Jen DeSantis’ Choice: 1
Title: Into the Darkness (Part 2)
I wandered in my dim circle of flickering light until my lighter grew hot in my hand. I kept it on. There was no other choice. I was afraid of what would reach me if the darkness closed in around me.
I heard sounds. Whispers outside of my lighted circle. My neck prickled with dried sweat as chilly air breathed over my skin. I felt it pulse, an inhale and an exhale. I stifled a scream.
The fuel for my lighter would fade. I knew this, so I pressed onward. Lani couldn’t be far away. The house … it had to have walls. An ending somewhere.
My legs felt like jelly, as though I’d been walking for miles. I told myself it was impossible, all the while feeling the house breathe around me. A tiny, irrational voice told me that nothing was impossible in this strange house. I just hoped that whatever lived in the darkness hadn’t taken Lani from out of my reach.
The lighter guttered. It’d been on too long and my fingers were blistered with the evidence of its heat. My heart sped as the lighter’s flame became smaller. My flickering circle dwindled.
The lighter failed.
I closed the lid of the lighter and the click echoed in the cavernous darkness. My breath hitched.
I heard a chuckle and my head turned toward it though my eyes were blind in the blackness.
My own voice scared me. Big men who came along on supernatural investigations should not sound like frightened teenagers. But I did.
And I was frightened.
“You there, honey? It’s Kevin. Just shout for me, Lani, and I’ll come to you.”
The silence hung heavy in the air. I shivered and took a shuffling step forward. The sole of my shoe scraped on the wood, making a slithering sound.
My eyes began to adjust to the inky blackness. Ahead, I saw shapes and shadows that loomed and seemed to shift as my eyes moved. Or did they move on their own? The darkness was disorienting and I no longer knew which way was out. I no longer cared. I just needed to find Lani and then we’d worry about getting out together.
At first, it was just a spark so bright that I had to shield my eyes. When I looked back, there was only the darkness. And then … there was a soft glow that heated the cold blackness of the house. It was maybe 20 feet in front of me.
My feet moved without thinking, without care. The breath of the house seemed to speed with my progress. It should have slowed me, but all I could think of was Lani.
The glow intensified as I closed in. I could see details of a room. Rich mahogany floors, creamy yellow walls. A flutter from the side drew my eyes: a lace curtain rippled.
In the center of the room, the center of the light, sat a table. Something in the center of the table glittered in the light. My faltering steps had been replaced with a bounding gait. Light could mean and exit. Light could mean Lani.
The distance seemed to double in front of me as I tried to get into the light. The house was playing tricks on my eyesight, it seemed. But the light remained constant.
After what seemed like several minutes, I arrived at the edge of the circle of light, out of breath and sweating again. I stopped, my eyes trained on the only object in the small room. The table with it’s glittering prize.
It was a tiny glass vial. I cocked my head to the side. What the hell was it? Why was it there?
I stepped into the light. It was too warm, leaving my skin feeling feverish.
The vial contained something red. It seemed to draw me closer. Stooping down lower, I saw a tiny heart within the vial. I stared at it, waiting for an answer, something to explain why I had been drawn to this place.
From the center of the room, from the table, came a shallow echo of a whisper.
I recognized the voice.
I shuddered and closed the distance between the table and myself.
“Help me,” the whisper-echo of Lani’s voice said again.
Inside the vial, the heart began to beat.
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Jennifer DeSantis is a Horror and Paranormal Author and host of the #FridayPictureShow. She lives near Philly with her family. In her spare time is an aspiring ninja.