Read Parts 001- 007 HERE

The Experiment  – Part 008

“That’s right, scream, let it know you are here and ready to pay the dues of our ancestors,” Father Jeremiah called out.

A shadow seemed to rise from inside the chasm as the torch in Jerimiah’s hand flickered wildly as the wind increased.

Shona struggled against Smythe’s hold, but his fingers dug deeper into her arms, the pain shooting through her with each movement.

“Grandfather!” A voice shouted from behind them. Shona couldn’t turn to see, but she knew it was Billy. “Let go of her!” His voice sounded strained.

The grip on Shona seemed to weaken slightly for a moment, long enough for her to pull away by slipping out of her jacket. Looking back, she saw Billy standing as close as he dared to the edge of the chalk circle. His hair was gone, and the skin on the left side of his face was blistered from the fire. 

“Stop her!” Jerimiah shouted as he saw Shona move quickly, running towards the circle of torches.

“Careful!” Billy warned her as her foot nearly crossed the chalk line.

“How do I get you out?” She shouted, looking back as Jerimiah approached.

“I don’t know, maybe the torches?” Billy replied.

Shona looked at the torch nearest to her, the wood pole it was attached to was on her side of the chalk. Carefully placing a hand around it, she pulled it towards her until gravity caught its weight. It tumbled to the ground, embers skittering across the stone floor, blocking the path of Jerimiah and Smythe. 

The torches in the circle all faded as if they had been connected to their fallen companion. The four other people, who had remained motionless until now, began to look around the room in confusion. Billy slowly extended a hand, checking if the power of the chalk circle was still active, there was no burst of flames.

“Come on!” Shona shouted.

Before anyone could move, a strong gust of ice-cold air filled the chamber, causing the temperature to plummet. Shona realised she could see her breath in the faint light that came from Jerimiah’s torch, the only illumination that remained in the room.

“What have you done?” Jerimiah hissed.

A figure appeared at the corner of the chasm opening, only a shadow half-seen through the flickering glow of the torch. It appeared to have a human shape, but something about it made Shona feel uneasy, as though its mere presence was wrong. Standing, it was twice the size of a regular man, though if it straightened its hunched back it would be taller.

“Your offerings are here Lord,” Jerimiah spoke, his voice wavering in fear. “Please forgive the delay on the first.”

The figure raised its head, looking slowly across the room of people. Shona’s eyes strained to see its face, but no matter how hard she looked, her eyes refused to focus. The only thing she could make out was the flickering of two deep blood-red eyes which seemed to be staring directly at her. As they did, her body went colder, a feeling of nausea filling her stomach and she could feel bile rising in her throat. She needed to look away but something was stopping her, the figure held her gaze, paralysing her completely. 

The figure moved its head, releasing Shona from its hold. A sigh fell from her lips as she doubled over and fought to stop herself from vomiting. A sound made her look up just in time to see the figure move with ungodly speed towards Jerimiah. A blur of movement was upon him, a maelstrom of shadow and blood pulsing into the air as Jerimiah’s body twisted in irregular motions like a crazed marionette. The torch dropped from his hand, causing the red glow to splutter. 

There was no sound from Jerimiah, only the wet thud of his dismembered body hitting the cold stone. The shadowed figure stood motionless over the remains, as the light of the dying torch slowly faded. The red eyes scanned the crowd that remained.

No one made a sound. No one dared move, as the last remnants of the torch extinguished, leaving the room in complete darkness. 

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What Happens Next? You Decide!

a) Shona tried to find the door back to the stairs, keeping as quiet as she could.

b) Shona tried to find Billy, whispering his name.

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Voting closes on Sunday 20th September 2020 4pm BST

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Vote in the comments or on my social media! Voting closes on Sunday 20th September 2020 4 pm BST

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