The darkness seemed endless as it overtook my senses. I just laid here wondering when the light would come and save me.
‘Why am I here? Who am I?’
“Brennan.” a soft voice echoed. ‘Whose there?’
“Brennan.” They called again. ‘Is that my name? Are they calling me?’ Suddenly, I felt a stinging pain across my face. I jumped out of the dark and into a really bright light.
“Brennan!” someone yelled before placing their arms around my neck. “I thought you were dead man.” He leaned back enough for a good view but, my vision was still blurry. After a few moments, my sight returned to me and the face was instantly recognized.
“Monroe? What happened?” He slapped my shoulder hard.
“You tried to be a hero, you idiot!” ‘A hero?’ I thought raising a brow. I looked to floor and saw a table near me with blood on it. Then the memories flooded into my mind.
“Nyle! Where is he? Is he okay?” I asked upstarting. Monroe looked up to Ace as he shook his head. ‘No, he can’t be.’
“What’s going on?”
“We couldn’t find him. Ace searched all over while I kept an eye on you.”
“He’s nowhere to be found.” Added Ace. “I looked everywhere on the ground floor. We rushed in after you and saw no track of him. I even ran back outside and ran around the property. Nothing.” He said sitting on the floor next to us.
I couldn’t believe it. He was right there in front of me but, was gone in an instant. There is a part of me that still believes it’s some elaborate trick but, that portion is slowly fading away as I realize he would’ve came out by now. Those hands were a phenomenon within itself. I couldn’t believe what I saw but, what did I see. Was the dark playing tricks on my mind? Could the night create spells of delusion and distort reality? I don’t know. I really don’t know what to think.
“Hey Brennan.” I was shaken out of my thoughts by Monroe. “Are you okay?”
“No, this is terrible. What are we going to do?” Everyone grew quiet as it was obvious no one knew. Ace then broke the silence.
“Let’s check every room one more time.”
“Why? You already checked the rooms.” Stated Monroe.
“Yes but, I only looked for Nyle. With all of us, we are more than likely to find some clues to what may have happened.”
“That’s a great idea.” Monroe crossed his arms and frowned.
“We should leave while we can. We don’t know what happened to him. What if it happens to us?”
“We have to Monroe.”
“Why Ace? If he is gone, what else can we do? Like I said before, we have no clue as to where he went. He could have played a prank on us and is laughing at us from the safety of his home.”
“Because I don’t believe that’s true.” Both of them looked to me like I was insane. For all I know, I am losing my mind.
“Whatever pulled him inside can’t be explained away. We all know that.” Monroe stared to the dusty wooden floor.
“He’s gone and we can’t just go back without knowing where he could be.” I stood up wiping off all the dust from my clothing. “I’d rather not go and tell his parents we came to an abandoned house and their son was eaten by some unknown force.” Monroe let out a heavy sigh before standing up too.
“Alright you two. Let’s hurry up and get out of here.”
“Of course. Let’s start in the ki..” A loud thump came from the stairwell.
“What was that?” asked Ace pointing the phone toward the arc way.
“I’m not sure but, I guess we should check it out.” ‘Not a good idea.’ I thought. We made our way into the hallway and gazed up the pathway upstairs. Another louder sound came from the above.
“That sounded like it came from the third floor.” commented Ace walking toward the steps. “Come on, let’s go.” He took point as we ventured carefully. Each creak grew louder and built anxiety within us. I could feel myself becoming rigid as we ventured higher and higher. Trying my best to avoid from looking to the floor below us. ‘Man, this building is taller than I thought.’ My legs began to shake as my fear washed over me. I wanted to stop. I wanted to go home. I wanted all of this to be a horrible dream, a terrible fabrication. I stopped and slumped down against the rail. I closed my eyes trying to overcome the shaking in my body.
‘This is not the time for this. Nyle is in trouble and I have to be brave.’ I felt a hand on my shoulder. I opened my eyes to Monroe.
“Don’t worry man. You can do this. You overcame your fear earlier to save that idiot and I know you can do it again. Believe in yourself.” ‘He was right. I beat my fear of the dark and this is no different. I have to face this fear to conquer it.’ I used the rail to hoist myself up. ‘I can do this.’ I took a deep breath.
“Sorry, I’m good now.” Both of my friends smiled as we continued. On the top floor, there were three doors.
“Which one?” I whispered.
“We should split up.” suggested Ace. I immediately shook my head.
“No, that’s a bad idea. What if one of us gets into trouble and the other can’t hear us?” He grew quiet and considered my words.
“You’re right. Let’s check each room one at a time.” Monroe and I nodded. A loud boom echoed from the room farthest away from us. We were frozen for a few moments before Ace looked to us and whispered. “Follow me.” He led the way to the door and we lined up behind him. He gestured for one of us to take each side of the door. Ace stood in front of it and grasped the doorknob. He looked to both of us as we gave a nod signaling we were ready. He began to turn the knob and the knot in my stomach tightened severely. I couldn’t help but hold my breath as if it would lessen the result. He fully turned it and slowly began to push. I immediately shut my eyes.
‘Please don’t take us into the underworld.’ I pleaded internally.
I heard door shake and nothing more. I peered through my eyelids to a confused and frustrated Ace.
“The door is locked.” I released all the captive air in my lungs. I was half way relieved it was locked. I wanted to save Nyle but, something doesn’t feel right.
“What now?” asked Monroe. Ace rushed his hand through this messy black hair and responded. “We should check out the other two rooms.”
“Okay.” I said. “I wonder why this door is locked?” Ace shrugged as he placed his palm against the door.
“I’m not sure. I bet it’s a secret no one wants the world to see.” ‘Or something the world shouldn’t see.’ Ace began to turn when we heard something from inside.
“Help me.” We turned back to the door. Ace pressed his ear against the frame.
“Sounds like Nyle.” He said smiling. “He must have locked himself inside.”
“Nyle!” Monroe yelled. “We’re coming to get you.” Ace pushed us out of the way as he created some distance between him and the door.
“I’m going to ram it. After a few hits, we can pry it open.”
“Okay. You got this Ace!” said Monroe.
“Come.” I heard from inside. ‘Come? That doesn’t sound like Nyle?’ Ace rushed for the door. Suddenly the door swung open to a loud ear piercing screech. A powerful gust followed and pushed Ace backwards. He was pinned against the railing trying to shield himself from the monsoon. Once it subsided, hands appeared grabbing ahold of Ace. He began to struggle but to no avail.
‘I have a bad feeling about this.’ I could feel something creeping inside. Each passing second delivered tension and fear. Then, a pale and damaged hand grasped the door post near me. My eyes grew wide as I couldn’t bring myself to move. Another hand grasped the other side and slowly a head emerged. White hair draped down its head and covered the face. More and more the head emerged but, the body never did. The darkness was connected to its head like a snake. Ace was pinned and trapped.
“Ace!” I screamed. The thing’s head turned toward me and inched steadily closer. My back was set against the wall. I turned my head as it’s cold breath chilled my core.
“Welcome home Brennan.” It hissed. ‘It knows my name. How?’ It moved away and headed back for Ace once again. It neared him and smoke suddenly flowed from its face. I could hear something creaking. Like wood breaking or snapping.
“What are you?!” Ace yelled.
“I’m who you don’t fear my child.” His eyes widened before the post behind him gave way. He fell backwards and the creature burst into nothing. ‘IT VANISHED!’
I shook my head thinking of Ace. I rushed to the side and saw him grasping a hanging piece of wood still attached to the floor.
“Hold on Ace!”
“I’m trying.” ‘I’m can’t reach him.’ I though peering over the edge. My vision started to become blurry as fear began to set in.
“Monroe! Help me!” I called out before seeing my friend against the wall shaking. He was completely overcome by the sight of that creature. ‘He’s out of commission.’
I looked back to Ace. I shook my head before getting closer to the edge. I was sure that I would fall if I got too close but, I wasn’t going to lose Ace too. He, much like Monroe, were people I would call more than friends. He was like the courage I needed to get through each day.
“Grab my hand!” I yelled inching closer to Ace. He outstretched his free hand. Slowly growing closer, our fingers tips met. ‘Almost got him!’ Suddenly, the ear piercing scream erupted from below us. Looking down, I saw a dark hole open in the wooden floor. Emerging was what seemed like a thousand hands reaching into the air.
“Brennan! What’s going on?” Ace asked trembling. I could, for the first time ever, truly see fear radiate from his face. He was scared and here I thought he was the Mr. Fearless.
“Don’t worry about it Ace. Just grab my hand quickly.” He steadily inched closer as I scooted closer to him. My entire upper body was now hanging over the side. ‘I’m going to save him.’ I finally caught his hand and let out a sigh.
“Gotcha!” Before I could react, I lost my hold and slipped over the side. Ace grew wide eyed realizing that we both were doomed. I never realized that fear was the one thing that defines us. Everyone is afraid of something. Whether its water or steam, these fears cause us to distance ourselves from the source of anguish. Everyone is afraid of that unavoidable fate. Death.
Instantly, I felt something about my ankle.
“I’m sorry Brennan!”
“I’m going to pull you up. Hold on!” He said slowly pulling from danger. I continued to watch Ace’s descent into the pit of hands. The look of horror on his face was too much to bear. I felt horrible. I tried to save him but, my fear stopped me. If I had just acted quicker, he would be okay. I know he would! He hit the ground and I heard his bones crack immediately. He was alive but, severely hurt. He couldn’t move as the hands captured him. He tried with all his might just to move a single muscle to no avail. He was being dragged into the depths of that things world. Monroe pulled me up completely and Ace was gone. Monroe fell back exhausted from saving me but, now it was just the two of us. Alone and afraid, we had to get out of this house or else we would never be seen again.