Chapter 13 - The Darkness Below

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If there was one thing Alana Winters hated most in the world, it was the cold.

Yet, here she was, climbing down a rusty ladder into a pit of darkness — and cold.

She only made it down a few rungs down the ladder before the pedestal moved around the opening, and the hole above her closed up.

Alana's blood ran cold. No way out now.

Violet eyes squinting, she scrambled back up the ladder, pushing against the bottom of the knight's pedestal.

It wouldn't budge.

WHY DID I EVER CHOOSE TO DO THIS??? Alana yelled at herself, shivering. TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT. 

Explaining all this to a teacher would be way easier than dying in a dark pit alone.

Alana started breathing rapidly. What if something comes up from the darkness? What if she's trapped here forever and no one will ever remember her?

Should I stay here and wait for someone to rescue me? Alana thought frantically. Or... go down and hopefully find a way out on the other end?

She couldn't tell if she was imagining it, but she heard faint echoing moans from the bottom of the pit.

Alana clutched the rungs tighter.

I don't want to go down that pit. Alana pursed her lips, taking deep breaths. It was really cold here. And even colder now that the pit was closed. Her hands clutched the rungs of the ladder tightly. It's the pit of death, and we all know how the story goes

Then, out of the darkness, Alana spotted a familiar symbol.

The golden eye.

There it lay on the stone wall, beneath where her foot was mounted on the ladder.

It illuminated the darkness with an eerie gold light, and Alana started hyperventilating again. Oh no, NOT THE CREEPY EYE AGAIN, Alana's head was screaming. I OFFICIALLY HATE POINTY HATS.

In all that drama, at least Alana had left her hat behind on the floor. At least she'd never have to wear that thing again.

But now that she was thinking about it, wearing a pointy witch hat forever would be a fair trade for NOT dying in a cold dark creepy pit with creepy eye symbols.

Just staring at that eye gave her the creeps.

And... it was almost as if it were beckoning Alana to continue down the pit.

"I'M NOT GOING DOWN!!!" Alana screamed at the eye just for the sake of it. The eye flickered ominously, and Alana's heart skipped a beat. She steeled herself again, "I'M NOT I'M NOT I'M NOT SO DON'T GET ME TO GO DOWN!!!"

Okay, now I'm sounding crazy, Alana's heart was beating so hard. Only someone who's dying would ever talk to a creepy gold eye.

The eye flickered.

Then it disappeared.

Alana was plunged into darkness again.

And it was so, so cold.

Alana shut her eyes. Maybe she should just sleep. Maybe all this was just a dream, and she'd wake up back home with her parents.

A low moan woke Alana up. 

There was no way she was imagining that.

Her eyes burst open, and before her was a vertical row of the same golden eye symbols. All leading down, down, down into the pit.

Well, we all know what the eyes want me to do now.

At least there's light now.

Alana took in a deep breath and began climbing down.

                                                                                 ***

Alana was freezing.

She had come down from the ladder and had been following the path of golden eyes for so long, and still nothing except black stone walls.

Her teeth were chattering. 

So cold. 

Alana didn't know how long she'd last.

She walked right into something solid.

A pang of pain hit Alana's forehead. She looked up to see a wooden door. It was weathered wood, but it held strong — proven when Alana's head bashed into it.

And engraved in the wood was the same gold eye.

UGH ANNOYING EYES I HATE THESE GOLD EYES AHHHHHH

She was really going crazy now. Her end was near.

Alana stepped forwards, and the door slowly creaked open.

Alana stepped into the chamber. A thousand gold eyes lit up on the walls.

WHO ARE YOU?

The thought hit Alana so hard she staggered backwards.

She breathed in heavily, clutching her head. She could feel a presence. Something was clawing its way in. Something dark. Something...

Cold.

OPEN YOUR MIND.

The thought hit Alana like a bullet, and she almost did as she was told.

She shook her head, stepping a few more steps forwards. Pain struck her head again. The more she came forwards, the more the pain grew. Her vision blurred and she staggered blindly in pain.

LET ME IN.

NO I HATE GOLD EYES I HATE WEIRD VOICES I HATE CREEPY THOUGHTS!!!

The monotonous voice silenced. Alana's vision cleared.

And in front of her, was a plant.

A  small plant in a pot with a yellow flower. It was pulsing gold. 

Alana glared at it with utmost hatred. She wasn't scared anymore. Why would she be when a flower was being so naughty?

The flower pulsed brighter.

You are different.

Gold light exploded from the plant, and Alana was knocked back. Screams erupted and echoed around the chamber. Alana shielded her eyes. 

Gold light seeped through the cracks of her eyelids. What is happening? Alana thought. The screaming got louder. The lights got brighter.

She peeked open an eye. 

And immediately wished she hadn't.

In front of her were millions of transparent floating figures. All pulsing gold. They looked human... yet not human. 

GHOSTS!!! Alana head shrieked.

Alana got up to run. She was about to turn and run back where she came from, when a translucent figure floated up to her.

It was a boy. About seven years old. He floated up to Alana, hair rippling. 

The boy smiled.

He reached out a hand to Alana.

A shock went through Alana's body as he touched her.

Then Alana disappeared.


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