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Inthrallis – Chapter 42

January 6, 2015

Inthrallis – Chapter 42

Moller had become an automaton. His hands were barely able to hold the cutters any longer, so he had to lean in close to try to use his arms and force his hands to maintain their grip.

By now he was imagining a line of people standing behind him in the dark, waiting for him to finish up, assuming all of this wasn’t for nothing. There was actually a handle on the inside, but of course it wouldn’t turn because Martin had locked its twin up on the outside of the door.

He had made some progress, but he didn’t even stop to think about that. He had peeled the metal down on one side about a foot, on the other nearly nine inches. As he peeled it down further, he found that he could tear the metal a further now and might have it where he needed it, access to the rods inside, if only his hands weren’t so sore and unresponsive.

He had already seen the top latch and there was only one. In theory, this meant there would only be one on the bottom as well. The sides would have one or two each, he wasn’t sure yet. He just needed to peel it open.

After his panic attack, and a second one later that instead had him going about the perimeter of the floor to see if there was a second way out–there wasn’t–he had slept again. His phone’s battery was so dead that he wasn’t able to see how much time he had spent sleeping off the exhaustion. He had no signal and didn’t have any idea who he would call if he did anyway.

He was too tired to panic now. Now there was only tugging and pulling and pain.

‘His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.’

“Not… helping…”

Moller yanked hard and peeled the metal down a little. This time, he didn’t let go and let the anger and frustration work for him. He pulled again and again.

Now he could look down and see the wheel with the light from his phone. He tried to memorize what it looked like, where everything was so as to preserve that last 9% of battery life.

If he could bend the rods enough, he might be able to get the top and the side opposite the hinges unsecured.

He slid the boltcutters between the top rod and outer face of the door and pulled as best he could. It didn’t seem to move at all and he let out a wailing sound that surprised and demoralized him. Then it made him angry.

“No! F— you!”

He slid the cutters in again. He imagined his arms were made of metal. He imagined he had a team of people pulling with him. He imagined the bar was made of plastic.

“F—… You…”

He pulled and was surprised when the cutters slipped out and he stumbled down the stairs several steps. He caught his balance though, and went back up and felt the bar.

He had bent it several inches. He felt at the top and could now feel the bolt at the end of the rod that had been embedded in in the top jamb. A little more and he’d have it out.

Moller repeated the process and banged on the top of the door.

A millisecond of sunlight.

His eyes saw ghostly orange from the sudden but brief burst of light. He saw strange shapes inside his eyelids as the sensation faded.

The problem now was that the the bar to the left was so far down below where he had managed to peel the door down, that he could not repeat the process without peeling the metal down at least two or three more feet.

Then he thought about the fact that that rod would be shorter, and therefore much more difficult to bend.

He stood there quietly. His face turned to granite. He glared at the door like a starved wolf and his face turned into a snarl.

He banged on the top left corner of the door. With the back peeled down, it wouldn’t be as sturdy.

After several heavy blows, the door was bent enough so that the light and a little air came in. He stuck his head up as high as he could and breathed. It was morning, he thought. Still some dew evaporating.

He let the light wash over his face with his eyes closed. Then he decided what he was going to do.

Moller began cutting the door at the top. He began cutting a hole at the top.

It would take a lot of time, but at least he knew he had a chance.

Moller had no idea how much time had passed since he started on making the hole. Bending the outside metal down, especially so far above his head, had been harder than he expected, but bend it he did.

He now had a hole big enough to stick his head out of and see it was getting to be afternoon or so. He imagined himself outside now, looking back at the door. He grabbed one of the thick vines and pulled on it. It didn’t hold his weight and he wound up pulling the whole thing inside and throwing it down the stairs.

The main problem remaining, besides being exhausted, dehydrated, and bordering on delerium, was the top rod was still partially in place. This meant, while he might be able to squeeze his girth through the vertical space of about a foot and a half, he only had about that much horizontally, to say nothing of being able to climb up and hoist his self out. The rod’s locking pin had to come out.

He banged on the side of the rod with the cutters but didn’t have enough room to hit it hard enough to pull the locking bolt out of its metal guide clamp.

He sighed heavily and started cutting at the guide clamp. The thinnest piece of metal left to escape seemed the weakest link after considering his own frail biology.

It was getting dark now and Moller was out of light to work with. He had, though, finally managed to shake the door and the rod to get it free at the top. Now, he just had to be able to squeeze through once he found the strength and means of climbing up and slipping out.

There only seemed one way to make the top landing higher. He re-secured the tattered rag, now streaked with his own blood mixed with sweat and oil. Then he walked down the stairs, said a prayer of some kind, the words of which he forgot as soon as he uttered them, and began carrying the first one he came to to the top of the stairs.

Moller’s first step up was cautious. He tried to push away the thought of what he was stepping on and to not concern himself with what decomposing distended bellies might do under his weight. It was now or never.

He leaned forward and gazed at the sky though the hole. He saw daylight coming again: A new morning.

He pushed his head through, grabbed on to some metal and pulled. He cursed as his hand started bleeding anew from whatever it was he grabbed but he refused to let go and squeezed harder like a death grip.

He was out to his waist and all that was left to do was fall onto the ground. He absently grabbed onto a vine, but it was too late. He landed face-first on the dirt.

He smelled blood in his nose and thought he might have given himself whiplash in the fall. He began to crawl away.

He only got eight feet away when he stopped, laid down, rolled over and stared at the sky. When he felt the first drop and that brought a weary smile.

As the deluge began to fall, he opened his mouth and drank in between bouts of laughing like a madman.

What, no rainbow?


From → Inthrallis, Novels

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