Monday, February 21, 2011

The Dark Room, part 1

The boy woke up.

The room, like the sheets of the unfamiliar bed he found himself in, and like the curtains of the dusty windows, and the wooden panelling of the walls, was dark. Jet. Raven.

A frightful squawk startled him out from under the sheets of which he'd no recollection of. He looked to his right, in search of the origin of the ungodly sound. He could see nothing. Even if there were something to be seen, he wouldn't have seen it, because the room was so very dark. He turned his gaze back to the dusty window with the black velvet curtains. Perched on the sill was a raven. It was as the color of the void, but for its eyes that glowed an unsettling crimson. It shook gently and unruffled its feathers, and regarded the boy with a hint of condescension.

"You'll do, I suppose," spoke the raven to the boy. The boy tilted his head in puzzlement. "Go on then, get up. We best be getting you out of here before they find you."

"Before who finds me?" the bewildered and befuddled boy asked the fowl creature.

"Them. They. Those. Things. There. The. Thirty. Thieves," the raven uttered cryptically and menacingly, turning its head so but a single blood colored eye peered at the boy.

"Pardon?" the boy said weakly, now even more confused than before.

"I told you to get up, didn't I?" the raven cackled. "Do what you're told, boy."

Hesitantly, the boy slid off of the bed onto the creaky boards of the aging floor. He still wore his pajamas, and the stuffed dragon that he took to bed with him every night was held tightly under one arm. The raven glided over to the boy, making no more sound than he did color, and perched himself on the boy's shoulder.

"The door."

And so there was one. The boy could not recall seeing a door in that particular spot on the wall before the raven had mentioned it, but it had been quite dark. He couldn't shake the feeling, though, that there hadn't been a door at all before the raven had said there was. The boy stumbled across the rotting floor to the door and grasped the handle, turning it gently and as silently as he could. He squeaked the door open, and stepped outside that very dark room, into a hallway that was every bit as lightless. He closed the door behind him. He began to walk cautiously down the ancient hallway, glancing at the all-seeing portraits that lined the walls, and stepping ever so carefully across the black rug that didn't seem to end.

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