(this piece did not have a title at the top, but the name of the file was "Creeping Shadows")
Creeping Shadows, playing across the smooth metallic surface. The lifeless eye refusing to unlock the way to safety. Incoherent scrawl, spread out like vines across the door, blending in with the wall. Dust wraths dancing, mocking and jeering, silently waft across the stained concrete slabs. In the flickering glow of a dieing florescent, two hands, uselessly beating, grimy nails, despairingly tear at the door, trying to break through to the safety on the other side. The child, tears beginning to form in his blue-grey eyes, forlornly slumps against the unforgiving door.
“Why? Why won’t it open?” the tears finally break free and trickly down his cheeks.
“How was I supposed to know this was the wrong way? What am I supposed to do now?”
His wails disturb the silence, only to be absorbed again by the suffocating air.
He was excited. The adventure of going out into an unfamiliar place at night. Hardly containing his excitement, he rushes ahead of his companions. Running down the long corridor with the funny picture on one wall, around the corner, skidding to a halt in front of the tall metal doors. Quickly pressing the button between them.
”Hurry up, Hurry up. I don’t want them to catch me, I want to get there first” Finally one of the doors opens, bursting through the child stands impatiently jabbing his finger into the buttons beside the door in the little square room. He listens to the strange lilting music as the doors slide closed…
Finally getting a brief respite from his panic, he begins to think.
’What can I do? There has to be a way out of this mess I have got myself into.’ Gazing around his location, wondering if indeed it was possible to manage an escape from this barren landscape.
’Well there’s only one way to find!’ He says to himself, as he slowly gets up, takes one last look at the resilient door and fearfully steps out of the dim light, into the bleak unknown of the shadow world.
At first confident steps slowly shorten and quicken as panic rushes back with new urgency and childhood fears return. Unknown noises provoke horrible imaginings all around. The pitter-patter of mice is magnified and bounces off invisible walls. Cold dark objects appear and disappear into the darkness. Stray dust and clouds of dirt cling around his frightened little legs. Picking up speed as the boy flees from the sounds that chase him through this labyrinth of shadows.
Wails of terror escape from his lips as a roar begins behind him. Tripping over an untied shoelace, the child sprawled on the ground, fearfully searches for the source of the awful din, seeing the sharp blades of a fan in the roof, he abandons the hopeless task of retying the rebellious lace, scrambles up and continues his mad search for a way out.
Faster and he runs as he is haunted by his imagination.
Hopping from foot to foot the child anxiously waits in the tiny room, watching the glowing numbers above the door slowly ticking down. The endless drone of music ignored in the background. The numbers stop counting down.
”At last! I hope they haven’t beaten me down. I’ll be mad if they have.” The child scrambles through the door before it has finished opening and heads down the corridor. “Now all I need to do is go through that door at the end and wait for them outside the gift shop…”
He stops. Skidding to a halt, two pure white beams of light. Shadows dissipate under the glare only to reappear as the lights turn a corner and drive off. Standing dazed and confused the boy watches blue and green cataracts of colour explode in front of his eyes clouding his vision. Finally the last balls of violet and jade fade from view.
”It looks lighter! Maybe now I can find my way out of here. And is that…? Yes! Yes it is! That, over there, it’s the exit!” The neon green sign, like an island of hope, leads him on.
Clambering and climbing, falling occasionally on that devilish shoelace, he scrambles up the slope, out of the sinister labyrinth of the underworld and into the reassuring chaos of the streets. Blinded, dazzled by the sun’s beams of light reflecting and refracting off buildings and windows as the sun slowly slides beneath the horizon. Familiarity fights away the last wisps of terror as the chills gets his bearings and at last is able to see the way ahead. The path is clear now; all the boy needs to do is take the last leg of the journey.
The child no longer wishes for adventure. After being locked in the Hotel car park because of the silly mistake of going down too many levels in the elevator. The child was quite content to leave the adventure up to the rest of his family as they went for a nice evening dinner out along the streets.