We waited in darkness. It’d been weeks since we’d last seen Jack, but as always, we knew that he’d come around eventually. Mayo and I have done our best to coordinate our efforts with Bread, but he was on the outside and communication was spotty at best. Last we saw he’d been relocated into a woven solitary confinement cell. I’d been in this cold prison for weeks, but Mayo told me he’d been locked up for so long that he’d lost track. Even though Mayo stayed in the bunk above me, his aroma wafted down, constantly making me nauseous. To me, he smelled of rotten eggs. The smell was just one of myriad reasons to make an escape.
Once in a while, Allyson, the human female would unlock the cell long enough to give us a burst of fresh air and to deliver another cellmate. I lived for these moments as it was nice to see daylight and provided momentary relief from Mayo’s stench. Whenever a new prisoner joined us, we’d try to bring them into our caper, but they weren’t always social. I honestly thought that Tuna could serve as the perfect diversion, but she assured us that she could last another year or so in the cell if she had to. Eventually, Allyson stopped delivering us allies and hopelessness started to set in. Then one day, everything changed.
“Ham!” came Mayo’s voice from somewhere within the murkiness. “I think he’s coming!”
I held my breath, closed my eyes, and focused. Over the hum of the cooling unit I recognized the muffled sound of size ten footsteps. They were definitely getting closer.
“This is it,” I advised to anyone who might be listening. “Just like we planned!”
In reality, it took mere seconds, though at the time, my world moved in slow motion. The door to our prison began to open and the sunlight from the window across the chasm flooded in, beating the darkness around us into submission. My rump was sore from weeks of sitting on the same plastic grating, I wondered if it had left permanent marks on my posterior. Jack’s face appeared in the doorway. He looked sadder than normal, but I wasn’t about to let our captor’s feelings distract me from my impending freedom.
Then the unthinkable happened.
After contemplating each of the captives, Jack grabbed me by the neck and pulled me from the depths. I could barely breathe as I was whisked from the dungeon and tossed aside. I landed on a hard surface and the wind was knocked right out of me. With stars in my eyes I could see Mayo right behind me. He landed nearby and I feared we both might be suffering from internal injuries. In a surprising turn of events, Tuna was the last to be pulled before the prison door closed yet again. My heart sank and I felt envy for those who remained inside. There was no telling what horrors we were about to suffer. Our well thought out plan had gone quickly awry.
It pains me to admit that there’s nothing we could do as Jack took a wicked metal device and began plunging it into poor Tuna’s head. As if the stabbing weren’t enough, this human monster cut Tuna’s skull right open and dumped her brain into a container, setting her lifeless body beside us. Mayo and I watched in horror as Jack summoned his beast. The creature’s roar made me tremble and it wasted no time in devouring Tuna’s gray matter. I don’t know what Jack had gone through, but one thing was for certain: he had become merciless.
A thump to my right snapped me back into the present and I noticed Bread had been dropped beside me, the next in a potential line of victims. There were no words exchanged. We simply looked at one another in horror. Jack had clearly figured out our plans for escape and we were all about to pay the price.
Without warning, Jack grabbed a knife and plunged it deep into Mayo, twisting the blade for good measure. In a disgusting turn of events he scooped my friend’s entrails from his body and plastered them across Bread’s face. I could never imagine something so grotesque and yet here it was, happening before my eyes.
My time had come and Jack cruelly set me on top of my friend’s creamy white insides and attempted to suffocate me with one of Bread’s brothers who’d also been slathered in what was left of Mayo’s organs. I never thought it would come to this. I regretted every decision I’d made within that prison and every late night Mayo and I had spent discussing our escape.
In what was now a pile of heinous conspirators, we were scooped up and hovered toward Jack’s mouth, a field of sharp white teeth moving to greet us. I squealed in pain as the flesh was ripped from my body. Pain struck me from every direction and my vision began to blur. I had to stay conscious if there was any hope to survive.
After his first attack, Jack winced and I considered the possibility that I might see tomorrow after all. I managed to race through the seven stages of grief in record time. A single tear streamed down Jack’s cheek and I hoped that he was finally coming to his senses.
My bubble of hope burst as the onslaught of teeth made their final approach. It had become crystal clear that the only true escape was death.