I have been writing a short story that will come in three, possibly four parts. Here is part one, I hope you enjoy it while I finish off part two.
By Aarron Mondello
Burning rush torches dimly lit the narrow corridor, sputtering and sparking in their sconces.
Dark patches of shifting shadow hung heavy in the spaces between them.
The walls, dark and dirty, seemed to stretch on forever until they met at a point far off in the distance.
But that could have been a trick the gloom played on his eyes, no corridor could be that long.
He turned to look behind him, wondering how he came to be here.
No answers did he find in the old flaking paint nor the patches of brick he saw there.
He turned back to stare back down the impossibly long hall.
For a while he just stood wracking his brain, trying to remember anything from before he found himself here.
His mind was blank, his memories empty or hiding.
From behind and around him a soft wind tickled his bare chest, coiled around his shoulders and came to rest on the back of his neck like a ghostly hand.
There was a gentle push. Not on his body but in his mind.
A compelling whisper deep in his thoughts that breezed around his consciousness and bade him walk.
So he did.
He felt oddly calm as he took those few steps in this strange place.
A dozen flat sounding steps he took. No echo of his footfalls, no little puffs of dust as his feet scuffed slowly over the black, stone floor.
A wave of vertigo swept over him. A surreal feeling crying out that he was dreaming and none of this was real.
When he reached the first torch he looked back the way he had come.
The child that still lingered in his heart was certain he would see the wall right there in front of him like he’d not moved at all. Or worse, gone and replaced by another corridor stretching on into dark oblivion.
But there was the dirty wall he had briefly examined only moments ago. Slightly darker now that he stood in the light of a torch, but no more or less than where it should be.
He turned to resume walking but as he did something caught his eye.
A door, small, dark and rotting squatted at an odd angle beneath the torch.
The planks were cracked and warped, gaps where they no longer sat flush allowed him to glimpse into the darkness behind.
He put his sweaty palm to the door and softly pushed. Surprisingly, the door opened silently and without resistance.
He stood in the doorway and stared into nothing. Looking left he saw the hallway stretching on forever, looking right that same dirty wall a short distance away.
But when he looked through the door it was though the darkness came alive and leapt out into the hallway, swallowing him, blinding him.
Cutting off his peripheral and drowning him.
But it wasn’t a complete nothing. From somewhere in the darkness came a soft rhythmic THUD-UD THUD-UD THUD-UD.
It came in pulses against his senses, vibrations in the air seemed to massage every part of him while the sound carried waves of calm which broke over the shores of a beautiful and forgotten beach and left him feeling peaceful, relaxed.
Then the door closed without any interference from him. A hollow BOOM awoke him to where he was and he stood confused, staring at a dirty patch of soot-blackened brick, the door was gone.
For a moment he wondered about the strange door before deciding it didn’t matter.
He turned and began moving towards the next torch a short distance away.
The torch fluttered just above his head. This door looked exactly like the first one, it opened just as silently.
The same darkness leapt out to engulf him and drive his senses away with that comforting THUD-UD THUD-UD THUD-UD.
Only now there was another sound weaving itself through the gentle thud.
A constant murmur like people talking too loudly in another room. Heard but not understood, it caused unease to taint the peace he felt.
The door closed and he moved on.
Three more doors he passed that were just like the first two. Old and rotten things that hid the calming thud and the murmur that shook it.
The dirty patch of wall where he had started had faded with the distance and stood now as a slightly lighter patch of shadow surrounded by darkness back the way he had come.
He was beginning to fear this place with its dirty walls, rotten doors and perpetual sameness.
He ran to the sixth door and threw it open.
Heart pounding in his chest he took off for the seventh door and slammed it open.
His pulse thrumming in his ears he turned and sped for the eighth door.
He skidded to a halt and kicked the door. Rotten wood crumbled easily and fell to pile at his feet. A glimpse of
The thudding matched his heartbeat, the murmur ran with his pulse.
Far from relaxing now, it was maddening!
Pursued by sounds and darkness he could not explain he half ran, half stumbled towards the ninth door.
He reached it panting and sweating. Tears ran unknown his cheeks.
He shook his head trying to deny his desire to open the door but knowing he would, knowing he already was.
He opened the door and screamed, but there was only the darkness.
Then the black pulsed red.
A high pitched tone suddenly split the silence, another sameness, the tone never changed, never wobbled.
Panic began to bubble in his chest, boiling, a pressure in his throat that stoped his breath.
He leaned forward.
A voice echoed off the blackness
“She’s gone. We have to get him out now.”
The darkness pulsed a painful red with each word.
His fingers scrabbled uselessly at the door handle but in his panic he couldn’t make them obey him.
The screaming tone tore at his ears and stabbed into his mind shattering all thought and memory into a million cutting shards that sliced his brain with ice.
The darkness flashed red with every beat of his heart, like a strobe light from hell, setting his eyes on fire.
His fingers finally found a purchase on the door handle and with a wordless cry he threw himself backwards, pulling the door closed with him.
The door slammed with a resounding boom that echoed off down the hall chased by a whisper
“He’s not breathing.”
Pain flared in the back of skull as his head snapped back and bounced off the wall behind him. He sunk dazed and dizzy to the floor.
The door before him slowly faded, grew transparent and finally disappeared, leaving only a cracked wall in its place.
He leaned to the side and heaved until stomach was empty.
Then sitting against the wall, chin on his chest, he sunk into a troubled sleep.