's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"The Cube"

Submitted by Frozen Killer

I wake up. Iím in the same surroundings I have been in for the last 4 years of my life. I have no memory of anything except this room. I do not know if I have a name, or who my parents are, or even how I speak. This might sound a bit strange, but I know words that have no meaning. Sometimes when I see something foreign or strange, the perfect term pops right into my head for it. I probably already knew the words but forgot them somehow, just like how I know Iíve been in this room for 4 years despite the fact that I have no real memory of being put in here. My room is fairly small, but it is about the same size as every other room Iíve seen. The floor and ceiling is made of a thick one way glass, allowing me to see what is on top of me and whatever is below me can see me. The last part Iíve kind of deduced by myself, and I have no real evidence if my floor is glass too, but Iím pretty sure that the floor and the ceiling are made of the same type of material and Iím just not seeing the glass at the right angle. Iím sitting in a wooden bed with no covers. The only thing protecting me from the cold is my jumpsuit.

To the left and right of my bed are two little doors on both sides of the walls. Itís a small glass door with a handle on it that can be lift up if needed be. I donít usually open the doors up, but thatís more from fear than anything else. Doors is a bit too specific, they are more like holes than anything else. Too small to climb through, but still positioned at such an angle that it is possible to slide things into it. I feel like Iím missing something, one detail that I have yet to explain to you. I honestly donít know who you are, as Iím currently just thinking to myself, but I like to believe that someone is listening. It takes off the edge of isolation and makes surviving a lot easier. I manage to get out of the bed and I move over to a section of the room. There are two big metal containers, and one begins to make a rattling noise. The first big container starts to spew out a substance like porridge out of itself but quickly stops after 10 seconds. The mushy oats are then poured into a little tin mug for me to eat out of. It tastes exactly what it has tasted like for every day of my life, soggy. The second container proceeds to make the same noise and releases a fine milk-like liquid into another mug placed right underneath it. This is my breakfast, my lunch, and my dinner. Porridge and milk, for the rest of my life.

Itís been a couple of days since the last turning occurred. Oh, thatís what I forgot to mention. The turning is an event that happens without rhyme or reason. All the turning does is change the position of my room and every other room. I decide to open up the door to the right of me just to see who Iíve been living next to for the last week. The glass is too opaque to fully see anything with two pieces put together, but because I lifted up my piece I can get a better glance of the room to the next of me. I see a room very similar to mine in almost every way, except that there is a corpse in the center of the room. I spot out the same two metal machines just like the ones in my room, except they are dispensing a different type of material. Meat. New and foreign words like venison and pork run through my mind like racecars on a track. Soon thatís all I can think of. I set aside even the most basic instincts programmed into me and I lunge forward like a beast. I scream and yell like an animal and I resort to survival tactics. I bash at the glass door until it becomes monotonous and painful to my hands. I donít know how long I have until the next shift occurs, so I have to act quickly. If I kick it hard enough, I can probably knock down the other side of the glass door. Only problem is that Iím too big to fit into the hole anyway. Maybe I can make a spear or a hook and reel it back in. All I have to work with are two metal mugs and my bed. Thereís not much I can do with the mugs, but I think I can make a stick out of one of the bedís legs. I go back over to my bed and I inspect it. The legs are too short, but maybe one of the bedís support beams can work. I climb underneath the furniture and sure enough there are a couple logs placed to keep the mattress in place. I lift up the mattress and quickly take the support beam with me. Itís rather thin, but is long enough to reach into the room. I manage to break the other sideís door with my fourth kick and I slide the wood in. I just barely manage to move the sliced meat inch by inch closer to myself until itís by the door.

Iím anxious. Of course Iím anxious. My entire life Iíve been eating porridge and milk, but thisíll be the first time Iíll ever have meat. I dream about diving into the raw flesh with my teeth. Each bite is better than the last as my jaw begins to soak up the thick red blood dripping from the meat. Itís delicious in every way imaginable, but I quickly stop my day dream. Itís so close to the door that I can grab it if I stretch my arm just a little, but I play it safe and I begin to move it even closer to me. But then I hear the noise. That dreaded noise. The blocks are shifting again. No! I shall not let this block control my life! Not when I was so close to my goal! My rage boils up inside and I quit using the block of wood, but instead I put my hand through the door. I have mere seconds before the blocks begin to move, so I use every ounce of strength I can muster into my arm. So close, so close! I canít quit now! I feel the savory flesh in my hands I begin to pull back as fast as I can. But itís too late. The block begins to move. One starts to move upwards and the other downwards. I try and try to pull out as hard as I can, but this all goes in vain. A part of my jumpsuit is stuck on the broken door. I close my eyes and wait for the inevitable. It happens fast, but the pain prolongs the feeling. Every muscle is torn from itself, each gives off a feeling of unimaginable pain multiplied by the billions. Nerves become displaced and dispatched from themselves, bones begin to crack and snap as the short time goes by, and crimson red starts to flow from every torn vein. It isnít terribly gruesome but the pain makes it feel so. I canít think straight. Iím going into shock. I lie down, but I shouldnít. The blood pouring from my torn arm is too great. I try to move my body but it all goes in vain. The only thing I can do is sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

I wake up. It feels like a million generations have gone by, but I finally wake up. My left arm is still broken and torn, but it isnít bleeding. As a matter of fact, itís fully bandaged. I hear a voice cry out to me. It isnít human but it is alive. My head is in pain and I canít see straight, so I focus on the voice. It sounds tough and threatening, but also contains a nurturing element. My only guess is that it must be the person in the room next to me, as my barely functioning eyes can still spot out that the other sideís door is now open. But the voice, or cry, still permits from some other place. I turn my head and I know what is making the noise. It isnít a man, a woman, a child, or anything like that. Itís a creature in my room.

It is tall and gaunt, yet threatening in every manner. The eyes are soulless and dead, and its skin is white as snow. Words escape me when trying to describe this beast, but I try my best. Words are the only thing that give me hope and will. It doesnít strike or attack me, so I just sit quietly. The creature reminds me of a bird. Its face is constructed like that of a person except that its mouth is stretched out to create a beak-like image. I can see the long thin arms attached to the creatureís body, both positioned in a manner like a hawk ready to take off in flight. I can see bones sticking out of the beastís hands, each fingers gradually turned into talons at the very end. The legs and feet are much like the arms except even skinnier. The torso of the foul beast is dressed in ripped garments, much like the jumpsuit I am wearing. Could this fierce creature be human? Could this be the end result of a lifetime of isolation? I stop thinking about that, as the mere thought of it scares me too much for the simple reason that this beast might as well be me. Even worse, it could be anyone. Any person could result like this monstrous figure, and the very idea that this inhuman beast could once be human almost paralyzes me in fear. As Iíve said before, the creature is horrifically skinny. How can anything be so skinny? How is it possible that such a gaunt and boney creature can exist, let alone live? I only now notice that the pain in my arm has stopped. Still keeping eye contact with the bizarre creature, I slowly tilt my body over. I move as slow as I can, turning my body upwards so I can lean on the wall behind me. The skinny creature stares blankly at me waiting for my next move. Its beak-like mouth begins to open and shut at random, also permitting a blanket of screeches and wails everyway.

I turn my head away from the gaunt being and I stare at my left shoulder. The physically torn limb of mine is bandaged with a material much like tissue paper. I canít wonder who or what put these bandages on me, I can only focus on the now. And now, the bird-like person begins to press its meatless legs closer to me. Each time the nasty creatureís talons strike down upon the hard glass flow my ears bleed pain and misery from the noise. The scraping, endless scraping, I canít take it anymore. Kill me if you will, but end the scraping so that I may die at rest. The gaunt monster pulls leg after leg closer to my corpse until it is right next to me. It bends down stretching every ounce of skin and bone in its spine just to examine my face. The boney beingís beak begins to open as I gain a firsthand look of this creatureís mouth. Horridly bent teeth begin to surface out of fleshy gums. It moves its mouth closer and closer until I can feel the beastís chin start to pierce my throat. The pain in my arm rushes back to life. Itís a pain so fierce and alien that I donít know how to react to it. My body is now limp from fear of the boney beast, but I canít decide if I should be wailing out of pain or shaking from trauma. My body responses to the newfound pain with nothing. That is all I feel, pain. Every second feels like a minute, and every minute feels like days. Images of crucifixions and stabbings race across my mind as I bear with this pain. The gaunt creature no longer waits for any reaction from me. But I donít care. Just end the pain. End it all. Let my body lay at rest. Let me end.

Years after all life perishes, the cube still turns. It still shifts and changes in absolute silence as everything else dies inside it. An eternity only of gears moving and machines working, never stopping for a break. Even the scum of scum is discontinued at this point. Nothing lives and nothing remains. The machines break and no one is left to notice.