Tommy’s eyes were blind in the dark, his hands were tied, but his sense of smell was unbound and cataloging his surroundings at frantic animal speed. What was most pronounced was his own sweat, his damp dirty shirt slogged against his chest as it heaved in the dry air of the underground. He wafted the thunderous smell of shit; he was sitting in a heap of his own making, and stirred in another desperate attempt to free himself. Behind him a face pruned from deep scar tissue made its impression of a smile.
Tommy’s breathing hitched and rattled loudly in his ears, he wondered briefly if it was the acoustics of the underground tomb or his own pitched fright. He tried desperately to turn his head to see his assailant as the creature, the shape of a man thing, adjusted something behind him. He heard the click of metal, of lubed joints sliding against a frictionless surface, the tiny hiss of hydraulics as a tripod was extended. A terrifying, single thought exploded in his mind, drowning out all others. He’s going to torture me, and film it. He’s going to make a snuff movie out of me.
Tommy could feel his eyes bulge in their sockets, veins popping by the dozen, as a fresh stream of tears rushed down his cheek, clearing a little clean path through the muck and dirt that had stuck to his face. A whimper escaped from the bloody gag stuffed in his mouth. In return he heard a dry rasp of a sand paper laugh from behind him, from the creature, from the thing that took him to his foul place. Tommy had already resigned himself to think of it as his grave. He was old enough to understand the sad story the news told each evening when someone disappeared, even if his mornings were still full of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
The creature worked diligently in the dark; it needed little light to see, and even less to feel his way around. Tommy briefly heard thin plastic flapping like bat wings, a series of switches flipped with clicks, something fitted snuggly in a metal carriage as a metallic clasp rang out in the dust choked air. His abductor grunted in satisfaction, a harsh toneless sound that gave Tommy goose flesh.
Suddenly the room filled with the deafening roar of an ancient projector firing up, hot angry light spilling from its front lens, a thousand tiny gears spun and sputtered as cross hairs painted the screen in front of Tommy. He felt like they were pointed at him. A quick count down backwards from 10 ran on the screen. Tommy could feel his sanity slip away in the dark with each count. 10…9….8…7…the anticipation was too great, his mind under too much restraint. He prayed to fall suddenly unconscious. Oh to drift into slumber only to awake in his own bed, another bad nightmare exorcised in the safety of his bunk bed. Anything to escape whatever came next. The axe was falling and he didn’t want to see it. God help him he couldn’t stand to see it…
And then, with his captor so close to him he could feel his foul hot breath on the back on his neck, the hair standing tall, quivering in the breeze of that rancid mouth; he hears a rumbling whisper so faint it could hardly be heard under the roar of the antique film projector “Let the show begin…”