Hi there! This is a continuation of a piece I wrote a while back. Part 1 available here:
I quickly turn off the sensor to quiet the beeping, and find myself surrounded by an eerie silence. The deserted house stares back at me as I try to think, where to go, what to do, how to escape. It’s been a long time since I’ve been here, but I still remember these rooms, still remember the old wooden bookcase, still remember which book to press…
I run up the stairs, avoiding the spots that creak and groan from a combination of instinct and faded memory. The study door is stiff, but I shoulder it open before stepping through and carefully closing it behind me. I notice the thick carpet of dust on the floor – and also the clear passage of my footsteps through it. I swear under my breath. There isn’t enough time, but it’ll be far too conspicuous, the footprints leading to the bookcase and disappearing. I look around at the furniture in the room, a plan beginning to form. I grab hold of the top of the door frame and swing myself up onto the cupboard next to me. From there, it’s a few careful climbs over to the bookcase, which luckily opens inwards. It’s not perfect, but it’ll take them slightly longer to follow me. I check the sensor. They’re getting closer. The mechanism of the bookcase groans and shudders loudly, and my stomach churns at the noise, hoping against hope that they haven’t heard it. I shouldn’t have come here. But it had been so long… I didn’t think they’d still be watching it. I climb down into the passage, and the door swings shut slowly behind me.
It’s pitch black in the tunnel, and I swallow hard, furiously attempting to calm myself down. I need to be able to think straight, or I’m never going to get out of here alive. I flick on the flashlight and let it shine between my fingers. I don’t think they know about this place, but I can’t be sure. I move along, trying to mask the sound of my footsteps. Which exit is least likely to have been discovered? I decide against the one we took all those years ago, when we were all together. Running down here in the dark, not understanding – but I understand now.
I understand everything.