No Longer Alone

Winner of The Mystery Competition WINNER Year 9-10 organised by WRITE ON – The School for Young Writers

Fiction, Mystery, Short Story, Young Adults, Young Children, Quick Read
Tallulah Raumati Costa | The commuting Book
Tallulah Raumati Costa

Sep 22   ●  4 min read

I am lost in countless dizzying turns and endless corridors. A bare light bulb flickers as I pass beneath it. I flinch involuntarily.

Ping!

The familiar weight of my phone in my pocket vibrates, piercing the dense silence. I unlock my phone. The alert is from a private number. I open the message. It’s a photo of the back of my head. My black hair, knotted and tied with a piece of string, the hairs on the back of my neck raised, my faded blue shirt stained with red in the corner.

My heart clenches. I whip around, eyes wide but no one’s there, just stale, used air.

My breath catches. Blood roars in my ears. Shaking like a leaf, I continue my hopeless search for a way out of the constricting, suffocating maze.

Ping!

Another message.

It’s another picture, from the same angle, slightly above my shoulder looking down, directly behind me.

My reflexes are quicker this time and I whirl around — only to find, again-no one in sight.

Retracing my steps to the last corner I turn and glance down it quickly. Not a soul.

I’m alone.

I set off, this time in a light jog, continuing my search for an exit. Every few metres or so, there’s a light bulb hanging from the crumbling roof. After a few turns, I have to tiptoe my way around a small pile of shattered glass. I’m almost hyperventilating with fear.

Stop it. You’re acting crazy.

Ping!

I glance down at my phone, freezing in my footsteps. Another photo. I whip around, already knowing I won’t see a soul. But this time it’s different, because I’ve been coming along this  hallway for almost 20 metres and no one could disappear that fast.

“Leave me alone!” I shout, almost crying in fear.

Silence.

Ping!

I can’t look. I keep sprinting.

Ping!

No.

Ping!

My heart skips a beat as I glance behind me, but there’s no one there.

Ping! Ping! Ping!

The next turn takes me into a huge atrium, a fresh clean white room, no peeling paint and nothing in sight. Nothing except on the opposite wall is a window, a dark tinted window dotted with beads of condensation. Black dots appear in my vision, and I sway gently on the spot until they disappear. I make no time getting over to the dark glass and, possibly, a way out. My phone buzzes endlessly now. It punctuates the silence. I unlock it and my finger hovers over the most recent message. My heart is racing. I don’t want to know what might be waiting for me. Breathing deeply I open it.

Check your reflection.

I lift my eyes to the window —- there’s no one there.

Ping!

Look again.

This time, when I look up, I’m no longer alone.

 

Originally published in Write On – Issue #52
Winner of The Mystery Competition WINNER Year 9-10 organised by WRITE ON – The School for Young Writers

 

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