This was partly inspired by the character 'Persona' from Gakuen Alice, and also to see if I could manage the daily amount I'll need to do for NaNo. I can't =3
I looked around slightly nervously at everyone. I'd done this, what, twice before, and both times something had gone wrong. I was seriously hoping for my third time lucky, but, knowing my karma though, I was bound to mess up at some point or another whether I liked it or not. And, of course, I definitely did not like it at all. I mean, who likes messing up? Even when no one can see you.
The people moving past me made an ever so slight breeze inside the large stone built room, blowing the long dark gold waves that framed my face and finished somewhere around the middle of my back, back slightly. Not that you'd see much if you did look at my face, it was partly concealed by the white eye mask – you know, the kind that actors sometimes wear – which I wore virtually all of the time.
No one paid me any attention - and why should they? They all had more important things to do than worry about a girl who appeared to know exactly what she was doing and where she was going. Well, if they could see me, that is. Most people couldn't. Not that there was any spells or whatnot – people just didn't look hard enough. In honest truth, I hadn't actually got a clue what the hell I was doing in a place like this. Trust them to pick a church as the meeting point.
The room was normal enough, pretty much your average church, and like any other church on a Sunday, there were a lot of people. Ugh. Again, why oh why did they have to pick a church. And on Sunday of all days.
If someone had seen me, I imagine they'd have given me a second glance. And a third glance. And a fourth, fifth, sixth and so on. A girl standing stock still in the middle of a crowd of people leaving a church just before lunch wearing a long black travelling cloak and a white mask isn't exactly normal, is it? Nope, I didn't think so.
The last of the people filed from the stone hall. Finally. I breathed a sigh of relief and sat down on the nearest pew. I waited a few minutes to make sure that there really was no one left, then I got up and went over to the door to the tower.
“Open,” I breathed as I passed my right hand over the handle and keyhole of the small light coloured wooden door. The pallid moonstone which was the main part of the ring I wore on my index finger flashed with a bright violet light. There was a click from inside the door as, without the use of any key, unlocked itself. I turned the blobbily painted black metal handle, which was frankly just weird as I was sure it was older than the door, but was still there, and pushed on the door. It swung inwards easily and silently, the hinges kept well oiled by whoever looks after the church, revealing the spiral steps of rough granite which sank in the middle where people walking up and down had worn away the rock. I walked through and closed the door behind me, whispering “Lock,” before taking my hand away from the door. There was another click from inside the door. I rattled the handle just to check. The door stayed firmly closed.
I turned my back on the door and started up the steep steps, slowly putting one foot in front of the other. The handrail was made from copper, shiny where it had been touched a lot and slightly wet from condensation or rain or whatever, I didn't really care about the finer details. These two things, however, made the metal decidedly slippery. Oh great. Just what I need, a handrail that isn't much use as a handrail whatsoever. I gave up on trying to use it after tripping on a step or losing my balance, grabbing the banister to try and keep myself upright and ending up on the floor anyway.
The staircase was lit at intervals with thin arrow slit windows - which definitely did not look out onto the town and fields which surrounded the church but instead looked out onto pine forest and cliffs. I didn't dwell on it – I'd seen stranger things happen. Way stranger things.
I caught my toe on the edge of a step, stumbled and fell over for the seventh time in two minutes. Damn these church tower stairs. I picked myself up again, brushed the dust and dirt off my cloak and set off up the stairs, or at least attempted to, when I realised I'd already reached the top.
The door at the top was made of a darker wood than the entrance door had been, but then they were both part of two completely different buildings. There was no keyhole or lock of any kind on it. There wasn't even a handle. Brilliant. So I come all this way to some city church with a tower door that had been set to take any of us who went through it to the tower where the meeting was being held rather than just to the normal tower, climb up several hundred steps and fall over at least ten times and what do I get? An door which is basically impossible to open. Oh, way to go. Well done, you.
I whacked my fist on the wood in frustration and nearly cried out when my hand sank into it as if it was butter rather than mahogany. I pulled it back out very quickly and inspected my hand. No scratches, no burns, no marks or blemishes. I pressed my palm to the middle of the door and again it just sank in. Okay, so we now have a door which I can't figure out whether is actually a door or because my hand keeps sinking into it.
I closed my eyes and walked right through the dark planks, confirming that it was not in fact a door but just an illusion of one. I felt the cool breeze as I stepped out onto the exterior of the tower. I stood there for a moment, enjoying the cold air on my skin. Then I opened my eyes and cast around for any signs that I was actually in the right place and not ten miles to the south or something, like I had been last time. Hey, I didn't set that transport door, but because it was me that used it, it was me that got the blame.