No Longer Alone
Originally published in Write On – Issue #52
I am lost in countless dizzying turns and endless corridors. A bare light bulb flickers as I pass beneath it. I flinch involuntarily.
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.
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 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.
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.
I can’t look. I keep sprinting.
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.
This time, when I look up, I’m no longer alone.
Winner of The Mystery Competition WINNER Year 9-10 organised by WRITE ON – The School for Young Writers