Hello again! Writingisbeauty and I would like to welcome our newest member to the DeAth to Secrets writing team, i-chase-daylight! Now we have said that we would be updating on a weekly basis but it's really hard for all of us to meet up at certain times, especially given the fact that I live in a completely different time zone from my co-writers and also, I live on the opposite side of the world from them. But all that won't stop us from writing! :D Since we said in the first chapter that the POV's will alternate between the girls, this chapter is written in Hanna's perspective. We are unsure about whose perspective will be for next chapter, but we are thinking about jumping back to Spencer, since something significant happens to her. We'll see. ;)
Enjoy our second chapter titled 'In the DArk'!
Disclaimer: We do not own the Pretty Little Liars show or the book series.
Hanna's Point of View
Friday, March 27th, 2012, Dollhouse, 10:56 P.M
I felt an immense amount of panic bubble up inside me. My heart was pounding hard and my palms began to sweat as I watched my bedroom door as it stayed stubbornly screwed shut. I couldn't believe what was happening to Spencer and I. We were locked outside of our rooms, and by what Mona had told us, Charles was going to force us to spend the rest of the night in the cold, miserable, and dark hallway. It reminded me of how I spent the majority of my life in the dark, suffering from depression over my once overweight state, feeling self-conscious about what my dad and his other 'perfect' family thought of me. And then I hid from 'A' to the point where I could barely utter a word to my mom about what was really going on without having to worry about getting another threatening text from the monster itself. I didn't want to live in the dark anymore.
Frantically, I looked around to see if there was anything that would be of any use to us. Something that would help us find a way out of the miserable circumstances we had suddenly found ourselves in. But with disappointing results, I sighed in distress, beginning to panic again.
My breathing began to hitch as Spencer turned to face me slightly and sighed, "Han, calm down," she whispered with comfort.
I narrowed my eyes at her while my eyebrows furrowed. "Spence I have every reason to panic and so do you. Why aren't you freaking out over this? We could be trapped here for days with no food or water!"
Spencer sighed. "I don't want to let him win either, but you know what can happen if we get too worked up," she warned. She moved closer toward me before saying, "Don't worry, we'll find a way out of here soon, I promise."
I didn't want to calm down. For all I knew, Spencer was just purposely giving me false hope so that I would stop yelling, knowing fully well that there was probably no way we would ever get out of this hellhole.
A little while later, I glanced over at Spencer and saw that she was shivering just as violently as I was.
"See? That's why we can't stay out here, it's freezing!" I exclaimed irritably.
Spencer nodded her head, finally agreeing with me. "Y-Yeah you're right, l-let's try and get the girls attention again," she stuttered.
Shortly afterward, we knelt up by the concrete wall and began pounding on it with all our strength, screaming at the top of our lungs for help, praying that the girls would hear us and understand what we were yelling for. Soon, my throat began to burn and my fists were scraped from the rough wall and I knew I had to give up; there was no use. I winced and rubbed the palm of my hand as it burned; the skin had scraped off with my efforts.
"I can't believe they can't hear us," Spencer choked painfully while sliding against the concrete wall in her state of misery.
"What if we never get out of here Spence?"
"We have to Han, we can't let 'A' win."
Around three hours later we were still trapped outside our rooms, and my health started to deteriorate very quickly.
"How are you feeling?" Spencer asked. A concerned expression shown evidently on her face.
"Dizzy and cold," I breathed, leaning my forehead against the palm of my hand, as I shivered uncontrollably.
"Yeah I feel like that too, just hold on." Spencer said, trying to reassure me.
"Okay..." I trailed off when I caught sight of the vault, and noticed that the door was open. My eyes widened. "Oh my god, Spence, the door to the vault is open," I said, my heart skipping a beat. I started to get off the floor before Spencer stopped me.
"Wait, I don't know about that Han. I mean, would it be safe?" Spencer questioned warily. Her gaze stuck to the opened door.
"It's worth the risk. There might be valuable information in that vault. And there's no way I'm staying outside here for another minute." Confidently, I got off the floor and Spencer quickly followed suit. She then proceeded to stop me before I entered the vault.
"Actually Hanna, there's something I need to tell you before we go in there. Remember how I went into the vault a couple of days ago?" Spencer asked.
"Yeah?" I responded with a puzzled expression. I assumed that she didn't find any information when she went into the vault, because she hadn't told any of us about her visit. Then it occurred to me that perhaps she did. "Wait, do you know something and you didn't tell us?"
"Well there was this video that I think I should show you. I'm still really confused by it, but I'd like some extra help figuring it out," she explained in a whisper.
"What?" I asked with a shocked expression, my face beginning to turn red with anger. "How come you waited this long to tell me about this?"
"I don't know, there was never a right time. It's really hard with Charles watching our every single move." Spencer paused for a moment. "Okay, let's go, we might not have much time left to get in there." Spencer sat up, and started walking toward the vault. I followed closely behind her.
As we arrived into the vault, I scanned the room curiously. When my eyes caught sight of some of Charles creepy dolls, I rolled my eyes; he really did know how to be creepy as hell.
"Oh my god," Spencer gasped, while looking up at the screen.
Her horrified gasp caused me to turn around and look up. "What is it? Did you find something about Charles?" When Spencer didn't answer, I squinted my eyes to get a better look at the screen. There was a gloved hand holding an ID card. That ID card belonged to my boyfriend Caleb.
"Caleb?" I gasped. My heart pounded hard in my chest, praying that I was just imagining things, that my dizziness was beginning to get the better of me, that Charles didn't have Caleb.
The gloved hand pulled the ID card away from the camera, and the rest of the shot came into view. What I saw made my blood run cold. A man, who was wearing a joker mask walked into view before suddenly dragging over a weak Caleb and throwing him to the floor.
"Caleb!" I screamed, my hand flying to my mouth in horror.
We watched as the man in the joker mask slammed his foot into Caleb's ribs as the other person, who was wearing a black mask yelled up at the camera. Tears filled my eyes as Caleb screamed something, causing the man in the joker mask to grab a flashlight and swing it across Caleb's face.
I whimpered and hid my face behind my hands as my tears threatened to spill over. I couldn't watch any more of the video. It was bad enough that we were all trapped in the dollhouse, but now he had Caleb. And it looked like the horrible monsters weren't showing any compassion to the guy I was in love with.
I took my hands away from my face, hoping that the cruel beating was over, but it wasn't. I breathed loudly and stiffly as I watched what felt like a horror movie play on the screen in front of me. My eyes widened as the man with the black mask threw something over the camera, conclusively stopping us from seeing anything more.
"No!" I felt my legs collapse from beneath me as salty tears flowed down my face. Spencer caught me just moments before I hit the hard concrete ground.
"It'll be alright Han," Spencer tried to reassure me as she rested her hand on my shoulder. I immediately jumped up away from her.
"It'll be alright?" I quoted her bitterly. "For the love of god Spencer, Caleb was just attacked, and they're probably going to kill him if they haven't already done so!" I screamed, my eyes flaring up before grinding my teeth. I knew that I was being full on hysterical, but I didn't care. I was angry at her for being so calm, for trying to tell me that everything was going to be alright, when it clearly wasn't going to be.
"We don't know that Han-"
"Did you not watch that video? I'm sick and tired of ignoring the truth!" I shrieked, completely forgetting that there were video cameras around.
"Hanna I'm so sorry," Spencer said while patting my shoulder in a comforting manner. Though, yet again I rebuffed her attempts and began to walk towards the exit of the vault.
"I have to do something about this." I stated, my breath almost at the point of hyperventilation.
"Han, you're hysterical. Breathe before you end up passing out, just breathe." Spencer consoled soothingly, while walking toward me.
I took a deep breath, and turned around to speak. "I can't pretend anymore," I sniffled as my bottom lip trembled and tears trickled down my cheeks.
"Han-" Spencer started a statement, but because I was in no mood for one of her lectures, I cut her off.
"No Spencer!" I shouted angrily, hoping that my anger was making her realize that I was dead serious. "Charles has taken almost everything from me, and now it's time for me to take everything from him too," I stated boldly.
"Hanna this isn't you. You're not thinking straight, just sleep on it and-"
"No I can't sleep on it Spencer okay? I can't spend anymore time in this freaking dollhouse!" Tears leaked from my eyes as I spoke.
"No Spencer, this isn't your choice to make. Charles needs to get what he truly deserves!" I shot back defensively.
"And what exactly are you planning on doing Hanna?" Spencer challenged. In all honesty, I hadn't planned anything out. I just knew that I wanted Charles to pay for everything he had done to us.
"I don't know, alright?" I took a deep breath. "I just know that I want him gone… I hate him for every damn thing he's done to us." Spencer stared me down, skeptically.
"Don't look at me like that," I stated quickly.
Spencer raised her eyebrows with a confused expression. "Like what?"
"I don't know like," I paused for a moment. "Like I'm crazy or stupid or pathetic."
"I'm looking at you like I'm concerned. I don't think you're crazy." Spencer responded. "You're just not thinking logically Hanna. Please don't do anything you're gonna end up regretting," Spencer pleaded.
"Why are you suddenly on his side?" I asked incredulously.
"Hanna, don't be ridiculous. I want Charles to get his comeuppance too, believe me, but this isn't the way to go about it. If you do anything reckless, you're putting all of us at risk." As much as I hated to admit it to myself, Spencer was right.
"I just need to know if Caleb's gonna be okay," I stated, trying to control my emotions.
"He's gonna be okay," Spencer assured as she rubbed my back. "And Caleb's a fighter, I see that in him."
I nodded, whipping the tears away from my cheek with the back of my hand and tried to smile as I tried to convince myself as much as I could that Caleb was going to be okay.
"You're really worried aren't you?" Spencer observed.
"I just want to skip all this angst and have him in front of me, talking, smiling and laughing. I can't stop thinking about how hurt he must be, and I can't help but think that maybe they're going to kill him," I choked out, barely able to contain my tears.
Spencer nodded and pulled me into an embrace. "I'm not going to lie, this scares the hell out of me too. I am worried, but I know Caleb will get through this. We can't think about this right now, we need to find a way out."
I hugged her back and closed my eyes. "Could we talk about something to try and get our minds off this?"
"Remember that time you started crying after trying my mom's chilli stir fry for the first time?" Spencer questioned.
I smiled slightly as I remembered. "Yeah! You, Aria, and Emily told me that it was a non chilli dish, so I had a spaz when I first tried it."
"And Emily got really worried and thought that we needed to call 911," Spencer said with a soft chuckle.
I smiled thankfully and pulled away from the hug. "Thanks for this Spence, I know I can be a serious nutball sometimes, so thanks. Being my friend must be hard," I said with a feigned chuckle.
"Han don't say that," Spencer warned as if it was the most absurd thing she had ever heard. "Look, maybe when the coast is clear we can go and check on Caleb."
I nodded my head slowly, not sure if I was ready to see him so badly injured.
"What's wrong?" Spencer asked, her eyebrows furrowed.
"I wanna check on him, I do, but I'm just scared. I mean, what if we see him, and he's dead? Or so badly injured that we won't even be able to recognize his face?"
"Han we don't have to check on him if it's too ha-"
I shook my head quickly. "No," I took a deep breath. "I need to deal with this, let's check on him," I decided.
"Okay," Spencer whispered. We tiptoed out of the vault, and approached the stairway. I glanced around and couldn't see anyone within sight.
"Looks like the coast is clear," I said, my heart beginning to race. Spencer nodded her head in unison and we made our way down the black staircase to the level below. We touched down on the concrete floor and I looked around, my heart stopping as I saw a familiar looking guy tied to a chair in the middle of the room. A small gasp left my lungs as I made my way over to him.
"Oh my god, Caleb," I choked as I approached him and saw just how badly he was beaten. My heart rate sped up what seemed like ten times faster as I took notice at the gory scenery before us. Spencer and I looked at each other with mutual displays of fear and worry.
"Can you move?" Spencer whispered concernedly.
A small tear trickled down Caleb's cheeks as he managed to move his head. "Not much," he whimpered, "I think my arms and ribs are broken."
I swallowed the lump in my throat, and reached out to gently brush some of his loose hair from his face. "It'll be okay, sshh," I soothed, brushing away a stray tear that had begun to make a trail down his bruised and bloodied cheek.
My mind raced quickly as I looked at how damaged and emotionally exhausted Caleb was. I had no idea what to do. My boyfriend was in serious danger and I felt completely useless.
Just as Caleb opened his mouth to speak again, a sudden buzzing noise cut him off causing all of us to look around in confusion. The buzzing noise continued persistently until I remembered what it was.
The morning alarm.
I sighed and ran a hand through my greasy hair. "What are we going to do?!" I shouted over the obnoxious buzzing noise.
"We probably have to go back to the hallway!" Spencer shouted back.
I sighed anxiously. "But we can't leave Caleb like this!" I shouted, pointing at Caleb's weak frame.
"We don't have a choice Han!" Spencer shouted back with a sorrowful expression.
I hesitantly nodded my head, as a tear trickled down my cheek. I turned around to face Caleb, and I looked at him sorrowfully.
"I'm sorry," I whispered, not knowing what else to say. I knew he couldn't hear me over the loud buzzing noise, but I just wanted to say sorry to him.
"Come on Han, we should go now," Spencer said while nudging my elbow.
I nodded my head, turned around to face Spencer, and we jogged upstairs. We then found Aria, Emily, and Mona waiting for us outside of our rooms. I sighed with relief when the alarm finally stopped.
"Hey guys," I stated tiredly, exhausted from all the running and the fact that I barely got to shut my eyes for a second last night.
Aria looked at us with a puzzled expression. "Wow you guys look worn out! Where were you?" she questioned.
I took a deep breath, knowing that we had a lot to explain.
Spencer spoke first. "Yesterday night we were locked outside of our rooms for being out two minutes longer than we should have. We noticed that the vault was opened and we went inside to see if we could find any clues-"
I interrupted Spencer. "Yeah and we saw a video of 'A''s little minions viciously attacking Caleb! Just because we didn't obey the rules. Caleb's down stairs, tied to a chair, barely able to move a finger," I said as my eyes started to whelm up with tears.
The three girls looked as white as sheets.
"Oh my god, are you guys alright?" Emily asked concernedly, horrified by what we had just revealed to them.
"Why didn't you knock on our doors?" Mona inquired curiously.
"We did, but you guys never answered," Spencer retorted with a slightly irritated expression.
"But he's okay now right?" Aria asked hopefully.
"He's alive, but I wouldn't say he's okay. If we don't get help him soon, he could die," I rasped, trying to prevent the tears from rolling down my face.
Aria stared at me, shock written all over her features. "I'm so sorry. If we had heard you guys, this might not have happened." I could hear the guilt in Aria's voice, but at that moment all my anger was focused toward Charles.
"It doesn't matter Aria," I responded bitterly, acid slightly laced in my voice. "There was no way you guys could have gotten out of your rooms. Charles would have done this regardless. He's a sick twisted bastard."
I hated what Charles had done to us. Charles. That word sent a cold shiver through my spine every time I heard it now. It made me sick to my stomach. I hated him for trapping us in his dollhouse. I hated him for causing so much trouble for us, and making our lives a living nightmarish hellhole. But mainly I hated him for intentionally hurting the people I loved most.
"Caleb will get through this Han," Spencer said, as if she had read my mind because I was precisely thinking about Caleb at that moment.
I was on the verge of breaking down into a sobbing mess, but I had to be strong, for all of our sakes. "Yeah, whatever," I replied weakly.
Spencer focused her attention on Aria, and looked upon her with sorrow. "I'm sorry about last night, I guess I do have a habit of jumping to conclusions. You probably got a big shock when I accused Andrew out of nowhere of being Charles."
Aria nodded forgivingly. "It's fine Spence. The important thing is that we're all together now and nothing's gonna make us turn our backs on each other ever again. No more secrets."
When all of the power went out as it routinely did that night, the five of us quietly exited out of our rooms and met each other at the corner close to the entrance of the vault. Spencer had gotten there first. I arrived next and noticed she looked like something was bothering her and if she didn't tell somebody soon enough she would explode.
"Spencer, what's wrong?"
She had her arms crossed tightly and kept a stern look on her face. She looked a bit hesitant about whether or not she should tell me about her discoverings.
"I saw clues in my room and I'm now completely convinced Andrew is Charles."
My eyes widened. "What? How can you be so sure?"
"I'll explain it to you but please promise me you won't tell Aria."
"Tell me about what?" I turned around to find Aria and the rest of the girls standing behind me. I gave Spencer a warning look. When Spencer wouldn't respond, Aria repeated in a more demanding tone, "Tell me what? Remember, no more secrets."
Spencer sighed, looking at the ground before looking back up at Aria straight in the eyes. "That I now have proof that Andrew is Charles."
Aria crossed her arms and scoffed. "I can't believe you Spencer, how could you accuse Andrew of all this when he has nothing to do with anything that is happening to us right now? Do we need to remind you when we thought Toby was 'A'?"
"Toby was just trying to protect me," Spencer defended. "Aria you are not listening to me. There were clues everywhere in my room. I just can't shake off this feeling."
"Maybe we shouldn't talk about this right now. We don't have a lot of time left," Emily advised.
"You can tell us about what you saw later Spencer," Mona said, moving herself to the front of us, jiggling the door and opened it for us to enter.
We entered the vault cautiously. We had to be prepared as much as possible for anything could jump out at us and attack us before we could do anything to defend ourselves. We were all aware of sick and twisted things Charles was capable of.
I could already tell Spencer was determined to find clues that proved her theory so that she could make Aria see she was being serious. Remembering the screen, I lifted up my gaze and gasped.
"What's wrong Han?" Emily asked me worriedly. I pointed to the screen above our heads. The girls shifted their gazes up to where I was pointing to. 'A' had switched the surveillance camera footage so we were now supposed to be watching where Caleb was right now. The familiar chair that had once had Caleb tied down to was now empty. Caleb was gone!
"Oh my god, what happened to him?" Aria asked with eyes as wide as dinner plates.
"Did Charles take him somewhere else because he knows we found him?" I asked.
Mona and Spencer analyzed the screen intently.
"He couldn't have," Mona responded.
Spencer agreed. "Yeah, Mona is right. The ropes were cut with something rough. As if someone had tried to get Caleb out of the chair as quick as they could..."
The theory of what could have happened to Caleb was starting to form in my brain as it was for everybody else. I finally came to a conclusion.
"Oh my god he escaped," I gasped with relief.
Author's Note: Hope you guys enjoyed the fact that now Caleb is out and might be able to seek help for the girls. But who was it that helped Caleb escape? Is Charles finally showing his humane side towards the girls? Did he set Caleb free accidentally? And is Spencer right about not trusting Andrew? Find out next chapter! Thanks guys! :) See you later!
-Mimi1239, Writingisbeauty, i-chase-daylight