Torchlight Tours

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

Five drunk girls and a young female tour guide -- what can go wrong? You might be surprised.

Submitted: October 25, 2017

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Submitted: October 25, 2017



Torchlight Tours

Five men, clearly the worse for drink, staggered their way towards me. The typical crowd then; rowdy, thinking they are so smart, but actually my favourite group to take for the tour. I fought off my smile before they reached me and put on my professional face.

"Good evening, Sirs!” I’m practised; I know my sarcasm would not be noticed. “Are you sure you are ready to take the ‘Torchlight Tour?”

"You’ re our guide? Seriously?” One of them clearly fancied himself the leader. “How old are you? You look about twelve?”

I simply look him in the eyes and smile. I knew the response to make and would make it. “Old enough, I can assure you!”

And typically they start nudging each other, whispering just that bit too loud and laughing at their smutty jokes. I have to work hard to keep a straight face, stop smiling myself. They would get some experiences alright, just not of the kind they are anticipating.

I love my uniform. All black -- trousers, jacket, shirt, boots. Very neat and tidy; very dated, especially when you take in the hat. I look smart and professional as I take up my position to lead them to the chambers.

"Before we begin, I must ask if any of you have any serious health issues. I don’t want one of you passing out down there, now do I?”

Predictably, that leads to another round of laughter, lewd jokes that they think they are making at my expense. ‘Think again, boys’, I keep it to myslef and wait impassively for their answer.

The same guy as before spoke for all of them. “No! No health issues here, you’ll find.”

More laughter but I walk off, letting them catch me up. It is not far to the entrance. Hundreds and hundreds of people have walked past this gate every single day, but I doubt even one has noticed. It is always locked and there is only one key which I keep in my possession all of the time.

I take the key from my pocket as one of them bumps into me from behind. More laughter. Guys and their drink – how juvenile. I hold the gate open and let them past, locking it securely behind the last one. They don’t seem to be bothered; not yet. Good!

I lead them down some steps and along a path. The light from the street has all but gone now. Perhaps they are starting to get nervous for they are beginning to act silly, more like schoolboys than the grown men they are supposed to be.

The door to the chambers stands in front; black, solid, foreboding. Again I take a key from my pocket, an unusual shaped one if anyone cared to even look.

"This is your final chance to back out. Are you sure you are willing to take the ‘Torchlight Tour’.” The wording has to be exact. It is imperative that they say that they are entering willingly. “Each of you must answer for purposes.” That always gets them!

Four ‘yeahs’ then a hesitation. I turn to look at the fifth guy, weighing him up. Should I forbid him entrance?

"Come on, Charlie. If a kid can run the tour it can’t be that scary....even for you.”

And Charlie, not wanting to lose face, swallows his misgivings and agrees. So be it. He had his chance.

The door looks like it should be hard to open, heavy and creaky with lack of use, but it swings open freely at the touch of my fingers. Again I lock it behind us and reach to the side where I find one torch, ready for me to light and lead the way.

"Hey, don’t we each get one?”

Ah, finally a hint of nervousness! “Of course not. You are taking part in the Torchlight Tour and I am your guide. I carry the torch and you follow me!”

The hallway, although dark, is spacious. They walk in a group behind me, beginning to get their bravado back. I hear all their comments, and think to myself just how much I love my job.

"Now we will enter the ballroom, or what once was. Be careful where you tread. There are holes and debris. The chandelier is in pieces but is still hanging in place. Wait inside the door and follow me.”

The room stinks of rot and dust but they can’t get out of it now. One way or another they will have to follow me. I can walk this safely with my eyes closed; they, on the other hand, cannot. I tread surely across the room, turning when I hear a stumble behind me. One has almost fallen down in to a deep dark hole but their friends were quick enough to grab hold and pull.

What a shame about the chandelier? The roosting bats took flight and it was too much for the decayed wire. So sad that it had to land on the head of one of the tourists! That made them jump, panic, almost lost two more of them while still in there. They are running around, shouting, screaming, while I keep to my steady pace.

"What the hell are you doing?” One of them grabs at my arm, but I firmly remove his hand.

"I am getting the rest of you safely out of here.”

"We need to go back, get help. He might still be alive!”

I shake my head sadly. “Maybe. But not for long. There is no way to go back, only forward. Follow me!”

They’ve lost all their confidence now, no doubt feeling remarkably sober. I lead them through a door at the opposite side of the room. It leads to a narrow stone stairway. No handrails, no wall, just a steep drop either side. “Stay close. Some of these stairs are crumbling away......”

"I’m not going up there! You must be crazy......”

One of the guy’s, I don’t know which, pushes his way back through the door into the ballroom. We do not have to wait long to hear his scream.

Three left. I start mounting the stairs taking the one and only torch with me.

"Wait! You can’t just leave them....”

I don’t even pause but continue my way up the stairs, one step after another. I have perfect balance, my back remains straight at all times. But, oh dear, the scuttling sound has startled one of them and their balance is not good enough. The shout is shortly followed by the thud of the body landing somewhere below.

"Take us out of here now, you crazy bitch! You’re gonna get us all killed.”

A hand grabs hold of me again. “Take your hand off me, right now. I will extinguish this torch and leave you on the stairs in darkness if that is what you wish. And you all entered willingly. Remember?”

The rats run over our feet as they make their way down. “Not much further until we reach the top. Your ordeal will soon be over.”

Ten steps then a corridor. A corridor so dark that my torch barely touches the blackness. On I walk until I reach another locked door. It is too dark to make out much detail which is just as well. I open the door and let the two remaining tourists in. This time I do not follow but shut the door swiftly and firmly. He knows I have brought his food; I can hear him groaning in the corner. My master!

They hear him now, and they rattle at the door. Shouts and screams, total betrayal. How could I have done such a thing?

"You volunteered,” I answer, before I simply disappear.

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