The entire world seems to have disappeared, I know the house lays a head and the church is right behind me, just up the path, yet it feels as though all that exists now is the village. Thirty little houses all clumped together, there might as well be three hundred!, all the turns and little corners of darkness my torch refuses to penetrate, seem to grow as I approach, the darkness spreading, an unnatural dark, a dark made to hide things in. As I move down the path, the little light my torch is creating is making the shadows jump, almost as if they were alive!
I reach the first corner, the only corner, the village is forcing me to take that path IT wants, and theres nothing I can do about it. I consider turning back, trying to climb the single floor houses so I can cross by roof top, which would also allow me to look into the two floored houses from a window, but my arms have almost no strength left, I can barely support the bag over my shoulder, and my legs hurt more than I ever remember them hurting before, it would take everything I have left just to get up there!
So here I am, standing at the edge of the corner, staring into the abyss of pitch black, hoping my friends are still alive, ad that I live to find them!
I'm taking it one small step at a time, trying to be as silent as the grave, an expression I wish hadn't used! I try to go unnoticed, knowing its already to late. I reach the first turning off, a path I know will take me to the manor, but I can't take it, it won't take me past the houses I need to search. I move on and reach the first window, peering in I see furniture, a small bed a two chairs, dust covers the entire scene, it must be an inch thick off the windowsill. I'm not sure how to feel now I see its empty of life, half relieved, half depressed at not finding anything.
Three houses down, I'm standing right in the middle of the path, branches leading left and right all around me. Again, there is nothing in the empty house, dust, the odd cobweb, but no signs of my friends, and thankfully, the villagers!, then I hear the sound again, the scuffing sound of feet on dead soil, something is lurking further up, towards the dead end of this alley. I'm so scared, my eyes locked and torch beam locked on to the source of the noise, that I nearly walk straight past the door to the first two tiered houses.
I stop and watch a large black spider make its way across the door, it's long, thin, hairy legs carry it quickly over the dry, rotten wood of the door, so full of notches and cracks, its hard to believe it was ever weather proof. I'll wait till the spiders gone, then I start to laugh?, really quite hard, and a little crazily, the irony of it, I walked back to this place, through absolute hell, scared out of my mind, and here I was, being held up by a spider! As it walked on to the wall, and vanished into the dark, I reach out for the door latch, still laughing. My fingers grasp the rusted metal of the latch, and then suddenly,
The door is almost smashed off its hinges, from the inside, I leap back from the door, my back slamming into the wall of the house behind me, I watch as a massive crack appears in the door, splitting right up the middle from centre, the crack moves up and down at the same time, a horrible cracking noise! Now its being held together by its hinges and the latch, and I can't take my eyes off it. My torch fell from my hand as I hit the wall, its beam is shinning on the split door, reminding me to pick it up, I bend down, retrieve my only source of light and stand up again, the second I turn the light back on to the house, it goes dead.
I shake it, hit it, swear at it!, but the torch is dead, I'd saved it the whole way here and now its battery, which thinking about it must be years old, was dead, and if that wasn't bad enough, the instant the light had gone out, I saw them, standing there, in the window of the house. A man and a woman, horrible 'pox' ridden faces, staring out at me, eyes wide and mouths hooked down in horrible grins. I can't move, not an inch, my back is frozen to the wall, my feet to the ground and my eyes on the villagers, behind the disfigurment, they only looked as if they had been in the twenties, probably a couple.
They don't move, just stand there, looking at me, grinning at me! I want to scream, run, hide, go home...but my feet will not listen to my brain, every inch of me is shaking like nothing I had experienced that night, warm piss is dribbling down my right leg. Then the man moves, he raises his right arm, and extends his long, bony hand, pointing a finger at me, his grin widening, I try to push myself further back into the wall, hoping the stone will just open up and allow me to slip backwards into the house behind me, anything just to get away from their stares.
The man moves his arm again, he changes direction, pointing down the alley I'm heading down, I turn to look, just for a second, not wanting to take my eyes off the pair, not wanting them to move without me knowing, but the alley is empty, turning back, they are both pointing the same way now, the woman joining in. What do they want?? I'm standing with my back flat against the wall, contemplating the situation as much as my terrified brain can, when something pops up, in the corner of my left eye, something white? Its slowly moving into view, long and white? Its a hand, a skeletally thin hand, reaching round from behind me, reaching round in front of my face, and its finger, ir pointing down the alley.
Complete and utter shock hits, there is no where for this hand to be coming from!!, it literally can not be there. I shift my right foot without meaning too, but this movement has spurred my body into action. I spring forward and run!, my feet hammering on the hard earth beneath them. I'm running for my life and nothing is going to stop me, there's another forced turning a head, right, the alley it leads on to is even darker than this one, I can tell from the shadow over spill into my alley. I don't know if anyones chasing me, I don't want to, I just want to get to the second house, I'll kick the door in, run through and out, hope nothing tries to get in my way. I reach the corner, for some reason, still carrying the dead torch, I turn the bend, heart pounding, desperate to get this night over and done with, when I crash into something that shouldn't have be there, falling to my arse, I stare up at what I had colided with. In the alley, standing very still, staring down at me through the shadows, all features lost to darkness, is the figure of a person.