Derelict

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Amy gets lost while taking a short cut and ends up walking past some derelict buildings....

Submitted: June 18, 2016

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Submitted: June 18, 2016

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Derelict.

 

Amy thrust her hands deep into her jacket pockets. It was getting cold and it was getting dark. This was not a part of town that she was familiar with and she was starting to feel distinctly uneasy.

 

The buildings were mostly derelict, in various stages of dilapidation. The streets were dirty, strewn with rubbish. Already she had seen four rats scurry from her approach and it was not yet really dark. Amy imagined that once the remaining light faded the place would be teeming with the creatures.

 

Not one vehicle had driven past her since she had decided on taking the short cut home. Somewhere along the way she had taken a wrong turn or two. So far her short cut had taken her over an hour longer than usual and she still did not have a clue where she was.

 

The street light in front of her flickered. Then, with a popping sound, the light disappeared. Looking up and straight ahead Amy was dismayed to see that hardly any of the street lights worked. The whole place was full of shadows.

 

The idea of turning round, retracing her steps and taking her normal route home was very tempting. Amy didn't trust herself not to make another mistake though; the thought of not being able to retrace her steps kept her ploughing onwards.

 

Most of the buildings had broken windows. One or two had panes of glass missing from their doors. Several of the roofs looked to be on the verge of collapsing. Amy couldn't help but speed up her pace when she was passing these.

 

Only one building actually had an open door. The interior looked like a big black chasm and for some reason Amy found herself feeling reluctant to walk past it. She thought of crossing the road to put a bit of a distance between her and it but the two rats already over there, happily nibbling away at something, put her off.

 

Amy braced herself. She hunched her shoulders, tried to look straight ahead and made herself keep walking forward, one slow step at a time. Why did she feel the need to turn her head? There would be nothing there for her to see.

 

Just as she had reached the other side of the doorway Amy heard a sound. If she wasn't mistaken, someone was crying inside that building; someone that didn't sound very old.

 

Amy told herself to carry on. It was none of her business. If there was someone inside that wreck of a building it could only be a runaway or someone like that. The police would have to be called and Amy wanted nothing to do with them.

 

Ten steps past, she stopped, stood still and listened. It was only faint now but Amy could still make out the crying sound. It was no good: she would have to go back. It might be an injured child that she was abandoning and there was obviously not much chance of anyone else turning up to lend a hand.

 

How had it got to be so completely dark in such a short amount of time? Amy reluctantly approached the door and peered inside. She couldn't see a thing.

 

Taking a deep breath, Amy called, “Hello! Is anyone there?”

 

She listened but she heard no reply. Even the sobbing seemed to have stopped. Amy was just about to turn away, putting the whole thing down to her imagination, when she heard the crying begin again.

 

Her phone had a torch function and the battery was pretty full. It wouldn't last that long as a torch but should give her a chance to quickly check things out. Once again cursing her decision to take this route Amy forced herself to step through the doorway.

 

She let the beam of light trace around the hall. Empty beer cans and wine bottles made it quite clear that this was a regular hangout for wino's and under-age drinkers. Amy had to ask herself did she really want to chance meeting a drunk in such a dark and desolate place.

 

Amy decided there and then that she would go. She would walk out and carry on her way. She was almost at the door when she heard the voice.

 

Help me. Please, help me!”

 

A girl of about ten or twelve, Amy guessed, judging by the voice. It certainly didn't sound like someone who was likely to launch a drunken attack against her. Perhaps she'd been abducted, was being held hostage. It certainly sounded as though she was in real need of help of some kind. Amy knew she could not just walk off; if she did, she would be forever worrying about the consequences.

 

I'm coming. Where are you?” Amy realised that she was talking in little more than a whisper. She raised her voice and repeated, “Where are you? Are you hurt?”

 

Amy stood still, straining to listen. For a while there was just silence but then she heard the sobs resume. They sounded further away this time but that couldn't be right. The child wouldn't be calling for help and moving away at the same time.

 

Help me! Please hurry.”

 

The torch on her phone gave off a surprising amount of light. Amy aimed the beam around the room but found nothing but rubbish, rubble and broken furniture. Across the other side of the room she could just make out the outline of a door.

 

Listen, Kid, I'm trying to find you. Can you tell me where you are?”

 

Don't know,” the girl sniffed. “Please hurry. We don't have long!”

 

Don't have long before what? Amy couldn't think about that now. How was she ever going to be able locate this girl? She should just give up, make a phone call and leave it to the emergency services to handle. The problem was that there was no knowing how long they would take to respond and the child sounded pretty desperate.

 

Amy carefully started to make her way across the room. The floor got slightly clearer the further away from the entrance she got. Obviously most of the previous occupants had not ventured too far inside.

 

Listen, Kid. If I'm going to be able to find you I need to know where to go. If you can't tell me where you are you will just have to keep talking and let me follow your voice.”

 

At first Amy was met with silence but then, quietly at first, she heard the girl start to sing. 'Ring around the Rosie!' Great, Amy thought. The one rhyme that she had always hated, that really creeped her out and the girl had to pick it! Should she ask her to change it? No, better just to leave her to get on with it.

 

Amy finally reached the door and pushed it open. If anything it was even darker inside than the room she was leaving. And the smell was anything but pleasant; a mixture of mould, damp and – something rotting? Amy wouldn't allow herself to think about it. The voice was getting louder so she must be on the right track.

 

Are you in here? Can you see me?” Amy hoped the girl was hidden in the shadows. The light from the torch was starting to weaken and there was no way of telling how much longer it would last.

 

No! I can't see a thing. Please hurry, I'm scared!” The girl began crying all over again.

 

Please don't cry. I'm on my way. Just keep up that singing, okay!”

 

Finally across the room, Amy found herself confronted by another door; at least this one was partly open. She pushed through it only to be hit by an even stronger stench of rot. Amy found herself in a hallway facing a flight of stairs.

 

The singing was definitely louder now. Amy could only presume that the girl was up there somewhere. There was an unmistakeable smell of dry rot. The stairs were likely to be extremely hazardous.

 

I'm at the bottom of the stairs, Kid. I know you are up there. Do you think you could find your way down to me if I shine my torch up towards you?” Amy really hoped that she would be able to coax the child down.

 

No! No, I can't! I can't move.” The child sounded panic-stricken, bordering on hysterical. “You promised you'd help me! Don't go!”

 

What was she to do? Amy knew she couldn't just walk away now. If only she'd just made that one simple phone call......

 

Okay, calm down! These stairs don't look very safe but I'll try to get up to you. Just you keep singing, okay!”

 

After the fourth stair there was no doubt in Amy's mind that her phone battery was almost dead. The torch gave out enough light for her to see the stair she was standing on but no further. And the girl was still singing that same old rhyme. Amy shuddered.

 

So now what? Should she go forward or back? Amy hesitated, undecided. She wasn't sure that she could make herself carry on up those stairs in darkness.

 

Hurry! Please hurry or it will be too late!”

 

What was that supposed to mean, Amy wondered. Too late for what?

 

Okay, I'm coming.” Amy carried on slowly up the stairs.

 

Once she reached the top Amy found that she could at least partially see again. The moon glowed silver through a window at the far end of the hallway, bathing everything in a soft white glow. The walls were running with damp and the three doors before her were all in various states of disrepair. Which was the right one?

 

I'm at the top of the stairs now. Sing louder so I know which room you are in.”

 

'Ring around the Rosie' seemed to echo all around Amy. She shook her head trying to clear such nonsense from her mind then walked towards the first door.

 

Amy reluctantly put her ear against the wood. Not in that room then! The second door didn't give any increase to the girls voice either.

 

Okay. I know where you are now so you can stop singing.” Amy pushed against the third door and it slowly swung open. “You must be able to see me now. Come on, Kid, let's get going.”

 

The girls voice came from the furthest corner of the room. “I can't. I'm stuck! You promised that you'd help me.”

 

With the greatest of reluctance Amy moved further into the room. The door swung shut behind her but Amy wasn't worried. The frame was so rotten there was nothing to hold it closed.

 

And there, in the shadows, sat a figure. From the size Amy was pretty sure she'd been right about the age. But there was something off about her. Something odd....

 

Are you badly hurt? Can you move?” Amy carried on edging warily towards the child.

 

The instant that she was near enough the child reached out and grabbed Amy's arm. And she was strong. Way too strong for her size.

 

Let me go now, okay. I'm trying to help you.” Amy fought back against the urge to struggle.

 

Slowly the girl lifted her head giving Amy her first clear view of her face. It was so thin, almost skeletal, and so pale. The lank dark hair that surrounded it accentuated the whiteness of her skin.

 

The girl opened her eyes and Amy found herself staring into nothing but blackness. She wanted to turn and run but she couldn't make herself look away.

 

The girl opened her mouth and to sing, exposing her teeth. They were so sharp and pointed and could not possibly be human.

 

Ring around the Rosie,

A pocket full of posies,

Atishoo,

Atishoo,

We all fall down.”

 

Amy couldn't hold back the scream any longer. A cloud completely obscured the moon plunging Amy into a darkness from which she would never escape.

 


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