We racked our brains for ideas… We had seen enough horror movies to figure out a way to get out of this mess, right? What does one do when they find themselves chained to a wall, weak from years of torture, body disfigured and missing a few semi-important body parts. If only we could find a saw- losing a hand at this point didn’t seem so bad compared to the endless days with chains around our wrists… Or if we could somehow get ahold of a wire hanger and jab the masked man in the eye with it…
Should we try to surreptitiously steal a weapon from our captor? Unlikely. The chains would make that difficult as would the strength of the fiend, but maybe during our daily feeding, where we were unhooked from the wall, and had a small range of motion we could find something, anything, that would aid us in our escape. Many days passed. Every day we jiggled our chains in the hopes that they would loosen, but they seemed to stay just as solid as the first day they had been clamped onto our wrists. During every feeding our eyes searched the floor for any object that could possibly give us a glimmer of hope. As our plan seemed more and more hopeless, Rebecca whispered, “Sometimes dead is better” but I knew we couldn’t lose hope just yet. “I will not be threatened by a walking meatloaf,” I replied. That seemed to perk Rebecca up, and I knew that at least for a little while longer we would live to see another day.
Finally, one night, as the moon shone in the window and alighted on the floor, something caught our eye, could this be the tool that would aid in our escape? We resolved to get ahold of it the next day and prayed all night that it would be something useful to us, and not just a trick of the eye. Rebecca prayed, “Maybe tomorrow it’ll be our world again.”
As soon as we were given our porridge the next day, and the villain had ascended the stairs, we inched our way over to the object. At first, we were disgusted and sighed in disappointment. The object that had sparked such hope in our minds turned out to be a remnant of our captor’s dinner the night before- a shard of bone from the chunk of leg he had sawed off… but then an idea started forming in my head…. I said to Rebecca two words… “Gerald’s Game”. A glimmer of hope shone in her eye. You may know the story, a woman handcuffed to a bed by her husband during a “game”, the husband unexpectedly having a heart-attack and dying, the woman trapped… how did she get herself out again? Maybe we could do the same.
Slowly the memory of the book came back to us. It would involve a lot of pain and a lot of blood. “Oh yes, there will be blood,” I thought, but there had already been so much pain and blood, what would a little more hurt? We resolved to do it that night. It would have to move quickly if we were to survive, but we didn’t see any other option.
After what felt like the longest day of our lives, night came, and with it the dark. I like the dark, it’s friendly, and it was especially friendly that night. The television was on as always, and luckily The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was playing, one of our favorites, but we were especially thankful for it tonight because it might just have the longest scene featuring screaming in a movie ever.
We decided to wait until this moment to make our move, as we knew that once we began our plan, we were sure to be screaming ourselves, and our screams would hopefully blend in with the movie. The time came and I volunteered to go first.
I drew the shard of bone out from its hiding place, a crack in the cement wall behind us, and I geared myself up. I gritted my teeth, and brought the bone to my wrist. The plan? Cutting into my own flesh for enough blood to flow so that I could lubricate my skin and hopefully be able to slide my hand out of the cuff. I didn’t want to cut myself so deep that I would bleed to death, but there had to be an adequate amount. Once that was done, if I couldn’t work my hand out, I would have to either sever some nerves in my hand so that my hand would be able to compress and slide out of the cuff, or if I could somehow gather enough force to slam my hand against the wall and break some bones, maybe that would work. Once one hand was out, I figured I could reach the lotion that we were forced to rub on our skin, which was now kept on a shelf above our heads, and that could lubricate my other hand and Rebecca’s hands.
The time came. I started slicing. Lightly at first and then harder. I wanted to get this over with. I began to sweat, and then whimper and them scream. Rebecca said, “Scream for your life!” And I did. The blood covered my hand, then my wrist and arm. I started twisting, and twisting and twisting. The cuff slid down a little bit and stopped. Okay, now for the hard part I thought, and laughed a little bit.
I decided a few broken fingers was better than a few severed nerves, so I slammed my hand against the wall using what little strength I had left. Again and again I threw myself against the wall and slowly the cuff slid a little more. Maybe it was the fingers I was missing, or the fact that I had lost so much weight, but my hand finally came free. I gasped for air–the pain was so much that I was afraid I was going to pass out, but I knew I had to stay strong. A voice in my head said, “No tears, please. It’s a waste of good suffering.” That voice sounded so familiar, but somehow it was comforting… and it was right. I stretched and stretched until I felt the bottom of the bottle of lotion, and I worked my mangled hand around it, very carefully, as now would not be the time to drop it, and suddenly it was in my hand. There was only a little left, but it would hopefully be enough. I opened the bottle and squeezed a little onto my other hand and wrist and spread it around. Twisting and slamming, twisting and slamming, and then, by some miracle I was free! Hopefully this freedom was anything but a dream. I squeezed the remaining lotion on Rebecca’s hands, and with the last remnants of whatever vitality she had left, she worked her way out of her chains.
And so we escaped… slowly, painfully, we dragged our mangled bodies out of our chains, along the floor stained with the memories of our disfigurement. Passed disfigured dolls, jars filled with gruesome science experiments, piles of wallets, cell phones, and all sorts of souvenirs of his past victims. Did we dare drag ourselves up the rickety stairs that he descended everyday to inflict our daily dose of terror, or did we try to find another way out from this house of horror?
Rebecca looked up the stairs toward the door at the top and said, “I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.” And then she asked me in a quiet voice, “Was it the boogeyman?” and I answered, “As a matter of fact it was. It’s all true. The boogeyman is real and you found him.”
We looked around the room where we had spent the past couple years of our lives. Suddenly we saw it, a dusty grate in the far corner of the room. This might be our best chance, we said to ourselves. Plus, without our legs burdening us anymore, and as our bodies had become emaciated from our daily ration of disgusting, mushy gruel, we would have no problem squeezing our bodies through that small space.
It was a painstaking process, but bound by determination and hope, we made it to that possible escape hatch. We pried the cover off with a dull knife that had been left on the far side of the floor, a forgotten artifact from an earlier torture. The passageway was covered in spiderwebs and reeked with a stench of mildew, ammonia, and some other scent that we couldn’t quite place. I debated going in–you know I’m terrified of spiders–but we decided to take our chances with those hideous creatures. At least death by spider bite would be less painful, and if they decided to bind us up in their webs and drain the life-force from our bodies, if would still be preferable to watching our flesh be slowly eaten by a madman.
And so we entered the dark tunnel that would hopefully lead us to freedom. Laboriously we pulled ourself along the passage, and finally, after what seemed like hours upon hours, we saw a faint glimmer of light.
Could we have finally reached freedom?!