Sunday, September 26, 2010

Choose Your Own Adventure

- Trap Door –

Reaching out you take hold of the rusty iron ring on the floor you pull and the trap door slowly coms open. It’s heavier than you expected it to be, but you pull until it falls open under its own weight. You have to jump back so it doesn’t smash your toes. Looking into the pit you can only see the first four steps before they’re engulfed in darkness.

“Oh, great, you say more dark.” You look over your shoulder back to the doorway, thinking for a moment that it isn’t too late to turn around, but then you decide that you may as well. “Well, here I go…” you say quietly. And then louder, towards the door back into the rest of the store, you shout. “I’m going now!” There is no response.

Balling your hands into fists, so you can smack anyone waiting at the bottom of the stairs for you, you take the stairs down. It’s dark as you descend, even the light from the open door above you doesn’t penetrate past the fourth stair. Above you the floor creeks and the trap door slams down on top of you.

“HEY! What do you think you’re doing?” charging up the stairs back to the door you beat on it with your fists. “Open this back up! Open it I say!!” But there is no answer. You pound on it a few more times before you reach in your pocket for your cell phone. You flip it open and the screen glows brightly in the darkness for a moment and then it blinks out. “What the....” You’re angry now and somehow you are going to get out of this basement.

There’s only one way to go now. Down. Putting your hand against the wall, you feel your way down the rest of the stairs until your feet are on solid ground. The basement must be used for storage because it has the same smell as the store above you, musty paper and years of dust. Inching forward your eyes adjust to the dark and you can make out shapes around you and there is a dim light emanating somewhere to your left. Putting your hands out before you, you walk blindly towards the light, hoping it’s a way out.

As you progress, the smell of the air changes from the musty old sent to that of burnt paper and chard wood that only grows stronger as you go. Finally your hands reach the solid wall before you; it’s warm to the touch and through a crack in the wall light dances and flickers just beyond. Placing your fingers into the crack the wall shifts and you push it out of your way revealing the cavern beyond.

The red rocks around you dance as if made of flame; heat radiated from every surface and before taking three steps inside you are already sweating. To your ears the sound of fire bubbles and pops soft and then loud. You can’t believe your eyes, is this really in that crazy woman’s basement. Glancing behind you, all you see is a solid wall of red stone, the entrance you had come through completely vanished.

Shaking your head you move forward, taking in the cave around you. It is bright as day here, the unnatural light coming from nowhere and everywhere at once. The stalagmites and stalactites reaching for each other like hands grabbing for something just out of reach. There is only one path through the cavern and your feet follow it willingly, thinking that if one person has already traveled this way, perhaps they found a way out, and that’s where you wanted to go. Out.

After walking for a while he heat had forces you to remove the cloak you had been given. Slinging it through your baldric you drape the cloak over the dagger at your side so the heated metal couldn’t burn your flesh. The heat wears on you making you lethargic, the crackling of the fire was lulling you to sleep.

“AHHHHHH!!” You hear a scream, high pitched and terrified. The wailing only lasted a moment, but it stopped you dead in your tracks.

Was there someone else down here? You wonder to yourself.

Closing your eyes for a moment, you strain your ears to see if you can hear the screams again, but you are met with nothing but silence and the soothing sound of fire. Beneath your closed eyelids you can feel the energy draining from you, you’re so tired.

It couldn’t hurt to rest here for a moment. You think, and cast your eyes about to find a spot to sit, or at least lean for a little while. Not far from where you’re standing a rock juts from the wall, flat and welcoming, perfect for you to just sit down for a moment. Only a moment…


Rest a while
Find the Screamer
Continue on your Way

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