- Age / Gender:
- 23, Male
- Location not disclosed
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Level 12 Blank Slate
Ranked as Civilian
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Darkness. Then, light comes streaming into his vision as Christopher Hillard opens his eyes. A groan escapes his lips as he pushes himself up to a sitting position. The first thing he sees is water. A great expanse of ocean stretches out before him. Christopher, his eyes focusing in the harsh sunlight, looks around. Sand. A few dozen tropical trees. And water. An island. Slack-jawed, Christopher got up slowly, the pain of lying prone for what felt like years coming back all at once. How the hell did I end up here? Christopher thought to himself as he looked out at the seemingly endless ocean. Searching his mind, Christopher tries to remember how he got here. No matter how hard he tries, he can't remember a thing. Aside from his own name, nothing else comes to mind. Suddenly, his throat tightened and he let a dry, rasping cough. So thirsty... I gotta get something to drink, Christopher thinks as he turns his head to see if anything presented itself as a potential thirst quencher. Nothing. Just sand and trees. His throat tightens again and another painful cough forces its way out. "Well, this is just great," Christopher croaks as he massages his throat, "alone on some god-forsaken island with no water!" He moves himself into the shade of the trees to avoid the blistering heat. Best to just sleep it out, Christopher thinks as he reclines against a palm tree, his eyes closing...
"No, please!" the woman sobs, pressing herself against the side of the crib where the baby wails. A powerful male voice booms, "That's right, you fuckin' slut. Beg! Beg for your worthless life!" The woman can only sob brokenly as the baby's wails intensify."What have I ever done to you?" the woman gasps out. "I gave you everything!" shouts the voice, "and you repay me by fucking my boss? And having his kid!?!" The woman, wild-eyed and shaking, sobs, "No! I've done no such thing! I have been fai-"The voice drops to a growl,"I should kill you and that bastard child" A gun is cocked and raised into view. The woman screams, "NO! No! Please... kill... kill me, but... leave the baby alone! Please... show him mercy..." "Mercy? MERCY!?" the voice roars. The baby cries louder as the woman breaks down into tears again. She looks up and, in a pitiful voice, moans, "He's your son... please..." The voice booms, "You lying WHORE!" as the gun goes off with an ear-splitting bang. Blood and brain matter splatter across the side of the crib. The woman flops down on the floor like a marionette with its strings cut as the infant lying within the crib screams louder...
Christopher bolts awake, beads of sweat dripping down his fevered brow. That dream, his mind races, it was so real... and that woman...she was so... familiar to me. Still shaken from his horrific vision, Christopher stumbles to the shoreline. He scoops up seawater to splash in his face and awakens more fully. As the last few beads of saltwater run down his unshaven face, Christopher stares seaward. He hated the sea, ever since that time he almost drowned when he was just six, and made every effort to avoid it. Wait... Christopher thought, I remember that, but nothing else? The last few drops of seawater ran over his lips and he licked them. His raging thirst returned, stronger than ever. The sea lapped at his knees, the coolness of it beckoning Christopher. He looked at the water glistening in the harsh sunlight. Irresistibly drawn, he scooped up the seawater in his hands and brought it to his lips. The saltiness of it made him sputter and cough as he tried to drink it, but desperation and thirst made Christopher choke it down. He repeated the action, with each handful becoming easier to swallow. After five drinks, Christopher sat back. Well, might as well see what's here, he mused. With that, Christopher got up and started walking.
The island looked like one straight out of a pirate story. Tall trees with palm-like fronds decorated the landscape. Christopher counted twenty or so. In the absence of wind, the large leaves just hung there. Oddly enough, there were no grasses to be found, nor were there any insects or animals, at least that Christopher could see. Just sand and trees. But this sand felt different to Christopher. It was much more coarse and dry than normal sand. He couldn't remember the last time he touched sand, but something in his gut told him that this wasn't any average sand. The island, for supporting twenty or so large trees, was relatively small. Christopher managed to walk all the way around in about 350 paces. And even though Christopher knew it was near impossible, he thought that the island was perfectly round. There were no abnormal curves or jagged edges on any part of the shoreline. It was just one smooth curved line. It was almost too perfect for Christopher's liking. Nevertheless, his thirst was slaked and that's all that mattered now to him. Laying down on the warm sand, Christopher closed his eyes and let the sun warm his body...
The baby cries out for its mother, wanting for comfort. Comfort that will never come. The soft tinkling of "Rockabye Baby" plays from the mobile over the infant's bed. The gun comes back into view. There is nothing but the sound of the mobile playing and the infant's cries. Another loud bang. One of the sounds is silenced forever. The other plays down the final notes of the lullaby...
Pain shoots through Christopher Hillard like lightning. He doubles over as it ravages his body. Rolling over on all fours, Christopher coughs, then vomits up every precious drop of water. Another burst of pain and more retching, but instead of water, blood spatters the sand. After three more excruciating spasms, Christopher stops and flops down, gasping for air. His thirst returns in full force, accompanied by another desire: hunger. His stomach void of any and all sustenance, Christopher moans in pain. Licking his lips once again, he looks skyward. The sun shines as bright as ever, offering no relief or pity for his state. Christopher turns his gaze inland. As his bleary eyes focus, he sees some vaguely round shapes hanging from the trees... Coconuts! his mind shouts and Christopher stumbles to his feet, then falls down again. The physical toll from his violent retching and the mental toll from yet another horrifying nightmare is too great. But the stress brings something new to Christopher's memory. Jennifer. That's... that's my wife's name, Christopher recalls, We were married for 5 years. I remember it clearly now. A new, more terrifying thought rears its ugly head. Was that... my wife in my previous dream? Did she... die? The words ring in his head as he blacks out...
Christopher Hillard looks away from the lifeless body in the crib to look at his wife. What once was an unholy fountain of lifeblood gushing out of the bullet hole in her temple was now a still, dark pond stretching out across the floor and underneath the crib. "I have nothing left now," Christopher says in a flat, monotonic voice. "It is done. At least I can do now what the state will surely do to me later if I continue to live." Christopher raises the gun and turns the barrel towards him, putting it in his mouth. Hesitation. The click of the trigger being pulled, followed a split second later by one last loud bang. One Christopher will never hear. Darkness.
Christopher's eyes snap open once more. A newfound strength was returning to him, but this was no pleasant freshness. This was pure, unbridled terror coursing through his veins. At that same moment, he realized the truth. He was the man whose eyes he'd seen through in previous dreams. Christopher shot his wife and their child, then himself. Every lost memory was rushing back, buzzing in his skull like thousands of angry hornets. But one truth stung him at his very core. "I did it..." Christopher numbly whispers, "I killed them... then I..." Reaching around to the back of his head, Christopher feels around... and inserts two fingers into the hole where the part of his skull should be. Tears run down his face and his breath comes out in ragged sobs. Desperately looking around, he sees something that was not originally there before: a bottle with a piece of parchment in it, the bottle stuck in the sand near the water. As if his limbs were connected by string to the wooden prop of a marionette, Christopher jerkily moves towards the bottle and plucks out the paper. It unfurls and Christopher sees that a message is written on it in blood-red ink:
If you are reading this, then you have realized the truth, so I will not waste your time by reiterating it here. Now, I know you are wondering about how and why you are here, so I will tell you.
You are dead, Christopher. That much is evident, judging by the missing part of your skull and brain. What is not clear is that this is no ordinary island. This island exists for you and you alone. Why?
You are in Hell and this is to be your eternal torment.
Not impressed? Do not worry. I guarantee that you will be begging for a lesser fate soon enough. I am not one to "go easy" on anybody here. I have something very special planned for you, Christopher.
P.S.: Oh, by the way, it turns out that your boss is impotent, so that child was yours after all.
The sound of an object hitting the soft sand echoes behind Christopher. He slowly turns, his tearstained eyes wide open in terror. One of the trees has dropped something.
It was not a coconut. It was his wife's head.
Jennifer's jet black, shoulder length hair cascaded down from her scalp to rest on the sand. The tiny nose and full lips were exactly as Christopher remembered them. Her eyes were shut and in the exact center of her forehead lay the void that was created by the bullet from Christopher's gun. Tears flowed freely from Christopher's eyes as he brokenly walked toward his dead wife's head. Ten feet away from her, he dropped to his knees as sobs wracked his body. Christopher moaned like a man stripped of everything and wordlessly mouthed her name.
Jennifer's eyes snapped open and her soft brown eyes, now bloodshot, stared wildly at Christopher. Christopher recoiled in horror, unable to tear away his gaze away. The two stared at each other for a moment, and then Jennifer opened her mouth and let out a long, piercing shriek. The sound of it felt like someone was pouring molten metal into Christopher's ears. With the speed and desperation of a man driven mad, Christopher scrambled over to his wife's head, picked it up, and threw it towards the ocean. The still-screaming head vanished into the ocean with a splash. Christopher dragged himself towards the center of the island, sobbing continuously. Having reached his destination, he curled up into a ball and rocked back and forth, the memory of Jennifer and their son echoing in his mind. His sobs turned into sorrowful wails of emotional agony.
Suddenly, the hair on the back of his neck stood at attention. He was being watched. Christopher opened his eyes and instantly regretted it.
The trees that had once been spread out around the island had now encircled Christopher, forming an impenetrable prison. Staring wild-eyed upward, Christopher saw that, from each tree, more heads were hanging like some vile mockery of nature. Some of them were Jennifer's, each one staring at him with the same bloodshot eyes. The other ones were smaller, but Christopher instantly recognized all of them as the heads of his infant son. The eyes were closed, but each one was a carbon copy of the other. The heads of his wife started screaming, with the infants following up with a wailing, pitiful cry. Christopher flung himself at the trees, scrabbling and clawing like a caged animal. The screams and cries of the heads were beyond painful. It was like thousands of red hot needles were being thrust into him over and over again. Then, blood began gushing out of the bullet holes in the heads of his wife.
Dark, red, sticky blood covered Christopher, coating him entirely, blinding his sight and filling his mouth. His agonized screams carried into the sky, mixing with the screams of his wife and child into an abhorrent harmony.