It Lives…

The book helped me do it. It showed me how to follow the clues, how to navigate the twisting passages, how to unlock the safe. Everything I had ever needed to know was in that book.

I kept it under my arm as I hurried across the landing, towards the vault. I laid it on the floor as I turned the dial, moonlight reflecting on the blank, white pages. I held my breath and waited.

The door flew open and letters spilled out in a flood of indigo ink. Words soaked into the pages. Stories became clear.

The book lived.

The Rage: Part 7

VII

“Barricade it!”

The image is burned into my eyes. The falling object was humanoid with sun-bleached hair and dark, tanned skin. I couldn’t tell if he was one of them or one of us and it doesn’t really matter; we have to block that door.

Topi and I pull shelving units across the floor, hoping to keep them out for longer. Miro isn’t helping. We shout at him, but he doesn’t move from Emilia’s side. We move another shelf. That’s three. That’s all we can manage before the door is pulled open; it hinges on the other side.

“There’s only one way out of that room,” comes the voice from the outside, gruff and deep. Every word sounds like a curse; he’s infected.

“Come on. We have to go.” I pull Miro’s shoulder just as Emilia is sick at my feet. “Leave her!”

Miro shakes his head. “She’s not one of them. She’s not ill.”

“We’re not alone here. We have to go.”

Topi and I hurry to the far end. There are two doors. I push my ear to the one on the right and Topi takes the one on the left.

“This one is silent,” I say.

 

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Out of Reach.”

She would do anything to go back and change that night. She took everything from him, his family, his safety, the life he knew, all in exchange for a moment’s ‘freedom’, a ‘freedom’ no better than his imprisonment. At least in chains, he had been safe. Tucked away in that hidden corner, nobody had been able to hurt him. Until she came along.

As soon as escape beckoned to her, she had taken it. She had left him to face the dangers. Left him behind. He was out there alone. No one could help him. He was out of reach.

The Rage: Part 6

VI

My heart is pounding. My lungs are raw. I slip my hand into Topi’s. Miro has always looked after us and Emilia has always been his favourite. He will keep her safe. I know he will.

The footsteps cross the roof again. Something else hits the side of the building. The footsteps go back. There’s a shout from outside. It’s not just screaming. It’s words. Someone else is out there. Someone like us.

“Run.” Topi sits up, suddenly alert. “We need to run.”

“I don’t know where Miro and Emilia are.”

“Doesn’t matter. You know that.” He shakes his head. “You shouldn’t still be in here.”

We listen at every door for sounds of movement on the other side. As Topi pulls open a silent door, I see them, Miro and Emilia. Emilia is on all fours and Miro is holding her hair and rubbing her back. When he sees me, he puts his arm around her shoulder and pulls her to her feet.

Topi is through the door first, then Miro with Emilia and I’m last. When I pull the door, the light flares and I hear shearing metal. Something falls through the roof as the door slams.

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