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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7. CHAPTER 7

- CHAPTER 7 -

Hide & Seek is a game, they told me. You were actually just going to follow through? Ha. You haven’t seen the full version of me. I’m part of History, you see. I’m actually part of me. Ha. It don’t make sense. Nothing does. You want to play Hide & Seek, right? Well . . . Let’s play. You hide. I’ll count to ten. If you don’t hide. It’ll be no fun. You must play. Do you want to play Hide & Seek? Unknown

The little girl could feel her bones slowly losing stability. Click, clack. One of her ribs’ crunched. She fell down onto her knees and looked up at the shadowy figure staring down at her. It swayed its long, slender-like arms across the windows behind. She couldn’t see what she was imagining this creature to look like. It just swayed over the windows from the other side. The little girl hadn’t even thought that outside was a place. She just believed that the walls and the floors were the only real balancing points. Standing on the floor meant safety. She thought to herself. Standing near the walls meant danger but a strange part of danger. She never had the information needed for such a place. It was as confusing as the expression on her face.

Snap. Sorry for just . . . leaving you with little to nothing. No information, no map. Your starting point is that corner of the room. Your end-point is a mystery, my dear.” It whispered. “I’m something that crawls in-between spaces. You may have seen me, I have many faces.”

The little girl sat down beside the creature. She couldn’t see a clear view of what this thing was. But she still sat next to it.

“Are you confused, too?” She asked.

“No. I’m as confused as you.” It gasped. “Slithering through those walls aren’t easy, you know? I hide beneath the floors.”

“How do you fit down there?” She gasped.

“Not really sure. It’s forever, a mystery.” It scoffed. “You see. I know how to get out but I don’t know how to get in.”

“Can I call you . . . breaking and entering?” She smiled.

“You’ll call me something special, because I’m different?” It sighed. “The others call me a Thief.”

“You look more like the breaking and entering, type.” She laughed.

“For such a little girl, you must seem quite older.” It smirked. “Old enough to reach the kitchen shelf. Ha. I never saw you as that. I saw you more as the twiddle Dee type. Then again. I never knew the difference back then.”

The little girl looked up in exhaustion and tried to keep a straight face opposing the creature’s negativity. She could hear a clock ticking, as she looked up and then back down. Tick tick tick.  She realised that behind this strange-looking window that looked down at her when she looked up, was a gleaming light over it. Through the light was a clock. Clouds pushed ahead, and revealed the Big Ben. It kept ticking and the creature stopped her from looking at the giant tower, before she could even have put on her shocked face expression.

“Don’t look up. Look down.” It grunted.

“Looking down, I was told never to look down.” She whispered.

“Pity. What a-shame. Looking up is shameful to us.” It grunted again.

“Then . . . why don’t you look up too?” She smiled; thinking that what she just said was smart.

“No thank-you. You’ll bring even more shame that way.” It sighed.

She looked at the creature confused. “Okay. Sorry for bringing you shame.”

Its face shifted into man’s best friend. She gasped at the expression on its face. Puppy eyes.

What is this I’m feeling? She couldn’t even remember the emotions behind what she was seeing. Cuteness. But she was lost for words. The creature had no idea what she had been through. But it noticed that she was stumped by such a familiar sight to many humans. She looked up and then looked down. She discovered that the creature had shifted faces again. Her mind spoke for her, it was lost for words. But it wanted answers. It craved knowledge from such a strange-object. Although, it was more of an animated shadowy figure than an object.

“Why didn’t you tell me you could swap faces?” She spoke uncontrollably.

“. . . Ha, ha. Sorry for ruining such a pleasant little night. Midnight. Goodnight, my dear.”

“Do you know the Top Hat Man?” She screamed.

It paused. Looking back at the little girl, feeling quite embarrassed.

“Don’t speak the words I hate. Speak the words I love.” It whispered back to her.

“H-how did you—“she paused; she knew it was a dumb question to ask.

“Huh?” It replied. “Why are you stepping the shadows?”

“I’m not. I’m j-just trying to find the Top Hat Man.” She cried.

“Oh really . . . he doesn’t come around much. Or should I say . . . IT – you always name us that. We hate what you and they say to us!”

“Who’s they?” She asked the same question from before.

The same question broke the sight of what she could see in this creature. It revealed a little boy being strangled by a shadowy figure. Something on top of where the head should be, was a tall shadow-like clothing of some-sort of decoration event.

“You—you! Are you okay?!” She cried again.

“. . . You didn’t see anything . . .” it spoke in a violent dark tone.

“I did. I can see it—I can see the little boy!” She shouted with relief.

“. . . No. You can’t see anything . . .” it grunted. “You can see something that isn’t there. It’s a side-effect, trust me.”

The word trust came up and she knew that what she had been hearing the whole time was lies. She realised that trust was no option. She reached out to grab the little boy who was wriggling in pain. It looked as if the little boy wanted to escape darkness. She became more protective, a new backbone had grown inside her. She realised that the boy needed saving from whatever this place was. The shadowy figure held the little boy by his throat and threw him against a wall that was covered in fog. The floor rumbled as the creature made a horrific scream. Diving down into the floorboards and not being seen again.

“Wait. Please . . . don’t just go in there like that!” She screamed.

The little boy went head first into the solid wall behind the fog. The little girl could not see the boy whatsoever. She dived into the fog, knowing that it was dangerous. But her mind knew that a life was at stake. She covered her face up and took deep breathes, pushing through the sludge on the ground. She didn’t look down, she trusted her instincts. This sludge. It must be mud, right? It can’t be . . . she gasped. A horrible stench infected her nostrils. As the stench clutched onto her nose and held her tightly in place. She almost passed out from the horrible smell. The little boy could not be found. She decided to stop. Not knowing which way was backwards or which way was forwards. Her mind became tightly compressed with false information. She couldn’t move. She fell on her knees and gasped for air.

Sorry you had feel that! A voice faded out. The little girl opened her eyes slightly, still trying to grab some nice-fresh air. She was greeted by another shadowy figure. This one was smaller, and it looked at her as she looked back at it. The truth was, she wanted to look past it. She wanted to find the little boy. Knowing that there are others like her. She wanted to meet them and try to make friends too.

“. . . I want my . . . mommy . . .” she whispered whilst breathing heavily.

“Really?” It responded. “She is . . . down . . . and I don’t think you want to look down. You want to look up. Look past the dangers.”

She remembered what she had felt whilst in the fog. Although, it was unclear to her that the fog was still around her. She remembered that she passed out from some kind of stench.

“There is something in the fog. In the clouds, even . . .” she murmured

“Yes. Past the clouds. There is a child. They said that looking down is just looking up, really. But it’s shameful to look down.”

“I’ve heard that it’s shameful . . .” she interrupted.

“Then . . . why are you trying to look down?” It cooed. “You see. Looking up is like looking down on those . . . who are gone . . .”

She couldn’t think straight. All these strange rules adding onto her collection of strange questions didn’t match together. She was puzzled. Confused on whether she’ll ever find the boy or the answers. She was more interested in who or what she finds first. The last thing she wants to find is something unnerving. Something that crawls in tight spaces. She doesn’t want to catch a cold, either.

“Ignore the stench. That’s what I say to the others. They crawl through it, yuck! I know. But they come out covered in . . .”

“Filth?” She whispered.

“That’s a nice way of putting it. Yes.” It laughed. “They say crawl deep enough and you’ll find yourself repeating your life.”

“I don’t understand—“

“Never mind, then. It’s past your age limit, let’s say that, shall we?” It smirked.

Now I live in a world where Adults are hiding things from children? Ironically. She still hadn’t figured out that the world was like that already.

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