His heart thumped so hard that it was about to fly out of his chest as he chased after the figure who grabbed Alec. However, he wasn’t fast enough. He crashed into the door at the end of the corridor. Earlier, it swung open to allow the figure to drag Alec through.
“Alec! Alec!” Jake yelled as he pounded the door. He tried turning the knob but it refused to move. He took a few steps back and slammed the ball of his feet into the door. It didn’t budge. He tried a few more times and it didn’t work. The next time he tried, he lost his balance from exhaustion and landed on his butt.
He yelped from the pain. The sudden realisation that he won’t see Alec again made him curled up into a ball. Tears started streaming down his cheeks.
The memory of them when they were eight came flooding through. Both Alec’s and his mom were there on the beach watching over them as they chased each other across the soft and wet beach sand. When either one of them caught up with the other, they’d wrestled each other playfully until they were both on the ground covered in wet sand. In the meantime, the sea would come gushing towards them and cover them in saltwater. During that time, it would become a battle of who could get on top and pin the other down or get pushed away into the water. He remembered the part where Alec kept laughing after seeing his shorts was around his knees, floating on the surface of the water when he stood up, revealing his private parts to the world to see. He bend over to pull his shorts up, realising the drawstring had loosen. He tightened the drawstring around his waist and used a dead knot to make sure it doesn’t come loose again.
Later that day, Jake had his revenge by pulling the towel Alec had around his waist after a shower and made him chase after it from outside the bathroom to the guest bedroom.
Even though they were equally embarrassed then, they continued to laugh at each other over those incidents during their occasional reminiscing moments over the past six years.
He smiled at that memory and didn’t notice how much time had gone by. When he looked up, the door in front of him was open. He remembered why he was sitting there. He got up and charged towards the door, deeply hoping it didn’t close again. Once he was through, he heaved a sigh of relief.
The worse of the thunderstorm had gone by. But it wasn’t a good thing. Without the lightning flashes, this part of the house was dark. And without those thunders, any noise in the house would be particularly loud and sound really close.
Jake wasn’t sure if he was ready to move around in the dark but the thought of Alec in trouble somewhere in the house pushed him on. He stayed close to the wall on his left and place a hand on it, using it as a guide as he moved forward.
Alec swerved around trying to locate the sound as he thought he heard jangling sound from behind him while his eyes scanned the dark corridor for whatever made that sound. He waited for the sound to repeat. But it didn’t. He turned around and continue his journey.
After a slow stroll, his hand found the end of the wall. The next moment, it was touching air. He stopped and glanced around. It was still too dark.
“Alec, where are you?” He whispered. Not that it would do any good if his friend was unconscious or too far away. But it gave him an ease of mind. That he was doing something.
The sound of china crashing made him twerk on the spot and his head followed his ears in an attempt to locate the sound. He thought it came from above. Then came the same jangling sound. He turned around but couldn’t see anything. The hairs on his body stood up and his legs felt weak. What the fuck? he thought to himself.
He keep turning left and right, afraid of whatever is lurking in the dark and waiting to snatch him when he wasn’t looking. After a while, he realised it was ridiculous.
He squeezed his eye shut, took in a couple of deep breaths and repeated his personal mantra, “I can do it.”
He put his hand on the wall again and use it to guide him around the turn. A couple more steps and his knee struck some kind of furniture. He put his hand around his mouth to prevent himself from making any sound as he waited for the pain to subside. When he could walk again, he felt his way around the furniture and continue. The way sound bounced around the room made he believe this was a corridor.
Somehow, he managed not to crash into anything else along the way and come upon a closed door at the end of the corridor. He felt his way around to locate the knob, gave it a turn and pushed. The door opened to reveal a corridor that looked like those found in old hotels that were built in the 60s. Wall lamps spaced equally apart showered the corridor in a baleful orange. Between the wall lamps were doors leading to different rooms.
He stepped through the doorway in a more deliberate pace, unsure of what would happen. At the back of his mind, he knew it just wasn’t possible for the place to have electricity considering it was an old abandoned house but he couldn’t deny what he was seeing.
And he didn’t forget about Alec.
He tried the first door on his right and found it locked. He tried another that was behind him. Locked. He tried a few more doors until he found one where it swung open with very creaky hinges. Behind the door, it was a slightly darker room that was gently lit by the low hanging moon. His eyes darted all over the place to look for threats, only to catch Alec lying on the floor, unconscious.
He ran in and went on his knees beside Alec to try and wake him. After a few shakes and calling out his name, Alec stirred and moaned.
“My back and head hurts,” Alec complained as he tried to sit up. Jake put his arm behind Alec in case he lose consciousness and fell back to the ground.
“Are you hurt anywhere else?” Jake’s voice was shaky and soft.
Alec felt his body with his hands to locate any potential pain spot. Other than his head, back and knee, he was otherwise fine. “No,” he replied weakly.
“Come on, let’s get out of here. We can’t stay the night.”
Jake grabbed and placed Alec’s right arm around his shoulders while his left hand went to support Alec’s lower back as they got up together. The process was difficult and unsteady because Alec’s unwillingness to put any weight on his injured knee. There were times when Jake had to brace himself and exert enough strength to keep them both stable. Then they hobbled towards the door only to see it slammed close halfway through. They regarded each other for a moment before increasing their paces.
Jake prayed that the door wasn’t lock as he reached for the knob. He gave it a turn and pulled. The door opened to reveal a dark corridor.
“Shit!” Jake cursed, drawing a curious look from Alec.
“The corridor. It’s no longer lit.”
“Do you know the way back?”
“I hope so. Let’s go.”
Jake took the lead, drawing upon his memory of how the corridor looked when it was lit, secretly hoping that it was still the same corridor. Thus far, the house already demonstrated it had a life of its own. It was as though there’s a housemaster hidden somewhere in the attic or basement, spying on them and messing around to scare them. But if it were true, and this place is a legitimate entertainment place, then the owners have taken things too far by injuring Alec.
They went through the corridor in a deliberate manner, not wanting to trip over anything that could slow them down while worry hung out at the back of their minds. Yet, neither one of them dared to look behind. They didn’t want to scare themselves anymore than they currently were by seeing something or someone behind.
They made it through the first of the two doors separating them from the corridor linked to the main hall. Then they hurried through the next corridor to the last door. The good thing was Jake remembered the layout of the corridor and made sure they avoid the piece of furniture that he hit his knee with.
Before long, they were through the door and making their way back to the main hall.
Once in the living room, they packed their belongings, took out torchlights and scrambled for the main door. Staying another minute in the house wasn’t something they even want to consider. They’d rather take their chances out there in the woods where their survival skills and provisions in their bags could at least keep them alive until morning.
As soon as Alec placed his hand on the doorknob, a loud, high-pitch cry echoed throughout the main hall. The hall temperature plummeted rapidly that made every exhalation visible as white mist, giving the boys the shivers.
“Come on, let’s go!” Jake yelled as he sweep the torchlight across the dark main hall, allowing the yellow-whitish cone of light to illuminate whatever surfaces it came in contact with. It was obvious there was a strange mist gathering around them.
“I know!” Alec replied.
Alec gripped the doorknob hard, gave it a hard twist before pulling it towards him. The door opened without any protest. He went out first with Jake following closely behind. Despite the pain he experienced across his back, Alec found the will needed to push on. With Jake providing support, there was nothing he couldn’t do.
After five minutes of threading through the forest path that led to the house, the boys turned to the right upon coming upon a fork. They decided to head east and followed the man-made path into the dark forest with the torches in their hand giving them the comfort the night won’t take their sights away.
To be continued…
Check out Part 1 of Murderous House here.