Here’s Sue Vincent’s latest prompt
Perry had had hangovers before but this one was internally percussive in ways he’d never previously experienced. Opening his eyes wasn’t an option, frankly, so he reached out with his right hand. It seemed trapped in a glove. Ditto his left. Still eschewing sight he sniffed. The air smelt damp and cool. Carefully he lifted an eyelid; everywhere was comfortably dark.
Perry sighed. There was a depth to the blackness which suggested he was indoors yet the air didn’t feel room-like. A shed maybe. Or some industrial unit. He ventured a cough, testing the echo but the noise seemed to disappear immediately he let it go.
Now both eyes were open and even though he couldn’t see anything he felt better. Then he wondered if he was wearing a mask. He poked out his tongue. It pushed against cloth.
The sods had put him inside some costume. God, why had he ever agreed to a stagnight. He tried his hands again, reaching up to his face. Feeling carefully, he jerked back as he poked himself in the eye. Ok so his eyes were uncovered but everything else, as best he could judge was inside whatever costume he was in.
Panic began to build in his chest. He needed to relieve himself soon. Just then his eyes slammed shut as wherever he was filled with light. Peeking through slitted lids it soon became apparent it was a cave. As he adjusted to the glare, he heard a door then voices. At bloody last.
It was a crocodile of children led by a man in a devil’s costume. Perry listened carefully as the man briefed the children. It was some sort of Halloween experience and, as best he could judge, he was some kind of monster. What the heck, he thought so taking his cues from the devil man, he played his part even though his brain needed a good soaking in liquid painkillers. The children seemed suitably terrified and as the leader organized them into another line Perry began to move forward, only to realise for the first time he was chained to the cave wall.
‘Hey,’ he called but the sound was deadened by the costume. He tried to shout but it made no difference. The group stopped by the door. The devil-man began to talk to the children, his voice loud enough to carry. ‘So do we let him go, children, or do we leave him to the mercies of the Harpies?’
The children began to chant ‘Harpies, Harpies,’ as the devil-man raised his gaze to meet Perry’s. He nodded and smiled. ‘So be it.’
And they were gone. The lights went out and Perry was alone. He couldn’t believe it. He would kill Graham and Chris when he found them. He would…
He jerked round. Something had brushed against his left leg. Now his right shoulder. ‘Who’s there?’
No one spoke but gradually a noise like the cracking of ice melting began to grow. Perry realised two things at once: he was neither alone and he no longer needed to worry how long he could hold onto his bladder.