Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 66

This weeks photo was taken by Terry Yarrow, nicknamed The Dorset Rambler. This is the doorway into the crypt at Hereford Cathedral, taken from inside the crypt. His website doesn't seem to exist anymore, but you can see more of his photos over on flicker (link with his name).

When I started writing this tale, I spooked myself a little bit! 😂 I wasn't sure if I could end it the way I wanted to, but it worked out pretty well.


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Cycle of the Crypt

Randalf had always been curious about the crypt but he wasn’t allowed to go in; they said it was no place for children. But here he is; the door is open – only by a slither, but enough for him to slip through into the darkness.

His hand runs along the wall, looking for a light switch he’s sure must be there, but there’s only dust and brickwork under his fingers. His eyes adjust; he makes out shadows as he moves further inside. In his mind he imagines rows of coffins, but these shadows seem to be pillars or openings to darker areas.

He glances behind him and is reassured by the slither of light from the open door. Then he hears a shuffling sound. He freezes. Is it behind or in front of him? It’s distant … or is it faint?

It’s a dragging sound. It’s definitely in front of him and it’s definitely getting louder.

There’s a rasping sound with it. Breathing, someone breathing.

Randalf can’t move, in fact the only thing moving besides whatever is in here with him is his heart. It feels like it’s going to gallop right out of his chest at any moment. It must be audible. They’ll be able to find him by the sound of it. They’ll be able to zero in on him in the pitch dark and he will be helpless.

But it’s not pitch dark because he’s just seen a shadow move. His breath hitches in his throat. The shadow becomes more defined as it draws near. Definitely a body. It stops before it’s close enough for him to see its face.

The breathing gets heavier and there are words in it. Randalf strains to understand them.

“Leave. You must … leave. Now. Before … it’s … too … late.”

Confusion wrinkles Randalf’s brow. He steps closer to hear. The shadow seems to quiver.

“No! Keep away! Go! Now! Quickly!”

Randalf doesn’t understand the panic he hears in the shadow’s voice. “Who are you? Why must I leave?”

“The door … will close.”

Randalf glances back, it’s still open. “Who are you?”

“Please go. You must … never know … who I am.”

“Why?” Randalf steps closer. The shadow doesn’t move.

“Because the … cycle will never … stop.”

“Cycle? What cycle?”

“We will be … forever trapped.”

“We? You mean you and me?”

“Yes. Please … leave. Now.”

“Tell me who you are, and I will?”

“If I tell you … who I am … you won’t be able to.”

Randalf feels like the conversation is going in circles. He moves closer, the shadow of the imagined face becoming more defined in the vague light from the door. The shadow groans.

“No, Randalf … you mustn’t.”

He stops. “You know my name?”

The shadow falls silent. Only its rasping breath can be heard.

Randalf ponders. He could just walk right up to the figure and find out who they are, but what if they’re right? What if the door closes? Maybe he should go back. But he doesn’t want to. Who is this person? Why will they get trapped?

He moves forward again, this time the light from the door falling across the face of the speaker. Randalf finds it strange. Is it some sort of mirror? It looks like him. His face.

The door slams. Randalf can hear sobbing from the figure, his own eyes watering at the sound. He reaches out a hand to the figure, but there is no figure. There is only him.




4 comments :

  1. Chilling story. Well narrated.
    He should have just listened and left before the door closed. Curiosity trapped him...

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    Replies
    1. Indeed it did! Thank you for reading. No entry this week?

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  2. Replies
    1. Brilliant as always. You find words that I can't.

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