Read Parts 001- 008 HERE
The Experiment – Part 009
Read Part 001 – 008 here: https://www.nikwhittaker.com/theexperiment
Last Time In The Experiment
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.
Shona tried to find Billy, whispering his name.
“Billy?” the sound of Shona’s voice was swallowed by the darkness. The shuffling of feet moving around the room was all around her, and the knowledge of whatever the thing that had killed Jerimiah was amongst them made a shiver run down her spine.
“Shona? Where are you?” Billy’s voice whispered back, coming from her left. Shona turned her head to try and pinpoint his location.
The sound of a match being struck came from her right, and the face of one of the other people illuminated, a young man.
“What the hell is going on?” he asked, trying to see in the small amount of light that came from the lit match.
The sound of something scraping across the floor at speed came from Shona’s left like something was being dragged along the stones. Passing from left to right, she saw the look of horror on the man’s face, moments before the match was knocked from his hand, cartwheeling in the air. Before the flame hit the ground and extinguished, a wet thudding told Shona the man had come to the same end as Jerimiah.
“We need to get out of here, now!” Billy shouted.
“I think I can find the door,” Shona replied, trying to concentrate and recall where she had been standing before the darkness filled the room. Picturing the room in her mind, she moved towards where the wooden door had been, her hands stretched out in front of her.
The other people in the room had started to panic, shouting questions and demands to anyone that would listen. Shona knew that any chance of Billy following the sound of her voice was impossible. Remembering her camera, she placed a finger on the shutter, thinking she could use the flash to show where she was, though after what had just happened, she was hesitant.
Her free hand was still raised and it brushed the cold stones of the wall. If she’d remembered correctly, a couple of steps to her left and she would be at the door.
A scream from behind her made her freeze before it was cut short. Another person sacrificed. Taking a breath, she moved to the side, daring a smile as she felt the wood of the door under her fingers. Searching, she found the handle and prepared to open it when a flashback of the creature she had encountered on the stairs filled her mind. Which was the worse horror, the creature on the stairs or the one behind her?
“Shona?” She heard Billy calling out over the sound of voices in the cave.
There was no point leading him to the stairs just yet, she needed a plan. Feeling the camera in her hands, she adjusted the settings by memory. Taking one step back, she raised a fist and banged on the door as hard as she could, then turned the key that locked it, and pulled at the handle, swinging it open. Moving to the side and crouching down, she put the camera on the ground, facing upwards, then slid further away.
Everything that happened next occurred within a few moments of chaos.
The sound of the creature shuffling from the stairs, attracted by the sound of the banging, came first, followed by a whirr and flash as the timer Shona had set on her camera went off. The space was filled with bright white light, and Shona saw the outline of the creature again, the clammy skin glistening in the flash. Next, just as the flash started to fade, the shadowed figure seemed to leap over the camera and into the creature.
Shona blinked to clear the spots of light from her eyes as the room returned to darkness. Stumbling forward, she swung the door closed again, slamming it shut and turning the key back to lock it.
“What the hell was that?” Billy shouted out.
“I’ve locked it in the stairwell,” Shona replied, as a thudding came from the other side of the wooden door. “But I can’t say how long it’ll hold.”
A flame flickered into view near her, the light showing Billy holding a torch. He was standing over what appeared to be what remained of the victim of the shadow figure, a bloodied pack of matches in Billy’s hand. He grimaced slightly as the heat of the torch aggravated the burns on his skin.
“So, do we try the cave exit the creature came from or the door where the creature is?” Billy asked, a shaky smile on his face,
What Happens Next? You Decide!
a) “The cave, at least we know it’s where the creature isn’t!” Shona replied.
b) “The door, at least we know where it leads if we can work out how to get past!” Shona replied.
Vote in the comments or on my social media! Voting closes on Sunday 27th September 2020 4 pm BST
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