“Jones! Jones it’s me!” Jack shouted to get her attention.
Alex gasped and gripped Jack’s upper arms. He held on tightly to her hand, and their eyes locked, each reflecting the other’s fears.
“I saw … Jack, we …” Alex said.
“I know,” Jack said, nodding. “Come on.” He then let go of Alex’s arm and took a cursory look around. “This way,” he said, gesturing in the direction he had just come from.
After speaking, Jack led the way while keeping Alex close to his back, and she could not help but hold on to his arm. The unnerving events she had experienced made her feel the need to be close to someone real, someone who could protect her. After a while, they rounded another corner, and they found themselves in front of a narrow set of stairs which were most likely used by the servants back when the house was occupied. Jack grabbed the technician’s hand and tugged her towards the stairs.
“We don’t know where they go?” Alex protested, tugging back against Jack as he tried pulling her down.
“Jones, this place is freaking me out. These stairs have to lead back to the ground floor,” Jack insisted. “Please, come on.”
After speaking, Jack tugged Alex’s hand again, and she allowed herself to be pulled towards the stairs that time. As they began descending, Alex heard more screaming and wailing, so she gripped Jack’s hand tighter, and her knuckles turned white with the pressure. The dark stairwell was lit only by Jack’s flashlight, and as they reached the bottom, they found another door to exit through. Jack pushed it, and it creaked open slowly, leading them into a grand looking dining room with a mezzanine level where the walls were covered in multiple shelves of books.
After walking into the room, Jack and Alex stood there, staring at the enormous oak table covered in dust. There were chairs strewn across the room like the occupants had jumped up and took to running in a hurry, and the silverware, plates, and crystal glasses were still laid out like a feast had been in progress.
As they looked around, the light from Jack’s flashlight revealed that all the walls were covered in wooden panelling. On one side of the room, there was a large fireplace surrounded by a delicately engraved mantel. When the pair stepped further into the room, the fireplace suddenly roared into life, and bright orange and yellow flames billowed out, filling the room with a warmth they had not felt since the safety of the lab. They both then took quick glances at each other to confirm their mutual fear, but they chose not to dwell on it and, instead, find a way out.
“The door must be disguised; it must be part of the panelling,” Alex said, gasping.
Immediately, Alex and Jack started searching for a way out by knocking on the walls to find a hollow spot indicating a door. While they were busy, they both felt the temperature in the room drop dramatically, and as suddenly as it had started, the fire went out without a hint of the smoke usually left when a fire is extinguished. Once again, their breath became visible, and they both turned to look at each other as the temperature continued to drop, making them shiver and their teeth chatter.
After a while, Alex gripped Jack’s forearm tightly, and her eyes widened as she looked around the room. To both their horror, a dark liquid began trickling down the walls, slowly coating the wood from floor to ceiling.
“Jack,” Alex whispered, almost inaudibly.
As Jack turned his flashlight to one wall, they saw that the liquid was deep red in colour, much like blood. And, while they were busy looking at the blood, the wailing and shrieking resumed, but it was much louder that time, and it made the pair cringe and cover their ears. A spine tingling wail echoed throughout the room, and the pair split apart and frantically looked for a door. Finally, Jack found a hollow spot on the wall and located a door handle disguised as a candle holder. He called Alex over, but when he tried opening the door, he found it was locked, and no matter how hard he rattled the handle or pulled it, the door would not budge.
“Jack?” Alex whispered, her voice heavy with fear.
Instead of responding, Jack gritted his teeth and pulled Alex back across the room to the stairs they had come down in. When Alex realised that Jack wanted her to go back upstairs, she immediately panicked and started shaking her head. Jack had not seen the dark shadow or the woman in the bloody white dress, and she had no desire of encountering them again.
Tell us: What do you think is going to happen next?