Vintage Ice (Part 1)

This interactive thriller is an experiment, a complete departure in process and genre.

 I have no idea how the story will end, only how it begins and the events that came before. You, dear reader, will help decide the direction it takes. 

At the end of each post, there will be an opportunity to determine which path the young lady will follow. Vote in the comments to ensure the story continues.

A Dark Place

I shivered and drew my arms to my sides. So cold. It was like standing on the New England coastline just before the first snowfall. Frigid dampness permeated the air. Except, I was face-down on a hard, grainy surface that was sucking all the heat from my body. And there was a sharp pain inside my ear. My head throbbed.

When had I been to the New England coastline?

Click. Click. Click-scratch.

The sound grated in my ear, increasing in volume as the source drew closer. The smell of decaying leaves filled my nostrils. I rubbed the ground below my fingertips, half-expecting soil, and was surprised to discover concrete.

Click. Click. Click-scratch.

What was that sound? I sucked in a quick breath and opened my eyes. But the scene was devoid of light. Darkness mocked me.

Click. Click. Click-scratch.

I strained my muscles, struggling to lift myself off the ground. The pounding in my head set off a wave of nausea, forcing me back down. The clicking sound multiplied, surrounding me.

Click-click-scratch. Click-click-scratch.

Dozens of needles pricked my fingers and toes. Converging and covering my body. As the scratching and shuffling drowned out the fevered clicking sounds. I tensed. Jaw clenched. Air trapped in my lungs. Something was crawling all over me.

I fought to rise again. The shuffling sound became angry. Stabbing, burning pain ignited. My neck. My limbs. My feet. It was like being stabbed by flaming ice picks.

I screamed. “Get off! Get off! Get off!”

I shook the creatures off of me. The pounding in my skull intensified. I swayed. My stomach lurched. A gush of bile rose in my throat, spewing onto the concrete. It splattered across my bare feet. The clickers scattered.

I stretched my arms out, feeling all around me. More concrete to the right and left. Behind and in-front seemed to be empty space. Where was I? Was this normal?

The wood ceiling was only a few inches above my head. I pushed against it and felt it give a little.

Please, let this be a way out.

I gathered my strength and shoved the wood ceiling upward. It popped open along one edge. Light peeked through.

My heart fluttered. I reached to open it further, but a set of long, tan fingers wrapped around the edge and pulled it open.

I shielded my eyes and squinted against the harsh light pouring in behind the crouching stranger. Woozy, I swayed again. A face came into focus as my eyes slowly adjusted. Dark blonde hair, square jaw, chiseled features – a classically handsome man somewhere in his mid-thirties. He was wearing a blue oxford shirt, dark slacks, and loafers.

He smiled and I felt myself smiling back.

“Have we learned our lesson, Alexandra?”

I tilted my head. Who was Alexandra and what lesson?

I glanced around the concrete cell. Was he the reason I was in this hole with dead leaves and…

Click. Click. Click-scratch.

My eyes widened.


You Decide

What happens next? Comment A or B.
A: Go along with him for now and find out what she can.
B: Take her chances and fight back now.
The next installment will be written based upon the choice with the most votes.

Continued – Vintage Ice: Part 2.

Published by K.A. Cummins

K.A. Cummins is an award-winning author and artist. Her publications include Havok Publishing, Rattle, Blue Mesa Review, and her middle-grade series, Snow Globe Travelers.

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