Wrong Wish, Right Reason
I was going to die in here, I thought for what must have been the dozenth time in half as many minutes. I was going to die, and no one would even find me.
My hand trailed along the wall as I moved blindly through the dark. Sounds leaked through those walls, like the whispers of tortured drafts, chilling the air with their broken fingers and softly muttered moans. With every step I took deeper into the blackness, dread coiled tighter in my guts. I had already turned so many corners, I didn’t know which way was out. All I could do was continue, following the weeping and muffled screams that bespoke the intent of this place.
A scream raked over me, and I shuddered, feeling the sound against my spine like claws. It could be hers. I tried to make myself move faster, turning another corner in the hopeless labyrinth that was the Oakwald Institute. It was like the place was meant to confuse, it probably was.
Faint light trickled onto the floor ahead of me, spreading over the tiles and pressing back the inky darkness. My fingers closed over the pistol I had stolen from my father earlier that night. I pulled it free of my waistband, taking the safety off slowly so it wouldn’t click.
I held it with hands too steady for the way my heart was hammering against the inside of my chest, like an army of maddened construction workers.
Gun first, I slunk up along the wall, pausing to listen. What I heard made my stomach turn.
There was a soft snuffing, followed by a wet noise, then it repeated. A sharp, cracking crunch came a few moments later.
Steeling every nerve in my body, I turned the corner.
In the paleness of the light, all color was lost. A dark shape knelt over something on the floor. Around them, a black puddle slowly spread on the floor, following the paths between tiles and trickling away with sluggish progress. I stood frozen as the thing shifted, biting into the body on the floor.
The gun in my hands snapped up to aim at the creatures back, hands still held steady with an iron will alone.
The animal turned. Blood dripped thickly from an elongated snout. A forked tongue flicked out to lick something that almost resembled lips. It raked a clawed hand through shaggy hair, fixing all too human eyes on me.
I couldn’t move. My finger plead to pull the trigger, but something stopped me. Those eyes stopped me.
“Hello, Kevin,” she said in the voice of the girl I’d come to save. The voice I loved, full of honey and life that had been drained away into a raspy hiss that crept over my spine and made every hair on my body stand on end.
The gun clattered to the floor, an explosion of sound in the frozen silence following her words.
Once, I’d wished that they would be the last thing I’d see, hoping that that would mean we would spend forever together. In a way, that wish came true
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