Orin shivered as he hugged his knees. His breath kept his hands and legs warm, although the cold wasn't the only reason why he breathed into his knees. Orin somehow sensed that whatever was out there had keen ears and sight, that it could hear him breathe and could see the frozen air. His breath kept him warm, but his body was nearly frozen. Frozen from the fear that seemed to slowly kill him.
Orin wondered if the something that lurked watched him. A part of Orin hoped he was hidden within the darkness, but another part feared that it was all just a game. The creature, so he would call it, could be staring and waiting to see if Orin would try and escape. He imagined a creature vile and tall, with sharp teeth and claws that ached to tear him from limb to limb. Orin could feel his flesh rip into deep gashes created by an invisible foe. He imagined his blood pouring from his body, and his heart beating faster until it stopped.
Orin clamped his eyes tighter and pushed the image away. It suddenly became less safe within his mind.
While he held his breath, Orin slowly opened his eyes and lifted his head. He did not see anything, not even shadows, but the darkness frightened him. Something was there, somewhere. Something dark and dreadful, that Orin felt intended him harm. A sick, blood hungry man with sharpened knives and a maniacal laugh. A sadistic hunter and Orin his prey. Orin wondered if he could survive being hunted. Could he run fast enough, find places to hide, and not get lost? The idea of nearly reaching freedom, seeing his escape, and then feeling one of those knives pierce through his back, made Orin nearly yell out. He managed to clamp his mouth shut with the palm of his hand, but then jumped at the echoing sound it made. His eyes darted around as he looked for movement in the darkness.
Escape was the only option.
It seemed best to go slowly at first. To get a sense of what was near. Orin moved to his hands and knees. His palms touched the ice-cold floor. His arm shook violently as he raised it up to make his first move from his hiding spot within the dark. When his hand touched ground again, Orin stopped and listened for sounds around him. The silence scared him more than any other sound could. Not even a growl, or chainsaw, or laughter, could frighten him as much as not hearing a thing. Because it told him nothing. The creature could still be there, watching, an evil smile on its vile lips. Or the hunter could be waiting for his prey to make the first move.
But Orin knew that if he stayed, the fear would kill him. So, he crawled, slowly at first and then faster. Using one hand, Orin felt ahead and to the sides in hope that he would grope at a wall or doorway and not something evil. His breath became heavy, and that frightened him, and so he breathed even harder. His heart beat loudly, and Orin felt he gave himself away. He began to believe that this attempt at escape would cost him his life. The more he thought those thoughts, the harder his breath and heart beat became. He scrambled faster and haphazardly. Both hands flipped wildly in the hair and Orin shuffled across the ground on his knees. Frantic, Orin moved about in circles before he fell upon his stomach on the cold floor.
He was going to die. The cannibalistic being that had Orin as prisoner waited for him to die. It wasn’t a game to this murderer, Orin guessed. No, it was survival. Like a vulture waited, this murder wanted Orin to cry out his pain, fear his death, and hope to live, only to kill himself with fear. Then Orin wondered if he would be eaten. Raw flesh must taste better when the body suffered. Would the being lick his lips as he tore meat from his bones? Would he savor every morsel?
Orin jumped up to his feet and ran into the dark with his arms stretched out in front of him. Wherever he was, it never seemed to end. The darkness kept going, because there were no walls, no doors. And yet, Orin kept running. He kept hoping for a bit of light to lead him to safety. Exhausted, and out of breath, Orin stopped and rested his hands upon his knees. He wanted to fall down, to give up, and give in.
But then something shimmered in the pitch black.
Orin looked toward the source of light. His breath caught in his throat as his heart hoped. There was a light. A dim light. This was his freedom, Orin knew, and he smiled. His heart became light, his body relaxed, and Orin ran towards his light with a renewed vigor. Orin knew his mind wasn't playing tricks on him because the light grew bigger the closer he got to it. It was a doorway, and the light was from the moon. For some reason, the moon had dared to shine for him. To save him.
Just as Orin reached the doorway, a shadow covered up the moonlight. A shadow that moved on its own.