For part one click here
For part two click here
It was worse being in the small entrance room alone, stuck with the flickering shadows. The babble of their overexcited voices through the speakers gave me something to concentrate on, but I could feel the black hole in the wall they had disappeared into staring at my back like a living thing. And not a happy one.
The urge to run out the door screaming into the mist was high. I sucked in a deep breath to calm myself and could actually taste dirt, and something…else. A weird aftertaste in the air, something sweet, but not pleasantly so. I shook my head and forced myself to concentrate on the show. Come on man, keep it together. You just have to sit here. Less than an hour ’til we’re outta here.
“So, the question I have for you, Lils,” John’s voice speculated from the speakers, “is if there have been 11 people reported missing in a deep dark scaaary mine over the past decade or so, what exactly did number twelve think they were doing? I mean, were they trying to get lost? Or were they trying to find something, or someone, and just looking at the world through rose coloured glasses?” He changed his voice to a sappy sweet falsetto, “Eleven other people went missing here, but I’ll be fine!” His laughter boomed into the room at his own joke. “Must have had a screw loose! Am I right?”
There was a pause before Lilly answered with a sigh, “What’s that say about us?”
I felt a tickle on my neck, like a finger slowly meandering to my pulse point, and jumped out of my chair, knocking it backwards as I frantically slapped at my neck. My heart jack hammering in my chest, I looked around wildly, but there was nothing in the room but me. I glanced at my hands and the floor for creepy crawlies. Nothing there.
In my haste I had turned towards the doorway, and now, breath still gasping, I looked at it head on, feeling like a bull ready to charge. My hands unconsciously balled into fists. What the heck was I doing here? Again, my minds eye saw the child, the dress with tiny yellow flowers on white background kicked up by small feet…NO. Not going there. I felt my mind slam down on the thought, ejecting it out of my head like an airlock opening into deep space, forcing it out and away into the darkness. Woosh.
I can’t leave here soon enough. I stomped to the chair, flipped it up on its feet, and slammed it to the side of the table so I could keep the doorway in my peripherals. I can do this. I just needed to stop freaking out. This was a better place to sit anyway. Now I would see if anything tried to sneak out. Wait, why would something sneak out of an abandoned…Nope! Into the space chute with you, Thoughtie-McBad-Thought. Bye bye Birdie. Woosh.
The banter that had been going steadily in the background suddenly faltered. “What the hell was that?!” John’s voice came out high and panicked, his radio voice disappearing like shadows in the dark.
Lilly laughed. “Oh, nice one. I’m so not falling for that.”
“No really. I’m serious. I think I saw something.” His voice was now whispering and my skin was suddenly crawling with goose flesh. “Lilly! Stop! What are you doing?”
“We haven’t even made it to the crossroads yet,” she giggled, “stop being a baby.”
John’s swallow was an audible click. “I am sure I saw something up there. It moved too fast for me to make out. Can you stop for a minute? Please?”
“Get a grip dude. It was probably a bat or a possum or something more afraid of us then we are of it…well, heh, than I am of it, anyway.” This last was followed by an unlady like snort. “Come on, we’ve made it to the crossroads!”
“Not so fast, Lils.” I could hear John trying to force his persona back into his voice, but there was an uncertainty there, fighting him for control. “We need to deliberate this. Do we go left, or right?”
There was a moment of silence, and then her answer. “Right’s right. Right?”
John’s answer a beat later. “That’s just- Wait! There it is again!”
“Right side. See?…What are you doing!?”
Her voice picked up a bit of a huffing sound and a rubbing made it’s way through the speakers, likely her mic picking up the small rush of air as she took off, “Going after whatever you saw! We’re ghost hunting aren’t we? So, let’s hunt already! Beware ghosties, I’m going to catch you!”
“You’re crazy!” John was panting now, a second rubbing sound, slightly off rhythm added itself with the first as he tried to catch up. “We shouldn’t be running in the dark! And if there are-” panting, “animals or something-” more panting, “Lils I can’t even see you anymore!” His panting turned to grunting and the mic rubbing noise sped up then abruptly slowed down. “Lils! Damn it. Are you there? Helloo?”
Silence. I could hear John breathing heavily. “Base camp?”
I pushed the button on my mic. “Yo.”
John’s voice was smaller, “I don’t see her. There was a bit of a curve she went around, but it’s straight here now and…Can you hear her?”
I listened for the rubbing sound of running or the soft intake of her breath, “No. She’s dark. Lilly, John doesn’t like your joke. Come in please.”
We waited for an answer. None came.
Finally John made a frustrated sound. “What the hell man!? Is it just leave John in the dark time or what? This is so unprofessional. Exactly what you would expect for a hick operation like this. So, what, I just do the show on my own now? I don’t like this.”
He’s just mad he didn’t come up with it first, I couldn’t help thinking. I pushed the button again, “Maybe she’s just punking us.” I slid my eyes to the doorway, my unease doubling as I briefly scanned the darkness, “She’ll jump out from somewhere and make you wet your pants. It’ll be great audio.”
“Yeah,” John snapped, “me screaming like a little girl isn’t what I was looking for in my big break.” The yellow dress flashed in my mind, and I pushed it out the mind airlock with it’s own momentum. Whoosh.
“Come on Lilly!” He shouted, “You’ve had your fun. Time to come out now…There’s a job to do…Lilly!!” The last was almost a shriek. The rubbing started up again, accompanied by harsh panting. After a few minutes it started to slow down. Then the silence was broken only by his muffled gasping for breath.
His voice whispered through the room, “Base camp? Um… I thought you said this was just a straight tunnel?”
I bopped the button down to answer, “Because it is. If you’ve been running you might have made it all the way around. It’s supposed to be about 4 km, 2.5 miles, something like that. It seems pretty unlikely since it’s so quick but maybe if-”
He cut me off. “There’s a door in the wall.”
“A. Door. In. The. Wall. Made of wood.”
“There’s no door, man.”
“Well,” He hissed, “What am I looking at then? There’s a fricken’ door here…and it’s open a crack… and-” Silence.
Suddenly he was gasping strangely into his mike.
Then, in a voice barely a whisper, “Lils?”
Noise roared through the speakers, like a windstorm of scratching. Then nothing.
I pressed the button, “John, what’s going on man?” I waited for a long time, but no answer came.
I was in a cold sweat. Pointedly keeping my eyes ahead, I tried not to look at the doorway but it might as well have had tusks and a trunk for all my avoidance, because it seemed suddenly like we were the only two things left on earth. They were in there. The only way to see what was happening was if I- No. Airlock. Whoosh.
I stabbed the button. “Dude?” My eyes slid to stare at the darkness, counting the heartbeats, as still no reply came.
“Dude?” It came out a choked whisper so I tried again, trying not to yell. “Lilly? Come in. Guys?! What’s going on?”
And then I heard it. Mostly muffled, but there. A dragging sound. Not the sound of running. A slide and a stop. Another slide and a stop. And then crystal clear, the squeak of hinges, as somewhere, a door opened.
This weeks challenge update:
- Blog post 40/52 – Down to just a dozen!
- Writing in the screenplay – Will be working on this…
- Drawing – This too…
- Feet writing & drawing – Done!
See you all again soon…