The Photo-House


I followed close behind Zane, but something felt off. Zane wasn't telling us something, and I could see it clearly. I guessed that the others probably couldn't see it, but I could. To my eyes, it was easy to see. He trudged on ahead of me, running towards the old, abandoned photo-house. The rotting building loomed over us, casting all of us in its deformed shadow. Zane arrived at the door and turned the door handle. It didn't budge.

Wooden planks criss-crossed each other, nailed to the door by rusty bolts. "It's locked!"

"It's barred," I corrected. "How are we supposed to get in?"

Nick tried his hand at bulling the planks off the door, but it didn't work. He tried a second time, and what happened took my breath away. His hand glowed as he touched it, and the whole door was suddenly engulfed in brightly burning flames. The fire licked at the wooden door until there was no more door left to burn, and then-- as if it knew to stop, the fire vanished.

"What the hell happened to us?!" I demanded.

Nick stepped into the darkness, and Zane followed. "There isn't any light!" Zane called out. "No light switches, no electricity, nothing."

I stepped into the encroaching darkness that hugged Nick and Zane, who were lost somewhere in the small room. I clapped loudly in attempt to see if it echoed. That would give me an idea of how small the room was. But instead of what I wanted to happen, a cobalt orb of light burst into existance between my palms, illuminating the small room. Nick and Zane shielded their eyes, and when they looked back, they weren't nearly as stunned as I.

I held my palm out, and the starlight followed it, hovering above my hand as I moved. "Umm, you guys can come in, now. There's light," I said dumbfounded. The room was square, and the wallpaper that adorned the chipped, cracked walls was peeling. The creeky floorboards were rotting, and I thought for sure that any second the floor would give way and my foot would plunge right down into the soil that lay under the vacated building.

The light shone upon a doorway with a metal frame, and it crashed to the ground the minute it was touched. It lay in splinters behind the now empty rectangular space, and we all steped into the new room. This room, unlike the others, had light. Somehow, the scarlet light poured down over the forsaken chamber, lighting the desks in a faint light. My light allowed us to weave past unseen furniture, and I stopped suddenly when I reached the wall. There was a screen implanted into the door.

The screen blipped to life, and a robotic voice chimed from within it. "Name, please."

Just tell them your name.

"A... Aldric Cavelguid," I said. The screen flickered, and a photo of me appeared on the screen.

"Access granted," the voice said.

The door swung open, and all the answers poured out of the mysterious, frightening room.

The End

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