Featured Review on this writing by Sue Harris

Shush!

Reads: 45  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 5

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 05, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 05, 2018

A A A

A A A


Shush!

There’s nothing here. We should get out before the whole place collapses.” Nick is eager for us to make our escape back on to the streets.

I don’t blame him. If this place comes down on top of us, we will either be crushed by falling rocks or buried so deeply in debris that we are unlikely to ever be found. And that is should anyone even bother looking. The thing is, I know I saw someone, heard distant footsteps.

Someone else is down here and I don’t want to be responsible for abandoning them, just turning my back because of the risks. Whoever I saw seemed small, but I have to confess I had no more than a fleeting glimpse. Maybe it was a child, maybe it was just a shadow; I feel obliged to keep searching, at least for now.

Just a few more minutes then I’ll give up.” I say. Nick shakes his head, so I add, “You go now if you want. I’ll follow you as soon as I’m sure.”

No, you know I can’t do that, Trish. We are a team and have to stay together.”

Who’s going to know?” I point out, knowing there could be groups of others like us outside the building. I had to try though. If he wants to quit, then quit he should; me, I’m going to look that bit more.

There is a groan from the roof. I don’t want to look but I do anyway. It’s still holding but for how long? No more time to stand here chatting, I need to get moving, and fast.

Speed is not the easiest thing to maintain, not when you suddenly find yourself ankle-deep in rubble or confronted by a huge slab of upright concrete. I lead the way, knowing that Nick has not deserted me, I can hear him following closely behind.

I’ll owe him big time for this. And I just know that he won’t ever let me forget that.

Nick is behind me, but I can hear some kind of movement from in front. I was right! We are not alone down here. Not far now, it can’t be; not if I could hear those footsteps above my laboured breathing.

It’s like an entire wall has collapsed in front of me. It’s not going to be easy to climb without making the rubble subside even more. Nick is right behind me now.

Did you see her?” I ask in little more than a whisper.

I think so,” he answers. “At least I heard something moving.”

We get to the top, and down the other side with only a small falling of dust and plaster. Still, it will be enough in the quiet of this place to announce our arrival. There are not so many creaks and groans here; maybe this part of the building is a bit more structurally sound. As we’ve gone deeper, I find that hard to believe, but perhaps the bulk of the damage was towards the facade, not further in as we had imagined.

It’s very dim, but we seem to be in a part of the building that is more-or-less untouched -- as far as the devastation goes at least. Peeling paint speaks of years of neglect and the concrete floor is cracked. Drips of....something spatter down to the ground from the ceiling. Whatever this place was used for before, it certainly saw little in the way of maintenance.

I catch sight of her, grab Nick’s arm more of a way of getting proof that she is not just a part of my imagination. He goes to move forward but I hold him back, just for a minute to let her get used to seeing us, to understand that we are not a threat.

She just sits there staring at us. The girl can’t be more than six, at most eight, years old. What on earth is she doing down here on her own? She is pale, clearly frightened. Of the explosion, of us, or of something else? I don’t know, but I can at least reassure her that we mean her no harm.

I squat down, make my voice friendly. “Hi! What’s....”

Shush!” Her interruption was unexpected, startles me, and feeling a bit rebuffed I stand back up.

Come with....”

Again, she says, with more urgency this time, “Shush! They can hear!” Her voice is barely audible.

Her words are scary though and both Nick and I look around. Who are ‘they’? And if there really are others down here we should be trying to attract their attention, to rescue them too. Right? I look to Nick and he looks straight back at me, shrugs his shoulder.

He leans close to me, whispers in my ear, “Do you want me to lunge and grab her, carry her out of here?”

That won’t work,” she whispers, having heard his every word. “They won’t let me go.”

They should come with us,” I whisper back, too loud I guess, as she holds her finger in front of her lips. I take a step towards her.

Don’t move!” I’ve never heard such an urgent whisper before. It stops me mid-step. “They’ll see you.”

Okay, this is getting silly now. Nick and me, trained rescuers being bossed around by a traumatised kid. She cannot possibly know what’s best to do. I step forward and then stand totally still – there is a whoosh, like a breeze, but too strong, too concentrated. A roar, a creak that sounds like jaws opening that bit too wide.

Slowly I turn to Nick and there is something behind him. Not human, that’s for sure. I can tell by his face that he knows it is there. What have I done? I brought us here. But the girl....she had to be rescued, didn’t she?

I look at Nick, struggle to get my mind to comprehend what it is that I am seeing. This huge hinged jaw seems to loom up above him. Drip! That must have been what I was hearing earlier. And then it seems to lower itself and I cannot hold in the scream as that jaw lops off Nick’s entire head. His body stays upright for a moment, but I am already off and running, heading for the collapsed wall, yelling at the girl to get up on her feet and to run too.

She just sits there, sadly shaking her head. “Still and silent,” she whispers. Tears run silently from her eyes, drip off her cheeks. She does not sob but cries with no noise at all.

Damn her! I’m not going to end up like Nick. Somebody needs to know what is down here. Who will believe me? I don’t care!

My mind is racing as I scrabble my way frantically up the pile of rubble. My hands are being ripped by sharp stone, by glass fragments. I can feel the scrapes to my legs. Keep moving, keep moving, that’s what I tell myself over and over until that concentrated breath hits me from behind.

Faster, faster, I scrabble, pulling myself up with my arms, pushing with my legs, my feet, until they are no longer there and my sight fades amidst some kind of agony.


© Copyright 2018 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply