There was a sudden movement above Cynthia’s head and the room seemed to come alive. The shadows began circling all four of them, there were lots of them, so silent, it was like the very shadows from the room were moving on their own. But Cynthia knew that she wasn’t that lucky. All at once, the shadows stopped moving. It was hard to find out where they were, at least she could move now. Then everything went pitch black, darker than night, with not even the full moon outside to penetrate its eeriness. There was nothing but darkness and a spooky quietness. She was beginning to wonder if it was the end of the world or something. Maybe not the whole world, just hers, at least the end of the world as it was.
Cynthia sensed movement near her head and ducked, but then something hit her hand, hanging on to it. Someone screamed and she heard a crash. She shook her hand and tried to hit whatever was on her hand, it hurt like the thing was trying to cut off her hand or something. It wouldn’t let go, just tightened its grip. Then something slammed into her head, knocking her sideways on to the ground. Another thing banged her head as she went down, knocking her out cold. Just before she blacked out, she heard a racket of screaming and crashing the silence as she slipped into the darkness of unconsciousness.
It’s hard to tell what happened next or if it was even real. It was as confusing as one of those dreams that have more than one thing happening at once and keeps changing so much that you don’t know what is going on or what it’s about.
Only this was a little different. Cynthia never really did wake up, or at least not that she remembered. The first time she woke up, she remembered being carried by long, wriggly things, which she guessed were the shadows. As she was released, she saw that she was in a room, surrounded by depressingly dull yellow walls. When she tried to sit up, a gas that filled the room just knocked her back out. This same thing kept happening until; finally she was allowed to stay awake. She sat up and her head started to throb. When she looked around the brightly lit room, she saw that instead of yellow walls, the walls were actually as blue as the sky. She saw a small window near the ceiling and looked around for something to use for a boost to reach it.
The room was empty except, in the far corner, there was a long crate. It looked like it just might reach the window if she stood up on it. But when she tried to lift the crate, it was like trying to move a giant brick. Who knew a crate could weigh so much? She decided to try to push it from behind since she obviously couldn’t lift it. She went around the crate and placed her hands on it and began to push towards the small window. By the time she got it there, she felt as if she had been pushing a car or something. She was so tired; she couldn’t even bring it up right to stand on. She sighed and began climbing anyway, figuring she could at least try. When she reached the top and stretched out her hand, she came up way too short.
"Now how am I supposed to reach it?" When she was alone, especially when she was trying to work out a problem, Cynthia always talked to herself. Her mom would be in the living room reading and Cynthia would be in the kitchen doing her homework and she would be on a hard problem and start mumbling the problem out loud. Her mom would then say, "What was that, honey?" Cynthia would always answer "Nothing!" and that would be the end of it.
She sat down, thinking of her parents and how she had just been thinking of them before the phone call. They would be worried sick about her when they came home and found her gone. If only they hadn’t started playing that stupid game! They should have just played Yahtzee.
When she had caught her breath, Cynthia decided to try again. She jumped down and began to tip the crate over again. This time, she managed to tip it so she could reach the window. She climbed up again and looked through the little window. On the other side, she saw Christa sitting there with her back on the opposite wall. When she tapped the window, she looked up.
Christa stood up and looked around the room. Then she looked back at Cynthia and motioned for her to come. Cynthia tapped the glass again and shrugged.
"How am I supposed to?" Christa probably couldn’t here her anyway, but she didn’t care, all she cared about was that she had found one of her friends in this strange place.
Christa mouthed something and tapped the air with her fist as if punching something. Then she pointed at the window. Did she want her to smash it? She wondered while balling up her hand and tapping the window lightly with it. Christa nodded, motioning for her to hurry.
Cynthia looked around for something to use to break the window, but of course she found nothing. She sighed. Now what, she thought to herself, smash it with her hand? Not thinking about what she would do about her hand latter, she punched the glass, with no effect. She made a face and tried again, this time much harder. The glass shattered into a million pieces with a sound like glass on cement and could probably be hear through the whole building.
"Now what," She asked since they could hear each other now.
"Jump through," Christa urged.
"But the edges are sharp and I already scraped up my whole hand," Cynthia complained, looking at her hand, which was bleeding badly from punching the window.
"Well, be careful, then. There’s nothing I can use to get over there, so you’ll have to come here."
"Alright, but you might want to move." She didn’t want to do it but she also didn’t want to be alone if those things came. Glancing warily around the jagged hole that she had created, she shoved her foot through first, and then she ducked under the deadly blades onto the ledge that was on the other side. Ledge? There wasn’t a ledge on her side. Oh, well at least she didn’t have to jump and duck at the same time, then she would definitely get hurt. When she was through the window, she looked at the ground, which was what seemed like 100 feet away. I can’t do this, she thought to herself, it’s too far for me to jump. She would have to do it anyway. She jumped down, thinking that if she at least made it to the ground then it would be better than being alone, even if she was seriously hurt. She landed on the ground with a thud. Christa was next to her.
"So, you made it…" she trailed off, noticing the dirty look Cynthia was giving her. "What?"
"You know, that was probably the scariest things I have EVER done in my life and you’re acting like it was nothing," Cynthia said from the ground.
"Sorry, didn’t realize that you had never jumped from a window before," Christa stated sarcastically.
Cynthia got up and sat next to Christa, who was sitting against the wall, to wait for whatever would come to get them.
It seemed like hours before anything happened, but when it did, it was almost like fast-forwarding through time. First, the door slammed open, apparently a hidden one because Cynthia didn’t remember seeing one, right into their faces. When it closed, Cynthia saw what had come in but almost wished she hadn’t seen it. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw those long, creepy, swirly arms, the shapeless bodies and the numerous dangers that obviously lurked just beneath the outside of the forms. Even though she could see them more clearly since the room was brightly lit, it didn’t make them any less mysterious or scary.
As she stared at the shadows, she noticed that the room was getting darker from their presence, like they were sucking the very light out of the room, and the shadows were getting harder to make out. She saw what looked like an arm reach for her. Then she realized that one of the shadows had detached itself from the mass and was coming toward her. As it neared her, she began to get up so she could be ready for whatever happed next. Just then, something flew by her head. She heard Christa hiss, "Where the heck did that come from?" She was wondering the same thing, but there was no time to figure it out because the shadows were closing in on them and were almost upon then. Suddenly, Cynthia found that she couldn’t move, just like their first encounter with the shadows. Oh, no we’re dead, she thought.
But when the things came close, they stopped dead, as if they had run into some kind of force field. What the… She didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t do anything at the moment, she was frozen, literally. She could feel the chill as a layer of ice started to form around her. She tried to look to the side to see if Christa was still there but couldn’t. She had lost all control of her limbs.
Then, from behind the girls came a hissing sound. As Cynthia tried to look, she found that she could. Her legs were still frozen, or at least she couldn’t feel them, but she could turn her body. Forgetting about what was in front of her; she whipped around to see what was behind her. What was that thing? It was like a cross between a snake and a spider with the body of a snake but spider legs. It was so terrifyingly ugly that she almost wished that they were invisible like the other things.
There was only one of them that Cynthia could tell. She looked back at the shifting and swirling mass shadows that looked like a deadly hurricane about to descend upon them and consume them.
"Now what do we do?" Cynthia wondered out loud.
"I guess so whatever they want," Christa said, not even sounding herself after seeing these strange creatures.
Not that Cynthia blamed her, but she sounded like she was giving in. Might as well, they were surrounded and outnumbered.
"But," Christa continued in a more confident voice, "If they try to kill us then I’ll fight them as well as I can, though it might not do much good…" She trialed off as the snake-spider things closed in on them.
Something grabbed Cynthia from behind, knocking the breath out of her in a big whoosh! She cried out as she fell to the ground, but was caught before she landed on her face. She heard a gasp beside her and struggled to turn in its strong grasp, finding that there were two of the snake-spider things and on had grabbed Christa too! She was dragged through a long, narrow corridor into a bigger room with a sofa, a couple of chairs with footstools, and some boxes and cans. She didn’t know where they were taking them but it was definitely getting very uncomfortable in the snake-spider creature’s crushing grip.