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Rebekah King Rebekah King
Recommendations: 21

At Night: Ante Auroram - Part 3


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This is all I have written of this story, but I'm going to ATTEMPT to continue it.


I slid the note carefully into the pocket of my jeans and continued my slow traversal along the wall. The stone was cold and coarse beneath my hands. Grime and muck rubbed off on my skin wherever it came into contact with the wall. The air was so close and stale in this place. I doubted any windows had ever been opened in here. I hadn’t even seen any windows. How I longed for fresh air now as the claustrophobia started to take its hold.


I was determined not to hyperventilate and pressed on. I eventually came to another wall at the end of the room. There was a big, heavy metal door that looked like it was straight out of the nineteenth century. I reached up, still crouching, and closed my hand around the iron ring that served as a handle, hoping against hope that the door wasn’t locked. I shut my eyes tightly and pulled. It opened with ease, but also with a little more noise than I would have liked. I half-stood and quickly shuffled through to the other side, closing it tightly behind me.


Where was I now? I couldn’t see anything. There was absolutely no light here at all. I squinted into the darkness, trying to make out details. It looked like a narrow hall with doorways leading off to the sides. I walked over to the closest one, on my left and peeked inside. I saw something on a desk on the far wall. I made my way over to it, forcing my eyes to identify the shape. When I was standing directly in front of the desk, I found that the object was an old kerosene lantern, the kind with a wick that you had to light.


I immediately snatched the lantern from the desk, desperate for the light. But I had no way of lighting it. I unscrewed the compartment to check the oil. Empty. I cursed under my breath. I frantically started searching the drawers of the desk. No such luck. I reached over to the little cupboard compartment and thanked my lucky stars when I saw the canister of oil sitting perfectly atop a small stack of papers. I grabbed it and wasted no time emptying its contents into the lantern, but I still had nothing to light it with.


I looked around the rest of the little room. Nothing. For a split second, I considered the candle in my cell, then that split second ended and I realised that was crazy. There had to be something in one of these rooms. I ventured back out into the hall and continued to the next room up on the right and searched it. Nothing there either. The next room, still nothing. Fourth, fifth, finally the last room right next to another metal door leaving the hall.


I was ready to turn the room upside down, the fruitlessness of my task driving me insane. But I held myself together and searched every nook and cranny with still no success. Until I opened the bottom drawer of the desk there and found a lighter. I snagged it from the drawer and held it up, flicking my thumb across the wheel, hoping that it worked. And it did. I sighed a great sigh of relief and lit the wick inside the lantern.


The light was comforting in this gloomy place and I could finally take in my surroundings. I examined the lighter more closely. It was an army green colour with bits of paint chipped out at the edges. Something seemed strangely familiar about it. I turned it over in my hands and came across a name on the bottom: Kieran Shaw. This must have been the name of whoever had owned the lighter.


I was about to leave the last room, when one of the papers on the desk caught my eye. Specifically, one of the words on one of the papers. ‘Emily’. I put the lantern down on the desk and snatched the paper, forcing the words into focus.


If you’re reading this, you’re still alive. That’s good. You have to stay that way, no matter what. Did you find the lantern, and Kieran’s lighter? Look after it, please. It’s all that’s left of him now. Perhaps you’ll meet him along your way. You must have already met Madeline. I wish there was some way to help them, but they’re long gone now. Whatever you do, just don’t let them find you. You have to keep going. Look for the key.


Emily


So this Emily that monster was looking for was the one who’d left these notes for me to find. Madeline must have been the monster from the cells, the one with the little girl’s voice. And Kieran, who’d owned the lighter, was another like her. What were they? Were they victims of what I’m going through now? Had this Emily joined them? I hoped not, for she was the only one who’d helped me.


The note told me to ‘look for the key’. The key to what? A door? The answers to my questions? I would have to press on and find out. Perhaps the next note was where this key would be. I pocketed this note with the other, picked up the lantern and returned to the hall. I opened the next metal door with no resistance again and held my lantern in front of me, peering into the next room.


This room seemed to be larger, for the lantern’s light did not touch the walls. I saw nothing in this room yet but the floor and the darkness that stretched beyond the light’s reach. I was about to step into this next room, standing now, the lantern in my outstretched hand, when a sound I heard halted me mid-step. Another voice, another terror, looming in the darkness. I froze as its sound gripped me with fear.


“I see you.”


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Next: At Night: Ante Auroram - Part 2