Napsal Amras (») 19. 12. 2020 v kategorii Horror short stories [ENG], přečteno: 801×

(dedicated to S. M.)


Frank Doyle couldn't sleep. The first night is always the worst, he thought. Wooden bed's planks pushed his ribs, the leaky blanket bit him. Oh God, when he imagined that yesterday he still had slept in his room in mum's house...Damn, that moron on the lower bed is constantly snoring. He turned on the other side.

The reveille was set at half past five. Frank hadn't slept at all, he fell asleep about a quarter of an hour ago. Suddenly a loud siren sounded.
"C'mon rookies, get up! Or do you think someone will be curious about you at noon?! Move! In a minute I wanna see you all in front of the schlafenhause!"
Frank quickly jumped off the bunk bed. The guy who shared the room with him just slightly move and opened his eyes with a great effort. He was a few years older than Frank and fatter. He only straightened a bit but still kept laying.
"Hey dude, come on," Frank shouted to him while he was putting the shoes on. "They said we mustn't be late!" He slightly shook with him.
"Ye-ep," replied slowly that guy.
Frank took a quick look at him once again and then he ran out. The most of rookies were already there. On each of them the tediousness was evident and all looked nervous. They just didn't know what to except. A few soldiers were silently talking to each other. There are about fifty of us here, Frank guessed in his mind. And they are all here because our country needs them. We are quite possibly the only hope. And we have to join forces because we have to win. That's why we're here.

His philosophing was interrupted by booming footsteps. The sand crunched under the weight of heavy boots. Everyone turned to that sound. A man was walking there. It couldn't be seen much of his face because he was wearing a cap with a black glossy label deep in his forehead. When he began to speak, his voise was harsh and low.
"Our land needs you!" he started. Even these first four words were very effective. Everyone fell silent and just stared at him. He was that type of man who immediately gained attention, a man of great authority.
"All of you are volunteers - more or less. You know why you're here - to WIN!" He almost shouted the last word. And after that he had a bit increased voice.
"I don't care how tough it will be for you or if you kvetch. I really don't give a shit. I wanna make it clear at the beginning. I don't give a shit about  your personal life, we aren't at some fucking school. You are here to make this land...purify. It's really cluttered with miscellaneous parasites which we must get rid of immediately right now! They're worms, pus, loathing! They want to spread out but that's what we really mustn't allow at any cost! Do you hear me clearly?! We have to purge them! All in one. Totally destroy!!
He stopped shouting and started looking around. His eyes glistened with excitement. It seemed to Frank that the sky suddenly darkened.
A moment later there were heard another steps. A stocky figure was approaching from the "schlafenhause" at a slow pace. No one knew who he was except the Frank, who after a while recognized his roommate. He walked slowly, you could say that he dragged himself, and he look very tired. His uniform was only messily buttoned and one shoe partially untied. His skin had a strange olive green shade. It seemed to Frank the he was slightly hobbling.
"Where the fuck you think you are?!" the man with a label shouted. "I wonder how many more of you will climb out of the different holes!" He paused and slid his cap more to his forehead. "Rookies!" he glanced at the newcomers, "this will definitely not be tolerated! Whoever is only half a minute late, he will be punished." He turned to commissioned officer.
"Take him to the nest!"
Frank was watching his roommate. He looked really confused - he kept looking around as if he didn't know where he was and blindly followed the officer. Frank noticed that he sometimes rubbed his forehead with fingers. He didn't seem to be at the best condition...

After a full day of hard training the soldiers went for food with mess tin in their hands. In a dining room with slightly soiled tables they lined up and waited for their ration. When it was Frank's turn, he pushed his mess tin into the vending window. He received oddly grey shade unidentifiable pigswill. But after strenuous and constant running and physical exercise he was so hungry that he would eat everything he could think of. He didn't see his roomate anywhere. But he didn't think too much about it.
After the meal, Frank headed to his cellule which was his current home. He was very surprised by absence of his roommate. He began to think about it. When he first arrived at the training camp last night, that guy had been already lying on the bed, facing the wall. He didn't even respond at all to Frank's greeting. Frank left him alone and headed straight to the bed because he was quite tired after the way there. During the day he saw him only in the morning and then on the roll call. But it seemed very strange to him. He decided to find out what happened and where is that "nest" what the man with a black label had beed talking about.

He waited another three-quarters of an hour after the lights-out, he just didn't want to risk being seen. He peered carefully down the hall but there was peace. He didn't know exactly where to go but he definitely needed to leave the schlafenhause. The moon just hid a bit behind the clouds and therefore he had more chance that nobody would see him. The training camp had three main buildings - schlafenhause, dining room and headquarter. And exactly there Frank headed. I definitely have to be very, very careful, he thought to himself. He thought that there would be a patrol at the entrance but no one was there. He took the door handle and opened the door. He heard muffled voices and laughter. He instinctively crounched behind one of the crates. He slightly peered but he saw no one. Frank slowly followed the voices, still looking around cautiously. He walked to the half-open door and through the crack he saw a large smoky room. The officers were playing cards at the table, laughing and smoking. The man with the black label was sitting between then. Suddenly that man stood up and said something to one of the commissioned officer. He just nodded, stood up as well and they both walked slowly to the door. Fortunately they were at the very end of the table, so Frand had quite a plenty of time to hide behind the crates of ammunition. He had his fist in front of the mounth and he was bitting into it to muffle his breathing and tried not to move. But the men didn't notice him at all, they turned right and went through the hall which was lit up with small lamp lights. Frank waited in his shelter for a moment, then he cautiously followed them at some distance. But the men stopped abruptly and Frank literally froze. That man with a black label pulled a bunch of keys from his pocket. He rummaged through it for a while untill he found the right one. The man opened  the inconspicuous door with the small key and entered it with the other guy. When the door closed, Frank still waited there for a moment. And when no one came out even for a few minutes, he decided to go inside. He stood at the top of stairs. He walked slowly down them untill he found himself in a relatively narrow corridor. It was lit by tubular fluorescent lights, some of them were flashing. The hallway turned left and there were several doors on each side. Frank didn't know which one the men used when he suddenly heard strangled scream. He guessed that it came from the first door on the right. Frank thought if he should go there. Because if anyone caught him there, he would be in a real bummer. At last, he told himself, that once I got this far, I could go straight in. He took the handle and quickly began to come up with an excuse for what he was doing there. But he didn't have to use it. Nobody was there. It was a darkened room with a grey-iron door. Next to the door there was a glass vision slit from which the light came out. Frank crounched down and headed for it. He gingerly look through the peephole. Along with the two men who Frank was following, there were two more in white coats. At first Frank noticed a large blackboard with a several notes on it, many of them crossed out. But the most recognizable was big inscription:


Frank thought what it could mean. Is it some kind of cipher or even formula? And who the hell are those men in coats?
Suddenly everyone put on the gas masks. The one in white coat opened massive steel door with a safety wheel, which Frank didn't notice at first at all. He went inside and in a moment later went out with a man on an ambulant stretcher. Frank was immediately sure that it was the guy from his room. He didn't move at all. He's dead, thought Frank. They killed him! But why?! All at once Frank's eyes met the officer's. He immediately ran after him. Frank stumbled in shock and fell to the ground. He just got up when the door opened. The officer stood right there and loudly breathed. Before Frank could reach the door, the man ran up to him and knocked him down. Frank hit the iron door and slamned his head badly. He felt trickles of blood pouring down his forehead. The commissioned officer touched the back of his pants and quickly pull out the handcuffs. He hog-tied Frank and took him to the room which Frank had been looking into before. Frank tried to fight back but the officer was stronger than him. He dragged him in the middle of the room and threw him on the floor.
"We've got another volunteer here, sir!" he told to the man with the black label.
That man just glanced at Frank and then ordered to take him to a small room with a steel door. Officer hit Frank very hard in the temple with his baton and he fell unconscious.


When he woke up, he was totally naked. He had unendurable headache. He found out that his left leg was trapped in a short rusty chain. Suddenly the steel door opened and two men in white coats came in. They both wore the gas masks. One of them went to a corner where he pulled a big lever. Several nozzles ejected. The man released the valve and the nozzles began to spread gas. The both men left and closed the door. Frank tried to unbound chained leg but with no success. The head ached more and more and he immediately got a severe bout of coughing. He wanted to vomit. He began to cough up greenish slime. He found out that he couldn't control his limbs and they plucked  independently and he got convulsion in them. His eyes terribly burned and ached as if someone inside was squeezing them. He fell helplessly to his knees. He dimly began to realize that he could breath harder and harder. His breathing tubes were slowly plugging. Frank fell over on his hip and stayed there on the ground in prenatal position. His heart stopped beating and his pulse ceased. No more pain, no more troubles, no more mother...

The End

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