Alone in the Dark

A series I started on my blog, but the posts have become a little erratic to follow and find, so I wanted to put them together. Let me know what you think! Title is a work in progress :D

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1. Alone in the Dark

"He's coming, he's coming..." the madman mumbled, as he quaked and tremored, shivering like a child out in the rain, "The old king... he's coming... he's coming."

You watch the madman mumble and mutter, fascinated by his repetition and by his fright. A hand grasps your shoulder from behind and you behold the wrinkled face it belongs to.

"Pay him no heed," says the old man, "We have come to a place of safety."

You don't say anything. You want to questions the sentiment, but you don't. He's never been wrong before, why should that change now? He's always been correct, always looked out for you. And he didn't say something was what it was unless it was what he said it was.

"Will he be alright?" you ask the old man, trying to soothe the madman by stroking his arm gently. The madman took not notice or comfort from this.
"He'll be fine in the morning. He always is," said the old man, "Be a good girl and make sure all the doors are sealed."

 

You nod your head once and - after you kiss the madman's forehead and give him a reassuring hug - you get up to leave and make sure this safe place is sealed from any danger.
As you walk through the corridors - your footsteps resounding on the hard stone floors - you grimace with the severe lack of good lighting about. It unnerves you, to walk in such darkness, and every sound makes you shudder. You hear the faint sound of a child somewhere, but you ignore it. Your motherly instincts haven't left you after all these years, and even in silence - there's always a child babbling or squeaking or wailing in your mind. You come upon the front door, and quickly make sure that the large splint barring it is secure before you move onto the other rooms within the house. The darkness plays tricks on you as you move through it, shadows flickering into things your mind doesn't like. The silence is eerie and continuous.

 

"Hello?" you call, just to fill it. Your voice echoes in the emptiness. You hear the fear in your own voice as it echoes, "Shit," you mutter, "I better get this over with quickly."

 

The bedrooms are somnolent, quiet as graves. You start with the upper most bedrooms, making sure that all the windows are shut tight as well. The netting that was supposed to be covering them are so moth-eaten, that they look like dangling cobwebs in the darkness. Stumbling through the upper rooms, you infer that the people who had lived here previously must have been hoarders - you curse your way through the corridors every time you hit your knee on a low surface you failed to see or every time you mistook hanging clothes for a looming person. Still, you note that faint sound of child wailing somewhere. You've been alone in the dark for too long - you're hearing things, seeing things, imagining things. That mythical sound in your mind grows as you near a door that's only open by a fraction. The sound stops as soon as you reach the door, and in its place is the soft croaking of an old, forgotten lullaby. Fear jars your bones and you can feel the chill of all your bodily hairs standing on end. An instinct tells you not to go inside, not to go inside, oh, please, oh please don't go inside!

 

But your bravely foolish curiosity is far too great to listen to reason.

 

You edge closer, not rushing ahead - as if that would save you, protect you from what was to come - and move the door open with the tip of your foot. It creaks so loud, it could have woken the dead - and a wave of a sickly, rotting smell rolls over you, making you gasp for any residue of clean air. Your eyes water and you wish you could cough the repulsive smell out of yourself - but fear stops you from indulging. The lullaby has ceased. Impatience grasps you and you push the door open firmly with one hand, using your other hand to cover your nose and mouth. Your eyes freeze on the room before you - too fascinated in the horror to look away, to bolt, to run and never look back. Your hands drop to your sides and your legs go stiff, not responding to every instinct your mind is screaming at them. You can't move, you can't budge. Even if you could, the horrid woman sitting in front of you wouldn't let you.

"I don't expect you to understand," she says to you - her voice hollow and broken, "You couldn't possibly understand."

 

She stands, the floor splattered with fresh blood and meat squelching and sticking to her bare feet as she walks towards you - carrying a dark, damp bundle. She moves the mangled flesh of human parts aside with her feet - she's knee-deep in meat - and brushes away the hands and feet hanging from the ceiling on meat-hooks. You gawp at her, her blood-soaked hair, the congealed fluid clinging to her skin and rags. There are no words. You can say nothing. She's an inch away from you and offers you the bundle.
"Would you like to hold him?" she asks you, an edge of anger to her fearful monotony.

You uncover the bundle and it wails...

 

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The dreams continue here.

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