Димитър Валентинов Христов (кевин хан)Раздел: Проза на чужд език Цикъл: Screams in Space
He awoke on the cold metal floor and coughed. The cough was painful, it was scratching his lungs from the inside. The last racking wheeze released a big bloody spittle, which spread repulsively over the gray surface. He drew his eyelids tight, waiting for the pain to disappear, but it tore his lungs again when he tried to breathe in some air. He tried to move, but his body didn’t obey. He felt it as a scattered pile of useless limbs. His arms, which he had instinctively managed to use to lean against the floor, were weak and asleep, and his legs, as far as he felt them at all, were stiff like useless tentacles. But the worst was going on in his head. The cutting pain didn’t allow him to concentrate for even a moment, so that his dimmed consciousness was only able to produce fragmentary thoughts. He was trying to put them in order and make them clear but then his broken body, the metallic taste of blood in his mouth and the pain absorbed all his attention again. Eventually he realized that there was no use of trying to concentrate, all he could do was stay down and wait. He flexed his arms with agony and his face pressed to the cold metal. He remained in this position for a long time, even though he had no idea of time at all. He was roving on the edge of unconsciousness and perhaps he even passed it from time to time - he couldn’t know as he had lost his ability to perceive. Suddenly reality took screamingly regular forms and tore away from the endless wandering through lines and shades to throw his brain in sharp pain. The cough returned stronger and deeper than before and didn’t leave until his stomach swelled and he vomited black blood. Then the world became dark. *** He did his first unsteady step and caught the rough edge of the big chair. He pulled it effortfully... and looked around. His last waking up had nothing in common with the previous ones. His body was still dead but he was able to move. The pain was still there but weaker than before. His consciousness was producing normal thoughts again... but he didn't remember anything. It wasn't that he just didn't remember his name or where he came from, his memory was completely blank. Except for... The first thing he saw was a colour. Too bright and too thick, the most important - too present. Red. The whole floor was splashed with red and there could be no doubt what it was - blood. Much blood. It wasn't covering the whole surface, there were no deep pools of it, but it was still everywhere. The same as the blood he had been staying in for hours. Human blood. He was surprised to find out that this fact didn't terrify him to death. As if he had been expecting to see it. Or as if he knew. There were no humans. No signs of life at all. Just a big, black chair. And this chair was all he needed. He did another step and managed to sit down. He closed his eyes because his head began spinning but he felt better in a moment. He glanced at himself. There were some clothes on his body but they were scorched and ripped to pieces and it were hanging down in rags. It was absolutely impossible to define what they had been. But the moment he thought of them he remembered a word. Uniform. He had been wearing a uniform. But what kind of uniform? Military? Medical? No, he didn't remember that. But it was definitely a uniform. He discovered he knew a lot about the human body. It was easy to determine that his one was injured badly. His left hand was sprained, he had a broken rib and his mouth was so swollen that he wasn't able to understand if he missed 3 or 4 teeth. Well, he would live. All he needed was some medical treatment, a shower and a long, long rest. And... Lost in thoughts, he was looking at the strange wall in front of him until he eventually realized what exactly was strange with it. It was white, splashed with dark blood here and there, and some black spots were strewn all over it. All the time till now he had considered them as a part of the wall's paint... but they weren't. As he looked steadily at them he suddenly realized they were soot. He took a look of the other two walls - they were also covered with soot. He now saw soot on the floor too... [Explosion] fire? While looking at the soot he couldn't remember anything but when he closed his eyes and imagined the room in flames, the memory was unlocked. Yes, there were flames - the flames of the detonation wave, rapidly coming towards him, then he was moving in the air, moving towards the wall... Clash, crunch of bones, darkness. He opened his eyes and almost fell down from the chair. He felt the things he remembered... as if he experienced them again. He felt his skin burnt... his arm was in terrible pain... and he could swear he was getting the scent of smoke even now. He was coughing... He was choking from the smoke - no matter there was no smoke in the room at all... He had to get out, to take a deep breath of fresh air... He managed to stand up and to turn around - there was no door on the three walls he had already seen, so the exit had to be on the fourth. He had been with his back to it all the time. The chocking scent of smoke disappeared... and he was petrified with fear. Yes, the exit was here. There was no door, but the exit was here, on that wall. Perhaps there had been a door, once upon a time... But now behind the black sticking sheets of twisted metal there was a dark gap. No, it was not an exit. It was just the only way out of the room. But it was leading to somewhere... else. Despite the fact his body was still petrified, he was able to think... and the more he found out about the gap, the purer the horror he felt became. Why wasn't he able to see? He had to see something [beyond] in there. But light was unable to pass... as if the wall was still there. Light wasn't deflected... it was consumed. And then he was moving... moving towards the gap. Nothing. His eyes weren't catching any different shades of black, any objects in the darkness, any forms. Nothing. There was nothing to suggest him what was there, [beyond] inside. Or maybe... Icy chills passed through his skin when he saw it. Later he was going to realize he saw nothing. He had felt it. There was something [beyond] in the gap. Something big. Strong. Fast. Ferocious. And it had felt him too. It had been lying in wait for him, patiently letting him approach its territory. The darkness. And now it was in one-throw distance. Preparing to jump. His blood ran cold when he heard the sound. He wanted to turn, to run, to escape... But he was unable. Fear had paralyzed his body. And it was too late...