Warning: mentions of blood and violence, but not enough to rate it M
The red hue that lit the ashy walls of the Catacombs still flashed under Lara's closed eyelids. She still felt her eardrums abused by the roar of gunshots and the blaring alarms. She could still feel every single hit she had sustained echoing through her flesh like a sharp throb, paifully slow. Her lungs still remembered the sickening burn caused by sheer panic when Eunhee had left her hidden in the tunnel and had gone back into the Catacombs for Yixing.
Her whole body felt like it was on fire and her heart beat with such a devastating power she felt it would crush her ribs. The agonizing burning in her chest prevented her from breathing. Every shaky breath she would try to take would only make the pain worse. The pained screams that echoed through the maze of her dreams, the icy dread that pierced her heart, the stinging burn that melted her bones; she stirred on the bedsheets with her forehead damp, overwhelmed with pain.
She wanted to scream, to flee the ever-moldy prison, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t feel her skin nor her muscles, just the searing pain. The cracks in between the grayish walls she could make out around her began to drip a thick dark liquid that stank of dead. Lara desperately looked around. She needed to escape before pain and dread engulfed her whole, but she was unable to move anything but her eyes.
She realized the screams weren’t around her, they were trapped inside her eardrums. A sharp pain that overpowered everything pierced her side and she fell on her knees, unable to scream and slowly sinking into the thick liquid. The screams swallowed her and they shook her world, the walls crumbled underneath her feet and she fell into an endless abyss filled with darkness.
The liquid filled her eyes, her nose and . She was slowly drowning in her own agony and the one that the ones she could not save had dumped on her. Before passing out she recognized the acrid taste of rancid blood. She was slowly drowning in the pain of those who she hadn’t been able to protect.
And then, the world was engulfed by light.
It took her a few seconds to understand that the luminous silhouettes that merged together in blurred figures and the blinding white was reality, and that she was awake. Lara had opened her eyes wide, her heart still bruising her ribs, and the white lights made everything shine too brightly. She couldn’t made out where she was; the last thing she remembered was being curled up in a grimy corner, waiting for Eunhee to return with Yixing. Her small figure melt with darkness while a distorted voice called her name, dripping with a sickening kind of amusement.
She felt a soft caress on her skin. Some sort of material covered her skin, softer than the coarse fabric she was used to, silky as water. She realized she was lying on a mattress so soft she could have been floating as well. She started feeling her cold fingertips and her lashes fluttering on her cheeks. She slowly regained control over her muscles and she felt dry and raspy and a dull pain throbbing through her flesh.
A high-pitched beep pulsed distantly, strangely at the same time her heart hit her ribcage. The air smell like antiseptic and it tasted like acrid medicines.
She heard four consecutives beeps and a door opening with the fifth one, followed by light steps. Lara was too dazed to understand the door that had opened was her room’s and that the black spot approaching her bed was a person. She heard a gasp and the loud crush of porcelain hitting the floor.
She blinked slowly. The light still made the white walls burn her eyes. She couldn’t keep her eyes open for more than a couple of seconds. She tried to recognize the dark shape who caressed her hand, but the only thing she could make out were blurry outlines and smudged colors.
The shape took a couple of hasty steps away from her and said something Lara believe was related with calling a doctor. ¿What doctor? ¿Where even was she? She heard the door closing and not late after a whole army of loud steps, accompanied by shapes covered in white and blue. Behind them, leaning on a wall, was the black figure from before. One of the shapes approached her. She could make out a wrinkled face, silver hair and a white lab coat.
Ah- she thought- this must be the doctor.
Lara thought he called her name and asked her if she could hear her, but his voice was too muffled for her to comprehend. Even if she wasn’t completely sure about what she was answering to, she nodded weakly. Before they could aske anything else, light twisted into darkness. The distorted shapes melted into dust and the air no longer smelt like antiseptic, but like humidity and mold.
The voices had been swallowed by darkness, the only thing left was the constant beep which followed her heartbeat. She was no longer on her warm white bed, but in the tunnel just outside the Catacombs. Her clothes were damp, and she’d rather not ask, but the smell told her it was not water. Slow steps made their way through darkness, way too peaceful. Tortuous and almost mocking the dreadful sensation knotting her stomach.
The beep that kept her barely linked to reality became erratic. She felt she was chocking, the pain on her body tearing her flesh. The muffled voice she remembered still called her name, but this time Lara was not able to hide: pain had knocked her down, her face flat on the sticky ground.
The voice dripped with amusement, making her sick. She managed to look up, only to discover she was face-to-face with a shimmering gun barrel. The fingers that held the gun were elegant and pale, but the face of the man was hidden by cloud of black smoke.
The beep stopped beating with her heart and became an obnoxious ring. The world spun away from her as the gunshot shook the walls and a crazed laugh swallowed her mind.
Lara woke up again, panting for air. The ceiling hovering over her was completely white, with circular lights which were turned off. Then where did the light come from? She sat up slowly, wincing and whimpering at the sudden pain that shot from her side. She was on some sort of bed with metal railings on each side.
The sheets where pristine white and she guessed the pleasant warm came from the furry brown blanket thrown over the sheets. Beside the bed was a small wooden table with a small lamb whose yellow light barely illuminated her surroundings. For white walls, not even one glance at the outside world. As far as she was concerned, she could still be somewhere in the Catacombs
She had a catheter on her hand, just like the ones she had seen in the infirmary of the Catacombs. The tube pumped a dark red fluid she had had to see far too many times for her liking and she couldn’t help the nausea gripping her stomach. Lara hated blood. She tore the catheter off with all the strength she could muster and threw it far across the room, panting heavily.
She carefully tore the blankets of her body and discovered she was wearing a white gown and her right thigh was bandaged. Telling from the rough feeling underneath the gown, she most likely had bandages going from her waist to her hips. She didn’t know where she was and the last thing she could remember was the gun barrel pointed to her face and the cold tunnel.
The beep that followed her heartbeat was still there, telling her she was alive and well awake.
Four distantly familiar beeps caught her attention before the door opening, revealing the curvy figure of a lady clad in black. Lara gasped: it was Eunhee. She looked at Lara wide-eyed and ran to hug her. Lara felt her ribs were being crushed.
“Eunhee” she managed “I can’t breathe, it hurts”
Eunhee let her go reluctantly before she lowered the railings and sat beside her legs. She was crying and wiping furiously at her dampened cheeks.
“I thought you wouldn’t wake up” she hiccupped “I though you were going to leave me alone. I was so scared Lara… There was so much blood when I found you-“
Lara reached to pat her head and managed a smile. The pain throbbing on her side was getting unbearable by the second.
“So, we’ve made it?” She asked softly
Eunhee nodded weakly. Lara recalled the night of the Escape, the screams, the acrid smell of blood and dread in her veins. Eunhee had left her hiding in the tunnel, and then… what happened next? Slow steps echoing through the walls, a crazed laugh and the shimmering barrel of a gun. Did that even make sense?
“What happened” she croaked “the night of the Escape, I mean. I remember you going back for Yixing and then… Everything is kind of a bad dream from there”
Eunhee visibly stiffened, her fingers completely still between Lara’s. Her eyes had suddenly lost their spark.
“I left you in the tunnel and I went back for Yixing. Many had made it through the gates and I had to fight them. I honestly didn’t think I would make it. But Yixing found me and we faced them. When we got back we found you unconscious. Can you remember what happened?”
Lara ran her fingers lightly over the bandages. She couldn’t feel her own skin under the coarse fabric wrapped around her right thigh. Looking at her fingers, she shook her head.
“You had two bullet wounds. One on your leg, the other one on your abdomen.”
The cold in her voice made Lara tremble. Eunhee’s eyes blazed with an icy fury she could not understand.
“I know it will take time to heal” Lara smiled “But we’re free now. We can start from scratch and be whoever we want. Isn’t it an adventure?”
Eunhee tore her gaze from her. She looked devastated and ashamed. When she shook her head weakly Lara felt her soul shattering.
“The rumors were true. When we made it out of the tunnel there were helicopters waiting for us. They took us to the hospital, thankfully. But we’re not free, Lara. We are just luxury assets for a mafia”
The last spark of hope of leaving a peaceful life vanished. She didn’t know what a “normal” life was, though. She had only read about the outside life on fictional books.
Eunhee hadn’t told her anything about Baekhyun. She instinctively reached for the necklace he had given her. She hadn’t realized because it now rested on her robe, but the metal felt ice cold. She winced at the sensation. Something dark crossed Eunhee’s gaze, bordering on hate.
“What about the boys? Are they here too? I need to see them, please tell me they’re safe”
The beeping which supposedly followed her heartbeat shot up. Eunhee looked around looking panicked, afraid someone might come. Before Lara could react, she had covered with a trembling hand.
“Don’t scream in here. You really don’t want to discover some things” she muttered “Take it easy. You’ve been in a coma for nine days. Yixing only had some light wounds, nothing some stiches can’t do. He’s been recruited by a Chinese mafia, he left a couple of days ago.”
Lara looked at her expectantly, waiting for her to go on and tell her about Baekhyun, but she didn’t. She couldn’t help but ask.
“What about Baek? He’s alive, right? Is he okay? If he’s in the hospital too I need to- “
Eunhee got up and pat her head, her gaze torn between sweet care and the same icy fury from before.
“You need to rest” she finished “Boss has ordered you to fully recover before you report to him. I’ll go tell the nurses you’re awake”
Eunhee left the room without any last glance. Lara’s head still hurt and it spun around. There was a dull pain throbbing through all her body. The metal still felt cold on her fingers, almost unknown. She hadn’t worn it before, but she used to fiddle with it when it was on Baekhyun’s neck. It had always felt warm, just like him. It was a pleasant kind of warmth that took her to cozy hugs and lazy afternoons cuddling underneath the stair on the first floor while the instructors shouted for them to come out.
Now, though, the necklace felt colder than ice. She couldn't remember her Baek's soothing gaze nor his goofy smiles. She could only see the blood spiralling on running water and his cheeks stained red.
Eunhee’s words faded on her memory as exhaustion took over her. The only thing she registered was the hate on her friend’s eyes and her urge to leave the room.
Hey there! I'm so sorry I didn't update in this long time! I've been really out of inspiration and even though I have the story mapped out
I don't know how to get to certain parts or how to write some scenes.
Also, I've just finished exams! That means more time for writing! Kinda... School's actually killing me and my free time.. but oh well! I can't promise anything but I will do my best to finish another chapter before next week ends.
Once again, thank you to those who read my story! Leave your opinions on the comments bellow, I love constructive criticism. And please tell me if there are any grammar mistakes, I've proofread it, but I might have missed something!
Bye for now!