Category Linkin Park
Number One Fan
I thought I'd try my hand at writing a kidnapping story. I'm not generally good at these types of things, but if it's any consolation, there WILL be Mike angst.
Anyway, it's in Brad's point of view. I think that's all you need to know.
I had never woken up to unfamiliar surroundings before. One may find this odd, considering the extensive touring we do and the many nights spent in different hotel rooms all over the world. But still, I had always woken up with the unconscious awareness, the comfort of the silent knowledge of where I was.
So naturally, I was terrified as my eyelids lifted me from sleep to reveal the scene before me. As I willed my body to fully awaken itself, my senses became more alert and revealed my surroundings to me. The dimly lit room smelled dank and the air hung thick everywhere. As my ears perked up, I could hear the faint clinking of metal against some kind of hard surface…concrete maybe?
As the panic began to set in, I struggled to blink the grogginess from my drooping eyes, immediately wishing I hadn’t when viewing my surroundings. Upon first glimpse, the room looked mostly like a basement…and a very old basement at that. The walls were made of stone concrete – large stones, pressed dryly together with cracks seeping between them from age. Looking straight ahead to the opposite wall, there was a rickety-looking wooden staircase that looked just strong enough to serve its purpose of transporting people up and down.
In the middle of the room lay a wooden table and three chairs. The fourth lay sprawled on its side against the wall to my left. Also on the left was a TV sitting on the floor and what looked like a Playstation hooked up to it. Glancing again to the wall opposite me, I saw a mattress on the floor with some of the most grotesque stains I had ever seen. This didn’t look good, none of this looked good. Not wanting to even think of where those stains came from, I turned my head to the right, and that’s when he called out to me.
I gaped in horror at my band mate when my eyes fell on his body, his wrists shackled in iron chains to the wall he sat against. There was a gash on his forehead that, although it didn’t look too serious, was still bleeding down his cheek. His expression was slightly fearful, something I knew he was trying to hide. I went from panicked to shocked at the sight before me, and when I opened my mouth to speak, I, much like him, could only utter his name.
The rustling of chains diverted my gaze to Phoenix, who was sitting next to Chester, a few feet away. His wrists were chained to the wall, much like Chester’s, causing me to look down and discover that similar chains held my arms to the wall I was sitting against. Looking back to the bassist, I saw his eyes were wide and full of terror, unlike Chester who was trying to suppress his fear. My fear was suddenly heightened as my band mates’ expressions implied they were as clueless and scared as I was.
“Where are…what happened?” was all I could get out.
“I dunno,” Chaz spoke quietly with a slight tremor in his voice. “We woke up here a few minutes ago. I don’t remember what happened, just that there were these guys, and…I tried to fight ‘em, but they knocked me out, and…god, my head hurts…”
As Chester clenched his eyes shut and hung his head in pain, I looked to Phoenix, thinking he would have a better answer. But he still had that same terrified look on his face, his chest rising and falling hastily, due to his labored breathing.
“Try to wake him up, make sure he’s okay,” the bassist stuttered desperately, his gaze fixed slightly to my left. Turning my head to see what he was looking at, I was shocked once again at the sight before me.
Mike lay sprawled on the cold floor just two feet away from me. His body was twisted in an awkward position, but he lay mostly on his stomach with one arm lodged uncomfortably beneath him. The way he was situated led me to believe he had simply been thrown to the ground there, but not before being chained to the wall, as the rest of us were.
His head was turned away from me, but I could just barely make out trails of deep red running down one side of his face. Suddenly fearing the worst due to the blood and his unconscious state, I quickly scanned his body and was relieved when it rose and fell with his breathing. Thank god he was alive, but that wasn’t enough for me. I had to make sure he would wake up.
“Mike?” I called softly to him. He didn’t stir. “Mike, wake up.”
He still didn’t move, and I looked helplessly to Chester and Phoenix on the adjacent wall, my state of panic rising. We were practically locked in this room with no idea where we were or how we got here. Mike was hurt and passed out, and I had no clue how to get him help when we weren’t even sure who did this or if they would come down here to see us. I pushed all thoughts of this being a dream aside, my only worry at the moment being my unconscious friend.
My band mates’ expressions mirrored my feelings of fear, not only because of the situation we were in, but because Mike wasn’t waking up. Out of desperation, I shifted my body onto my knees and made my way over to the emcee. The chains gave me just enough leeway so I could reach out and shake him.
“Mike? Mike, come on, you gotta wake up, man,” I said, my hand gently gripping his shoulder and shaking it.
He finally groaned softly, causing me to shake him more firmly. “Mike, wake up…please, Mike,” I said.
He groaned again and I was just about to roll him over when the sound of a door swinging open startled me. I froze in my tracks, my hand still on Mike’s shoulder, as the sounds of multiple footsteps echoed on the wooden stairs. I shakily turned my head towards the door and fear coursed through me as I prepared for the worst.
One…two…three. Three men, all clad in black, clambering down the worn stairs in chunky black boots. One of them wore a gray ski mask, and the other two wore black ones. My eyes widened as I spotted the two with the black masks each carrying a handgun. I suddenly wondered if I should move away from Mike or stay still, the thought of whether or not it really mattered crossing my mind.
Although I couldn’t have moved, even if I’d wanted to, for I was still frozen in fear by the intimidation of the men, army-like in build, in stance…in every sense of the word. They all reached the bottom of the stairs and stood there on the other side of the room, watching us, staring us down.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could tell Phoenix was just as frozen as I was. I ventured a turn of my head to see Chester’s reaction, when one of the men spoke.
“Get away from him,” the largest one said, his muscles stretching his black T-shirt to its limit. Not sure if he was talking to me, I whipped my head in their direction and found all three men staring at me. Wordlessly, I removed my hand from Mike’s body and slid back to my position against the wall, but not before giving his shoulder a gentle squeeze. This emitted another groan from him, and he stirred some more.
I could feel Chester’s and Phoenix’s eyes on me as I moved, the rattling of the chains on my wrists filling the silence. As my back hit the stone wall, I raised my head to the men and kept my eyes trained on them, prepared to watch their every move.
The large one who had just spoken mumbled something to the one with the gray mask, and the latter suddenly moved, making his way across the room towards Chester and Phoenix. I saw Chester stiffen his back against the wall as the man stopped in front of him and kneeled down to look at him.
The gray masked man suddenly reached behind him and whipped a white cloth from his back pocket. It was an action that scared the shit out of me, for I was so sure he was going to pull a gun on my friend. He scooted closer to Chester on his one knee, and I saw Chester push himself harder against the wall, as if he were trying to go through it. He was still trying to mask the terror on his face, but I could tell from his trembling body and short, quick breaths how scared he was.
Much to my surprise, the man did nothing more than reach out and begin to gently dab at the wound on the singer’s forehead. Chester flinched at first, but then remained still as the man wiped the blood off his face. Phoenix and I watched the man intently as he took hold of Chester by the jaw and tilted his head to one side to get better access to the head wound. His actions appeared harmless, but the stature of this guy alone intimidated me enough to suspect the worst from him. Plus, he had most likely aided in bringing us here and chaining us to the wall in this basement – how could I not be suspicious?
Watching the gray-masked man tend to Chester’s wound was becoming too much for me. Unable to stand the sinking feeling that he would suddenly turn around and start hurting the singer, I looked away, staring at the opposite wall ahead of me. Its griminess disgusted me; I could literally see the dirt caked on the walls and shuddered to think I was possibly leaning against the same thing right now.
A slight movement out of the corner of my left eye jarred me from my transfixed stare and I turned to find Mike stirring from his sleep again. Unlike before, I now silently prayed for him not to wake up, so he wouldn’t have to witness our situation and be hit with the mind-numbing fear that I felt.
But he kept moving, stretching his legs and pulling his arm from underneath his body so he was now resting fully on his stomach. He groaned again, loud enough for the whole room to hear, and I held my breath as the three masked men turned to stare at him with unfaltering looks.
Seeing that the gray-masked man was still busy cleaning Chester’s injury, the other two advanced towards Mike, who had become relatively still again. They stood over him, their guns hanging dangerously from their fingertips at their sides. I watched them, my expression implying I would jump them in a second if they tried to hurt my band mate, but my mind knowing full well I would never have the guts to do so.
“Why the hell is he still knocked out?” one of them sneered.
“He’s the weak one,” the gray-masked one answered, and I looked at him just in time to catch him chuckling at his statement. His beefed-up body was blocking Chester’s view of what was going on, and the singer was now boldly straining to see over the man’s shoulders.
“I must have given him a larger dose than the others,” the other black-masked man mumbled, studying Mike, as if wondering what to do. “Well we can’t just leave him unconscious forever,” he finally said, to which his counterpart came forward and lightly jabbed his foot at Mike’s side.
I held my breath again, wishing they would just leave Mike alone and let him wake up on his own. But they persisted, the larger of the two jabbing his foot harder into Mike’s side when he got no response from the emcee. He got more violent and just as I was about to speak up and tell him to stop, Mike let out a loud moan and slowly curled into a ball to protect himself.
“Works every time,” the man kicking him joked, and I watched as Mike squirmed, half-awake, and finally turned his head in my direction. Searching his face, I noticed his right eyebrow had been split open pretty badly, which was where all the blood came from. Just below the cut was his right eye, swollen, red, and beginning to bruise. He was now mostly awake and looked confused, both by his surroundings and his inability to fully open the bruised eye. I wanted so badly to speak to him, to reassure him in some way, but I was too afraid to open my mouth. That and I could barely even reassure myself that everything would be okay.
He must have noticed something was wrong by the chains on my wrists, for he blinked several times with his good eye and became fully awake, a look of horror crossing his face as it registered in his head that we were in trouble.
“Brad?” he called out worriedly, his good eye widening in fear.
I couldn’t keep quiet anymore, I had to answer him. “Mike…hey…” I said, attempting to stay calm for his sake.
“Hey, did I say you could talk?” the smaller of the masked men growled at me from his position standing over Mike. As he spoke, Mike’s face contorted into one of horror as he realized he wasn’t alone with me in the room.
“Hey Jeb, you want us to fix up his eye?” the smaller black-masked man asked, staring down at Mike’s cowering form. The man cleaning Chester’s head tossed the bloody cloth aside and stood up, so I assumed he was Jeb. As he moved away, I saw a white bandage covering the gash on the singer’s head. Chester kept his eyes on Jeb and I did the same as he walked over to join the other two.
“No, I’ll handle it,” Jeb said, pulling a clean cloth from his pocket. “You’re not to touch him unless I tell you. You know better than that. You know that this one’s mine.”
I shuddered at his last sentence as he got close to Mike and kneeled down near his head. He was blocking my view so I couldn’t see what was going on, but I saw Mike’s body jerk in fear as Jeb began to gently dab at the cut on his eyebrow.
“Don’t be afraid, this might hurt, but I’m trying to help you,” Jeb reassured him sternly, and while I was glad that he didn’t appear to want to hurt Mike either, the tone of his voice held an almost loving quality that made me shiver. Mike seemed to obey Jeb and stopped moving to allow the man to treat his cut, probably because he was too scared to do anything but comply with him.
I stared down at my lap, waiting while Jeb finished with Mike, the other two men standing in their same positions above the emcee. Fed up with staring at my shaking hands, I idly turned to face Chester and Phoenix. They stared back at me with helpless expressions. It was then that the absurdity of the situation hit me more fully than ever before. Seeing my band mates chained to the dirt-encrusted walls of this basement in the middle of who-knows-where felt unreal. Somehow, we had ended up here and were now faced with the fate of our futures. Would we ever get out of here? What would happen to the band? Was this where I was destined to die, in the darkness and filth of some unknown location with three of my best friends?
I was brought out of my chaotic thoughts by a small whimper that came from Mike. Soon after, Jeb stood up and moved, giving me a view of my friend. Mike was still curled up on the cold floor, his head lowered to stare at his knees because he was too afraid of facing whoever was standing above him. A smaller white bandage, similar to Chester’s, awkwardly covered his split eyebrow.
“Job well done, boys,” Jeb’s voice boomed over the whole room. I looked at the three men and saw triumphant grins on their otherwise covered faces. “Shall we celebrate with a pizza?”
The other two nodded in unison and the three of them then retreated back towards the stairs. I was in disbelief. They had come in here, barely acknowledged us, let alone told us what the hell was going on, and now they were leaving?
The four of us merely watched the masked men clomp up the stairs, each too afraid to speak up and demand any answers. The door swung open, letting in some sort of artificial light, and then they were gone, slamming the door behind them and plunging us back into dimness for who knew how long. Shortly after, I heard the door jiggling and the familiar sound of a key turning in a lock.
I heard someone let out a loud breath of air and turned to see Phoenix, his head tipped back against the wall, eyes fixed on the ceiling, mouth agape in shock. I looked to Chester and saw the fear coming through in his expression, his eyes wide and helpless, nothing like the confidence they usually held.
We must have sat in silence for at least five minutes, none of us really knowing what to say. It was Mike that broke us out of all our trances with his scared voice, full of pain.
“Brad?” he whispered, and my eyes met with his weakened form. “What’s going on?”
I inhaled slowly, afraid of the answer that question held. “I have no idea, Mike.”
Reviews are more than appreciated, as always, I could always use constructive criticism, especially now that I'm out of my element.