I carefully flipped through the pages of the tome in the central room. The pages were so thin and felt like they might crumble if you touched them too heavily. The writing in the book though was magnificent. It featured ancient calligraphy that, to my astonishment, mixed the alien text we had been seeing with English words. It was a challenge to read, but I was managing. I was glad to have Sefina by my side. Even though she couldn’t read the book as I could, she had a quick mind to understand these things and I shared some of my theories on the book with her to get some insight.
“What does it say, Agnes?” Wendy whispered.
To tell the truth, I had started to forget Wendy was even with us. I turned to see if Yorick was still here too. He was standing in the middle of the room, eyes on each hallway. Perhaps scouting for threats? Or seeing if any other members of our expedition would come running out seeking help? Either way, I was grateful for him.
“It’s spells. A lot of them,” I said. “But there a bunch here about control of byakhees. So I expect that this book must hold the key to saving Arkham from the byakhee invasion we were warned about.”
“I hope you can figure it out,” Wendy said. “I’m going to go stay with Yorick. He looks a little lonely.”
Wendy was a good kid and I was more and more feeling a duty to protect her. I hoped that she would make it out of here alive. But based on what I was seeing here – the sheer amount of power contained in these pages – I wondered if any of us would live to tell about what happened here.
Leo stood in front of the doorway to the next room. We had just finished crossing the rope bridge, the rope bridge that had disappeared beneath Marie’s feet, leading to her plummeting into the abyss below. This man, Leo – he had said, if we ran into trouble we had to turn back. Seek help. But here we were now, pressing onwards.
“Well, let’s see what’s next,” Leo said, opening the door.
We could not have imagined what was behind the door.
It was another rope bridge. With another chasm. With another doorway on the other side. Exactly the same as before.
“What the hell?” I shouted. “Get me out of this place!”
“One more bridge to go,” Leo said. “This should be no problem.”
“No problem?” I said. “Do you have amnesia or are you just blind? Marie just fell to her death after the bridge magically disappeared! And now you’re going to make us all walk across a second one?”
“We have no choice,” Leo said. “If you don’t come with me, I’ll go alone then.”
“And then what happens to the two of us?” Rita asked.
“If you don’t care to follow me, you can stay here and figure things out for yourself.”
I hated him.
As he said he would do, Leo went ahead across the rope bridge. We watched from the side as he walked on ahead. Eventually he reached the other side, and once again, opened the door. He peeked his head through, closed the door, and called to us from the other side.
“It’s another bridge. It’s going to be another bridge,” Rita muttered to me.
“FINN! RITA! Get over here! This is what we’ve been looking for.”
A flash of hope came over me, but then it faded when I realized that this man was a liar. He had led us into this temple in the first place, and now he was leading Rita and I to our death. We had already lost one person in our group and Leo showed no sadness or remorse. We meant nothing to him. And he would command us to follow him to our doom.Minh
“Stay here, Rita,” I said. Rita nodded.
I walked across the bridge. I wasn’t scared. I had too much to do to be scared.
Once on the other side, I pushed Leo aside, opened the door and looked through it.
It was another bridge, with another chasm, with another doorway on the other side.
“You lied to me.”
“I had to get you to cross,” Leo said.
“What if that bridge had vanished again? What if I died walking across it?”
“And what if I had? We all have to take risks if we want to find a way out of here,” Leo said.
He’s right. Getting out of here alive would involve taking risks.
In one smooth motion, I pulled my gun from my pocket and shot Leo twice in the chest. As he collapsed to the ground, I kicked him backwards into the chasm. He was dead, so, no screams this time. I felt a surge of relief watching him fade out of view. I walked back across the bridge to rejoin with Rita.
“We’re getting out of here, Rita,” I said. “Let’s go.”
June 12th: LEO, shot dead by Finn in the South Room
June 11th: REX, torn apart by byakhee in the North Room
June 10th: MARIE, fell into the chasm in the South Room
June 9th: CAROLYN, head smashed by Lola in the Button Room
June 8th: JOE, shot himself in the Lust Room
June 7th: SKIDS, dismembered in the Greed Room
June 6th: JIM, possessed by Ambrose in the Lust Room
June 5th: DIANA, possessed in the Lust Room
June 4th: MATEO, drowned in the Sloth Room
June 3rd: DAISY, shot dead by Roland in the Gluttony Room
June 2nd: NORMAN, disintegrated in the Envy Room
June 1st: LOLA, abandoned in the Button Room
Vote for the next episode below