A/N: My first attempt at a horror story. I think it came out alright, definitely not one of my best, though. Almost three years after I first "finished" this story, it is actually done. I wrote this is as a gift to a friend, but when I decided to post it here, I realized it needed a bit of editing to have any attempt of making it on this site. Unfortunately, other stories got in the way, but now it is finished. And, yes, it is meant to end the way it does.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not really sure if this has a disclaimer. I don't own Heather (she owns herself). This story was inspired through the genius of hundreds of horror films, but does not use specific characters or ideas from any. While I've never actually watched any of the Hostel movies, what I know of them leads me to believe my story is very similar to those plot lines.

SUMMARY: Our beloved heroine wakes up trapped in an abandoned building that's not quite as abandoned as she thought.

GENRE: Horror

RATING: R (I couldn't decide between R or PG-13, so I opted on the side of caution)

DEDICATION: To Heather! She is one awesome individual who single-handedly buries herself in a horror club and she works incredibly hard to make it a wonderful (or frightening, depending on how you look at it) place for horror lovers of all sorts and sizes to hang out.

DATE: August 15, 2012

::~*~::

Heather stirred in her sleep. Something wet was dripping down her cheek. The drips kept falling and she struggled to full consciousness. Another drop hit her lips and unconsciously her tongue flicked out to it. The thick liquid was bitter and coppery in taste and she spit it out as unconsciously as she had brought it in. Something was very wrong. Her mind was very foggy and the slightest movement brought about severe pain in her head. She struggled to a sitting position, trying hard to ignore the throbbing at the back of her head. Upon reaching an upright position, her head knocked against something above her which proceeded to sway, gentling brushing her head as it swung back and forth. Opening her eyes, she immediately regretted it as her vision swam in shades of gray and black in front of her. She shut her eyes tightly and waited for the pain in her head to subside before opening them again. Slowly this time, she opened them.

The room she was in was large, though dimly lit. She was given a vague idea of its dimensions when she finally located the source of the light which was at least a hundred feet away from her and obstructed by numerous objects hanging from the ceiling.

The dripping continued, hitting her on the back of the neck. Reaching a hand up to her neck, she was surprised to feel a lot of moisture there. So focused on the pounding in her head, she hadn't noticed the continuous dripping down her backside. Pulling her hand away, she was alarmed to see a dark stain covering her fingertips, though, in the darkness of where she sat, she couldn't determine what it was.

Terror crept over her, enveloping her in its icy grip. The seriousness of the situation was slowly driving away the pain in her head and thought came clearer to her. Whatever the dripping was, it was coming from the object suspended above her head. Slowly, she turned her head upwards, eyes penetrating the darkness.

She could barely discern the shape hanging above her, but the dripping continued ceaselessly. As her eyes flew around the room, she saw many objects suspended from the ceiling. Her ears also picked up the sound of many drops hitting the floor throughout the room. Refusing to sit there as heaven only knew what kept covering her, she crawled along the floor, heading towards the light that was shining like a beacon to her across the room. She was hit with several more drops before she reached the light, a bare fluorescent bulb hanging on a string...in front of a door! As soon as she realized it was a door, her spirits lifted considerably, but upon trying the handle, they sank again. Locked. She supposed she shouldn't be surprised. She had a feeling she wasn't supposed to be leaving in a hurry and an unlocked door would have made things far too easy for her. Bracing herself for the worst, she slowly turned around to look at the room behind her.

::~*~::

Hanging from chains, all across the room, severed limbs hung limply from the ceiling. She clamped her hands over her mouth to keep from screaming out. In the back of her mind, she prayed that this was merely a sick, twisted illusion, perhaps even a demented joke, but the twisted bones protruding from many of the limbs, the constant drip of dark red blood on the concrete floor, the dark tattoos standing out in stark contrast to the pale skin told a different story.

Tearing her eyes away from the scene, she turned her head to the side and vomited. She had no idea when the last time she had eaten was, but her stomach insisted on throwing its contents all over the floor, to mix with the blood already there.

She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the cool, concrete wall. The longer she was awake the clearer her mind and senses became. She couldn't remember how she had gotten here; in fact, trying to remember anything was difficult, but she knew she was in danger the longer she stayed. Forcing her thoughts away from the sheer terror of her situation, she instead turned them towards getting out of there. Turning back to the room, she studied every inch that she could see from her vantage point, looking for potential tools to aid her bid for freedom. All she could see were the limbs.

Keeping her back firmly against the wall, she slid along, away from the light towards the other end. She slid slowly, allowing her eyes to adjust to the growing darkness. At the other end of the room, along the wall directly opposite to the door, was a long counter that ran the length of the wall. It was covered in dark stains; Heather could only assume dried blood from whatever mangled experiments the butchers took pleasure in. Aside from the stains, the counter was bare and there were no drawers or cabinets underneath it.

Heather refused to give up and so she slid along the wall again, back towards the light, but this time she stared intently at the dangling limbs all across the room. She was searching for one among many.

When she was three quarters of the way back to the door, she spied something that she felt might work. She was going with the idea that she wasn't brought here for nothing and she wouldn't be allowed to remain alone for long. Crossing to one of the limbs, selected out of the rest, she tugged at the arm that was hanging down, seeking to tear it loose from the manacle that held it. Out of all the limbs she had seen, this one was hanging the loosest in its manacle, so she sought to free it from its bond. She tried her best to ignore the revulsion she felt as she first clamped her hands around the bicep of the arm and pulled at it. While it was the loosest, it still did not relinquish easily and she pulled harder. The sound of bones breaking and distorting within the arm was not a sound she would soon forget.

At the exact moment the arm came free, a bloodcurdling scream rent the silence of the room, and, in her frantic state of mind, Heather was momentarily convinced that some dark magic had kept the body alive to which the arm she had just mutilated further had belonged. She was terrified that the owner had actually felt the arm rip away. She had just managed to convince herself that that was impossible when the scream came again and she realized it was coming from outside the room she was in. The sound was so piercing that she couldn't tell if it was from right outside the door or farther away within the building. For that matter, she had no idea how big or small the building was or where it was even located in relation to the outside world. She realized, though, that if she spent all of her time thinking about it, she would lose focus on what really mattered—getting out of the room.

Dropping the arm onto the floor, she grasped the heavy chain in the ceiling and pulled with all her might, going so far as to hang onto it, completely leaving the floor. She felt it give just a little, but when she could hang no longer, she dropped back to the floor and the chain remained in the ceiling. Grabbing it again, she pulled as hard as she could. This continued for at least five more minutes before the chain finally gave way and fell to the floor with a dull clank. Picking it up, she hefted its weight in her hands, getting the best grip she could. Moving swiftly back over to the door, she placed her ear against it, seeking any noise that would alert her to movement outside. She heard nothing. Vaguely she wondered what had become of the person who had screamed, but she shook her head. She couldn't afford to think on things outside of her control.

She shifted the chain to one hand and looked up into the bare light bulb above her. Wishing it didn't have to be this way, she tensed her body and slammed the chain against the bulb, smashing it to pieces and throwing the room into absolute darkness.

::~*~::

An hour later, Heather had fallen into a light doze standing behind the door. The screaming had continued off and on for much of the time she had spent waiting until it quieted to tortured whimpers before stopping altogether. The chain slowly fell from her hands and settled on the floor at her feet. She jerked herself awake and leaned down to pick it up, alert for any new sounds from the other side of the door. As she was standing back up, she heard footsteps outside. Quickly straightening up, she crouched behind the door, the chain wrapped securely around her hands. While she knew that if she didn't do anything, she was most likely to end up a corpse, she had pondered about whether she had it in her to take a human life. Would that make her as murderous as the people who brought her here? No. Every time that thought came to mind, she pushed it away, reminding herself that this was self defense. She was fighting to preserve her own life, her freedom.

A key turned in the lock. The knob turned. Heather was sure that if she could actually see, her knuckles would appear blindly white as her hands gripped the chain as though it were a lifeline. In a way, it was. It was her only lifeline out of here. Slowly, the door opened in front of her…

::~*~::

Heather ran down the concrete corridors, each running step echoing thru the hallways around her. When the door had opened in her prison of a room, she had leapt upon the back of the figure and strung the length of chain around his throat. Holding on for dear life, for that was what she was fighting for, she choked the life out of the man. He struggled against her, naturally, but she had the advantage as she perched on his back, all of the strength she possessed flowing towards her shoulders and arms as she kept the chain pressed tightly against his neck. When he had finally fallen at her feet, she had felt so triumphant and yet so weary.

Without waiting any longer then necessary, she had grabbed the chain and run out of the room. She had quickly found herself in a long, narrow corridor that immediately reminded her of a hospital out of horror movies. In some places, blood was spattered everywhere. As she ran along, she gave cursory glances into a couple of the rooms she passed. When she had passed by the first one, she had actually stumbled to a stop, horrified by what she saw.

A young woman, appearing close to her own age, was strapped to a chair. She was dressed in a tank top and jeans, but the colors were impossible to determine as the clothing was completely soaked through with blood. Surrounding the chair, rapidly staining the floor, was a large pool of blood. Heather didn't need a closer look to know that it was all from this young woman. The torture inflicted on her was meant to inflict the most amount of pain possible while keeping her alive as long as possible. Her fingers had been severed at each knuckle, her toes as well. Without severing major limbs, every protruding extremity had been severed. Once that was done, the butcher had scalped her, which appeared to have been the final act as the woman had died shortly thereafter. Her body had just been left in the chair and Heather had no idea where the murderer had disappeared to. Heather turned away and resumed her escape.

Regardless of the terror she was feeling, she had to laugh bitterly at the irony of her situation. She had always been a passionate fan of all things horror-related, especially horror movies, and now to find herself in this situation…it was just a bizarre turn of fate.

The corridor was of a concrete construction; floor, walls and ceiling. Fluorescent lighting illuminated the corridor every few feet. The walls were bare, no pictures or wall hangings of any kind. Heavy metal doors were spaced evenly apart, each leading into large rooms, most of them empty, though there were a few that showed recent activity. Heather took all this in, even as she was racing down the hallway. There was no doubt about it; this building, wherever it was, was maze-like in its construction. After the first couple of turns, Heather had to admit that she was lost. Lost in this slaughterhouse of horrors.