Ground Floor

I wrote this for a school book club competition. It's my first Movellas story, and I really want to see what people think! Please leave a comment so I know what to improve on.


3. Down Here

I can feel again. There’s a floor beneath me and I’m flat on my back. The sunlight bears down on my face, warmth creeping, stroking across. I open my eyes so slowly, and light creeps back into my mind. I am lying in the middle of a forest. I stand up and watch it whirling around me, spinning in circles. Actual circles, not the “head-spinning” feeling when you fall and hit your head, but a real movement. I realise it’s the black disk I’m standing on, connected to a stretching ebony pole which extends in front of me. Another two poles are there, but they appear to be still, and all three are different lengths moving within a white circle, bordered by strange runes. Trying to ignore the desperate urge at the back of my head to sink to the floor again, I jump onto the white surface. It’s cool like marble beneath my feet, and I run to the other side, a hairs-breadth ahead of being smacked by the moving pole. The foot tall rune shows itself to be the Roman numeral for three. The others near me are two and four, one in front and one behind. A thick golden band runs around the disc, and treading along it I make my way through two and one, back to twelve. Here a large lump of golden metal juts out, with a heavy ring and huge button. I jump down to the grass next to me, and with all my strength push the button as hard as I can. The resulting clockwork clang hits my already-half-unconscious brain like a clanging bell hammer, and like the bell it reverberates in my skull and sends me again into swimming midnight depths.

I wake in what seems like somewhere between two seconds and a whole month. A screeching, grating noise of metallic ear-splittingness fills my mind, like a train trying to brake on leaf-covered tracks. A strange sight is in front of me; I realize with a jolt that it is like a huge circular lid closing over the disc I am now lying on. A scream erupts from my lips and I roll to the left, just in time as the lid’s rim seals where I was lying a second earlier. My temporary relief is cut short as it hits me that I’m on the wrong side of seal, and the giant golden dome spans over my head. Spider-web inscriptions engraved into the metal run round in a net, and the beauty of my domed cell strikes me hard. The shape of the roof magnifies the sound, and I hear a steady ticking echoing around.

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