Last night he had been sitting in his local pub and two women had walked in. Twins. They had talked him up and bought him drinks and then...something about them- Blood-red lips, and jet-black eyes, and a forked tongue and then Patrick remembered nothing. He had lost consciousness without knowing why. Had he had that much to drink?
The room Patrick was in was almost completely black. It was cold and it smelled musty. Patrick didn't understand why he would be underground. "Hello?" Patrick croaked, and he pulled himself up from the ground - had he been sleeping on the ground all night? - and he headed towards the one source of light in the room. A thin slice of illumination, emanating from under what Patrick assumed was a door.
Thank god. Patrick was beginning to have memories of urban legends and bad horror movies where someone wakes up in a dark room, one vital organ down. He was terribly thirsty, kind of hungry, and he needed a piss. Patrick reached out and he tried the doorknob.
It was locked.
Patrick blinked in the dim light, and then he tried to door handle again. Still locked. Starting to panic, Patrick pounded on the door and he yelled out another, "HELLO!?" but the only response was his voice echoing out of the room and down the corridor he couldn't reach.
Patrick backed away from the door in horror, along the wall, and he tripped over something in his way. He landed hard on his backside and he let out a loud yelp. Rolling to the side, Patrick saw in the shaft of light, that he had tripped over a bucket.
Terror finally coiled it's way into Patrick's heart and Patrick couldn't help it. His body rebelled in absolute fear and Patrick voided whatever happened to be in his stomach, all over the floor in front of him while he knelt on the stone floor and tried to hold his shaking body together by wrapping his arms around himself. Oh god, he was going to die.
He was in someone's basement. He was locked in. There was a bucket on the floor, and he suddenly had no illusions as to what that was for. And, suddenly, he realised he didn't want to die. He didn't want to die like this. Not at all.
"Oh god," Patrick gasped, his hand over his mouth. "Oh god!" It couldn't be a Halloween prank by his friends. Patrick didn't have any friends left. "Oh, shit fuck, this isn't happening."
Pulling himself up, tired, terrified, shaky and sore, he still ran for the door, pounding against it and screaming for someone to save him. He screamed until his throat felt like it had been set on fire, and he beat the door until he was battered, bruised and bleeding. No one came, and the door didn't give.
Patrick let out a sob and he slid to the ground, his back against the door. Maybe his captor - was it the two ladies from the pub? - returned, he could surprise them and run. He curled his fingers in his hair and he let out a panicked whimper before pulling his knees up tight against his chin. Quickly, Patrick reached down and felt his torso for surgery wounds or stitches, but found none. It would seem that he had all of his internal organs still. Wrapping his arms tightly around his legs as if to protect those organs, Patrick had a staring contest with the toppled bucket. He didn't want to use it. Somehow, pissing into a bucket made this entire horror movie, fuck fest real.
The situation grew more and more desperate. His bladder felt fit to burst and his entire abdomen ached.
Patrick gave in. He used the bucket.
Minutes dragged on and on, turning into hours. Patrick sat and shook. He thirsted and hungered and feared. His head felt like it was being torn apart. But nothing was as bad as the awareness that this was not a dream. This was real. This was happening to him. And if he wasn't left here to rot, then sooner or later, Freddy Kruger or Jason Voorhees or Michael Meyers was going to open the door and kill him in terrible ways and that would be the end of his pitiful and painful life.
This would happen to him. He would be one of the minority who actually ended up getting Texas chainsaw massacred. Life had seen fit to take his wife and children away. His beautiful girls and his best friend all gone. Why not this too?
Patrick sat, curled up in a ball of terror, a bucket full of his piss in the corner as far away from him as possible.
And then he heard footsteps.
Instead of staying where he was in order to have the element of surprise, his fight or flight response decided on flight instead. Patrick scrambled away from the door and when it opened, he was cowering in the opposite corner of the bucket, staring at the new person in fear.
It was not Freddy Kreuger or any of the others. It was a figure clad all in a black robe, but even from where he was cowering, Patrick could tell it was a woman. The black robe couldn't conceal her epic tits completely. She was wearing a mask, however. That wasn't a good sign. Maybe instead of being Texas chainsaw massacred, he was about to get...whatever happened to people in Species. "Please-" Patrick whimpered, his hands out in front of his body.
The woman flicked a light switch outside the door and the room lit up. The light hurt Patrick's eyes and he squinted away from it, even while he was glad for it. The light made it seem less like a horror movie and more like some mistake had been made here and someone was going to rectify it.
So why the hood?
"Please, I...I have no idea what's going on here-"
"Patrick Finnegan, you are going to be brought before a tribunal-"
"A tribunal!?" Patrick squeaked. "What on Earth-"
"-you have been accused of the sin of sloth and gluttony-"
"SIN?!" Patrick yelled, and his dry throat rebelled and he coughed several times, painfully.
"-the tribunal will decide whether you are to be punished as a heretic and purified for your sins-"
"My-" Patrick stared at the woman, and now he was starting to believe that maybe he was dreaming. Because serial killers made sense. Tribunals and sins and heretics did not.
Before he had another chance to protest, two other hooded figures entered the room and they each grabbed one of his arms. Patrick tried to struggle, but he had never really been one to fight. And if he did, he was never one to win. He was dragged, kicking and screaming the entire way, down a dark and twisty corridor. They reached stone stairs and Patrick was forced to climb them more quickly than his tired and uncooperative feet could go. He tripped and was basically carried up the stairs and into a larger room, still made of stone.
A table stretched out in front of him, and Patrick was set down hard in a chair facing them. He was then strapped in, and it was only through sheer willpower and the grace of having utilised that dratted bucket that Patrick didn't piss himself in fear. Four hooded black figures faced him. The two who had dragged him up stood on either side. And then the woman from his room joined them at the table, setting directly to the right of the middle.
"You are going to be asked questions and if you do not answer, the use of force may become necessary." From the terrified squeak Patrick made, it was obvious that force would not be necessary. "Is your name Patrick Seamus Finnegan?" A dark, masculine voice echoed from the table and it was hard to tell which figure it belonged to. They all sat stock still, and it was terrifying.
Patrick tried to speak, but his voice wavered and he feared it was lost. Eventually he nodded a terrified and quick nod.
"The husband of the late Mairead Finnegan?"
Patrick's eyes narrowed and there, hearing his wife's name spoken by these black-robed freaks, he found his tongue. "Yes. What is this?!"
"You have been charged with the sin of overindulgence. You do nothing with your life but drink alcohol-"
"I...I'm grieving for my family!" Patrick insisted. He had been grieving a rather long time but he had lost them all. All at once. All three of his girls. If he didn't drink, the black hole of their loss would swallow him up completely. "Who are you?!" This really couldn't be some prank. He didn't have friends who cared that he was binging. He had been fired so his bosses didn't care. And his family was politely staying out of it. This wasn't an intervention, this was an interrogation.
"You have sinned against the church and against God-"
"FUCK GOD!" Patrick screamed in a panic, and immediately he realised it wasn't the right thing to do. The room grew so silent, he could hear his own heartbeat. It was speeding up and showing no signs of stopping. "I...I just mean that He took my family-" Oh god, he had been kidnapped by a cult of Jesus freaks.
"Blasphemy will be added to your list of sins," the woman said. "Do you deny you are an alcoholic?"
"Do you deny you do nothing with your life beyond drinking?"
"I- ...no." Maybe cooperation was what they wanted. Maybe if he just answered their questions he could go home. Cults were terrifying. He knew now he would just have to do whatever they told him in order to survive. At least Jesus freaks probably wouldn't kill him since murder was against God's law.
"And we have all witnessed your blasphemy. Your sins are straightforward and your honesty will be taken into account. Patrick Seamus Finnegan, it is the ruling of this council that you are a heretic, guilty of the sins of gluttony, sloth and blasphemy. These are deadly sins and an affront to our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ. You will be punished and purified accordingly and at the end of your time here, you will emerge an enlightened person with the love of God within you."
"Your purification will begin tomorrow. For the time being, I suggest you rest, and pray." The woman rose from her spot and she signalled the two men who stood on either side of Patrick. They removed his restraints and he was carried out of the room and back down the hall where he was once again placed in his room. When the men let him go, Patrick tried to struggled towards the door, but he was pushed back. "Wait please!" Patrick yelled, but they didn't even hesitate in leaving.
The door slammed shut behind him, but the light remained on. The bucket was still in the room and it had been emptied. Patrick had now been given a cot, which looked very uncomfortable, though it would be better than the floor. A thin blanket, which Patrick immediately wrapped around himself. On the cot was a paper plate with a single bread roll resting on it. A Bible and what looked like a spiritual work book lay beside the plate, and a carafe of water rested beside his bed.
Quickly, Patrick downed some of the water and he ate the bread roll. He felt a little more human, if that was at all possible in this situation. Was this supposed to be like...extreme rehab? The entire situation was surreal, and Patrick was still scared, but he had survived this far without being harmed. He had been fed and he had water. He was stuck here. No one would miss him. He might as well go with it so he could get out of the cult's clutches. He didn't want to be the guy who just disappeared one day. He was going to do what the cult said, and cooperate with their spiritual journey. They were going to make him meditate, he just knew it. And when he got out of here for good behaviour, he would tell every single reporter the world over exactly where these lunatics were.
He just had to obey. He just had to pretend. He just had to get through this.
"Oh, sweet Jesus. Calm down, Patrick... You can do this."
Patrick took a seat on his cot and he opened the work book to a blank page. He had been given a piece of red chalk and with it, he started to write music. He didn't have a piano here, but he could write down the notes he heard in his head anyway. If they found the notes and asked, he could say God sent him the melodies. But he had to do something to keep sane.
So Patrick wrote and he wrote, and the bucket sat in the corner and it mocked him with the reality of his position until finally he fell asleep under the thin blanket, his head on the Bible, and his cheek resting on the red piece of chalk, discolouring his skin.