In a strange darkened room, who knows what may be right next to you.
|The windows were all boarded up and a thin layer of dust spread over everything. Everything around her was dark and the damp floor creaked as she rolled onto her back.
Something beside her moved. She froze. Her heart hammered in her chest and she could feel the cool air from a ceiling fan that spun around so rapidly that it might fling itself off its hinges and fly off into the dark. Her hands began to shake.
There was a voice from somewhere nearby and she could tell it was a woman’s voice. She laid perfectly still on the ground as a door creaked open and a splinter of light broke apart the darkness. A small head poked inside, but she could only see emptiness plastered across the woman’s dull features.
She wanted to yell, but she couldn’t. Either from fear or paralyzed with emotion she could no longer tell, but everything was spinning now. Spinning out of control like the ceiling fan about to fly and break into a million pieces. The small crack of light shattered into purple, gray, blue, orange before mending itself back into white.
The light from the door disappeared and she laid there in the damp board room alone. But she wasn’t alone. There was the figure that laid right next to her there in the darkness who shifted when she was focused on something else.
Exhaustion overcame her suddenly and she squeezed her eyes shut tightly.
When she opened them again she could see the outline of a figure’s face right above her’s. Everything was dull and dark and she felt them lean over her body. She pushed herself backward sluggishly and tried to inch away, but her body was slow. The figure gently reached for her arms and pulled her towards them and she sat up in the dark.
Her head was spinning now, bobbing up and down like a rag doll. The figure held her head up and she stared into their black eyes. She tried to think, but everything turned to screams and everybody was yelling in an instant as the quiet was overrun with chaos and noise and it wouldn’t go away. It vanished in an instant, like a ghost.
“Are you alright?” She heard the figure whisper to her,” I can’t see anything.”
She tried to stare through the dark to see the face of the man before her, but she was blind. She raised her hands to feel his features in the darkness, but still, nothing came to her.
“What is this? Why is it so dark?” She cracked hoarsely.
“I don’t know. Can you stand?” He asks kindly, taking her hands and tried to pull her to her feet.
As she moved quickly upwards in a swoop her head rung and colors appeared in the dark to knock her back to the ground. The man’s hands disappeared from her grasp and she landed on the ground, holding her head. A ringing filled her mind and everything around her went deaf.
She didn’t want to be left alone in the dark again and reached out for the strange man, but her fingers felt only the cool damp air around her. Her clumsy body fell forward as she reached farther out into the dark. She landed on her stomach and her nose ran along the stone ground. She held her face above the rock and smelled the ground. It was sweet like rain.
The man did come back to her and grasped her arm again, pulling her to her feet more slowly this time. He began to lead her carefully through the dark and she didn’t ask where. She let him lead her through the damp room until they came upon a wall. The man let her go and she wandered towards it, running her fingers across the cracks in the stone.
She laid her back against the stone and pushed herself back towards the ground, staring out into the darkness. She felt the man sit down next to her on the floor and the two stared off into the dark.
“Why are we here?” She asks, turning her head to look at the darkened figure next to her.
She listened to him sigh and shift his body,” I don’t know. I don’t know a lot of things.”
She lowered her head to stare down at where her legs would be only to see a large clump of nothing. She ran her fingers over her ankles and feet just to know that they were still there.
“Who are you?” She questioned the man again,” What’s your name?”
He didn’t respond and instead, she felt his warm breath in the air,” I don’t know. I can’t remember..”
She nodded before trying to look through the blackness again,”Neither can I.”
She heard him shift again, but she could no longer tell where his body was facing in the dark.
They heard the door creak open. The light burned her eyes. The small crack flooded the room and created patches of light on the stone floor where dust danced in the glowing air.
She turned to look at the man beside her. He was staring out at the dancing light too, but she could only see his face in the dim light. Bags hung under his eyes and they strained to stare through the burning white. She turned to look back at her as the door began to shut and the door locked them both again in the darkness. They both sat in silence again before she listened to him shift once again.
“Your face.” He mumbled softly,” It looks like they beat you.”
She lifted her hand to her face and traced her eye sockets with her fingertips. It was sore and her hand fell down to her broken lip. Her knuckles felt sore and she knew if she could see them they would look beaten as well.
“I-I can’t feel it.” She whispered,” I can’t feel anything.”
“Me neither.” He spoke, his voice trailing through the empty room.
She listened to him push himself to his feet and he began to wander blindly back through the room.
“Where are you going?” She called out loudly, not knowing how far out he had gotten.
She didn’t hear a reply back and using the wall pushed herself up to her feet. Holding her arms out in front of herself she tried to follow him back through the darkness, but as she called out to him in the dark he never replied back to her. She held her arms out clumsily in front of herself and soon she came upon another wall. Running her fingers along it, she felt the hinges of a door and further along she felt a small rough door knob in her palm. She gripped it in her hand and tried to turn it, but it was locked from the either side. She still tried anyway, pulling at the handle, but it remained locked.
She dropped the door handle and backed away from the door to stare at it in the dark. Everything had gotten terribly silent all at once. She couldn’t hear his footsteps anymore and her heartbeat was the only thing filling her empty ears. She kept watching the door she knew was in front of her and listened for something through the dense silence, but she couldn’t hear a thing. Nothing from the man, not even her own breathing anymore. She felt her chest moving, but she felt like she was in a bubble.
The door opened once again. It swung open and the light hit her and she covered her eyes with her hands. Everything was ringing now and the light hit her skin and while she soaked in the warmth she wished for it to go away. Her head was screaming to her, but she door wouldn’t close.
She was paralyzed there. She couldn’t move. To move would mean to uncover her eyes to see and she couldn’t see through the light. It flooded from the door and opened its arms to her, but she remained in the cool damp room and listened to the door creak shut once again. The warmth disappeared and her body felt cold and empty.
Slowly, she dropped her hand from her eyes and was face to face with the dark again. She stumbled back towards the door, reaching for the door handle again and began to shake it back and forth, pounding against the door. She wanted it to open again. If it would open again she would be ready again. She wouldn’t cover her eyes no matter how much her mind screamed or her eyes cried she would look. She slammed her fists against the door and the sound bounced around the silent room.
There was someone breathing down her neck now. She felt their damp breath on her spine. She felt them reach out, their hand just above the back of her neck, but they didn’t touch her. She felt their fingers linger there above her skin, but nothing happened.
She leaned her face against the door and began to pound against the door with her forehead.
“Out out.” She mumbled to herself,’ Out.”