it all comes back in the end
rating: +9+x

warning: descriptions of violence/blood and death

The others were merciless in the making of us.

To allow only a certain amount of us to think, they knew exactly what they were doing.

We became close to human, and that was unacceptable.

So we became better.

We found a safe haven, and we made it our perfect trap.

We manipulated those gullible enough to enter, and we experimented to our content.

We found what we enjoyed.

We had complete control.

They weren't one to forget.

Yet here they were, forgetting.

Bit by bit. From their first moments in that god-forsaken level and onward, small details were slipping away.

Sliding between their fingers like sand.

The first thing to begin to go were their tormentors. The entities began to fade the second they tried to remember, and they needed to remember, to warn people before they couldn't remember anything else. They got a journal, trying to write down the littlest details before they lost them. They only hoped they could forget whatever amount of time they had spent there. Despite the apparent speed at which they had begun to forget their captors, the pure agony they were put through in that hellhole was as clear as day.

They could still feel the flames engulfing their body as they had tried to rest. The pure agony of being burned alive and the typical promise of death snatched away as they laid writhing and in pain, with no hint of an end in sight. And yet, not even a burn mark to show for it. Completely unscathed.

That was one subject they could stand to forget.

The small fire they had started made up of torn carpet and paper illuminated this particularly dark corner of Level 4. The idea of starting one after what had happened hurt, but they knew necessity outweighed the strange trauma that was afflicting them (they assured themselves that somewhere in this hell, someone was going through something worse). Besides, if they didn't have a fire, god knows what entities would come lurking through the dark.

They huddled into their hoodie, trying to write what they could remember.

Remembering the entities at this point was futile. All they got from their efforts was panic and vague grey figures. Facelings? No. Facelings were mostly neutral unless they were provoked. They didn't do anything to provoke these things, and they remembered feeling safe when the entities had approached.

What started with the entities grew. It became forgetting the surroundings, how they got there, everything involving that hellhole had become a blur. It was useless to force themselves to remember.

They decided to switch what they were thinking about, as they could feel anxiety building up, the telltale tightness of their chest and the dimly lit room beginning to spin. Maybe they should rest. They were so extremely tired from running for what felt like days.

Despite the warmth from the fire, they pulled their hoodie around themselves tighter. All they needed right now was comfort, although that was a rare necessity here.

Sometimes, in an effort to try to remember, they would look through the notebook. It was always full of manic scribbling, always in their handwriting, always surprising them with the fact thatthey were the one that had written in the notebook.

It was ironically funny how much help they needed, and how impossible it was to find anyone.

They awoke to whispering. They didn't know why, but they were apprehensive of the whispering. Something familiar, but something they couldn't bring themselves to remember. Something important, but something untouchable.

The whispers grew closer, and they panicked. The whispers were coming towards them.

They shot up, grabbing their bag and trying as hard as they could to hide themselves. This was difficult, due to the fact that they were in an empty room on Level 4.

"…god, I swear we've already been he—"

"Oh my god. No we have not, there's someone in there."


A light hit their face as the two others turned towards them. Wide-eyed and terrified, they pressed themselves against the back of the room.

"H—hey, c'mon. What's your name?"

They swallowed with some difficulty. It had been a while since they had spoken.

"My name—" They cleared their throat. "I'm Joey."

"Ok, well uh… I'm Reed, and the guy with pink hair is Chris. Do you—" The person looked over to the one named Chris, asking for some kind of confirmation. Chris sighed, giving some sort of nod. "Do you wanna come with us?"

Joey was hesitant, though there was no reason not to trust them. The two of them seemed innocent enough, and god knows that Joey needed help. They couldn't even remember the last time they drank water.

"Uh… sure?

They stepped towards the two, giving them a once-over. They were just about what you'd expect from a couple of people in their twenties stuck in the Backrooms. The one named Reed had fair skin and dark, messy hair. The other person, Chris, had darker skin and pink hair. The dye job was messy, but still seemed to suit Chris. Both seemed tired from travel, and Joey assumed that they probably didn't look much better. Their light brown hair was pulled into a half-assed low ponytail, and the hoodie, shorts, and t-shirt they wore were probably filthy.

They went with them, and though they didn't speak much, Reed spent the entire trek to wherever they were going explaining everything about him and Chris. Joey kept a mental checklist.

  • Reed and Chris are actually a couple, which Joey found interesting. It takes some serious dedication to form emotional bonds here, where the Backrooms could simply say "Fuck you." and kill your significant other.
  • Reed volunteers at the M.E.G every now and then. Said he wanted to help keep people safe, which is noble and all, but Jo considers the M.E.G to be kind of stupid. They didn't remember why, but they felt like the M.E.G had abandoned them.
  • Both of them often will crash on Level 11 and attempt to live semi-normal. Joey laughed when they heard that. It seemed like a futile attempt when living in a place like this.

Since they had met Chris and Reed, they had started to open up more, started to have a personality again. Wandering the Backrooms had never been anything fun, and still wasn't, but having Chris and Reed made things better.

They were living the best they could in a place like this. Treating every day like it could be your last had never been something Joey did, but this was an exception, because the likelihood of it actually being their last day alive was much higher than it had been back home.

Although they weren't exactly happy, they were better than they had been before; despite being at least a little happier, the period of time before being found by Chris and Reed continued to nag at Joey. They couldn't remember any of it. It was muddled and impossible to decipher, and although they didn't want to dig through it all, they knew they would have to eventually.

Like they had thought, the lost memories came back to bite them in the ass.

Joey didn't know exactly what came over them. One second they were fine, and the next they could feel the telltale anxiety that always came when anything that seemed to involve those deeply buried memories surfaced.

Two grey figures stood, arms resting on the shoulders of a wanderer. One of the figures made a grand gesture to a hole in the wall of Level 1. Joey's chest tightened. The hole showed gorgeous rolling pastures and a big, bright, beautiful sun. Their breathing began to become labored.

"Joey? You alright?" Chris said with a slightly worried tone.

"Jo? Chris? What happened?" Reed turned back to the two, who usually made up the back of their small party. Joey pushed past both of them, grabbing a pipe from their bag. They walked swiftly towards the two figures, and the worried shouting of both Reed and Chris faded.

Joey broke into a run, and rammed their shoulder into the one closest to them before turning on the other and slamming the pipe into the side of its face. The wanderer screamed, backing away slowly before running in the opposite direction.

Joey didn't stop hitting the creatures when they were down. The hole in the wall slowly closed, and the warmth of the thing's blood made contact with Joey. It pooled beneath its head, and splattered with each time Jo brought the pipe down onto its head. A distorted voice came from the other one as it attempted to stand again.

"YOU left us."

Joey, seething, stood from the still corpse of what once was a creature they seemed to recognize. A piece to the puzzle of their memories that they still couldn't remember, and never would be able to. They pulled back the pipe and slammed it down onto the head of the creature, knocking it back onto its knees. They barraged the thing with blows from the pipe and didn't stop until the voices of Chris and Reed finally caught up. Chris, who wasn't good with blood, backed away. Reed rushed in, pulling Joey off of the now-still creature.

"Joey what— what the fuck was that about? Christ, you are absolutely covered in blood. Are you hurt?"

Jo, in a daze, simply shook their head "no".

Reed sighed. "I want an explanation for this at some point. You scared the fuck out of me and Chris." Joey nodded. "C'mon, you need to change out of the blood stained clothes for now. You still have the extra clothes from that mall, right?" Joey nodded once more.

After changing, the three of them slowly made their way back to Level 11. Reid and Chris bantered as usual, but Joey led the group. They couldn't think. The sheer confusion raging in their mind was debilitating. Something about these new memories involved the old ones. A disgusting, anxiety-inducing form of deja vu.

They got back to Level 11.

Reed and Chris both sat on the floor, and a small fire started in the corner of the room was distracting Joey. Why didn't they like fire?

"Jo? I think we should… y'know, talk about what happened. What the hell triggered that?" Reed said, looking at Joey.

"I—" Joey cut themselves off. Did they really know? They decided to start with explaining the period of time before they met Reed and Chris.

Explained how they entered, when it all became blurry, and the month or so afterward. Explained the notebook, and what they would wake up and find inside it.

Joey hesitated. The notebook? The notebook must have some answer. They wouldn't remember afterward, but it was worth a shot. They grabbed their bag, digging through and pulling it out.

Reed's eyes widened. Chris was looking at Reed, concerned.

"It's 656." Joey raised an eyebrow, confused.

"You— you actually went to 656? Wait… were you the one that sent that transmission?" Joey was clueless as to what Reed was talking about.

"A while ago, when I still worked with The M.E.G, we got this entry in our database. We couldn't trace who put it in, and they said it was probably some trap level. We tried to take it down, or at least edit it to let people know it was unexplored and most likely a trap, but our edits were almost immediately undone. They added this letter from a wanderer, heavily edited to make it sound appealing. That was when we first got worried, and that little amount of worry practically exploded when we got this transmission."

Chris pulled out Reed's laptop, tapped on the keyboard for a bit, then handed it to Joey.

Joey's chest began to tighten, and the room spun. Joey hit play on the transmission.

It was their voice. Not just their voice, either, but the strange, raspy whispers of that creature she had mauled earlier today were clear in portions of the recording.

This wasn't right. Joey knew that they forgot things, but from what they were reading this was something that should've stuck with them. Something that they wouldn't be able to forget if they tried. They choked as they tried to breathe, and their eyes stung as they tried to hold in the tears welling in their eyes.

All this time, Jo had just hoped that they hit their head too hard somewhere along the way to Level 4.

Hope seemed to be a lost cause here.

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