The stairs leading down further into the gallery had a really daunting feel to them. For a start, I had no idea where we were going, and for seconds, the lights had still not switched on, so I had to use my phones light to have a faint idea as to where we were going. But when we reached the bottom of the steps, some faint lights flickered and switched on.
"Finally." I sighed, putting my phone back into my bag.
Kiku, who had not let go of my arm for one second, let go and had a little look around, "Is this some kind of storage basement or something?" she asked, tugging my sleeve again.
"I dunno." I replied, "Why do you ask?"
She pointed to a door, which was slight ajar, "I can see something in there."
"Huh. Nice spotting, Kiku." I praised her, patting her on the shoulder, "Let's have a look. Maybe there is an emergency exit."
We both headed towards the door, and I opened it a little bit more and peered in. Inside were loads of boxes, some taped up and some opened, headless mannequins dressed in outfits made by Guertena, paintings of women in different coloured dresses, some on the floor and some hung on the wall, and some mannequins head perched on the floor or on top of boxes and desks.
"Did Guertena do replicas of his work? Some of these pieces are the same! The Lady in Red, The Lady in Green, The Lady in Blue!" I wondered, pointing at all the paintings as naming them.
I continued to look around and opened some of the boxes. Inside were loads of painting tools, different tubes of paints and dirty palettes.
"Look Ayaka, they have our names on them!" Kiku tugged on my sleeve again, and pointed at the other end of the room.
At the end of the room were two different coloured roses in two different vases. Wrapped around their stems was a tag which, in spiralling golden handwriting, had our names written on it.
"How does anyone know our name?" I thought to myself, before I followed Kiku to the roses.
Both of the tags had writing on the other side. They both had the same message, but Kiku's seemed a bit friendlier than mine
Kiku, take this rose and you can live here forever and play with me and have fun! Nothing will hurt you and no adults, or older sisters, will boss you around, ever again! Be friends with me!
Ok, why does that not make me feel comfortable.
"Ayaka, what does this note mean? Is there somebody else down here?" Kiku asked, picking the rose out of the vase. The rose was a pretty pale pink and have five petals on it. However, as soon as Kiku removed the rose from the vase, the note on there disappeared, vaporised into thin air!
"Weird." I mumbled, before reading the tag I had on my rose.
Ayaka, take this rose if you wish and live here forever. But do not get in the way of me and Kiku, because once we meet up, we will be friends and there is nothing you can do to stop us! By the way, no adults allowed in here!
"That's a comforting note." I mumbled, feeling really uncomfortable, before removing the deep purple rose, with ten petals, and watching the note vaporise. But this note did not disappear entirely. In fact, it pressed against the wall and suddenly in big red writing, the words, DO NOT INTERFERE!
Then suddenly, the boxes, paintings and mannequins began to rumble before they began to move! Mannequin heads jumping out the boxes, the Ladies in the paintings burst out of the frame and dragged their arms and framed body across the floor, and the mannequins running towards us.
"Kiku! Run!" I shouted, pushing her out of the way of the creepy artwork before they began to corner her.
"Ayaka!" Kiku shouted, holding her hand out to me.
"Kiku, I told you to run. Get out of the room! I will be right behind you!" I called, back trying to find a gap, but the art kept stalking closer and closer until I was backed up against the wall.
Kiku nodded and ran out of the room and hid behind the wall.
That left me to tackle these pieces by myself. Suddenly, a note appeared on the wall next to me, WE ADVISE YOU NOT TO TOUCH THE EXHIBITS. ENJOY YOUR DAY.
I growled slightly, "Someone is just mocking me. I'm gonna get these exhibits if it's the last thing I do!"
There was a box next to me and I was hoping upon hope that there was something inside, that will destroy these exhibits, or at least move them out of the way. Inside was a chisel, a palette and hammer. Quickly and without thinking, I took the hammer and the chisel.
"Back off!" I shouted, threatening the creepy art with the hammer, but when they ignored me, I sighed, "Ok you asked for this." and without aiming, I threw the hammer.
One of the mannequins suddenly smashed and broke into thousands of pieces. Now's my chance! I ran past the rest of the exhibits, but not before one of the Lady paintings snagged my ankle and caused me to cut it.
"Ouch!" I hissed, as one of the petals of my flower dropped off, "Let's not hang around!"
I ran for the door, but not before picking up a heavy box and running out with it. All the adrenaline had given me strength I never knew I had. Kiku was still hiding behind the door when I ran out and slammed the door as soon as I stopped running. Then I wedged the door shut with the box, so nothing could follow.
I huffed and puffed in exhaustion, "That...was...creepy. But we are safe for now."
Kiku sniffled slightly, but then smiled and hugged me tightly, "I'm glad you're safe. But your rose as lost a petal."
"Oh yeah. It was when I cut my ankle. I think when we hurt ourselves. We lose petals. So, look after yourself, and don't you dare lose it!" I said firmly, before brushing Kiku's hair from her eye and slid the rose into it, behind her ear.
"I promise." she grinned back, before holding my hand as we continued down the creepy corridor.
The last thing I saw before we left were the words, Wasn't that fun? There's more to come!