Nina ran as fast as her legs could. She couldn’t stop running, not now. No matter how much her throat and chest burned, she could not stop running.
Those things would catch her and do god knows what to her.
She didn’t know what those monsters were. They weren’t zombies that was for sure. It didn’t matter how much you shot them or hit them with a blunt object, they wouldn’t die. They would just get right back up. Even cutting off their heads won’t stop them. And their voices… their voices were inhuman. They were high pitched and scratchy but that wasn’t why these monsters scared her. They scared her because despite how non-human they sound and look, they acted just like humans albeit, more demented. But they watched TV, had jobs, went to school. They did all the things most humans did and that terrified the young woman.
‘I need to get out of here!’ she thought.
But where would she go?
The sky was a permanent red, with blood pouring down from the heavens. The dirt was soaked in the crimson rain and the houses of this strange village looked beat up and abandon but they weren’t since they were the homes of the creatures.
The village didn’t seem real.
To Nina, it seemed like she was trapped in hell.
Nina braced herself as she tripped. She moaned a curse as she felt pain in her left wrist.
‘Oh god. I broke my wrist.’ she thought Her mind going straight to the worst case scenario.
Getting up, as she didn’t want her adrenaline to die, she was about to run when she came face to face with one of the creatures that called this hellish land home. She would have made a run for it. She would have maybe even try to fight it if it wasn’t for how nightmarish the thing appeared.
The creature had oversized maggots sticking out of its face. They were squirming around, like as if they were trying to escape, but they were stuck. Its skin peeling off of its body, it looked like a walking corpse. It giggled while limping towards Nina.
“Oh! A visitor!” it said. “We don’t get many visitors.”
Nina stood there frozen.
A deer in headlights.
Even the rotten stench from the monster wouldn’t allow her legs to move. The monster grew closer and closer, rambling on about how lonely it was and all Nina could do was tremble in fear. She thought her heart was bound to explode from how quickly it was beating and her chest felt so tight.
‘This is it. This is how I die. Why did I agree to come here?’
Her thoughts quickly dissipated as she heard a bang.
Blinking in shock from the sound and the creature falling, she looked around, her eyes coming into contact with serious brown eyes. A young man held a shotgun and his clothing was that of a priest. His eyes soften once he saw how utterly horrified the girl was.
“Come with me. I know a place that is safe.” he told her, his voice easing her racing heart.
Nina nodded, not saying anything as she began to follow the young priest.
Once in the church, the priest locked the large doors and walked to a room filled with books, that Nina thought was a small library, in the back of the church. Nina followed him, believing it to be safer with him than being by herself. He pulled out a chair from one the tables and sat down, motioning his hands towards the chair opposite of his for Nina to sit in.
“Have a seat.” He said and she obliged, sitting down.
“I know you must be afraid and confused. But you needn’t worry anymore. You are safe here with me.”
Nina was speechless. She was so confused and just wanted answers. What were those things out there? Why was the sky always red and raining blood? But most importantly, who posted that job offer? She has seen it online a week ago. It told about a job to watch an old man while his daughter went on vacation for a bit. She was a certified nurse and was looking for another job as she has quit her previous job for her boss suggesting her to lay with him if she wanted better pay. Since she didn’t want to lose her apartment and have to move back in with her parents, she began searching for a job the day after she quit. She saw the ad and it seemed legit. She contacted the woman, via email, and was hired.
‘God, I’m so stupid. Why didn’t I try to call that woman or at least face time her?’ Nina continued to quietly beat herself up. ‘If I was only smarter, I wouldn’t be in this situation. Dammit.’
“You are very quiet my dear.”
Nina snapped out of her self-pitying and looked at the priest. She noted how handsome he was and wondered how someone who looked around her age could be a priest.
“I’m just shocked is all.”
The young man chuckled slightly.
“I understand. Are you thirsty?” he asked.
“Y-yeah. I am actually.”
“Good. I’ll make us some tea.” he smiled, getting up from his seat. “Oh! I apologize for not telling you my name earlier. I’m Alister.”
“Nina.” she simply said, a sad smile gracing her lips. Her smile dropped once she heard the door closed. She was thankful that Alister had saved her and that he was being nice, but she wanted to go home. She felt her pants pockets and mumbled a “Thank god” when she felt her phone. She entered in her password and went into her contacts, her finger gliding up the screen until she reached a name.
‘If I die here, I at least want someone to know what happened to me.’
She tapped on the name Leon and texted him everything that happened up till now. The job ad, the strange hell like village, the monsters, the priest. She sent the text, praying that somehow, he’ll receive it.
The door opened and Nina glanced behind her, seeing the brown haired priest walk into the room with two mugs in his hand. He sat down, handing her a cup.
“Be careful. It maybe a bit hot.” he warned.
Nina wondered how Alister had water to make tea as it seemed like even the lakes in this village was filled with blood but as she looked at and smelled the tea, to her surprise, it looked normal.
She blew on the hot drink, before taking a sip. The liquid burned her tongue and she put the cup down, opting to let it cool for a minute before drinking it once more.
Alister took a sip of his drink, his eyes closing and a sigh slipping out of his lips. He opened his eyes, looking at the young woman who was looking at her hands, a tired and defeated look upon her features.
“Now now.” he began. “Why do you feel so down?”
Nina gulped and clenched her fist. Anger was finally setting in.
“How stupid can you be? I’m trapped in this hell and you’re just pretending everything is fine and dandy!” she yelled, tears forming in her eyes.
“Yes! Hell! This place is hell on earth. Those… things out there, whatever the fuck they are, is not normal. None of this is normal enough for you to just be sitting there like everything is all hunky fucking dory!”
Alister didn’t flinch nor became angry himself. He understood her anger. After all, those who are fortunate enough to come to this place, never truly understood the beauty of this village but unlike the others, she will learn to appreciate it as he does.
“I didn’t mean to make you upset. Please drink your tea. It’ll help you relax.”
Nina sighed, picking up the mug and took another sip. It didn’t burn her tongue this time.
Alister licked his lips. He knew what he was about to say next was going to make her try to run away.
“I know this all doesn’t make sense to you. But my dear, you should understand one thing. This place isn’t hell. In fact, it is heaven on earth.”
Nine raised an eyebrow. She was getting annoyed with the man and she was beginning to get bad vibes from him.
“Really? Listen I know you’re a priest and all, but isn’t heaven suppose to be like Eden or something?”
“Oh but this is Eden Nina. This is paradise and in order to keep this paradise, we need a sacrifice.”
Alister chuckled again but it didn’t sound gentle like it normally it did. It sounded more crazed.
“A sacrifice. One that is pure of heart. And that is you, Nina.”
Nina quickly stood up, the chair falling down behind her.
“I’m leaving.” she announced, turning on her heel, practically sprinting towards the door but Alister was faster. He caught her, pinning her arms by her side.
“You will learn to love this place and see it for the paradise that it is. You will learn to worship Dea as I do and will happily give up your life for her in order for her to continue to shower us with her love.”
Nina struggled against Alister’s tight grip.
“Get off of me!” she yelled. “You’re insane.” but all the young priest did was laugh, his once soft eyes, darkening with lunacy.
Nina soon felt her eyelids become heavy. She felt more sluggish and she quickly realized that she has been drugged. She fought to keep her eyes opened but was losing that fight. Her eyes began closing and before she passed out, she felt Alister’s arms wrap around her, hugging her tightly as he hummed a lullaby in her ear.
“Go to sleep my dear. It’s alright. You’ll soon see what I see. You’ll soon see the light.”
~a sleepy ghost~