After we had eaten, we began to grow tired, which yet again reminded me how long we had been trapped in this mansion. There were no windows in any of the rooms that I had been in so I had no indication of what time of the day it was.
'Where are we gonna sleep?' Madelyn stifled a yawn.
'I guess we're gonna have to make do here,' Tyler murmured. 'At least there's a lock on the door which means we'll be partially safe...'
'Partially?' Madelyn squeaked.
'Don't worry,' Tyler assured her. 'By the time they try to enter, we'll on our guard.'
Too tired to contribute to the conversation and part of me not wanting to anyway, I went and sat in the corner of the room, propped up against the wall and allowed my eyelids to droop. Moments later, I was asleep.
I was standing on a hill overlooking vast green fields. The wind, chilling and merciless threw itself against me, tangled through my hair, biting at my skin. I narrowed my eyes, but it was unrelenting.
Through my blurred vision, I could make out a dark figure walking towards me. It was a good hundred yards or so away from me but it was walking with an unnatural quickness. As they approached, I noticed a slight stagger in their pace. Their shoulders jerked with each step and they fell a few times. I thought about going to help, but they were up again in seconds, determined to reach me.
This is getting freaky, I thought.
I watched it come towards me, rooted in place.
Moments later, it was standing in front of me.
Their face was hidden under a dark hood, casting shadows across their skin. I could only identify a mouth turned downwards in an ugly grimace. Their was something vaguely familiar about it...
'Zoey,' the figure rasped out in a dry cracked voice.
I jumped slightly at the sound of my name and began backing away.
'Don't leave,' they pleaded. 'Please. Not again.'
'Again?' I managed to choke out.
They cleared their throat and when they spoke again, I gasped.
'Zoey, how could you leave me?'
With slow, purposeful movements, she dragged her hood away from her face and I screamed. As loud as I could.
Except, it wasn't her face.
Her eye sockets....I collapsed to my knees as my body was overcome with a massive bout of nausea. My stomach convulsed, but nothing came out.
Thousands, millions of tiny puke coloured maggots were writhing and twisting where her eyes should have been. She inclined her head slightly and several fell out, hitting the ground.
'You did this to me...'
My eyes snapped open and I was temporarily blinded and disorientated.
'Mum?' I called out.
No one answered.
And then I remembered where I was. The mansion. It had just been a dream. An incredible shocking, extraordinarily lifelike nightmare...
Tyler and Madelyn were asleep, their soft breathing comforted me slightly as I got my bearings. My eyes filled with tears at the thought of my mother and how much I missed her.
It was there and then that I decided I was going to get out of this place. Whatever it took. I stood up, stretching, knowing I could never get back to sleep.
I crossed the room over to Tyler's still figure. He had my gun, right next to him. How incredibly reckless. Bending down, I picked it up and aimed it at his head. How easy would it be, to kill him now. One dead body. That's all it would take, and then I would be free.
Tyler would never feel a thing. He'd be dead in the blink of an eye.
My finger hovered over the trigger.
Could I really do it? Could I really kill someone?
I shook my head in exasperation. I couldn't do it. I wasn't a murderer.
I needed to get out of here.
I unlocked the door and stepped out into the hallway. There had to be another way out of here, there simply had to be. I began checking doors when all of a sudden, someone grabbed me round the neck and pressed something cold and hard to my temple.
I froze in fear.
'One word and you're dead,' they whispered in my ear. Judging by their voice, I could tell they were male.
So there were others here.
He began patting me down, checking for weapons. I held on tightly to my gun, praying he wouldn't take it off me, but he snatched it out of my grip.
'Don't you think it's a bit dangerous wandering around in the pitch black in the middle of the night?'
He let me go and I whirled round, trying to get a good view of my assailant. The light refused me this though, and all I could make out was a mouth stretched into a grin. It reminded me of my terrible nightmare and I suddenly became very, very frightened.
I calculated how much time it would take for me to get back into the meadow room and the time it would take for him to catch me.
What have you got to lose? I questioned myself.
I crossed the hallway in a flash, managed to open the door ajar and actually thought I was going to make it, but he was much quicker. He grabbed onto my arm and turned me round to face him again. This time, I could identify his features and I noted he was actually very good looking.
His skin was a light brown colour, hinting at a Persian ancestry perhaps, although I wasn't entirely sure. I think he was trying to be angry, but his eyes were too warm for that. Large and brown, they complimented his face perfectly. He wasn't much taller than me, about five foot nine, five foot ten.
'Who are you?' I tried to sound confident, but my voice cracked pathetically.
He fought a smile again.
'Who are you?'
'I asked you first.'
'So? I'm the one with the gun.'
I frowned in horror. He laughed slightly.
'Oh, very funny.'
He sighed, becoming serious again.
'The name's Robbie,' he stuck his hand out but I refused to take it and I crossed my arms, feeling like I was five years old again.
'Fair enough,' he withdrew his arm and gave me a curious tilt of his head. 'So, your name?'
'Zoey,' I admitted.
'Well Zoey. Want to tell me what the hell we're doing here?'