Chapter 8 – What happens at night… (Part 1)

The image is not too dark

“Blast!” Raymond exclaimed. “I wonder if we can just leave the door closed all night and deal with it in the morning.”

“How do you expect to sleep knowing that thing is in here?”

“You’re right.
“But we can lock ourselves behind even more more doors if we move toward the other side of the house.”

Raymond lead Blaire to a wall opposite of the beast’s room and felt for a door. The wall was right up against the window on the back of the house, but what little light came in barely illuminated only a small portion of it. Raymond remembered that from the outside the window was in the center of the house so there had to be a doorway leading to more rooms on the other side.

“So was it a boar?” He asked as he continued across the wall.

“It looked like it.” She answered, “it was large and I saw its eyes, but that’s all.”

Raymond felt a cold metal door and opened it. He grabbed Blaire’s shoulder and pulled her through the doorway with him, and closed it behind her. There was no light anywhere and it became difficult to hear as the rain outside started hitting the roof harder. Raymond backed into the door and bumped his right shoulder on a wall. They must have been in a corner. Raymond stretched out his arm and felt another metal door on the wall to his right. He opened it then tapped Blaire on the shoulder then grabbed her arm and lead her into the new room or closet.

They carefully explored the room in the darkness and encountered no doors or exits aside from the one they came in through. The room felt like it must have been a perfect square and there was absolutely no sign of furniture anywhere within.

“OK so we have three doors between us and that beast now,” stated Raymond. “I’ll stay up and guard first, you see if you can get some sleep.”

Blaire agreed and disappeared into a corner of the room while Raymond carefully sat down next to the door. He hoped that eventually his eyes would adjust enough to see even the slightest shimmer of light, but he kept his hand on the cold metallic door to feel for vibrations from movement on the other side. He began to drift off into thought.

First he thought about what Nicodemus had done to him. What had he gotten himself into by trusting that mysterious man? Why were the doors metallic anyway? A nearly windowless house with metals doors? That sounds like a prison. Maybe the doors were cheaper somehow, and Nicodemus is just some sort of wizard that uses his powers to scam people. Sure this house was bigger, but the old one had to be worth more!

Then again, Rose did seem to trust and know him and everything he said so far had been a bit excessive even for a scammer. Nicodemus must just be really strange and enjoys dark houses himself. That did not explain the boar though. This would have been a great time for him to be reading Raymond’s mind again, maybe he could explain why he left the creature there. While the whole Nicodemus situation was rather inconvenient it really helped add to the excitement of this whole trip to Tyria. There were sure to be dangers and strange people during the journey. Speaking of strange people…

Raymond’s mind shifted to Blaire. He could not seem to make up his mind about her. When he first saw her on the wagon ride to Caerise Corner he thought she was the most fascinating thing he had ever seen. However, he started to fear her after rest of the passengers’ reaction to her talking and the fact that she seemed to have been following him around while he was buying the house. He knew to keep a low profile around people who were potentially creepy and needy. Then again, people who look as good as Blaire generally aren’t that sort of needy… at least until they get older.

Raymond began to rant in his head about needy middle aged women, but he realized his thoughts began to simulate his own voice. Suddenly he stopped his rant abruptly. He could not tell if he had started vocally speaking his thoughts, or if he only heard his voice in his head.

“Uh oh, did I just say some of that out loud?” He thought to himself. “Bah! I have absolutely no way to find out if I did!
“Well hold on, my throat and mouth don’t feel like I’ve been talking.
“Except I’m not sure if there even is an ‘I’ve been talking’ feeling.
“I’ll have to see if I can test it out tomorrow if I can remember.”

His mind faded back to reality again. He remained sitting in the blackness with his hand against a metal door. Rain continued to pour violently outside and strong gust of wind blew past the house. He heard rustling leaves, and this comforted him. It reminded him that there was an open natural world outside of the enclosed darkness that was his house. He remembered the only thing keeping he and Blaire from fleeing the house was rain. He debated on waking the young woman up and heading outside to brave the violent rainstorm. Maybe the village could provide them shelter for the night and getting soaked on the way there would not be as bad as trying to sleep in a house with a dangerous animal. However, he could not commit to his new plan. Part of wanted to wake her up right away, but part of him hesitated. Instead he drifted into deep thought again.

He thought about how this portion of the house would remain pitch black even in the day time as long as the door was closed. No windows, no light. This made it impractical as a duplex. However, that was fine with him as he began to question his original decision to offer Blaire a place to live in his neighborhood, let alone a part of his house. Associating with needy people is perhaps the number one good deed that “never goes unpunished.” He hoped Nicodemus would add windows at some point in the future though. What good is a bigger house if half of it is unusable.

“I can’t sleep, I’ll guard.” Blaire’s voice sounded from the corner and broke Raymond’s deep thought.

“I doubt I’ll be able to sleep either,” he responded. “I say we just leave and head to the village.”

“Why don’t we check the rest of this side of the house for candles first?”

“OK, but lets make it quick.” Raymond urged, “I want to get out there before all of the villagers go to sleep.”

“I have never seen them all asleep before.” Stated Blaire.

“Alright, follow me.”

Raymond reached his hand out into the darkness until she touched it. He turned around and slowly opened the door, backing up as it swung inward. He cautiously walked beyond it and reached his left arm out until he felt the door to the main room.

“Stand in front of this door,” ordered Raymond. “You’ll be like my marker so I know where to go if I lose my sense of direction back here.”

Raymond proceeded to feel around the walls and located three more rooms. Two were right across from the room he had just left, and one was beside it. Each room was just as empty and dark as the last. No windows, no furniture. Nothing. He left the doors open to every room he explored so he would not end up in the same one twice. If he had the house mapped out correctly in his head, there was only one possible room left. It would be completely opposite of the room with the boar and may include windows. It was the only side of the house he did not look at from the exterior.

Just as he suspected, he discovered one more door and entered it knowing it was likely his last hope of finding anything. Unfortunately there was no light, but to his luck he touched a box right next to the door. He swiped his hands across its top surface and hit some sort of small stone board. He picked it up and leaned it toward him. Something slid off its surface creating sparks on the way down, then it dropped off and landed on his boot. He bent over to pick it up and accidentally bumped his elbow on the wall or rather something attached to the wall. Whatever it was moved quickly out from under his elbow like a frightened animal or insect. Raymond jumped.

He then heard a terrifying sound. It began like a small bell ringing, but then evolved into some sort of screech and then a horrid howl before it stopped abruptly. It was loud enough to hear over the rain, but likely not through walls. A second later he heard scampering around the room. The sound ran a full circle around the walls starting near where he bumped his elbow at his right and came back toward him at his left. Raymond ducked and cowered next to the box, but nothing happened. The scampering just stopped. Quickly he shoved the stone board under his arm and grabbed the object that fell on his foot. It was a small metal rod meant for creating sparks to light candles. There may have been candles in the box, but he left it and ran out the door slamming it behind him.

“Did you hear that?!” He whispered very loudly in Blaire’s direction.

“I didn’t hear anything,” she whispered back.

“Well, I found a spark maker thing in there.
“No candles yet, but there was a box under this.
“There was definitely something alive in there though, I’m not going back.”

“Did you see what it was?”

“No, but I heard it.
“It sounded like a small bell tried to ring but died a painful death mid sentence, then got back up and ran around the room!”

“Well,” Blaire paused, “lets hope it was from outside then.”

“It really did not sound like it was outside, also I touched it before it moved.
“We just need to get out of here.
“Lets just leave now.”

They carefully felt for the door back to the main room. When they opened it they saw an extremely dim light coming from the window. It was nothing they would have ever seen if their eyes had not been adjusted to absolute darkness. It was also not bright enough to illuminate anything but the shape of the window itself. Even the outdoors were almost completely dark. The storm clouds must have been incredibly thick.

“Wait, I might be able to light the room with these sparks,” said Raymond enthusiastically.

Raymond flicked the board with the metal rod and the room lit up for a brief second. The two young house explorers instantly locked their eyes on the same object. For the split second that the sparks lit the room, they noticed an unlit candle standing up on the middle of the table. Blaire quickly went into the blackness, grabbed the candle and brought it back to Raymond. She handed it to him and he held on to it for a moment.

“How could we have missed this?” he said, then handed the candle back to Blaire, “here hold the wick on this board.”

Blaire did as he said and Raymond flicked the board one more time and the candle ignited. The whole room lit up and they could see almost everything. The room was in an L shape. It would have been a square, but nearly one quarter of it was occupied by a room starting at the right of the front door. The same room with the wall that fell off into the “brick divide” and that Raymond had accidentally caused the rain to fall through the ceiling in. It had an open doorway on the far right but no door. Now that the area was visible, Raymond noticed the brick divide between him and that doorway actually had a wooden top and now looked more like a desk or a counter. The room with the alleged boar inside it shared the same wall with the door-less room, but its entrance was on the opposite side of the house. Its door met with the back wall. Raymond pointed to it.

*Click for 1680×1050* A basic representation of how the room looked with the candle lit.

“Since we have light now, we should get a look at these creatures before we go.” He suggested, “I think we should check on the boar, the other thing sounded way more terrifying.”

“OK, be careful.” Blaire agreed, “Actually can’t you go outside and hold your hand over the candle to keep the rain from hitting it so you can look in from the window?”

“Sure but I don’t know where my luggage is.” Raymond said, “I’ll get soaked more than I already am and won’t have anything to change in to.
“I guess it’s safety over comfort though.
“Well no, this is our only candle.
“I don’t want to risk it.”

“You’re right.”

“Just go stand over by the front door with the spark board and be ready to flag me out if that thing wakes up.”

“OK”

Raymond carefully approached the door with the candle in one hand and reached the other slowly toward the door knob. His legs were prepared to bolt, but what he saw when he opened the door surprised him. Suddenly everything became clear.

<< Chapter 7 | Ch. 8 Pt. 2>>

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