Usually, my flash fic stories, are one offs, but this photo made me think of a story that’s had several installments. My hope is that you can simply pick up here and keep going, but if you’d like to read the previous sections, here are the links:
“Now what?” Hollis whispered.
Eoin nodded toward the figure disappearing deeper into the fog and forest. “We follow.”
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
He snorted. “None of this is a good idea. But I’m not seeing a lot of choice here.”
“But the cave and the door…”
“Are both gone,” he finished for her.
She glanced up at the person–if that’s actually what it was, she was beginning to have her doubts–moving farther away from them. But as much as she didn’t want to admit it, Eoin was right. The door and the cave it led to were both gone. And who knew what would vanish next. She’d guess her sanity, but sh was pretty sure that ship had sailed. And sank.
She took a step forward then reached out and took his hand. He shifted his grip and laced their fingers together. She wasn’t positive, but she thought she could feel his pulse where their wrists were pressed together. It comforted her more than she cared to admit. He was still an ass, but she could admit–at least to herself–she was glad he’d followed her into the library’s basement.
They trudged through the growing shadows. No matter how quickly they moved, they couldn’t seem to catch up with the figure in the distance. She glanced at Eoin. His mouth was set in a firm line, and the red of his shirt looked more and more like the color of drying blood in the waning light. She’d never considered herself particularly squeamish–she’d pierced her own nose, for fuck’s sake–but for some reason, the comparison unsettled her, leaving her vaguely queasy.
The movement ahead of them ceased. Or maybe it was just getting too dark to see clearly, but they kept moving. Hollis tried to ignore the evening noises in the forest. The few leaves that still clung to branches rustled in the growing breeze, and twigs snapped behind them as if something were following them. And gaining.
Hollis walked a little faster, and Eoin picked up the pace as well until they were running, dodging trees and leaping over underbrush and logs. He yanked her around a particularly huge trunk, and they both skidded to a halt.
A heavy wooden door stood in between two huge oaks. There was no other structure–no walls–no building. Nothing attached to it. Just a door. Still clasping hands they each leaned to the side and peered around it. The only thing they saw were each other’s faces. She suspected her expression mirrored his wide-eyed, open-mouthed shock.
Moving her attention back to the front of the door, she studied it. Tarnished brass markers spelled out 5C, barely visible against the aged wood. Near the outer edges, there were rectangular sections of varnish missing, as if someone had affixed something to it with scotch tape and had later carelessly removed it, taking bits of the finish with it.
Eoin gasped, and all the blood drained from his face as he stared a the door, an expression of awe-tinged fear on his face. The sound of twigs snapping behind them drew closer, and he reached out and twisted the handle. Locked.
Hollis pulled the skeleton key that still hung from a cord around her neck from her sweater as eerie laughter drifted on the wind. What the fuck?! With shaking hands, she fitted the key into the lock and turned it. The lock thunked over, and the door swung open on rusting hinges.
She stared for a moment, unable to comprehend what she was seeing. But Eoin yanked her inside and slammed the door shut, throwing the lock near the handle just as something huge and heavy slammed into it, causing the wood to shudder and pushing a scream from her throat. Whatever it was slammed against the door one more time, and then there was nothing but the harsh sounds of their heavy breath and the thickness of silence so profound and so complete, Hollis was hesitant to speak.
Eoin released her hand and stumbled forward to stand in the middle of what looked to be a small, devastated library. Nearly all the books had been pulled from shelves and cabinet doors hung askew. Layers of dirt and dust coated everything.
He dropped to his knees in the center of the room, head bowed. Near his feet she spotted a red shirt. Grime and faded fabric aside, it looked exactly like the one he had on.
“Eoin?” Her voice sounded loud–too loud in the suffocating quiet. When he didn’t respond, she picked her way through the room and squatted in front of him. “Do you recognize this place?”
He glanced up at her, his drowning blue eyes haunted. “This is my parents’ flat.”
That’s it for me, today. Be sure you check out the other bloggers’ stories!