9 - The Door

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     There's no way you're going back out there.
     "The door!" you say. "Head for the door!"
     You point even though the light is darting around the room wildly as your companion flings rats away. They're climbing up your pant legs, jumping onto your shirt, trying to find any bit of flesh to scratch and bite. You kick through them, working toward the mysterious door. A few land in your hair and you flail wildly. Your companion reaches the door before you do. She twists the knob.
"It's locked!" she says.
"No!" you complain. The rats are in a frenzy. Going back to the window looks impossible. "Ram it. Same time. Go!"
You both lurch full-force toward the door...and miraculously slip right through it. You have that sick missed-a-step feeling before you slam into the dusty wooden floor. The room is cast in darkness for the most part, the only light being from a mounted candelabra on the eastern wall.
     "Hickory dickory dock," a creepy voice says from the darkness. "The mice run up the clock."
You look back and share a quizzical look with your companion. Then you look beyond her and a chill runs through you.
You whisper urgently, "The door is gone."
"What?" she whispers back, but she too looks back and sees no door.
Her eyes are wide and frightened, just like yours must be.
"What happens when the clock strikes, I wonder..." the voice, somewhat feminine but harsh, says.
The creepy woman doesn't seem to be making any sense. You consider saying nothing, but give up. It's clear she sees you.
"What happened to the door? How do we get out of here?" you ask.
"Little mice got in, but they can't get out," she says. "Nicely locked in so I can play with them." She laughs the kind of laugh that makes your skin crawl. You're going to go ahead and assume her games aren't very fun or safe.
"I don't want to play." You remember being closed up in the trunk. No way out. The air gets thick. Your breaths are coming heavy. "I want to go away. I want out of here!"
"You'll get out after you play!" the woman says sharply.
You can hear her shoes on the wood as she strolls casually across the room. She moves into the candlelight. You're too shocked to make a peep, but your companion lets out a loud gasp at the sight of the woman. She's grey. Ghostly grey. Her eyes are sunken and black. Her mouth is spread into a wide smile, showing two crooked rows of black teeth.
"Brave one," she says, looking at you. "I'll let you choose he game."
You're not going to get out of that room until you get this over with, so you nod in agreement.
"Words? Knives? Or stones?" she says.
"What?" you say.
She repeats the words, her black toothed smile never wavering.
"Can you tell me the rules of them?"
She shakes her head and waits.
They make no sense.word games, you understand, but knives and stones? They sound terrible. Then again, she could be expecting you to think that. It could be that words is the bad game. They could all be bad. Or this could all be a show and none of them could be bad. It's so frustrating!
"P-p-pick, just pick, get us o-out of here," your companion says.
Words - skip to chapter 11
Knives - skip to chapter 12
Stones - skip to chapter 13

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