Published: Nov. 27, 2016
Authors: L.A Richards, S.W Best
Words: 67,110
Language: English
ISBN: 9781370421985
Versions: Kindle, NOOK, iBooks
Publisher: Bowker - Silver Dog Publications


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Grimm Reaper

After what seems like a lifetime, we approach the entrance to the tribes’ base, known as ‘The Fort.’ God only knows what hell waits for me inside this twisted hive. No matter what happens, I must survive. Elisia and Megan need me. Without me, their chance of survival is non-existent. I must remain silent, reserve my strength, and listen to my captors as they talk amongst themselves. Hopefully, I can learn something to give me the advantage. Even in the darkest of hours, there is light.
The perimeter defence that towers before us looks like nothing more than a wall of junk. A strong shunt in the right place is all that would be needed to bring it crashing to the ground, along with the armed guards who stand on top of it looking menacing and eager to kill.
We stop walking to the ear-piercing boom of Skyler's voice. “OPEN UP!”
A series of clangs, followed by the sound of metal on metal sends a cold shiver up my spine. We start to shuffle towards a small opening which has just appeared. I notice a sewer entrance, no more than a few feet high, that was trickling sludge away from the building and no doubt to the river. Turning away, I keep my breathing steady as we pass a burned-out police riot van; a stark reminder that law and order as long since been given to the one with the biggest blade.
Broken buildings tower on either side of us, a souvenir of a world I once knew.
High above, a lookout from a broken window five floors up catches my eyes and glares down at me, sending me a message that I get loud and clear.
‘Welcome to hell, scum . . .’
All around us, I see tribal members. They appear organised and heavily protected, much to my disappointment, and they all have the same facial tattoos, a running theme of my captors.
I feel a trace of fear pass through me. I’ve never ventured into this area before, and it makes me nervous. The activity around these parts has always pushed me back. If not for my cautious nature, I am sure I would have seen this place before—or died sooner.
A shooting pain bolts through my ankle as we come to a blissful stop in front of the gaping hole in the wall. Then I see it: The Fort. It is a huge complex that is covered with flaming torches and flags made from carpets and curtains. The flags all bear the same symbol that my captors have on the side of their faces. The use of this symbol is certainly tribal in nature.
Shit, I hope this isn’t a hive of cannibals. I cannot accept this as my fate. I am not dying here like an animal in a cage!
I have to escape!
With a sudden burst of strength, I seize the element of surprise and shake free of my captors, forcing them off balance. I turn and move forward, my body rebelling through the pain. This is my last chance.
I manage to get a few yards before they catch up with me.
I plant my fist into the face of Chase, but Skyler catches me across the head with the butt of his weapon, knocking me face down into the dirt.
Standing over me, they curse my stupidity. After a moment of heated debate, they drag me to my feet and restrain me harder, their trust for me now non-existent.
I stand there with my chest heaving, burnt out by my exertions. I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I hadn't tried to escape my fate.
My heart sinks lower as I see the hanging cages that frame the entrance; all of them full of bodies that have been left to rot as a clear testament to the power and madness inside. I understand where I stand, I just hope my sanity will prevail.


We enter into the Fort through a heavy door made up of a mish-mash of railings, chains, and scrap metals. The inside instantly becomes apparent that it used to be a car park. The reek of engine oil causes me to flinch, and my head wound gives me further pain. Several motorbikes and cars stand side by side; some being rebuilt, others looking useable. I make a mental note of their location.
I make the mistake of staring too long, and make eye contact with an elderly, grey haired man. He stops working on the car and challenges my stare.
I look away, not wanting any further trouble.
One of the goons to my right makes it obvious this isn’t a pleasure trip as he forces me further on with a nudge of warning.
As we continue, we pass through plastic curtains, grey with use that separates the garage from the rest of the complex. This new area looks like an organised scrap heap, and various salvaged items are stacked high to the concrete ceiling. As we move deeper in, I notice two filthy-looking men arguing over an exhaust pipe.
We leave them to it, moving up a concrete path that used to take cars up to the next level. The steep angle plays havoc with my ankle. On the new level, long, orange pieces of plastic cover the openings to the outside world, which makes the place look eerie and wild. Makeshift walls have been constructed, and doors are ever-present.
We briefly stop, and Chase opens the first door.
The first thing to hit me is the smell of sex, followed by the groans of an unknown woman within. We press on further through what I can only describe as a sex den.
Rancid quilts act as walls that separate lines of filthy mattresses.
Through one of the curtains, I catch the glimpse of a young woman earning her keep. She looks up with a bored smile and a wink, as a larger man takes his fill from behind, oblivious to our brief intrusion.
My escort doesn’t seem too bothered by this free peep show as they encourage me to move on with another unfriendly nudge into the right direction.
We press on through two more dens until we arrive in what resembles a surgery room. An older Japanese woman with a patch covering her left eye is present. “Sit him down!” she orders.
I’m forced into the chair, and Skylar presses his hand on my shoulder to limit my movement.
I look up into the eye of the ogre and shiver inside as she smiles at me, revealing her missing front teeth.
As she studies me like a piece of meat on show, I gaze around, trying to make sense of this room. I don’t like what I see. To my right is a crudely put together operating theatre.
“Take off your clothes . . . all of them,” she says with a lingering smile.
Chase notices my hesitation, and I feel a knife dig into the back of my neck, the rusty blade threatening to break the skin. “Do it!” he commands.


I stand naked, my dignity left at the door. If this is a physical, it’s the strangest one I have ever had. I am probed in all manner of places, the last being a finger up my backside. God only knows why. My guess would be a prostate examination, but she seemed to like it. Freak. I doubt her medical background, but I don’t say a word, keeping to my original plan.
She checks my hair and teeth, sticking her finger in my mouth with less care given to my manhandle delinquents. I pray she has swapped fingers from my previous uncomfortable assessment. She takes blood samples, her needlework questionable and leaving my arm a bruised mess.
“You have a strong heart,” she says as she moves to the next examination. “Good condition organs, too. Very good,” she chirps, as if buying unbruised fruit at the local supermarket.
The woman turns me to face a blood-stained wall. This partition has jars of organs stacked high, and medical tools spread-out on a wooden shelf. If I felt nervous before, my anxiety is doubled in seconds.
As the ‘doctor’ pokes around, I begin to feel like she is eyeing up my own organs. She tests the blood and I am given the ‘all clear.’ All clear to what I am not yet certain. Though my suspicions are inclined to the pessimistic side, I remain a model patient, biding my time until my ankle is strong enough to get the hell out of here.
My two captors are waiting throughout. They seem anxious to proceed.
“Come with me,” Skylar orders, not waiting for me to re-clothe.
“Isn’t she going to check my ankle?” I say sarcastically, and Skylar steps up to me.
“One more word out of you . . .”
I meet his stare, and Chase pushes me forward breaking the connection. “Just hurry up.”
With that, we leave and pass through another area that is occupied by a group. My guess is a recreation lounge, and it’s kitted out with old sofas, a pool table, and other activities in a spacious environment. The profanities that are graffitied on the walls leave nothing to the imagination.
I hobble onward as the faces in the group stare at me in judgment. My personal bodyguards know these people, and they nod with a sneer as I hear one comment “fresh meat.”
We continue onto the next floor, colder than the previous, where the cries of a man crucified to a post chill me to the bone. A second man steps back, bloody whip in hand, clearly out of breath. On the table before him lies an assortment of instruments that belong on a surgeons table. He pauses a moment and catches my eye, but then continues his deadly duty.
“That is what will happen to you if you think of running,” Chase snorts, noticing my grimace at the disfigured man.
We move on, and I’m glad to see what looks like an airport waiting lounge with a faint smell of chemicals. But no, this isn’t our final destination.
I’m pushed through a door into another room. This room smells of death. Old death. I see the third man from earlier; Benedyct, the angry one. He is sitting on a mahogany dresser next to a door.
He notices me with a ‘still alive? Pity,’ expression.
“Grim is expecting him,” he grunts in my direction.
Grimm . . . He must be their leader.
Without a moments rest, I’m moved towards the door. I try to piece together my route so far, but I’m losing count of the layout. Damn it! How many doors has it been since the garage? I’m not sure. The garage, the sex den, torcher chamber, the poolroom, here? The blow to the head is impairing my judgment. That, along with my previous suspicious examination, is making walking uncomfortable.
“Get in.” Benedyct barks as he opens the door with a push, stepping aside to let us by.
As I hobble forwards, I catch two voices.
“I don't know!”
This room smells like old tobacco. It was the same type my grandfather used to smoke from a pipe, and it sure makes for a change from the previous rooms.
I shuffle in, my eyes adjusting to the dim lighting as particles of dust hung in the air. The room is handsomely furnished, and priceless oil paintings are hung from the walls. The walls are freshly painted, which is a pleasantry in these times, and I make a mental note of things around the room. A heavy lamp or two could be used as a weapon, if needed.
A wide, antique desk sits in the middle of the room with a grand, black, leather chair behind it. On one side of the room is a leather suite that sits next to a tall, varnished bookcase; a small glimpse of what was.
An antique hunter's dream come true, I muse, impressed with the decoration despite of my circumstances.
But within this room of sophistication there is a feeling of danger in the air.
I notice a bulky man with messy, ginger hair standing by the window and holding a rope that is attached to a pulley on the concrete ceiling. My eyes follow the rope to the leg of an upside-down dwarf who is dangling like a piñata from the window. The clothes that the dwarf is wearing reminds me of a circus ringmaster, and then I notice the half-heart pendant on a string that’s dangling from around his neck. The pendant reminds me of the one Elisia has. God, I hope she is okay. I need to escape this asylum, and soon.
“Wrong answer,” the ginger haired man says before letting go of the rope. The dwarf plummets, squealing like a pig as he falls to the unknown.
The madman turns around, claps his hands together, and smiles. “Right,” he says as he approaches his desk and sits with a grunt gesturing towards a chair on the opposite side of the table. With a broad grin of a used car salesman, he says, “Please, visitor, take a pew.”