✇ thє flαt tírє ✇

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It was dusk in the thick evergreen forest, lightly drizzling as a lone figure walked down the puddle filled lane to the old rickety house. A quick knock on the door, loudly stomping off the excess water from grey rain boots.

The door creaked open; a short grandmotherly woman smiled oddly at the visitor. "Hello Little One," her rickety form and singsong voice should have been soothing, but the smile on her face didn't quite reach her predatory eyes.

The rain-drenched figure smiled to ease the tension of intruding. "Hello, I was hoping to use your phone. My car has a flat tire, and my spare is nowhere to be found."

"How terrible for you..." the silver-haired portly woman scuttled back while pointing to a long hallway, "...Down there. When you're done, sit there..." her gnarled finger pointed to a chair at the little round table in the kitchen that looked as if it had never been used and was time-warped from the nineteen-twenties that matched the interior of the kitchen perfectly, "...till help arrives. I'll brew something to get your juices flowing. I'm Lyn..." she eyed the intruder, "you are?"

"Aleena..." she pulled the fuzzy grey hood off, dark locks spilled down the soaking jacket, and she tried to ignore the odd feelings she was getting from Lyn's almost hypnotizing ocean blue eyes. "...Thank you, Lyn."

Lyn huffed, "Well, go on!" She ushered her towards the hallway.

The hallway was long, uncomfortably narrow and dimly lit, her rubbery footsteps echoed off creaking wooden floors and bounced off the lifelike black and white picture-filled walls that watched Aleena with great interest as she made her way to the study.

A black wooden door with matching euphorbia vines drilling its way through and around it, looking like something the Devil would adorn her front steps with begged to be opened yet screamed to be left alone. A distant sound of a whip followed immediately by a pained scream, filled the nervous visitors' ears, causing her to jump back from the door.

A silky females voice purred, "your sharp paintbrush..." a loud growl that sounded like it came from a giant beast erupted, "...renders such seductive poetry my Love."

The young travel guides face scrunched up in confusion as she tried to quicken her pace down the eerie hall. Trying to convince herself that the unsettling atmosphere of the house, it's owner and her car having a flat tire was getting the best of her frazzled nerves as she continued on her quest.

A light pink door with multi-colored wildflowers blooming across it sat cracked open. A young girls giggle emitted forth, and Aleena peeked in to see a blonde girl playing with a black teddy bear that was missing an eye and it's left arm was in a sling.

"Aren't you kind of tall for someone living in a wardrobe, Mister Bear," The little girl giggled as she looked at the towering bear compared to the baby doll size wardrobe before standing and wildly running around the room as if some dark force was chasing her. "Run Mister Bear! If they catch us again, they will steal all our happiness," she screamed just before the door slammed closed on Aleena's widened eyes.

At the end of the hall, firelight suddenly sputtered to life inside a massive dark chestnut study, inviting her into the spacious room held dozens of tribal artifacts from around the world.

The familiar beat of Tribal Dance by Unlimited's primal vibrations grew in intensity, matching her rising body tension, ushering her to a large black 653-A Western Electric phone that covered a portion of the studies wall when she went to dial for a tow truck the phone helpfully dialed for her.

"Good evening Just Some Crazy Human's Towing. This is Sean, how can I assist you this gloomy wet evening?"

Her dark eyes had drifted to the inviting fireplace where a Yoruba gelede mask that looked identical to her best friend Yasmine's was centered on the mantel like a prized possession.

Two snakes wrapped warningly around a large bird sitting atop an upturned face. The young guide's mind kept trying to remember what Yasmin said the meaning of the mask was, sure it was important.

"Hi, Sean. I'm afraid I have a flat tire out on highway twelve..." he cut her off in a nervous voice.

"You're not at Lyn's, are you?"

The primal tribal beat was now so loud she couldn't hear anything but the rhythm and feeling the hot flames of a fire circle. She was transported to a tribal circle with wildly dancing figures that were all wearing Gelede masks.

Gelede celebrates "Mothers" (awon iya wa), a group that includes female ancestors and deities as well as the elderly women of the community and the power and spiritual capacity these women have in society. However, this power may also be destructive and take the form of witchcraft; therefore, Gelede serves the function of appeasing this power.

The music was causing her hips to click back in forth as if she was attending the yearly Gelede ritual in West Africa. "Get into the trance. This is the rhythm of the tribal dance..."

Suddenly a witches laugh cackle inside the room vibrating and filling her with fear as she pulled her hand quickly away from the mask. Aleena's eyes widened in surprise, wondering how she was touching the mask, she only remembered... She turned to see the phone's mouthpiece dangling back and forth on the wire.

Panic filled her as she made her way out of the room as quickly as possible, running to the front door and promptly pulling it open.

When the door slammed closed behind her, she found herself back in the kitchen looking down into the ocean blue of Lyn's hypnotic eyes.

"Hello, Little One."

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Written for the Contest Corner hosted by Wattpad - August 2018. Reposted here July 2019.

Teammates @dadevilinme @JustSomeCrazyHuman @natalie_campbell (wild) and our editor @Basilisk-not-aragog

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