In The Darkness

What she would find that day would change the world she lived in. Ancient pages would show her things that no one would ever believe and lead her to a land beyond her home town of Lockley.
Louisa McCain discovers an old diary in her basement, that tells her of a fantasy land that she could only dream of. She slowly gets entranced by the idea of the beyond, the potential that it holds. She becomes obsessed with finding this place called Philia, frantically scrambling to put together the clues and find the portal.
If she does, will it all be what she imagined or will she be plunged into a world that she wishes she'd never found?

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5. Five

I couldn’t concentrate at school again. My mind was filled with thoughts of Philia and the wolves. Questions floated around in my head, a fog of the unknown swirling around in disarray.

The bell rang, its shrill sound piercing the fog and bringing me back to reality.

It was fifth period, the end of the school day, and I was ready to go back to my research.

 

I dashed out the class room, picking up my bag and diving out the door, leaving the judgemental whispers of my classmates behind me as I rushed home. I had to be ready for tonight and check that I had all the details correct. If anything went wrong, or we couldn’t get there, Saff and Aaron would think I had gone mental and try to talk me out of doing anymore research into finding the Philia, which I knew must exist. I had no concrete evidence, but somewhere in my gut was telling me that it was out there somewhere, this world that seemed almost too fantastical to be real.

 

I stood at the base of the clock tower, my foot tapping a muffled rhythm on the bed of leaves beneath my feet. I glanced around, spotlights scattered around the clearing in the park where street lights created pools of stark orange that stained the floor.

The leaves quivered in the almost silent wind, anticipating what was going to happen tonight up in the clock tower.

Where were they? I’d told Saff and Aaron to be here at 11 o’clock or earlier, no later. If they didn’t arrive soon, it would be too late and the portal would have closed. We needed to be at the top of the clock tower at 11:08pm, or I might never get to see Philia.

Then, I heard a giggle and the uneven rhythm of stumbling feet making their way across the woodland earth.

Saff’s flame red hair was the first thing I saw, followed by their interlinked hands and then Aaron. Under normal circumstances, I would’ve been aw-ing and cooing over how cute they were, but my mind had been engulfed with thoughts of this fantasy land. It was no longer just an interest, it was an obsession.

“Guys! Stop being all sappy and get the heck over here! It’s 11:02 and we need to be at the top of the tower before 11:08!” I yelled at them, turning and running towards the rotting, wood door of the clock tower in the centre of the park’s woodland.

My ears were buzzing and my brain was working overtime, fuelled by adrenaline and my anticipation of what would happen tonight.

Frantically, I tugged at the door, but it wouldn’t budge. Screaming, I kicked the moss covered wood, hearing a crack as the door split open slightly. A rusted lock secured the door closed, so it seemed it was my only choice to kick the door down.

“Louisa!” one of my friends called as they both began running towards me, “You can’t just kick the door down!”

A small hand grabbed my shoulder as I kicked the door for the second time.

“Watch me.” I replied stonily, determined to do this.

My foot crashed against the door once more, twice, three times and then it splintered. A hole large enough for us all to crawl through had been made; edged with splinters like the jaws of a shark.

I fell to my knees and began crawling through the hole, the splintered edges scraping against my arms and sides, but I didn’t care.

I was nearly through, when something grabbed my leg.

“Get off!” I screamed, whipping my head around to see Saff and Aaron holding onto my legs, stopping me from getting any further. I glanced at my watch; it was 11:04. We had four minutes to get to the top of the tower, or my chance would be missed.

“Louisa! This is madness!”Aaron yelled at me, “This place most likely doesn’t even exist and yet you insist on taking all these ridiculous risks to get there!”

“It exists! I know it! I’m not crazy!” I was going hysteric and sounded mad, I knew, but I could not, would not, stop now.

“Lou.” Saff said softly, “Stop now before you hurt yourself worse. Look at your arms for goodness sake!”

I looked at my arms. They were lined with red that came out of nowhere; just kept oozing out of the lines until the separate lines merged together so that I could no longer see the individual cuts. They didn’t sting like I thought they would, I was too focussed on other things to even feel pain from the injuries.

“If you don’t believe me, if you don’t want to come with me, I’ll have to just go by myself.” I stated, pulling my feet out of their grasps with two sharp tugs and crawled the rest of the way through the hole and into the darkness of the tower.

I straightened myself up as soon as I was through the door, using what little light I had to get my bearings. There had to be some stairs around here somewhere to get the top of the tower.

Shuffling came from the hole in the door as Saff came through, followed by Aaron.

“I thought you two thought this was stupid.” I snapped at the two figures who were bathed in moonlight.

“This is ridiculous...”muttered Aaron, gaining an elbow in the stomach from Saff.

But, you’re our best friend, so we should at least help you with this, right Aaron?” Saff said, giving Aaron a pointed look.

“Yeah.” Replied Aaron, his voice edged with some sarcasm.

“Let’s get going then.” I said, making my way further into the tower, glancing at the screen of my digital watch, just as the digits flicked over to 11:06.

My muscles screamed in protest as I charged up the stairs, my arms pumping by my sides as my trainers slapped the concrete stairs in quick succession. Faintly, I could hear two other sets of feet climbing the stairs and hushed whispering, but I ignored them. As long as I was at the top of the tower for 11:08, I would be able to unlock the secrets that I had been striving to uncover.

My cracked lips opened into a smile as I reached the top of the tower, the large, brass bell hanging above me, lit only by the slithers of moonlight that leaked in through the slim windows like ink onto a blank page.  

The beeping of the alarm on my watch echoed in the hollow tower room.

“It’s time!” I shouted down the stairs to them, running frantically around the room, trying to locate where the portal could be.

“Where is it?” I muttered under my breath, my eyes darting about and searching every dark shadow in the tower.

“Where is it?!” I yelled, pushing away the dirty cobwebs with angry swipes and kicking the stone bricks that made up the walls.

“It’s here! It has to be here!” I screamed hysterically, looking up to the bell. There was nothing there. Not a single portal or supernatural creature was in sight.

I cried out in anguish, punching the wall several times and breaking down into hysterical tears. “I can’t have failed! I can’t have miscalculated this!”

Without a second thought, I stepped to the edge of the window, just about squeezing my body into the narrow rectangle in the wall. The ground seemed so far away, but so near...maybe the portal was just down on the-

“LOU!” a pair of arms tugged me forcefully back into the tower, pulling me into someone’s chest.

“Louisa this is madness!” Saff screamed at me, but I just kept staring out the window, ignoring her cries for my sanity and drowning in thoughts of Philia and portals.

 

A/N - Hello Movellians! I'm finally back! I know it's taken me a while (several months) to get this up, but here it is! I think I've nearly finished In the Darkness now so be prepared for regular updates :D 

Sophie x

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