the two of us have a little fun?”
Without a warning whatsoever, he swings, scalpel in hand, as the blade pierces through my skin.
With the sensation of pain overwhelming my senses I let out a pained scream.
It hurts! It fucking hurts!
The warm blood that I thought had grown cold, trickles down my arm.
“You bastard!” I hiss in pain and look up to see yet another toothy grin.
“How did that feel, eh?!”
Still amused, the crazy doctor tugs at his bloody tool sticking out of my arm “Oh, apologies, I forgot my scalpel.” With yet another swift movement, he pulls it out, causing the blood to flow out in greater volume.
“Ah, I got it all dirty…” With a casual twist of his wrist, he brings the scalpel close to his face, and begins to lick the red liquid off the blade.
I wince, both from pain and utter disgust “You’re… one sick motherfucker…”
“Hahaha!” With a crazy laugh, he turns his attention back to me. “Live subjects are something else, I knew it!” He bends down, so we’re eye level, and softly uses the blade to caress my cheek, leaving a red trail on it, before he continues. “Should I see what happens when I remove an eye? Or when I cut off your fingers and let you taste them? Hm, what shall it be?”
How the hell did I ever get in this shitty mess…?
“Fingers it is!” He snaps his fingers merrily, having made up his mind.
I gulp, as I frantically try to wiggle out of my constraints.
“Now where did I put the saw, hm…?”
I twist my wrists around and pull in an attempt to break free, but to no avail.
“Where are youuu?”
Miraculously the straps around my hands have begun to loosen. With a few more tugs I’ll be able to pull them off!
“Ah, was it back in the storage…?” He voices, looking over at the door next to the entrance. “Heh, I’ll be right back, so sit tight, young man!” With brisky steps he makes for that door, cackling to himself all the while. “The fun is just getting starteeed!”
“Thank the heavens…” I mutter to myself, as I instantly get back to work. With three more forceful tugs at the straps, I can barely slide my hand out of the leather straps.
Without wasting another moment, I quickly get to undoing the straps around my legs. They basically work just like a belt, so I don’t have too much trouble getting them off.
“Where the hell is that saw?!” As the madman next door starts getting impatient, I can finally get out of the chair and leave this place for good.
With silent, yet anxious steps, I make my way to the door, and turn the knob.
The door though, won’t budge. I give it another tug and I swiftly come to a conclusion.
That bastard must have locked it!
“Ah here it is!” He calls out, and this time I’m even closer to him than before. I can hear his footsteps… He probably won’t be too happy with my escape…
I scan the room, and my eyes lock onto the door on the far end.
Since the cat’s out of the bag anyway…
I quickly pull the lever from earlier down, and shuffle across the room towards my only hope.
“I’m coming. Have you been a good boy?!”
I can hear the sinister voice at my back, as I pray that the door before me isn’t locked too. With a swift tug at the knob, this time the door gives in, and I push it open in delight.
I slip past the door, and softly close it behind me.
I need to find something to block it with!
As I scan around the spacious room, I notice one thing. It’s an absolute mess. Broken vials, scattered equipment and overturned cabinets as far as the eye can see. A lab table rests at the center, littered with various other tools, broken and not.
“Where have you GONE?!” An angry, bubbling voice carries over from the other room, and my mind prompts me to hurry.
Oh, he will find you…
“Shut up.” I hiss lowly. Without wasting another moment I look over at the table closest to the door and point. “That will do!”
As I move over to push it towards the entrance, suddenly I’m startled by a stabbing pain stemming from the back of my foot.
“AAAGH!” I yelp instinctively, as the crunching sound of broken glass, along with my own voice reverberate through the room. Unable to keep my balance, I tumble over to the floor “Fuck! Fuck!”
A swift set of long and hurried strides echoes from behind the door, before it swings open to reveal, a toothy grin, and a murderous look hidden behind a pair of glasses.
“So THIS is where you were!”
“Hideki-kun…” Noriko started, finally breaking her silence. “…I think he’s okay.”
“A-are you sure?” Suddenly the faint hope from within my chest is given life once more.
Unsure, Kazuya speaks up “How do you know?”
We all look at Noriko. Hanging from her every word. The teary Mayu, the anxious Hotaru, and the disbelieving Kazuya. And finally, me.
“I think I feel his presence somewhere down there… But I think he’s in danger…” Noriko finally replies, and my heart starts beating faster for a whole new reason now.
“But, couldn’t you only sense danger? Can you sense people now too?” Kazuya asks, still skeptical.
“At first. But the longer we spend in here, I’m getting a better grasp on my psychic abilities. I’d like to believe in it…” Noriko states, looking at her hands, as if to give herself some courage.
“I…” Hotaru steps forward, trying to muster the same courage from earlier “…want to believe in Noriko-san too.”
Mayu shakes her head, and wipes her tears in one clean motion “Noriko…are you positive?”
A nod is all Noriko needs to inform us.
Before Mayu can finish, the entrance that was once closed off, now slides open to reveal the pit yet again. We all turn to face it, our hearts lighting up anew.
Everybody shares a look. Kazuya, Hotaru, Mayu and I. For different reasons each, we’ve made up our minds to proceed.
Hideki, please be safe.
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