THE DESCENT

She had awoken, her long blondish hair curled beside her warm breath. As she had gasped over and over again for the same satisfaction that the others were given. She was given no word on whether she could awake or even die. She was told multiple times, over and over; ‘You will not leave this place.’ The words echoed in her encased mind. Her skull was covering up the words she wished to speak. Being held back for so long, is it any wonder why she couldn’t speak? Perhaps not. She awoke with her hands fiddling together whilst she smiled with her beautiful lips touching once more. She grasped her pillow with frustration and threw it to the other side of the room. As the pillow landed, the white door sealed with barbed wire had opened.

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18. CHAPTER 18

(THE DESCENT)

- CHAPTER 18 -

I’m being watched, I feel like the sane are the ones who are turning around the life of this world. Burnt down to the core of things? I just feel like the small spiders, the abdomens are larger in some corners. There must be a lot of web hiding underneath that creature, a ribbon, perhaps? Or, is it just the long legs that creep around the mattress of my bed? Nevertheless, I still stare into its eyes, the eyes were quite hollow, I’d tell myself to sleep, and then surely it would just go away, right? Not quite. I had to take medicine, pills, I even ended up bringing harm to myself, I don’t know, it smiles whenever I bring pain to the ones I love. There is no reflection to my shadow, then again, there is no infection across this arrow, an arrow I crafted in order to understand the simple directions in life, and here I am, here I stand.

- The Little Boy

The Little Girl awoken from her sleep, this sleep was pretty practical. A practice of how much time you need to sleep, and she proven to herself that sleep was no challenge. It was competition to who would be awake first, it was a mission and suicide attempt, dying slower than dying at all. She noticed that a sleep was more of death bed, snoozing inside of something warm. She felt as if this sleep was ongoing, it just kept coming back to haunt her. Nightmares were fairly common, and her dreams were just blank. There was little to nothing that she could do to prevent the dreams from occurring. The distorted window opened with a sound that could make anyone cringe.

She sat up like before, awoken from her nap. Rubbing eyes with her gentle fingertips, she brushed off her eyelashes with the corner of her nails. Smiling as she did it, she felt that the blurriness was leaving her alone. Better eyesight, it seemed. As she looked towards the door that her memory occurred to her, she noticed a figure watching her in stillness. It looked quite still, frozen and just very kind of it to just wait for her. She blinked to ignore the thing standing there, watching her every move. It didn’t even flinch, she tried to throw a stuffed animal at it, and nothing worked. It would not become aggravated, and it seemed like it was going to pounce on her at any moment. Her heart continued to beat with rapids forming blood circles in her body. She just smiled at it and tried to fall back to sleep.

It soon croaked. “You, why are you staring at me like that?”

She flinched this time. “I-I haven’t seen you before, have I?”

It moved a little to the right of the room, looking at her with its silver eyes with a mixture of red cracks down the middle.

“Are you not afraid to leave your bed?” It smiled, revealing its sharp white teeth; blood stained down the edges.

“I’m afraid to look at you, does that make you feel any better?” She bravely whispered.

“Low tone for a thing. I considered you as one of them.” It rotated its bloody eyes that transformed into a triangle.

“Your eyes! – They just changed.”

“Yes, yes, it’s all quite amusing to them. You must be one of them, why do you find us so interesting?”

She gasped. It wasn’t every day that you’d see a creature at the end of your bed. She stared at it, hesitation grabbed her mind, wanting her to look the other way and just ignore it. It kept reeling her in with its kinder side, its voice was mellow and sounded very harmless to her. Its eyes were the most threatening feature of the creature, it just stared as they transformed into several small triangles near the pupil of the eye. Silver eyes with dried blood down the middle, red cracks forming smaller circles near the edges of its eyes.

“I know who they are. So, why are you here?” She wanted answers.

It moved to the left of the room. Its eyes changed into a bluer colour mixed with silver and red.

“It is not I who wants you here. I am here because of you, I was told that you were the key to my survival.”

“Nobody is anything, it told me that much.” She replied.

“You know it too? The creature with the slender-like arms, its eyes just feel so hollow.”

“It killed me family…” she almost broke into tears.

“There, there, it’s as simple as can be. An element to a puzzle you soon can be free.”

“No more riddles! I’m sick of doing it that way, if I choose to follow that thing! It’ll just ruin the rest of my life too.”

It laughed at her, mocking her as if it was no longer friendly. Its sharp white teeth unhinged from its jaw, some of the backer teeth were blunt and carved down the middle with initials. Its jaw stretched inside out, screaming a chilling sound that created a dense atmosphere around them. The Little Girl could see it, she could see the darker side to the thing she thought was friendly. It had become a little more threatening with the right words used by a human. She looked at it, observed it and wanted more answers from it.

“I don’t do riddles, either.” It said with a smug face.

“Y-you don’t do riddles?” She asked.

“I do one thing, and that is all I do. Bring fear to those that need it, and if those choose to disobey my scared little child, I will devour their rooms, the floors you stand on or float on. Either way, I destroy the floors of all who come here. The other floors are under construction, so I’m told.”

“How many floors are there?” She asked a question that seemed like it would have no answer.

It placed its hand on the door in front of her, opening it for her and then slamming it causing a flicker of light to reflect off her eyes.

“Ouch!” She groaned. – “Very well, you see it? There is some hidden gold, treasures beyond imagination, it is so much more than a question, my dear.”

“No, that can’t be right.” She bit the bottom of her lip.

“The anger of a door, the anger of a tree. Wooden, my girl. It’s forged by the many we know, and the creatures that sleep below.”

She stood up from her bed, not realising that all she was wearing was a skirt and a torn-up shirt that had dried blood on the rims of the sleeves. It watched her as she moved over to the side of the bed, being the polite girl she was brought up to be, she started to make her bed, tucking in the sheets and folding the pillows and covers. She fluffed her pillows in order to say that whoever sleeps there will get a greater sleep. The creature watched with confusion, it didn’t understand why the little girl was doing so much work to her sleeping area.

The sound of an upset tree, it hurts so much it hurts so much so much pain in the splintered wood that I call a tree.

“W-what was that?” She jumped back, feeling a little more afraid.

The creature introduced itself, finally: “My name is Jared, and this name was a cure for my family.” – “The trees talk to each other, I’m sure you’ve seen the deadwood, carved with initials, frozen treelines, you’ve seen it all.”

“I would have remembered it, wouldn’t I?” She felt confused to what she had listened to.

“Not exactly, there is a twisted barrier that holds back all who go in. They come out alive or dead, and sometimes still breathing. The differences are what you expect in such a place: Blood loss, screaming like a girl, cutting their palms, wanting to just die like that.”

The little girl felt she was in a darker place than before.

They cry and they cry, they hurt themselves, wrapping the insides of those who delve deeper and deeper into the chains of their cells.

“Why are they talking to us?” The voices were getting to her.

“I wouldn’t know the reason behind that. There is always a curtain, different shades too.”

Screaming away in the darkness, they claw with their decayed nails, wishing for someone to help them, they find themselves in trails and trails of liquids. Consumed or devoured, they worry to their parents, they moan and groan as if something was there to take them somewhere.

Jared looked at her with a caring smile, it looked at her a second time with its sharp teeth slicing through its upper lip. Its body formed into bones, a skeleton of some sort. Shredding its skin in her room, it looked at her a third time. Its jaw dropped off, revealing more initials, and deep inside its ribcage was a dark black heart, formed around that looked to be vines of some sort. Strangled by a thick silver chain, it was clear to the little girl that this thing named Jared was beginning to sound insane.

Jared growled at her, its skeleton-like jaw rebuilding itself of a purple substance. Several vein-like strings wrapped around the insides of its bony arms and chest; forming its eyes to look a little more triangle and sharper looking. Its legs swayed left and right, some its joints were floating near its axis points. Revealing its decapitated human-like fingers, it held them out to her in its bony palm. Smiling at her, gesturing her to take them from its hands and steal them for good. The sight of the creature looked disgusting to her, and she couldn’t take it much longer. She stared at Jared, he stared back, and then she stepped back and snatched the fingers from its hand.

“There is a Keeper of parts, hidden within the treelines. I’d call it a jungle if I was you, what lies below is a far richer value than you.”

“Why am I a value to this place?” She asked.

“There is also a Mask, it’s hidden too. Those poor things, they dug for hours and hours, soon to reveal their wings. I saw it all, every last drop that was a split on the greenery that I would feel again. Their faces were deformed, it was as if they were burning and melting away.”

“You know more than me, I know you do. You can take me to them, right?”

It blinked once, slamming the door a second time. “This blinded sight will help you find the hidden areas, and I tell you this because you seem less afraid of us than the others. You’ve lost something dear, but I don’t blame it for killing them, everything must die, so why not make it quick?”

“You slam the door, you tell me I can see better, but I feel like my eyes are going to explode!”

“They would my dear, a third time is needed. A grandfather clock lies deep within my home, you will find it there. And if you manage to survive, you will find the remains of those that were becoming savages to each other. It was so vile, all those parts of children just scattered near the dying trees. There was also a little girl, just like you, and she hadn’t returned to me. She was quite small, but her legs were so tall.”

Holding the door open, it lets out a slight smile before slamming the door a third time, that soon made the horrifying sound of something wailing for its mother and father. I want my brother and sister!  More screams occurred, the little girl was thankful to have stepped through at the right moment. Leaving Jared behind, she feels that he is no longer with her, it seemed more like it had just killed itself for the sake of nothing. ‘If three slams of a door were needed to kill itself, why hadn’t it had done it already? ‘She thought to herself. Treading through darkness, she soon found herself at another cross lined pathway. Several paths linked to more fog, and a third path linked to a light in hindsight.

She walked down the second path, ignoring the light on the third, not knowing where it would take her, she found herself behind another door. The door was fairly old, dark red paint, silver digits made of a metal forming numbers: 501  - it was the numbers of a door, she thought she was back home for a while, knowing that something from before has returned to her. Something normal for once, a real door, a door with a number that must have someone living inside. She smiled, feeling happy to know that someone else just like her would be there to greet her. Someone who would understand her, and she could share a few conversation with. It was all quite overwhelming for her.

She knocked the door several times, the door soon crumbled into a thick silver powder. Realising that she is still in the world of nothing, her hopes were ruined again, destroyed on the spot. She took a deep breath and stepped in with her rainbow-toed-socks touching the cold-damp flooring inside. She trudged through slush and something that smelt vile, she stepped in to see more lighting in one of the rooms near her. Pulling herself forward, she tripped over something thick, it sounded like the clash off metal. She saved her fall using her hands and smiled for herself. Her hands redder than before; she stood up and looked around the room, seeing everything you’d expect in a home that belonged to someone. She tiptoed across the warm carpet and rugs, admiring the pictures of a happy family that had: two children, boy and girl, and a father and a mother smiling at the camera.

Brushing her feet of the dusty carpet, she stepped over a puddle of some sort and could see a garden through one of the windows to her right. Admiring the scenery, she felt so much at home, it was as if she could live there and be happy for the rest of her life. The word ‘alone,’ kept appearing in her mind, it was becoming more difficult to stand in the home and feel happy about it. Her left foot pushed down a little on something soft, she felt it was more a bump in the floor and bent down to take a look. Pushing her hands underneath the rug, she could feel the bump still but not the object that was forming the bump. She stood up again, scratching her head in confusion, the sound of footsteps and creaking could be heard from behind her, she gasped a little and tried not to scream.

“Yes, yes, I’m coming…” a voice that sounded like an elderly woman.

She soon heard the sound of a door opening, creaking a little, she hid behind several boxes full of god-knows-what. The elderly lady’s shadow got larger as she moved closer to the room the little girl was hiding in. Another voice could be heard, it was more of a screechy voice than a human-like voice. Two shadows were now in the room, the elderly woman sat down on her rocking chair, in her hands; a box of chocolates and in sitting on her lap was no other than a little boy who had a smile on his face.

“It’s so nice of you to come over. It was getting pretty scary out here.” She sighed.

“Thank-you, Granny.” The little boy replied with an innocent cute tone in his voice.

“You know what happens around here, so much dangers and yeah…”

“I know, Granny, but I promise to protect you.”

“Nothing can hurt me when you’re here, ha, ha. Thank-you, Charlie.”

The little girl stood up not wanting to be stealthy, she reveals herself to the elderly woman and Charlie the little boy. She tries to smile at the surprise she may have given them both, but the elderly woman doesn’t take to kindly to the prank of scaring someone. Charlie jumps off his grandma’s lap and takes a step forward to admire the little girl standing there with very poor quality of clothing on her.

“Who are you? Why have you come here?” Charlie asked.

Blushing a little and feeling embarrassed: “I don’t know, but I want to know.”

“Another riddle? Perfect. There are so many riddles in this place.” Charlie giggles.

“No, really, I don’t know the answers to who I am, and I want to know them.”

“Have you met my sister? She was supposed to be back, two nights ago.” Charlie sighs.

“I don’t know… w-what was her name?”

“My dear Sleepyhead, where ever you have gone, Angel, I want you back.” The grandma interrupts, talking to herself.

“Oh… Angel? I don’t think I know an ‘Angel.’ Sorry I couldn’t help you, I’m really lost to be honest.”

“You’re lucky you came here, most of the others… they don’t take too kindly to new guests.”

“I met this guy called: ‘Jared,’ and I wasn’t sure either, but I now know that there is a jungle in this world…”

Charlie steps back, no longer wanting to engage in conversation with her. The little girl looks behind her, feeling as if something startled Charlie, and there it was: the faces of several children with half of their face smiling as chunks of flesh melted off their jaw and around their eyes. They waved with a slow motion in their joints, crimson smile, and their fingers just falling off into more slush outside. Charlie felt sick and ran back to his Grandma to be comforted by her. The little girl jumped back in fear, shaking a lot more than usual, she shivered and covered her eyes. Trying to block out the scariness of the outside of the home, she wanted to feel relaxed again, just like she was when she entered.

“Don’t look, it’ll get you, and if it does… I’ll cry…” Charlie shivered, continuously having some kind of fit in his grandma’s arms.

She looked confused, but soon told the little girl: “I don’t know why he does it, but he seems to get a high fever and then this happens…”

The little girl sat down on the floor, no longer being able to see the faces outside.

“Is he going to be alright?” Showing that she cares about Charlie, she asks on his health.

“He will be, dear. It’s a shock when he meets new people, but even before you showed up, he still had this, and I’ve been trying to keep him normal. Trying to help him get used to the situation, just trying to make him feel better.”

“Do-do you think it could have been something else, maybe?” The little girl asked.

“Probably, dear. Even then, I’ll never know, but at-least I can still keep him around alive and happy.”

Another knock on the door soon interrupted their little conversation, the grandma placing Charlie on the floor with a pillow underneath his head, he kisses him on the forehead and walks over to the door to check on who it might be. The little girl kneels beside Charlie, feeling safe with him around, she holds his left hand and talks to him, wanting to get to know the little boy a little bit better. Him in some kind coma, he can’t hear her, but she says it either way and just wants to make herself feel safer and feel as if she has a true friend on her side.

The sound of the door opening again, it soon closes a little and two shadows appear in the room. The Grandma stands outside the other door, the door that is an entrance into the room. Just staring through the silver-lined window, she can see that the grandma is acting strange. Shivering a little, she focuses her attention on Charlie and tries to ignore the strangeness around her. The Grandma taps on the glass with her fingernail, she smiles a little as her grin grows larger and her skin begins to melt like the children that were outside by the window. She feels even more afraid, frightened, she drags Charlie over to the boxes, and hides him away from his own Grandma and hopes to not be found.

“Dear-dear, let me in, please.” A raspy voice that sounds more screechy than the elderly lady’s.

The sound of cutlery dropping in a pile on the floor is heard, metal clashing in the kitchen. Several footsteps upstairs, creaking doors and children’s laughter fills the room with a lot of life in sounds.

“Charlie-Charlie, h-e-l-p –m-e…”

Strong winds from outside whistle down the chimney, a cold breeze and chill flows inside the room from the dusty old fireplace. The sound of winds whistling continues, as the voices get closer and closer. The little girl coverers he ears, holding Charlie’s hand tighter, she places a blanket over his body, afraid to look back. She thinks of a way out of the house, looking towards the window where the deformed children once were. Knowing that they might still be out there, she takes her chances and tries to drag Charlie over to the window above.

“Charlie-Charlie! Let-let m-e in now! I-I just want to h-el-p –y-o-u- me! Help me!”

The sound of something colliding with a glass window continuously is heard, and then the sound of glass shattering upstairs can be heard. The little girl ignores the grandma and pushes Charlie up, lifting him onto the windowsill, she smiles and tries to keep calm, struggling to lift him any further, she pushed herself up onto the windowsill, and grabs the handle of the window feeling very afraid of the house she is in.

“No, no, no, h-e-l-p me!” The raspy voice changed into the sweet innocent grandma’s voice before fading.

Something falls onto the ground outside of the window. The little girl could see an ovular figure that looked human-like lying down near a shed outside. Feeling the presence of something watching her, she turns round feeling agitated and tries to keep calm, pushing Charlie out window with all her strength, she manages to do it. Her arms now aching, she slips, failing to grasp onto the windowsill, and falls outside with Charlie lying on the floor unconscious. The dark sky outside soon intimidates her, and the voices sound further away, something catches her attention. Sitting on an out-of-sight chair, the little girl can see her sister again.

The trees tears flow and flow down like a river, they go and they go, forming something that makes us shiver, a cold winter with frost and snow will soon begin to show. I know, and I know, that there once was a glow, and this was the death of a girl named: ‘Z-o’

“Charlie, come on, snap out of it!” The little girl gently slaps his cheek.

He coughs up phlegm and spits it out on the little girl’s legs, he doesn’t apologise to her. ‘Yuck!’ She shouts, and soon smiles at the presence of Charlie being awake again.

“Where’s Grandma? I-I want my Grandma…”

She bites her bottom lip, preparing to tell Charlie the truth.

Her sister still sits in darkness at the top of the garden, on a chair almost out-of-sight, the little girl feels an urge to go to her. Charlie holds her back and she felt quite scared again. Knowing that Charlie was with her, she felt happy, but the sounds soon made her feel less than happy.

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