Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Childhood Punishment By Dominika Petrasova

Stygian darkness cloaks my sight and the only thing that I can hear is the uncontrollable, ear-piercing ringing in my ear like an echo of a door bell. Out of nowhere a sudden intense beam of light forces my eyes open. For a while everything is unfocused; it’s just a whirlpool of colours, with no direction, shape or meaning. Soon I find myself in a never ending corridor; lying on a neglected hospital stretcher. Arms, legs and neck securely bound to the unstable, eroded metal construction and a skin-tight, worn out maroon, leather belt fastened around my waist. There are three strangers dragging the bed on the uneven floor. They appear to have no faces. I can hear their muffled noises in the background while in the distance the raucous music seems to intensify.

Ivy slithers from the ground and around the doors. All that remains from the painted walls are cream flakes that gradually peel off into the puddle of wall crumbles. Empty, long windy corridors, that bring cold drafts with the laughter of children and nurses that once occupied the site. We finally reach a door. It was dilapidated, scratched and the door knob dulled with age and bloody finger-marks. One of the strangers shoved the door open and it gave out a creaking noise. The room was black and white and the air was stagnant. They placed me right in the middle of the room, from where I could see a brass safety chain dangling on the side of the door. The three of them crowded around me like a herd of sheep and gazed. Out of curiosity I looked down at myself and realised that I was covered in a blanket of scarlet red blood. My heart pounded fast and hard like a bird trapped in a cage. I breathed in and out but air wouldn’t enter my lungs. One of them disappeared into the darkness for a second and re-appeared, dragging what looked like an operation lamp. My head began to shake wildly from side to side. I tried to close my eyes but I was not in control of my body anymore. Suddenly the lamp flashed so bright that it felt like I was looking straight into the sun and a strong scream escaped my mouth. But it wasn’t mine!

Abruptly, I wake up, absolutely drenched. Sitting with the sheets twisted around my limbs; in the murky darkness – trembling. All of a sudden a screaming face appears in my view. My duplicate! I wave my hands around frantically and it perishes into the darkness like dust. Immediately after, the door flies open and a familiar figure runs up to me. Her motherly voice vibrated in my ear; “I told you naughty children get punished.”


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