I still need to do some editing and make it, well, better, but here it is! Thank you so much if you end up reading the whole thing.
Untitled as of now.
Despite a few dusty old lamps, the only light in the hall was coming from under a door.
It wasn’t the front door, that one was directly behind me.
“Gross,” I whispered. The air smelled like a sock, formaldehyde, and a little nutmeg.
I creeped towards the door in my winter coat. The temperature was dropping, as expected, but it was going way way down. If there were any rats in the walls they made no noise. The only thing I could hear were my own footsteps on the velvet carpet, faint as they were. The dim white light, a little reddish really, lit up the left side of everything around the corner of the hall, and the corner itself created a strong shadow growing into the space where I stood. I walked past one of the open doors, it was a little taller than the rest, who knows what could be inside.
I started whispering to myself in a sing-songy voice.
“This is the type of place you don’t come out of,” I said.
The corner was right in front of me now, fully prepared to reveal whatever lies beyond. I took a look behind me. Probably a mistake, I thought.
I made a face, which, had anyone been there with me, likely would have said: you’ve got to be kidding me. The front door looked so far away now, I felt that if it came down to it, I wouldn’t be able to make it fast enough. That door, drew my attention again, the tall one.
A series of small shivers made their way down my legs.
I looked in front again, slowly. The reddish light that gently bathed the part of the wall to my right hadn’t changed. I poked my head around the corner to check out the light source. The door, as promised, was made of a different kind of wood, parts of it metal. It had some fancy embroidery around the edges, and an engraving of owl on the front.
“Wisdom, I guess? Could be worse.”
I took a step into the lit up area.
There were two doors every ten feet, four in total, and the one at the end, on the right side, opposite a large painting of a raven. Like the one depicted in the poem, I thought.
I took steps down the hall. The carpet ended, and I pulled up my sleeves. I exhaled and watched a cloud form in front of my face. How suspenseful, a little over the top, I thought.
The doors were really starting to creep me out at this point, pitch black holes with more wooden floor leading into places never before seen. I got into a staring contest with something inside one of them as I passed, it seemed to beckon me inside.
I made it to the end, where a wide set of stairs led up into an even darker, second floor. Thank goodness I wasn’t going up there. I would have taken some time to look at the painting to the side, in which case I would have noticed the unusual color of the bird's eyes, white, complete with a peculiar yellow hue. But I didn’t, instead I faced the door with the light coming out from behind, refraining from taking another look around, something I figured would put me over the edge.
I stared down the owl on the front, half expecting it to move or jump out at me. Its eyes were closed and head facing straight outwards. Summoning whatever courage I had left, I reached up with my left hand to a round metal ring, the doorknob. It was not as cold as the surrounding air, which was surprising. I pulled it open.
The faint light flooded my eyes, which, since it was no brighter than a room full of candles, were already adjusted to. The room inside looked a little like a kitchen, or a laboratory, or something. I didn’t really know. There were quite a few candles, with flames that burned a very deep blue. There was also a large white light in the middle of the ceiling, tinted red from what I perceived as old age.
I tried to scan the room for something to smuggle out. Maybe one of the metal objects on the counter? I hesitated to walk any further.
“Maybe I should close the door, so nothing gets in.”
Great idea. I turned around and closed the exit to the dark hall. Still there was no noise, the room was also held in complete silence. The candles caught my attention again. Candles don't burn that color. I mean, I’ve seen blue flame before, but not dark blue like these.
I started to walk over to grab one of the metal objects, I was eyeing a medium sized silver sphere covered in more than ornate details. The craftsmanship, beyond human. I pocketed the object and laid my hand on another object, this time a small spiky thing, reminiscent of a fork. This one was covered in dark spots. I held this one in my hand for a moment, and eventually decided to put it back on the counter.
I stepped back into the center of the room, suddenly remembering the portrait across from the room. There were two peepholes in the door in case I was curious enough. I didn’t want to look outside, but something made me inch closer to them. I placed my face up to the door, my eyes fit perfectly with the two holes. I peered at the painting. The raven was still a raven, its eyes were a deep blue, apparently the same color as the candle.
I stepped back into the room, but while I was busy focusing on the portrait the main light in the room had gone out. The only source of light in the entire building now was the candles spread in a ring around the floor. I waited for about five seconds in complete silence in the center of the room, although it seemed like a lifetime.
Then I nearly lost my mind.
They came in pairs. Bright red lights flashed outside the door. Alien noises, vaguely human, both whispered and shouted, in my head only, indecipherable scratching and wailing noises. They tore at the door from the outside, only getting louder, brighter, and me more and more terrified out of my mind. It seemed like the red light itself was seeping into the room.
I screamed for help, but there was nobody there.