The Gates of Hell were open…

The Horrors Unleashed

I woke up in the midst of a war. The world was a dark, nasty place; where all the evil, conniving men got their way. I was sent to liberate a group of women trapped in a prison and forced to do an act every night. Displaying their bodies in revealing dress – not naked, no, never naked, but revealing and tempting attire.

In theory it was an easy in and out job. All I had I to do was infiltrate the prison, release the women and exit the compound. Little did I know that the gates of Hell itself would open that day…

I got into the prison pretending to be a boxing promoter. I promised to line up a big fight inside the prison, along with the dancing girls. The Crook in charge could not resist the temptation, a big money fight, exactly what the decadent city craved and lapped up.

“Come, meet the girls,” he said with a disgusting smile, which revealed his rotten, perverted personality inside.

I nodded and followed. He introduced a group of ten women, all subdued and forced into submission.

“What an extravagantly exquisite bunch. I almost want to escape with them,” I said grinning. In theory, the intelligence officers had passed on the message and they knew that was the code word.

“That can always be arranged,” one of the women said in an enticing voice, “for a price.”

So far so good. I had infiltrated and the targets had received the message. I only had to wait until the appointed time.

As the afternoon waned I set about releasing the women. They gathered around me without a fuss, and followed silently. When we got to the main gate, where we would rendezvous with the escape team the Crook appeared.

He smiled wickedly. Then he spoke, and his words sent a chill up my spine.

“You leave me no choice, but to release my beasties.” Then he laughed. The sky turned a dark orange, the omen before a massive storm. A dark, swirling maelstrom opened up in the sky, and the screech of terror unleashed came through it.

“Gold team, with group 1, go! Red team, group 2. Blue team, group 3, on me, GO GO GO!” I barked my orders at the top of my voice. Splitting up was a plan of last resort, but necessary. It would ensure that at least some would escape.

I ran through the gate and went for the bus stop. The guards swarmed my group and separated them from me. I dove under the bench and started firing, aiming at the guards. The Crook vanished.

Then the terror came. Howling dogs at first. Feral and clearly from the netherworld. They did not notice me and went straight for the Blue team with group 3. I kept my position and continued a steady stream of fire, at the dogs, at the guards. Soon the Blue team joined me. We had gained the position.

We scouted ahead, and noticed that there was no escape down the planned route. A dark mass had enveloped that part of the world. We took a side route, towards the shopping centre.

Gold team was already there, holding the position. Red team was coming up from below. We were all facing heavy fire, and the dark mass was getting closer. The feral dogs were wreaking havoc amongst my men in the Red team. We had to shore up their defences.

“Double time, go. Never mind shooting for now, just run as fast as your feet take you. Bolster Red team’s position. GO” I yelled.

In the melee that ensued we reached the shopping centre, all the women made it inside along with a handful of men and myself.

“Right, let’s take up positions, we can hold this as a fort.”

As soon as I had said so, my heart fell. The dark mass had arrive. Wailing banshees, hags, demons, possessed spirits, fallen angels and all the creatures of Hell itself had been unleashed upon us.

I took up my sword, blessed by the Holy Father himself at the heart of the Vatican, the only weapon we had which could vanquish them. The gunfire would slow them down, but not stop them.

“Ladies, go towards the cinemas, there’s a secret escape route that way.”

The remainder of Gold, Red and Blue team, stationed outside, opened fire. The screams of terror and anguish penetrated the air. The storm came. Thunder lit up the sky. Dark clouds swallowed the sun, rain came pelting down, sharp as razor blades.

We ran for the cinemas. Inside the projection room there was a hatch, down which we could escape towards a safer position. Could we perhaps outrun the Evil?

The glass burst, and the banshees came inside. I swung my blade left and right, cutting them down. Gunfire and grenades flew at them. Slowly but surely, we made our way towards the cinemas.

“Quick, inside the screening room. Unhook the popcorn machine and go through the hole left in the floor.”

The women went first, soon they were all gone. I was swinging and thrusting, keeping our position safe. Then the growls came. The demons had joined the party.

I gulped down. We were exhausted, we would not be able to keep up this frantic pace all night. I had to do something and do it quick. I looked at Ava, the leader of the women, who stood resolutely at my side with a gun, making sure her companions had escaped.

She nodded. It was desperate, but our only choice. We drew the demons towards us, all the time stepping sideways. Then we ran for it, in the opposite direction. We ran towards the great crystal wall. Ava shot it down and we jumped into the fountains below. We fell into the water and swam for the mirror plated bottom.

The demons followed. And then. And then something miraculous happened. A burst of light shone through from the mirror and the demons fell. They were defeated by them. We went up for air, and as we gulped it in, the demons lay writhing in agony.

“Ava, snatch loose a mirror, and see if the power remains once it’s removed.”

We dove down again and swam up with two mirrors.

Their light shone and the demons fell. Soon we were surrounded, by corpses, and by their living friends who now wanted revenge as well…

Him, Her and the Voices

NOTE: The following is a play based partly on experience. It offers insight into the schizophrenic mind.

Act I Scene 1

[He storms into the room and slams the door.]

HIM [yelling at the top of his voice]It can’t be! Yet another time. For heaven’s sake, how can this be possible? [lowers his voice to normal volume] Why, why does this keep happening to me?

VOICE 1 Because, you bring it upon yourself. It’s your fault!

HIM [He shakes his head] No. It can’t be. It’s them, it’s all their fault, they do this to me. I just suffer. They are useless, hopeless, ignorant bastards. Always attacking me, always hurting me. I do nothing wrong. I can’t stand this any more.

VOICE 1 Then don’t. End it. Have the courage, go on, it’s easy.

HIM [looking scared] What do you mean? End them or end me?

VOICE 1 Yourself. It’s not worth carrying on, you know it, you said so yourself. Finish it. Go on, have some guts for once and kill yourself. Stop wallowing around in self pity and end your miserable life, what are you waiting for? What do you think is going to happen?

VOICE 2 Don’t listen to him. That will not solve anything. It is simply running away from the problem. You are stronger than that, face up to the trouble and it will get better.

HIM [with violence in his voice] When? When will it end? It keeps going on and on and on. I keep telling myself it will ge better, but it doesn’t, it won’t. They all hate me, and I hate them back. Nobody cares about me, and to be honest, if I did kill myself, who would even notice? Who would care? I don’t care any more about anything, maybe I should do it.

VOICE 1 [viciously] Look at yourself, you pathetic weasel. You can’t even kill yourself. You do nothing right. No wonder nobody likes you, no wonder nobody cares about you. You’re scum, you’re worthless and you deserve to die alone. Soon you will start crying no doubt. Always complaining, always somebody else’s fault. You’re just a poor little victim. Pathetic. Enough. At least have the decency to end your life.

VOICE 2 What would that solve? What is you want most? To be loved. Will you get love if you are dead? Either you take the religious approach, where you go to hell to eternal damnation and suffering, or you take the scientific approach, where you become dust. What happens then? Nothing. No love, in either of them. So, if you kill yourself, do you get what you want?

VOICE 3 There is another alternative. You could kill them. That would solve the problem, don’t you think? You can make them pay for what they have done to you. And, if it all goes wrong, just kill yourself to escape. You’re thinking about it anyway, so why not?

[He clutches his head in his hands and kneels down. Then shakes his head violently, repeating “no, no, no”]

HIM Go away! Leave me alone!

ALL THE VOICES We’re not going anywhere, we are here to stay.

HIM I can’t think properly. I..I…don’t know what to do.

VOICE 1 [simultaneously with Voice 2 and 3 below] Kill yourself.

VOICE 2 Stop, do nothing.

VOICE 3 Kill them.

HIM NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Enough. Please God, help me, deliver me!

[His face turns, bloodlust in his eyes]

HIM Perhaps I will. Enough is enough.

[He grabs a dagger from the table and takes it to his chest.]

VOICE 1 Do it! Come on, show some courage, end your life!

[He breathes in and out, inhaling and exhaling ever faster]

VOICE 1 C’mon, do it, you can end your life, just plunge the knife, one inch at a time, a little bit deeper with every breath and you will be done. Take the step into bliss, and freedom. Do it!

HIM No, I can’t. I don’t have the courage, I wish I did, but I don’t. [Throws the knife on the ground.] I’ll just carry on, until the end of time, miserable and alone. Crying into my own pillow, soothing myself to sleep…even if there is no point carrying on I will…

Scene 2

[A knock on the door. The door opens. She walks in.]

HER What’s going on? What’s wrong?

HIM I…I..help me.

HER Is it them again? The voices?

[A silent nod.]

HER Don’t worry, I’m here, I’ll help you, I’ll take care of you. Whatever they are saying, don’t listen to them. Remember! Don’t do anything they say, and come straight to me. Look for me, call me. I will be there for you. What happened, what’s wrong?

HIM I-I can’t. I don’t want to talk about it.

HER Please, tell me. Keeping quiet does not help, talking about it will. If you tell me, it will help you feel better, you will feel less alone. Don’t worry, I will always be here.

[She walks towards him. Him, still on his knees, leans in towards her. She kneels down and embraces him.]

HER There, hold on as tight as you wish. I am here, they can’t hurt you, I’ll protect you.

HIM I love you.

HER I love you too.

END

The Voice from Above

I find myself again in an old stone church. It is massive, with a large central dome and wings going out to each cardinal point. There must be ten thousand people inside. In one of the wings, where it half descends into a crypt, there are the tombs of the twelve Apostles and Jesus himself. It is very poorly lit, and some areas are bare, exposed rock. There are signs everywhere indicating not to touch and not to photograph.

As I walk around with Paula I see all the tourists ignoring the signs, touching and kissing the tombstones, taking selfies in front of them.

Suddenly, a thunderous voice is heard from above:

“Non-believers!” the voice roared.

At the same moment, a clap of thunder hits the giant glass dome of the church. The roof collapses. Shards of glass and stone rain down on the people. Screams fill the air as the terrified people run amok in a panic. Nobody is quite sure where the exit is, nobody is quite sure where the attack came from.

Most people are being targeted. The stones seem to have a specific direction, smashing people’s heads as the flee.

I hold Paula close and stand still. I then hear a voice inside of me. Calm yet commanding. “Come to me, walk towards the hill and you will be safe.”

I take Paula’s hand and calmly walk amidst the death and destruction. There are dead bodies everywhere. Terror etched in their faces. I see the exit, at the far end of the Church. It now resembles a war zone. The Church itself has collapsed. I can see the sky. It is dark with flashes of orange, as if lit by fire.

As we make our way towards the exit, slowly walking past the dead and dying people, the stone missiles smash the ground around us. We reach the exit and walk outside. Outside, simply because we are on the other side of the rubble.

I see the grassy hill and breathe in. Nearly there. I feel no fear, as the Voice sustains me from the inside. When we reach the hill, the meteor shower starts. The skies are waging war on the Earth.

We lay ourselves on the ground and I place myself on top of Paula to protect her.

The world around us ceases to exist.