Forged in Fire: Act One - I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire


    “I’ve lost all ambition for worldly acclaim, 
    I just want to be the one you love. 
    And with your admission that you feel the same 
    I’ll have reached the goal I’m dreaming of.”

    -The Ink Spots

    At first, there is nothing but darkness. I can feel the cold hand of death hovering just inches from my face, waiting for the time to enclose me in its icy grasp. I open my eyes to meet my fate, and come to a realization that is far more terrifying and much more real:



    I’m not dead. Yet.



    I try to get my bearings, but my gaze is fixed on the sights in front of me. A metal door covered in frost is keeping me confined to a small chamber. I peer through the door’s glass window and spot the blurry visage of another human, though…. also seems to be in confined to a metal chamber. I reach out to touch the glass, hoping to rid it of the frost that’s blurring my vision, but my arm move slowly, far slower than it should. Looking down at it, I realize that it is also covered in frost. I inhale deeply, and frozen air fills my lungs. I start to panic. Where am I? Who am I? How did I get here?


    My eyes dart around the interior of my frozen prison looking for anything that may open the sealed door, and my eyes quickly find a small yellow lever. I reach for it and pull on it with all of the strength that I can muster. I hear a cracking sound, which must be the door trying to break free from the frost that’s built up inside of the chamber, and the door gives slightly. I reach out and pound on the glass, hoping to push open the door, but it doesn’t budge. My panic turns to terror as I start to feel my throat tighten. The air in this chamber is cold and thin, and I doubt it can support me for much longer. I feel my heart pounding in my chest. I throw my weight into the door, hoping to break it free from the frosty buildup that remains, but nothing happens. As I rest on the frost-covered door I hear a few barely audible pops, and the door swings open. Warm air, and the hard ground, rush to meet me as I fall out of the chamber that I had been confined to. I crash onto the ground head-first, and my world fades back to black.


    When I finally come to it takes me quite a while to peel myself off of the ground. My head is throbbing and I definitely have a mild concussion. The frost that covered both my body and the chamber that I was sealed in has melted into a puddle around me, and has soaked through my blue and yellow jumpsuit. I still feel cold, but it’s nothing compared to the icy hell that I just escaped from. I rise to my feet, and as I look down I realize that my head must have split open when I hit the ground. A fair amount of blood is mixed into the water at my feet. I touch the left side of my face and feel a terrible sting, and when I pull my hand away I see a decent amount of blood on my fingers. I wipe them off on the leg of my jumpsuit and start to look around at the room around me.


    The hallway that I’m standing in is lined on either side by these odd chambers - four on each side. Though I know that each chamber has a freezer-burnt person inside of it, I’m only drawn to one of them. The chamber directly across from mine. I clear some of the exterior frost off of the window and peer into the frozen pod - inside of it there is a woman. There is a bullet hole in her chest, right where her heart is. I stammer backwards and lose my balance, and in an instant I’m back on the floor. I feel my stomach tie itself in a knot, and I try to vomit but nothing comes up. I look back up at the cleared section of the chamber window, my heart pounding, and a faint feeling of nostalgia comes over me. Do I know this woman? Is there some sort of connection between the two of us? I look over her face one more time, but the feeling fades. I turn away and climb back to my feet, trying to put the dead woman out of my mind.


    I follow the narrow hallway until it brings me to a larger section of the building that stems off into a series of other hallways. Cursory glances down three of the four lead me to believe that there are many more of the deep-freeze chambers in the other hallways, but I can’t bring myself to investigate them any further. If the woman was any indication of what to expect, then this building is just one large tomb filled with frozen corpses. I stop walking for a moment and lean against a nearby wall so that I can catch my breath. My head is spinning, and I still have no idea as to what’s going on. I put my hands on my knees and take a few deep breaths, and that’s when I hear it. It’s faint and indistinguishable, but I hear it echoing through the long hallway to my right.






    I step toward the sound. At first it seems alien to me, as if I haven’t heard the song in decades, but as I get closer to the source the song becomes unmistakable.


    In my heart I have but one desire,

    And that one is you.


    The music isn’t playing loudly, and the source cuts out from time to time, but it continues to draw me forward. Every step that I take causes my head to pound, and I can feel a thin stream of blood trickling down the left side of my face. I round a corner and for a second the world seems to spin, I stop and close my eyes and wait for the world to level out, then I continue onward.


    Believe me,

    I don’t want to set the world on fire...


    I near the source of the tune - an old intercom hanging on a wall behind a large curved desk - and I stop. Something about the room doesn’t feel right, but I’m not sure what it is. I step closer to the desk, and on the floor behind it is a grisly sight. A skeleton, almost completely intact aside from the skull, which is in a few pieces, sits up against the wall behind the desk. A small dust-covered revolver sits in its lap, and a bottle of bourbon lies empty on the floor next to it. I feel sick, but I continue onward toward the intercom. I reach out to it and attempt to hit the “return” button, but stop myself before I can press it. I can’t help but feel that something terrible is about to happen, but the possibility of hearing another human voice presses me onward. I press the button.


    I just want to star…


    The music stops mid-verse. I wait for a minute in hopes that I’ll hear something…. anything…. come from the other end of the intercom, but my patience is rewarded with a thick static hiss. I sigh, my hopes defeated, and turn to leave. As I step forward, I hear a series of clicks and beeps come from the curved desk. I look towards it, and see that the old dusty terminal sitting on it has sprung to life. I dash over to it, my head pounding with each rapid step, and sit at the chair behind it. I wipe the dust off of the screen and read the text that has been typed.

    “Is someone there?! Please reply…. I thought that I was alone in here….”


5 Comments   |   ShyGuyWolf and 8 others like this.
  • Todd
    Todd   ·  September 11, 2016
    I'll likely need to do that soon, won't I?  :P
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  September 11, 2016
    I have to agree here the song certainly adds to the scene. 
    I've noticed you've a few different blogs Todd. Have you considered making a ToC to showcase them?  
  • Todd
    Todd   ·  September 7, 2016
    I'm glad that you enjoyed it! I should have another chapter coming out in a few days. 
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  September 7, 2016
    Agreed, Phil. Had the pleasure of previewing this. I like how the song is mixed in, adds just that bit of creepy. 
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  September 7, 2016
    Heart-pounding and tense Todd. Grim, bleak and dark, you have a real talent for this noir style. I like that vague pang he feels when looking at the body in the cryo chamber, am interested in seeing how you deviate from that backstory or whether that...  more