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Another earth shattering knock emanated from the door.
The fourth knock was more of an aggressive bang that desperately wanted to break down the door. From then, a hail storm of bangs assaulted the door as it shook enough to cause an icy ball to form in my stomach.
“What the hell?” Patrick muttered under his breath.
Phylis walked away from her corner and stood next to my bed. Whatever or whomever was on the other side of the door was now in their multitudes. The loud knocking began to spread. The walls, the windows, the ceiling and ground all begin to convulse as multiple bangs came from all angles of my room.
It was so strange how I couldn’t see anyone at the window but I could definitely hear and see the glass tremble from being pounded aggressively. The light began to wildly flicker again.
I jumped back onto my bed cradling my crucifix and revolver I took from Officer Richards’ remains. I kept the Colt trained at the door because I had a feeling that is where the main danger was going to come from.
Patrick, who I had never really seen freaked out, had his eyes darting around the room probably thinking of what to do.
“Okay listen up,” he finally said. “I still have a little bit of holy water left. I will pour some on the door. You two pick up all this confetti and place it on the windows and walls. Understand?!” He had to scream all those instructions because the knocking all around us had reached ear bursting volumes.
Phylis and I set out on the task we were given while Patrick sprinkled holy water on the door that seemed not to have long before it breaks down.
When we were done, I shouted, “Are you sure this is going to work?!”
“It has to! If it doesn’t we are royally screwed!” Patrick loudly replied.
To all of our relief, the knocking stopped. Besides the noise of the still flickering florescent light, nothing else made a sound. Somehow that made me more terrified than before.
We all briefly looked at each other wondering what to do next. I realized Patrick was about to say something but another sound interrupted him. Heavy thuds like someone running on metal resonated from the air vents. It sounded like overweight raccoons were playing a game of tag in the vents. The sound was getting louder which meant whatever was moving in the vents was heading our way. But as abruptly as the noise started, it stopped.
“What kind of rats do you have at this place?” I asked Phylis.
“Those are not rats,” Patrick replied. “And if they are, they are not normal rats.” He looked at both air vent barriers in the room. “Not even a baby can fit in there. So whatever is in there probably won’t be able to get out judging by how small those air vents are.”
“Uhm guys? Who put that statue there?” Phylis asked pointing at the corner where she had been standing earlier.
Patrick and I looked in the direction where her hand was pointing. I felt icicles scrape their way down my spine with what I saw.
Standing in the corner of the room was a large statue of a woman with her head hang down and her hands pressed together like she was in prayer. It was the typical Mary Magdalene statue that most Roman Catholic churches have. The statue was quite tall, about eight feet high with its head almost reaching the ceiling.
“Where did that come from?” Patrick asked looking at me.
I shrugged, “don’t look at me. I didn’t put it there.”
“It’s crying!” Phylis exclaimed.
I looked back at the statue and saw a liquid was dripping out from one of its eyes. Both eyes soon began exuding black slime to the floor until a puddle formed around its feet. Black cracks started sprawling all over the statue as it shook like a boiling pot. All of a sudden the statue exploded sending several fragments of stones and dust flying all over the room.
I was trounced by a rather large stone on my forehead and I fell back on my bed. I placed a hand on the spot I was hit and felt a lump already forming. I sat up only to realize Patrick and Phylis had also been assaulted by flying debris from the statue and both of them had fallen.
Patrick was getting up and groaning in pain. I heard Phylis whimper as she also slowly stood up.
I heard another groan coming from Max who was finally waking up. He stood up and looked at his wrists that were now both free of cuffs. “What did I miss?” he asked as he looked around.
He didn’t wait for a reply as his eyes focused on the corner where the statue was and he screamed. “What the f**k is that?!”
I looked back at the corner and was instantly filled with horror. Doctor Davidson was standing at the exact spot the statue had been. His height was the same as that of the statue. There was something disproportionate and very wrong about his body. His very long legs seemed to have extra bones which appeared to be what was giving him such an unbelievable height. His waist was curved to the right while his knees were bending to the left. He was thinner than the last time I saw him. His chest was popped forward whilst his stomach was crooked backwards.
His white coat and scrubs were soaked with black slime. His previously handsome face was now replaced by a hideously swollen head with several depressions and bumps all over. It was like his face was reacting to an allergy. His mouth hung open as a mixture of saliva and slime drooled to the floor.
He floundered forward with the gait of a typical zombie. His bones made loud snapping sounds as he moved. Due to his height, his head knocked on the still flickering florescent Iight. The light went out leaving us in darkness with this creature.
I could hear the doctor’s heavy footsteps stomping towards my bed. His crepitating bones were very loud as he toddled in my direction.
I heard Patrick scream and then the sound of something or someone hitting the wall with a loud thud. Thankfully, Phylis took out her phone and illuminated the room with a torch.
Doctor Davidson was standing right in front of her. She screamed before the doctor pushed her against the wall. Phylis flew into the wall and dropped her phone to ground. The phone fell in a such a way that the torch was still able to light up the room. I saw the doctor climb up on my bed and crawl towards me on all four.
One bullet right in between the eyes was enough to make the doctor fly off my bed and slam into the door. He banged his spindly arms to the ground and heaved up to his feet. This time he jogged towards my bed. He was crouching to avoid hitting the florescent light again.
I shot four more bullets and although they impeded him, they didn’t stop him. He hopped on top of my bed and lifted one of his arms for a strike. I then heard a swooshing sound. The doctor and I turned towards the source of the noise. Patrick was spinning his sword like karate chop sticks. Waves of water were distilling from the spinning sword and raining on the doctor. He screamed and jumped off my bed. I thought he was going to attack Patrick but he didn’t. He ran back to his corner and cowered on the floor.
Patrick kept sending water waves to the winced doctor. Doctor Davidson screamed as the sounds of crackling bones echoed from his body. White flames eventually lit up in his eyes and he passed out. I noticed his fallen body had turned back to normal. He no longer looked like an anorexic ogre with physical disabilities as he lay in a puddle of black slime.
“What the f**k was that?” Max screamed as he stood up from below my bed where he was hiding. “What is this black slime all over the place?! Oh my God whose bones are those? Is-is that the police man?!”
“You need to calm down, man,” Patrick said.
“Don’t tell me to calm down! All this is crazy! Did you guys give me some kind of drug? Damn it, I need a cigarette,” Max said as he marched towards the door.
Patrick grabbed his arm and said, “Don’t open that damn door.”
“Get your hands off me, pal!”
“He is right. Don’t open the door,” Phylis begged as she stood up with her phone in hand.
“I don’t take orders from you,” Max said as he pulled his hand away from Patrick.
When he reached the door, there was yet another foot stomping sound coming from the vents. This time it was louder and definitely closer. The small barrier of one of the air vents was popped off and a thin black hand shot out and gripped a full chuck of Max’s hair. The hand pulled him towards the vent.
Max screamed in terror as his head was forced into the vent. Patrick tried to hold on to Max’s body but whatever was pulling from the other side had incomprehensible power. The sound of cracking bones reverberated in the room as Max’s body was pulled into the tiny vent. Even when his whole body had been sucked in, Max continued screaming until we heard a crunching sound and scads of blood poured out from the air vent.
Silence ensued in the room and from the air vents. The silence was soon broken by Phylis’ sobbing. She sat on my bed as she cried. “We are all going to die,” she sniveled.
“Don’t worry, everything will be alright,” Patrick said.
Frankly I was quite shocked he said that. He had never seemed like the compassionate type to me. Even at work he always exhibited a GI JOE persona that doesn’t openly show any feelings. I was beginning to think he liked Phylis.
“How can you possibly know that? Two people have already been killed and we are stuck here being hunted by whatever is in those vents and outside this room,” Phylis cried out.
“I know it looks rough for now but trust me, I have been in these situations a lot of times. Most of those times I always made it out with at least one survivor and in this case you are that person,” Patrick replied.
“Uhm what about me?”
“Stanford, you are definitely going to die. If this demon doesn’t get you and you miraculously manage to survive this, I am still going to kill you.”
“Seriously? You are still mad at me?”
“Damn right I am. Nothing would ever make me forgive you for what you did.”
“What did you do?” Phylis asked me.
Gun fire interrupted me before I could reply. Two loud bangs of probably a pistol came from outside the door. I heard footsteps running towards the door. A rapid rapping on the door then followed.
“Stanford? Are you in there? Please let me in!” a female voice called out.
I had spent a lot of time around her to know her voice by now.
“Rebecca?” I shouted and jumped off my bed.
Patrick and Phylis blocked my way before I ran for the door.
“We both know that’s not her,” Patrick said.
Two more gun shots erupted from the other side of the door.
“Hurry up Stan. Open the door, I am running out of ammo,” the voice said.
“Don’t be a fool. That is not Rebecca and you know it. Don’t give me another reason to hate you,” Patrick said.
Rebecca kept knocking and begging me to open the door. I had already let her down before and I felt like crap for doing it. If it was really her on the other side and I am letting her down again, there would be no room for amending our relationship after this. I tried running for the door but Patrick grabbed me and threw me onto my bed.
“Will I have to put handcuffs on you?”
“It could be her,” I responded.
“Trust me, it’s not,” Patrick said.
There was a loud smack on the door and it nearly came off its hinges. It was as if someone had hit the door with a bolder. A voice then spoke up and it definitely was not Rebecca’s or at least one I had ever heard her use.
“How long do you think you can keep this up?” a robotic bass boomed from the other side of the door.
Patrick looked at me with an ‘I told you so’ look. That look quickly changed to one of horror as I realized the skeletal hand from the vents had stretched out and grabbed his hair. It pulled Patrick’s head to the air vent and he dropped his sword.
Phylis screamed as there was another bang on the door and this time a hole had appeared in the center. A black arm was sticking into the room.
I grabbed my revolver, ran to the air vent, managed to squeeze the gun next to Patrick’s head and fired two bullets. There was a guttural shriek from within and Patrick was free.
Maybe Patrick’s somewhat comforting words had motivated her because Phylis dropped her phone on my bed, picked up Patrick’s sword and jabbed the ebony hand sticking into the room from the door. There was a shrill from the other side of the door and the hand retreated. We could all hear deep breathing coming from outside the door.
There was another bang on the door and a voice spoke up. This time it was softer and very familiar to me, Bathym obviously. “Is that how you want to play it, dear? Okay. I warned you of the consequences of this. Here is something to let you know I am very serious.”
Something flew in through the hole on the door and it landed right in the puddle of vomit and slime on the floor. Phylis took her phone and shined on the object. It was a hand. A human hand. It was thin and slightly hairy. The middle finger had a golden ring embossed with a capital J. That was what made me know whose hand it was. The hand’s long dirty finger nails made me more certain that the hand belonged to none other than Joseph. My stomach felt like it was being constricted with barbed wire as I stared at the hand in disbelief.
“He doesn’t have a lot of time. If you would just let me in your body, I can-”
Patrick didn’t let the demon finish because he snatched his sword from Phylis and stuck it through the door hole. From the screams the demon made, it was obvious Patrick hit his mark. We heard footsteps scurry away from the door as the demon cursed at us.
“Whose hand is that?” Phylis asked.
“Joseph,” I dryly replied.
“Is he a friend of yours?”
“Yes, Phylis. Yes he is.” I think that is what I said to her but I am not sure because at the time my mind was racing. I was thinking of what Bathym had done or will do to Joseph and Rebecca.
Patrick got my full attention when he said, “thanks for saving me from whatever was in those vents.”
“Does that mean you no longer what to kill me?”
“Of course I do. If you survive all this s**t, I may let you live for a week or two.”
“How come all of sudden it’s so windy outside?” Phylis asked staring out one of the windows.
There was just enough moonlight for me to notice that the wind had really picked up. In fact it gained momentum to the point of uprooting trees. Well, actually one tree. A tall pine tree which was just outside my room had become airborne. It twirled around in mid air for a while and then assailed towards us.
“Get down!” Patrick screamed.
Almost immediately one of the windows was smashed open as the tree planted itself in my room. Its long trunk went on to burst open the door. Its branches and leaves were scattered everywhere.
Patrick, Phylis and I had hid under the bed for cover. When we stood up, we became aware of the roses snaking in through the window. The roses’ petals were black and their long stems had a familiar red. About twenty or thirty of these roses were gliding in to my room accompanied by a vomit inducing rotten smell.
Phylis’ light managed to show us that the confetti we had placed on the windows had been dispersed by the tree’s branches and leaves.
“We have to get out of here!” Patrick screamed as he slashed at one of the roses.
I took my revolver and crucifix as we back out of the room. I fired at the petals of three of the roses and they dissolved to black slime.
In the hospital hallway, it was worse. More roses covered the walls and ceiling. As he actively swung his sword, Patrick ordered us to move towards the right side of the hallway where there seemed to be less congestion of the demonic plants.
But as he gave the order, a rose snaked down from the ceiling and coiled around Phylis’ neck. She was pulled up to the ceiling as several roses’ stabbed her skin with their petals and covered her body with their stems. Her phone dropped to the floor but the torch still shined in the murky hallway.
Patrick screamed and wanted to go after her but I pulled him away. I dragged him to the far right side of the corridor and realized all the roses had began gliding to my room. Even Phylis’ body which was now mummified by the roses was floated back to my room.
“What is happening?” Patrick asked.
“Doesn’t matter, we need to get out of here and find Joseph and Rebecca,” I said.
“You won’t find them, dear,” came a voice from down the hallway. Phylis walked out of my room with her skin now completely black. Bathym’s symbol was imprinted in red in front of her eyes.
“Get out of her!” Patrick screamed.
“Sure, as soon as Stanford allows me back into his body. Wait a minute, how did you survive my demon tracker Holocaust?”
“I am tough to kill,” Patrick replied.
The demon laughed, “We will see.” Bathym stretched his hands and dark clouds began forming on the hallway ceiling. Red volts of electricity flashed from inside the clouds and were followed by roaring thunder. In less than twenty seconds the ceiling of the whole hallway was mantled with dark clouds. I felt my blood itch with trepidation.
With a trembling hand I fired a bullet at the demon. The bullet hit his shoulder but he hardly flinched. A bolt of lightning struck me from the clouds and I was fried by a strong electrical current and I fell to the floor. I was in so much pain, I have no idea what happened to Patrick but I heard him scream immediately after I fell.
“I tried being nice, dear. I really did. But it seems this is the only language you understand,” Bathym said.
I was shaking on the floor for several seconds after being tasered by the red electrical bolt. My vision was hazy but I managed to see Bathym walk up to me.
“We were so close to finishing our goal. Just a few more demons out and your brother will be free in no time.”
I saw an arrow land on the floor right in front of the demon. The arrow’s vanes sprinkled out water that made the demon scream in pain and step back. Four more arrows landed on the floor around demon and they all watered out a liquid that brought the demon great discomfort.
Rebecca came into view as she raced towards the screaming demon with two pistols firing wildly at him. With steam emanating from all over his body, Bathym managed to kick away the arrows around him and smacked the pistols out of Rebecca’s hands. He grabbed her by the throat and lifted her in the air.
“You are supposed to be dead, dear. I need to find better help. Anyway, I think its best you die in front of your boyfriend.”
I desperately wanted to get up and help Rebecca but my body just couldn’t move. I was numb with pain as I watched Rebecca’s body struggle under the grip of the demon. Tears were already spilling out of my eyes as I anticipated what was to come next. I could feel my heart cracking with pain for being helpless to save Rebecca.
A white light instantly beamed from behind Bathym and he screamed. There was a bright explosion and I closed my eyes in case they were to be burnt from the glow. When I opened them again, Rebecca had fallen to the floor and was coughing while holding her neck.
Phylis was also lying on the floor a few feet from Rebecca but her body was no longer black. Standing close to Phylis was the maid looking lady. She was holding a silver vase ornamented with black markings I couldn’t quite make out. She put down the vase and picked up a black laptop. She opened it.
I was finally able to take control of my body and I sat up. I saw Patrick also rising from a cracked wall on my left.
I looked at the laptop screen held by the maid lady. Seated in front of violent flames was none other than Budsturga.
The demon’s voice was elegant as ever but it brought winter to my stomach when she said. “That’s now two favors you owe me.”