(excerpt from The Janus Perspective Book 3)
A disoriented Kevin finds himself sitting in a strange room with a metal bar across his chest and his legs slightly above his head, dangling over some kind of low wall. Tiny stars dash around before his eyes. As familiarity starts to creep back into his consciousness, Kevin recognizes the cabin bathroom from the bathtub point of view. The torn shower curtain lies underneath him and is partially folded across one shoulder where it broke from the hooks. He carefully lifts his body from this sunken trap. Aching joints nag him with each motion.
The bathroom doesn’t look quite the way he is accustomed to seeing it. The wallpaper curls into brittle tubes at the seams. Dark smudges paint the walls and door frame like a mural created by the clumsy fingers of a toddler. The floor tiles snap and pop when he steps on them. Small chunks have broken away, giving it the appearance of a giant jigsaw puzzle with many missing pieces. Oddly, the main mirror and the medicine cabinet mirror have been purposefully removed. He opens the door, which is loose on its hinges, and steps into the front room.
When he turns a light on, it flickers a few times before maintaining a dim glow. Kevin feels like his body is on autopilot, going through a set of preset motions. He looks toward Juan’s closed door but doesn’t check to see if it is locked.
Jenn’s room is partially open, but there’s something unfamiliar about it. Some of the furniture is missing, and the bed is upright against the far wall. He doesn’t go in to inspect it. If Jenn is in there, he would rather not interact with her after what happened.
He walks across the messy living room and unlocks the door. I need to check the window before doing this? When he opens the door, light from an overcast sky spills in.
A misty breeze blows a light rain against the cabin. Kevin’s anxiety heightens when he steps onto the porch. Go back in. I need to go back in! His feet don’t listen. They propel him across the porch, down the steps, and toward the gate. Then he hears it.
Vicious snarling and screaming reverberate in the background from almost every direction. Kevin unlatches the gate and walks out without closing it. What the fuck am I doing? He starts walking up the muddy road. The sounds from the creatures get louder and louder, but Kevin continues his imprudent journey.
He tries to reach up and slap his wounded face, but his hands swing jauntily at his sides. When he tries to talk or scream, no words escape his lips. Meanwhile, the threatening howls and shrieks of enmity get closer and closer. They sound so close that Kevin should see them, but none appear. He wants his body to tremble and feel the rush of adrenaline, triggering his flight response.
One of the voices bellows much louder than the rest. It is wailing in a painful, grating tone, and its heavy footsteps are quickly approaching from behind. Kevin can only anticipate the impact and excruciating death. I would like to at least see my attacker. Before it gets close enough to pounce, Kevin feels himself snap back toward the cabin. His entire visual field shrinks rapidly until it is only a single point of light. It eventually fades to complete darkness.
Copyright 2020-2021 Darrell Winfrey