Chapter 8

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The outside of the building looked about the same size as Joan's compound. Trees surrounded the building and a gravel driveway made its way all the way to the two glass double doors at the front of the large place.

I looked over my shoulder, towards the way we had come, and watched the tire tracks disappearing around the bend, vanishing through the trees, before staring back at the tall building and mentally gulping.

A cold sweat broke out along my skin as a strange swelling feeling formed in my gut. It wasn't because I was afraid, but because you could tell something awful happened here. You didn't even need to be told that the Feymon had attacked to get the feeling of straight unease.

The glass to the front doors had been smashed and I could see flickering lights coming in from all of the broken, boarded up windows around the building. My fingers on my right hand fidgeted with the fabric near the top of my thigh before I touched lightly against the handle of the knife at my hips and nodded to Ezekiel and Xian, informing them that I was ready.

Ashley stayed behind, set to get us out of there if anything went sideways, as we all mounted up the stone steps towards the entrance. The broken glass crunched underneath our feet while we stepped through one of the doors, Ezekiel leading us and Xian bringing up the rear.

Almost as soon as we had stepped foot into the building, the sweat along the back of my neck froze and I could feel a shiver run up my spine along with goosebumps forming along my skin. A puff of smoke escaped my open mouth and I watched while it disappeared. It seemed as though the Feymon had sucked as much light and all warmth that this place had. The lights flickered all the way down the hallway, and I could make out a fork in the road a ways down.

"Do you guys smell that?" Matteo asked, breaking the silence.

I looked over at him to see that he was staring down the long hallway, his nose up, sniffing the air. I followed his gaze and did the same, also smelling the weird stench. It was something that made my stomach turn, although it wasn't that strong.

Ezekiel, who held a large gun in his two hands, took a step down the hall and looked over his shoulder towards us. "C'mon, let's just get this over with."

I took a deep breath and glanced once more in the direction we came before turning back and following the rest of our group deeper into the unknown. The smell only got worse the further we got and the feeling of unease grew. My mind continued to go back to the conversation we had with Xian, but I tried forcing it away as we took a left at the fork. This wasn't the time to be thinking about Zack. 

The place seemed really quiet, us being the only source of noise. But that didn't mean the Feymon weren't lurking in the shadows, watching us as we tentatively made our way deeper into the building.

Xian then decided to take a few faster steps forward, so he was now walking next to Matteo and Willow. I was a little ahead of them, Ezekiel still leading us, but we both could hear what they had to say.

"Bad memories, huh?" Xian asked them.

Matteo shrugged with a frown on his face. "Yeah."

"Some were good," Willow said with a small smile, glancing at Matteo and I.

I returned the smile and then looked at Xian. "Which place did you come from?"

"This woman, Amber," he replied. "She was quite strict although she didn't really deal with us the same as... well how Ace dealt with you."

My brows furrowed. "What do you mean?"

"She killed those who didn't listen or do well enough, but it was always quick. She would never tourture the kids." Xian looked over his shoulder, down the hall, before we made a turn to the right and he stared back at us. "I heard that the man you guys got was a complete psycho. Tourtured the kids any chance he got. He even made contraptions for them!"

My eyes met with Willow and we both shared a look. So the elevators weren't the first tourture devices that he had made?

"What other kind of contraptions?" Matteo asked Xian, beating me to it.

I didn't know if Xian liked seeing our reactions to what he had to say or if maybe this was just his personality; telling us awful things, but regardless, he didn't hold back.

"Well there was this one group in which the man created this table where he would strap the teen down, their feet to one side, and hands to the other. He then would crank it a few times every so often, stretching the person out, until eventually his or her arms and legs ripped from their body." Xian's eyes suddenly lit up and a smile found its way onto his face as he remembered something else. "There was also this one where-"

"Xian!" Ezekiel hissed, coming to a stop and scowling at him. "They don't need to know all of the gory details."

Xian extended a hand out toward Matteo and gestured to him. "He asked."

Ezekiel ran a hand down his face and let out a groan. "Yeah, well some of us don't want to hear it."

I ignored the rest of their bickering as I looked past all of them. The smell of whatever laid ahead made my mind spin ever so slightly but it wasn't too hard to handle. I then suddenly recognised where we were.

"Where did they say Ace's body was?" I spoke up, interrupting them.

Ezekiel's scowl left his face as he looked at me. "A kitchen. Not sure which one, but there was an emergency exit in which he was heading to before he got attacked."

I nodded and then made a beeline down the hallway, my boots thumping against the ground as I ran. I could hear them all calling out my name behind me but I didn't bother turning around. Soon enough, I could hear them running after me. 

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