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The Drifter

The Drifter

By Mrhbarnes

The moon hung in the spotless sky; an old leathery skinned hand pushed open the giant steel doors and revealed the inner bowels of the metal monster. The colossal creature groaned, as the machines were revealed from their hiding. The factory had not been active for a long time it was an old steel works forge and had been for 120 years. The year was 2011 and the factory had been closed due to health and safety risks. Now, it stands there, constantly watching over the orange-hazed city on the horizon.

Years had past, and the factory had been abused and weather beaten. The windows, once shed light onto the mighty machines within, but now, they bare teeth to all who pass. The warehouse, once clean and grand, was now home to weeds and flowers as they lay their roots within the concrete floor. This once all mighty being had died, and all the dust laden machinery inside laden with dust, gathered a gallery of spiders webs.

As the factory’s mouth opened, the smell of decay filled the air, and the drifter faltered forwards into the darkness. With him, the dim orange light following close behind. The old drifter was clinging onto a dry whiskey bottle in one hand, and in his other, a withered broadsheet newspaper from the day before, which shouted “Serial Killer escapes from Ridgewood Asylum!” on its front in big black letters. He had no home and was a faithful drinker. His long grey hair hung low down his back in messy knots and plaits and he wore aged combat trousers accompanying an unwashed grey vest. With no education and little self control from excess alcohol, the vagrant ambled on, in angst of finding shelter for the night.

As he stood amongst the machinery, the room loomed over him as he staggered further into the abyss, with only the late night moon as his guide.

In his drunken stupor, the world seemed to spin and the redundant machinery appeared sinister and threatening. However amongst the metal skeletons and the broken glass that lay lifeless on the factory floor; distant footsteps could be heard patrolling the area. The drifter’s heart started to race and even the beads of sweat that covered his brow seemed frozen with fear.
The drifter fell to his knees and held his ears, but could still hear the sound of trailing feet approaching him. With the newspaper heading in mind, the old man hastily clambered to his feet and began to run further into the dark.

Under the roof of the factory, nothing could be seen and the only sound that could be heard was a haunting wind whistling through the cogs and the metalwork. As if the monster was steadily breathing in its eternal slumber.

Silence fell once more.

Looking hazily left and right through the metal maze he stepped out of hiding. Shrouded by fatigue he slowly dragged his feet across the factory floor, and headed for the exit. The sound of glass shattering pierced the silence and rang through the drifter’s head. His breathing quickened and he started hyperventilating as he limped across the factory floor. The footsteps came again but louder and faster. He looked back, re-assuring his safety. More dizzy steps were taken and the drifter unknowingly tripped over and landed laboriously on the factory floor.

His spinning world had turned into a revolving nightmare as the sound of footsteps came closer. Blood trickled down from his laceration on his head. The drifter looked around in a dazed state as pandemonium surrounded him and the taste of blood filled his mouth. As the old man gradually lost consciousness the darkness seemed to smother him as he blacked out. The lifeless body lay limp and lifeless on the concrete floor.

Hours later he awoke in a daze but confused and scared. The drifter thought that he had died that night and was being carried angels in white clothing. As he re-gained his sight he realised that he had been restrained. He quickly looked around and acknowledged immediately that leather straps had been tightly bound around his chest, legs and arms. He tried to struggle but every time he moved the straps pinched his skin. Eventually he recognised that he wasn’t being carried by angels, but by men in pure white overalls. They were talking amongst themselves, and occasionally glancing at the old man.

Two pale blue double doors swung open as the men carried him around a corner. The drifter noticed many circular lights blurrily pass on the ceiling above. After a while, the men stopped moving. They lifted the bed perpendicularly to the floor. The drifter was soon confronted by six other ‘angles’, one was seemingly different, and he was dressed in a black suit and embraced a black briefcase. He approached the drifter and started to inspect the old man. The drifter looked around worryingly trying to find sense in all that was happening. As he spun his head, he noticed that the man in black wore a badge. The badge read, “C.Clarke -Ridgewood Asylum”. The man in black turned to him. Put his apparatus into his case and closed it.

“Welcome back.”

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About This Story
30 Dec, 2011
Read Time
4 mins
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