I think I know

'Sounds like a shriek to me.' Keena mutters.

'You know what they are? I saw the same thing-' I say.

'Of course. Shrieks aren't really there, they are hallucinations of reflections often appearing in some kind of agony. Only in fairy stories. A sign of bad luck in the near future. I didn't believe until I saw one myself.' 

Mansion takes a step back, 'So...that...means bad luck.'

'Apparently.'

'We're all doomed.' Jaggy stands up. 'Anything to do with the great bane you talk about?'

'Hmm. I never thought of that.'

I thought everything was getting better, but clearly I'm wrong. Even Slams winces. 

Mansion stops. 'The parrot!'

'What?'

'S'gone!'

'He should be back soon...that always happens.'

'No.' Jaggy sounds final. 'Not for this long...and since he hasn't left Mansion alone since finding him...'

It changes again.

I'm surrounded by a painfully bright white glow and all air is gone from my chest. I stagger, and the light doesn't go. I shut my eyes, and I want to call for help, but I can't. I wait, falling to what feels like the ground and wander if I'm dead. Soon, I find myself breathing again, and am accompanied by a skull feeling like it's imploding. I keep my eyes closed but try to sit up, and I can't feel the light creeping through my eyelids again. I open them, and as my eyes focus I know the light has gone. There is no light at all. It's dark like night.

I wait for Slams to appear. She doesn't. Nobody does. I scream their names, but I'm horribly, entirely, painfully alone.

The End

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