Why hello. Look at me; I'm still alive. I should try to post more often but goddamn, college is killing me.
This little oneshot here was written for day 22 of Whumptober, 2019. The prompt was "hallucination" and I couldn't resist this idea. It's based loosely on one of my own experiences playing Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Writing anything in the vein of horror is new for me, so let's see how this goes.
Disclaimer: All credit to the gloriously terrifying game and everything it entails goes to Frictional Games.
His hand came to rest on the handle, gently, quietly pushing it down. Not daring to breathe for fear of the noise it would make — and not daring to let himself look to the darkness stretching out to his left for fear of what might come from it — Daniel eased the door open. He leaned around the edge, peering through the crack between door and frame to catch a glimpse of the room beyond. After a moment of nothing, he pulled the door open just a little more.
Movement, from the back of the room.
It took only the smallest glance for Daniel to register the inhuman gaping maw of teeth and the disturbingly human-shaped figure's lurch towards the door. Unable to swallow down his fear, he choked on a whimper and released the door handle. Praying that his small noise hadn't been enough to alert the horrible creature, he spun to the right and scrambled desperately towards the intersection there. Passing by a torch he'd lit, angled in its bracket on the wall at the T-shaped meeting of hallways, he threw himself into the shadows beyond the gently flickering pool of light. This was a dead end, but it was a dark dead end, and so he curled up into a terrified ball in the corner and listened.
He knew he'd have to be quiet. If that– that horrid thing wandered this way during its search, the darkness that suffocated him would mean nothing without his silence. But at the same time, all he could think about was that twisted servant of the baron's on the loose down here with him.
His breathing came faster.
It was dark. It was so, so dark in this corner.
His jaw clenched, a whine threatening to burst free.
Was that the sound of footsteps behind him?
His teeth ground together, a nervous habit he couldn't stop yet something that only ever seemed to set him even more on edge with the noise it produced.
When he couldn't take it anymore, Daniel tossed a look over his shoulder. Nothing moved back there except the flickering flame of the torch. But that didn't set him at ease. Now he shuffled around to press his back into the corner. He kept his gaze fixed on the torch several feet away from him in a futile effort to ignore the darkness that was crushing him from every side. He twitched, fighting the urge to bolt for the pool of light. It was right in the intersection and if the monster was still there, he would be caught for sure. His stomach twisted and his breath hitched. The torch he was trying to focus on seemed to zoom out, sliding further and further away from him and taking its light with it.
No! He needed that light!
Shapes moved in the darkness around him, flickering at the edges of his vision but vanishing when he looked directly at them. Hands trembling violently, Daniel began reaching for his lantern only to stop as he remembered that it was empty of oil.
The torch and its light snapped back into their proper places. Except now was that circle of light shrinking? The fire that cast it was dancing calmly, but was it growing dimmer? He tried to focus, to watch the light. His vision was swimming, the darkness closing in. His head pounded, the impenetrable black wrapping its way around him and squeezing. He was breathing faster, his throat was dry, and all around him the shadows were eating away at the only light he could see. He stuffed his knuckles into his mouth, forcing down a small cry as he watched the light grow ever more dim.
Not in control of himself suddenly, his hand dropped to his side and he lunged for the light. And there he stood, bathed in a fiery glow that had never truly been in danger of disappearing, and with no sight of the disfigured beast that had forced him into that dark corner for so long. Had it even been there in the first place?
Daniel leaned back against the wall, sliding down it to sit on the floor. His body shuddered as he took a deep breath. Trying to calm the thunder breaking his skull apart, he squeezed his eyes shut and shook against as the first sob slipped free.
Daniel's a quivering mess throughout the game and I love him. Poor baby.