Britney vs. Bloodhound Gang – Unusual Uhn Tiss mash-up…
“It’s a trick,” Luke gasps, before I can open my mouth to protest. “They still want the information on the clockwork hand. He’s here to deal with Homer – or any alien squid-monster that pops out – if it looks like there’s any chance I can tell them what they want first.”
Carvery just grins.
“One possibility,” he agrees. “What do you think, Sarah?”
I pull ineffectually on the chain securing my arm behind the dirty sink.
“I think you’d jump at any chance to be the only armed man in a room with two restrained prisoners and an unconscious zombie,” I reply. “It’d give you the opportunity to live up to your name, Carvery Slaughter.”
“Could be, could be,” he nods, turning the page of the tiny diary. “Could be all of the above. Where did you get this copy of Mr. Dry Senior’s diary?”
“That was given to me to look after!” I hiss through gritted teeth, half-truthfully this time. “And you shouldn’t be reading it – as usual…”
“It’s all in code anyway,” he shrugs. “Code and little drawings. Like he was playing Draw My Thing online. On his own, in a little notebook. Or Hangman. Anyway, you missed one. I might be down here to defend Homer, in case you two manage to get loose.”
“Still sounds like a win-win for Carvery,” I grouch.
“Well, unless you’ve got anything on either of you that beats a chainsaw, it’s not exactly an evenly weighted contest, is it?” Carvery sighs, and sounds almost bored. “They could have let me down here unarmed and I’d still have the upper hand, no pun intended. I think they gave me the chainsaw just because they like a bit of theatrics. Plus it deters any onlookers considering a bit of treason after breakfast.”
Luke starts to twitch. It’s slight at first, but gradually becomes more spastic and uncontrolled. I wonder if he’s being bitten.
“Are you okay?” I gulp, wondering about the size of fleas or body-lice that might be encountered down here.
“Maybe he got the Ex-Lax treatment after all,” Carvery remarks. “You might want to turn your head away, in that case. And maybe tuck your feet in.”
“Let me out!” is all Luke screams. “It’s not what you think!”
“Maybe he’s got a Squidmorph too,” Carvery suggests. “Keep your legs crossed, Sarah. It might look for somewhere new to hide after getting flushed out prematurely…”
“Why are we chained up anyway?” I ask suddenly, as something occurs to me. “In a completely inaccessible underground room, beneath a glass floor in the public square above, with everyone watching? Surely there’d be no need to chain us up – unless it’s ‘torture by withholding use of nearby toilet’…”
Carvery looks down between his own legs at the offending piece of bathroom furniture, which he is currently employing as occasional seating in our stinking, subterranean tiled cell.
“Maybe there’s a way out, is what I’m saying,” I continue. “Maybe they’ve had people escape before.”
“Maybe it’s fear of whatever imaginary magic they think Luke himself is withholding,” Carvery replies, nodding towards the spasmodic Mr. Lukan. “He doesn’t look too happy now. I can picture them placing bets on something exploding out of him fairly shortly, laxative or no laxative.”
The worrying silence seems a bit more hollow for a moment, and I’m sure a sense a distant rumble. Like an earthquake.
“Did you feel that?” I ask. “I’m sure the Earth just moved.”
“Sarah, I’m nowhere near you,” Carvery grumbles. “Control yourself, for God’s sake.”
Before a retort comes to mind, there is another judder, closer this time. It has a mechanical edge to it.
And then a horrible fingernail-on-slate noise – and Homer’s metal bunk scrapes two inches inwards into the room.
“That wall just moved!” I exclaim.
The scraping sound is still echoing away as Carvery gets to his feet, crosses the cell, and crouches to inspect the floor under the steel bed.
“There are scratch marks here,” he reports, after a moment’s dark silence. I can see his eyes follow the direction of the scoring, across the width of the room. “It looks like it’s been moved before…”
“It’s their Joker,” Luke pants, rejoining the conversation from his current delirium.”Or their ace – whatever you want to call it. If the zombie fails – or the squid-monster – or the psychopath in the room – the room itself is the final device…”
“Ah,” Carvery muses. “And there was I, thinking that being stuck in a room with a hormone-riddled idiot necrophiliac was going to be the definition of Hell. And what an incredible smell you’ve discovered down here, Sarah? I can see that not improving, over the next hour or so…”
The distant rumble vibrates along the plumbing again.
“We have to do something!” I cry, trying to suppress some very real hysteria now creeping up on me. “And God – what’s wrong with him??”
Luke is shaking again, and suddenly lets out a stifled scream – this time with no words.
Carvery clicks his tongue disapprovingly.
“That’s what happens when you don’t breathe through the contractions, dude,” he warns. “Take your time, and let the suspect chocolate-flavoured medicine do the hard work for you…”
“I think he’s really sick!” I interrupt, but a new scraping sound joins in – this time a metallic, hurried skittering noise over the tiles. “Oh, no – what’s that now?!”
“Where?” Carvery asks, reaching for the chainsaw.
“Something’s running around on the floor…” I begin, and the noise increases in volume.
And then I scream in turn – as something hard and unyielding snaps around my ankle like a clamp!
“It’s got me! It’s got me!” I shriek, kicking out at first, not brave enough to reach down with my free hand – not wanting to risk losing that as well.
“Great!” Carvery enthuses, cheerfully. “Which bit of you do you want cut off?”
But it doesn’t feel like a Squidmorph tentacle. Not this time. Homer is still supine on the metal bunk. Luke is shuddering on the end of his manacles, his violent spasms now reduced to a trembling shiver, as if from non-existent cold.
The Thing seems to latch itself shut around my right leg.
“I can’t see what it is,” I moan.
“Pull your trouser-leg up, Dumbass,” Carvery says, leaning down to look – chainsaw at the ready.
Shaking in fear, I tweak the sweat-drenched fabric up a little. And something glitters…
“Cover it up,” Carvery snaps. “Quick. Before they see it.”
“Why?” I squeal, dropping the fabric from my fingertips at once. “What is it?”
“Well, it’s not an electronic tag,” he grins, tapping his own ankle in indication and winking. “Looks like Luke was hiding the clockwork hand on him all along.”
“Like I said,” Luke manages to whisper. “It doesn’t belong – to anyone. It chooses you.”
What? What does he mean?
“It’s chosen you, Sarah,” he adds, rolling his bloodshot eyes towards me.
“Maybe it knows you were meant to be looking after it.” Carvery squints up at the glass ceiling. “I wonder if Crispin guessed that too, and threw you in here for that reason?”
“I was planted in here?” I conclude, shocked. “To get the clockwork hand back?”
The metal bunk scrapes further inwards on the tiled floor, with another mechanical groan. Homer stirs flatulently and mutters again, in his convalescent slumber.
There is a sudden whiff of battery acid in the fetid air…
“I don’t think they’re going to let us off that easily,” Carvery grins.
Fermat’s Room, trailer – Enjoy 🙂
More mindless mayhem: The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum
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