They ran as fast as they could, but it was already too late. When they reached the end of the corridor from which the terrible noise came, they were hit by the stream of refreshing air, but neither their colleague nor the runaway were to be found. What’s more, there didn’t seem to be any way out. As they scanned the wall for hidden clues, they already knew one thing for sure. No matter what happened, no matter where he was now, their young, ambitious friend wasn’t coming back. Ever.
As the baton flew through the air to hit Yuriy, several unexpected things happened at once. One of the bricks moved inward, reacting to the touch of his fingers, the floor collapsed under the two men, the baton fell from the warder’s hand and hit Yuriy lightly, making him unconscious and the two of them fell into the flowing river. The stream took them to the waterfall which threw its victims, making them drop hardly onto rocks. If anybody had stood there in that time, he would have thought that the two dead bodies covered with blood were lying there. It was impossible for a human being to survive the forceful fall from 400 meters. In fact, however, there was only one corpse in there…
They listened carefully, but they couldn’t hear anything apart from the sound of drops falling into the water. ‘It seems we’ll have to split up’, somebody mumbled. And so, each of the warders entered a different passage. Meanwhile, Yuriy reached the dead end…
‘What the hell…?!’, cried one of the warders. ‘Look at this!’, he uttered pointing at the piles. ‘ It seems we’ve finally found our missing friends…’, muttered the other. They were standing several minutes too stunned to make a move. Gold was shining in there eyes. ‘Where did he get all of this from?’, they wondered. ‘I’ve told you he was smart. But no matter about this now. We’ve got to find him before he does any more harm.’
He made an attempt to stand up. He was in some kind of circular chamber hollowed out in a cave. There were many passages around and he wondered which one he should choose. Suddenly, he spotted letters pricked vaguely above each doorway. All of them had a different odd title: Heart, Mind, Hand, Stomach, the last one was so unclear he couldn’t work it out. To his surprise, they sounded quite familiar. Abruptly, he heard a sound of splashing water. Alarmed, he found himself running straight ahead. Before he could see which corridor he’s entering, there was a short boom and whispers filled the cave.
‘It was just a dream. It was just a dream….’, he repeated several times before returning to a sitting position. What shocked him were two things lying next to each other in front of him. The first one was an enormous pile of gold and the other – thousands of parts of human bodies. They looked as if somebody had jerked them. In some places he could recognize small fabric scraps which resembled the gowns of the men who were following him. A sudden panic hit him. ‘What if they’ve already managed to open the door? What if they’ve found the secret hole under the bed?’ The stuffy smell in the place was the factor that made him want to leave the place as fast as possible even more.
Yuriy had an impression that he lost consciousness for a while. He didn’t know how long he was falling. He couldn’t see anything but he felt soft ground under his hands. Something strange was moving on his face. He reached to take it off and with a relief he recognized a small maggot. Yuriy forced himself to stand up. However, as soon as he did this his eyes met a view that made him fall unconscious once again.
He heard the alarm as soon as the door was thrown open. A bald man in a white gown came in. He seemed very excited. However, what scared Yuriy was the insanity in his eyes and an odd smile on his face. The stranger gazed at him and shouted, ‘Run!’, just before disappearing in the crowd of the same white gowns. He walked out and noticed that all of the men had blotches on their wrists. He had one too. It was black while most of the men had red and yellow ones. He decided not to let it bother him at that particular moment. What he wanted to concentrate on was how to get out of the building. He didn’t really know why, but he had an overwhelming feeling that it was what he had to do. He saw a group of men wearing blue clothing hurrying in his direction. They didn’t seem to notice any other people but him. What’s more, each of them had a strange tool like a gun in their hands. One of them shouted, ‘Catch him!’. It was then when Yuriy noticed the hole wide enough for a man to get into under his bed. Without much thinking he slammed the door and jumped into it.
Yuriy opened his eyes. He was in a cold concrete cell. He felt terribly achy and didn’t remember how he got there. He was confused. Barely recognizeable pictures twinkled in his mind. He had no idea who he was. Then, he discovered the reason for his pain – he had dozens of cuts all over his body. His sheet was soaked with blood. His hands were in blood, too. Yet, he couldn’t tell whether it was his or not…