Number 13: ‘Like’ This Page – A Thriller (Part 3)

Introduction to Number 13

“Number 13” is the third and final chapter in my three part thriller ‘Like’ This Page. A challenge has been issued to other members of The Creative Exiles (in our Newsletter) to attempt to write a final chapter for this story, but I thought it only fair that I write my own final chapter, rather than be tempted to borrow ideas from anyone else. So, that being said, I hope you enjoy..or at least find interesting: “Number 13.”

(Read Part One first)

(Then Part Two)

Number 13

Number 13

When I looked at the number on the card old superstitions kicked in. It felt ominous to have received the number 13, but those reservations were probably all in my mind and I tried to put them aside … at least for now.

The “dreadicipated” night arrived, and once again I dressed as I would to attend a football game. I kissed my wife and kids goodbye and told them I loved them. They looked at me a little puzzled, as though I was going slightly mad, but managed to say, “Love you back,” which is the usual response in our house.

My mind hadn’t stopped since attending the previous “showing” and I tried to anticipate what might happen this time – should I take the car or should I not? What would happen to our only car if I didn’t return home. How would my family cope without a husband and father etc? At least I had finalised my will.

I was probably just being silly, but I decided to catch a cab anyway.

The address had actually been changed for this showing and the location was actually closer to where I lived. My instructions said to arrive at 8:15pm and, from what I assumed, was dependent on the number you were allocated.

On arrival I paid the taxi driver and stepped out in front of an ancient church. A handful of people were gathered in a courtyard below an impressive bell tower. Guessing the same system of entry would ensue as last time I confirmed that a number was displayed next to the door. It was already showing number 9 so I wouldn’t have long to wait my entry, or should I say…fate?

More people arrived spasmodically over the next twenty minutes as I waited for my number to show. When the number 13 did appear I felt a shiver of fear or anticipation run down my spine. Once again the door seemed to anticipate my approach and automatically opened for me to enter.

As expected, a hand gripped my shoulder and I was directed through the dark passage, but this time as I was pushed through the curtain some vile smelling cloth was forced over my nose and mouth, and my few feeble struggles were pointless as all awareness left me and I slumped into unconsciousness.

When I started to come to I tried to move my arms but found they had been strapped to something hard. I had no idea how much time had passed, and the bright lights temporarily blinded any attempts to focus on my surroundings.

What I could make out was that I was naked from the waist up, and soon felt hands fumbling to undo my belt. I tried to kick my legs to stop my jeans being removed but my ankles were gripped firmly as I was stripped completely. Adding to my embarrassment I found that I was also becoming aroused by what should have been a terrifying situation, and I could hear muffled comments and laughter coming from my captors.

Suddenly, my legs were roughly thrust together and firmly secured to the same hard surface as my wrists had been earlier. I could only move my head and neck and tossed it from side to side (now my eyes had adjusted to the light) in an attempt to see what was happening. Lying prone, I found myself being lifted horizontally into the air and I saw black hooded figures on each side of me as I was carried to the stage. I heard the audience gasp in awe or surprise but could see little as the stage was brightly lit but the seating in semi- darkness.

Soon I was being hoisted vertically and it began to dawn on me what I was attached to and the form of torture that awaited me. It was a wooden cross, and I was to be crucified like the messiah!

The sturdy cross was secured to a stand already fixed to the floor of the stage, and I gave my best attempt at a struggle as I was placed on display in all my nakedness for the audience to view. Footstools were placed on each side of me and I began to panic as the two black figures climbed them, bearing hammers and nails. The crowd preempted what was about to happen and their cries of anguish headed my own screams as my hands were nailed to the wooden cross beam.

The pain was excruciating, but even more so when the bindings holding my wrists were cut causing all my weight to be born by my nailed palms. Each leg was bent slightly and I tried to straighten them and push upwards to relieve the pain in my hands. This, however was short-lived as my tormentors descended and began to hammer even longer nails through my feet … I passed out from the pain.

I awoke in a private hospital room. My wife was holding my bandaged hand with a relieved look on her face. “Where’re the kids?’ I asked.

“They’re here,” she said smiling and pointing across the room. My son and daughter stood up and came over to my bedside.  I was glad to be alive!

 

Prologue

The police waited for me to regain consciousness and for me to spend time with my family before interviewing me. After all it was only a formality. They had witness the event and all evidence was clear.

Their attention had been drawn to the offending  “Facebook” page by a tip-off some time ago, and they had their Cyber-crime squad monitoring it. Two police officers had gone undercover, ‘liking’ the page and expressing interest in attending a “showing.” Like me, and the others, they had received invitations and numbers in the mail, fortunately to attend the very viewing where I had been selected as the victim.

They needed to procure enough evidence by witnessing an actual torture, and it just happened to be mine. They had called for back-up, and waited until my feet were nailed to the cross and I passed out before they struck, storming the stage and arresting the perpetrators.

In coming days the media went crazy with the story and it was reported that at least ten missing persons were thought to have been tortured and killed under the guise of ‘performance art,” by this ‘unnamed” group. A police spokesman revealed the number of victims may be higher as there was no way of telling if all had been reported missing.

They also released a statement saying an abandoned cemetery had been found on the church grounds and some of the old graves appeared to have been recently disturbed. These were in the process of being excavated in the hope of finding the bodies of those recently executed.

Currently, I am still undergoing therapy as a result of my ordeal, and for responding to the request to simply: ‘like’ this page.

……………………………….

… meanwhile, somewhere in Japan, 32 year old Yoshi Makoto withdrew a strange black envelope from his letter box. It was just one of many delivered that same day.

John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure.

After a lot of procrastinating I have finally self-published my first eBooks of poetry "I Laughed a Smile" and "On the Wings of Eagles" at Lulu.com.Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction.

I have also been fortunate to have two poems chosen to be made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren.

I am also finding my services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials.

It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years is now wonderful material for my stories and poems.

I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

Latest posts by John Hansen (see all)

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John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure. After a lot of procrastinating I have finally self-published my first eBooks of poetry "I Laughed a Smile" and "On the Wings of Eagles" at Lulu.com. Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction. I have also been fortunate to have two poems chosen to be made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren. I am also finding my services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials. It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years is now wonderful material for my stories and poems. I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

16 thoughts on “Number 13: ‘Like’ This Page – A Thriller (Part 3)

  • November 11, 2016 at 2:16 AM
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    Good grief ! what an ending to a dastardly act of performance. Thank goodness your character survived. Great (and very tense) story, John. Well done.

    Reply
  • November 11, 2016 at 2:21 AM
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    PS: I thought about it and almost took up the challenge. The number picked would have been mine and the torture would have been to be completely immobilized and strapped to an old electric chair then having to watch every presidential debate over and over. LOL

    Reply
  • November 11, 2016 at 2:22 AM
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    Thank you for sticking with this gruesome story all the way through, Phyllis. I couldn’t have the main character dying, could I. Now, I have this out of my system you can expect my next post to probably be an uplifting poem 🙂 Glad you enjoyed this anyway, and I was looking forward to the ending you come up with in the challenge. Does that mean you aren’t going to do it now? Just because I wrote my own ending doesn’t mean you can’t write an alternate one. I will reread your graveyard post as well and see if I can do likewise.

    Reply
    • November 11, 2016 at 2:45 AM
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      Naw … I like your ending, John. To write an alternate ending would just take away from the impact of yours, which is great. I like it. Oh! Please do write an episode of walking the path and choosing a set of bones. What fun!

      Reply
  • November 11, 2016 at 2:47 PM
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    Sorry Kurt, I guess I should have included the links with each one to the other parts. It won’t help you but I’ll do that now. The other way is to click my author profile pic and my last 20 posts will show up.

    Reply
  • November 12, 2016 at 12:32 AM
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    I agree with Phyllis, having to watch all the presidential debates on a continuous loop would be a fine torture. Lol A work of great and gruesome impact, so nicely rendered John. Well done my friend.

    Reply
  • November 12, 2016 at 12:39 AM
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    Thank you, Tony. Haha, a continuous loop of presidential debate (or Priministerial ones) would be torture. Fiction is not really my forte, but I do enjoy having a dabble now and then when the urge hits me. I appreciate your generous comment.

    Reply
  • November 12, 2016 at 8:57 PM
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    Our characters are like our children. We love them dearly and we hate to see them come to harm, but the story must go on! Killing off our little pets is difficult, but nailing one of them to the cross is nearly unheard of John. I’ll bet your hands were hurting as you typed! Until the hammer pierced his skin, I thought it was some sort of a bizzare gaffe. When they cut away the bindings and he sagged downwards, held aloft only by the nails pounded through his palms, I realized it was no conjuring trick, but an theater of blood. Five Stars of Five John. It was rough and raw, and in light of some things that have happened so far in the 21st century, it was all too beleiveable!

    Reply
  • November 12, 2016 at 9:21 PM
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    Hey, Bill. Glad you enjoyed this and actually found it believable. I agree, after some of the atrocities that have already occured this Century, nothing would surprise me. Also, people are becoming so accustomed to violence etc through the media as well, that they are always looking for more extreme forms of entertainment to excite them. Thank you for the Five Star rating.

    Reply
  • November 13, 2016 at 1:42 AM
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    John, nice finish with a mix of horror and justice. I’m afraid I wasn’t so kind to our nameless main character. Crucifixion? ugh, That never dawned on me. It’s a good challenge, and I hope others will step up with more endings for your fine story.

    Reply
  • November 13, 2016 at 12:47 PM
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    I will never ever like a page again. This was extremely creative Jodah, I was expecting the ending to be a joke that was being played on everyone.

    Reply
  • November 13, 2016 at 10:40 PM
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    You or me either, Dana. No, the ending was certainly no joke. Thank you for reading this.

    Reply
  • March 2, 2017 at 2:02 PM
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    I waited until I finished all three chapters to comment. Wow! This was a tense piece of work. Like others, I just HAD to finish it! Good job!

    Reply
  • March 2, 2017 at 3:08 PM
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    Thank you, Ronnie. This is much different from my usual form of writing so I greatly appreciate you reading all chapters and for your generous comment.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2017 at 5:12 PM
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    Somehow I knew his number would be the one called, indeed one has to be very careful who or what you like on social media, that GPS tracker will track you down and receive all your pertinent information. I would have been stage right and exit the first night when I arrived at that old warehouse, enough to say, hey wait a minute, somethings not right here. I’m out of here, but the curiosity of what lays behind a closed door is often irresistible too unsuspecting gullible people. I’m glad it all turned out well in the end for him, he could have been experienced the horrible suffering pain and ultimate death of a Jesus on the cross.

    Reply

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