I used the Indie Ink Challenge to write another part to the story you can find here and here. I’m not sure I love how this came out and I can’t believe how long it took me to write it. I’d love to hear opinions, just don’t be mean!
p.s…I edited it a bit. Because I hated that I wasn’t happy with it before. Now, I’m good. I think it’s ok!!
The wind screeched as it angrily threw itself against the windows of the house like little suicide bombers, making the old glass rattle helplessly against their explosion. Creating an ominous fireworks display, the bolts of lightening sent small bursts of brightness, the only contrast to the dark, stormy sky.
It was the perfect night for everything that was occurring. The appropriate backdrop to the drama unfolding.
Sophia stood shaking before the door that, until now, was completely off limits her entire life. Some of the mysteries were about to be revealed, most importantly, her sister who had disappeared 10 years ago. She was there, standing, staring breathlessly at the door from which behind it, Sophia could hear Amelia’s possessed screams.
The whispering started as she fingered the pendant. A familiar voice at the forefront, a voice so recognizable, one she had just heard a few hours earlier. Her mother.
She shook her head, trying to clear it, sure she was having auditory hallucinations or she was losing her mind. After all, who heard a chorus of voices in their mind except people who were losing it.
“It is us.” All the voices spoke in unison.
“US?” Sophia cried loudly. “Who is “us”?” Oh great, she thought, now I’m talking to myself.
“This is a dream. A horrible dream. OK Soph, you can snap out of it at any time now.” She was starting to get a little freaked out, bile was beginning to rise.
“No my darling. This is real. We are here, as one. Just like it’s supposed to be” It was her mothers voice mixed with the others and it was overwhelming Sophia.
“I don’t understand. I don’t. UNDERSTAND. What is happening to me?”
Between the noises coming from beyond the door and all those new voices in her head, Sophia could feel the panic, an emotion that was foreign to her. She slid down the door and covered her ears, trying to block out the fear, just like she used to do when she was a little girl. “Breathe Soph. Breathe. Now isn’t the time for this.” Trying to talk herself out of the panic attack that was beginning to take over her and cursing herself for being so weak when she was typically the strong one; she began rocking and softly banging the back of her head against the hard mahogany door, softly singing her favorite song of the moment “Move Like Jagger” to try to calm her nerves. It wasn’t really working so well.
Sophia knew she had to pull herself together; she had to open that door and find out what was beyond it. Once and for all. She also had to see for herself what had become of Amelia, her beloved sister. After 10 years, she still missed her as much as the day she went missing. Her heart lurched and tears began threatening to emerge.
She tried to stand back up, sliding herself up the door in the opposite fashion of how she got down. The screeching halted her progress, stopping her in her tracks. Any progress she made of getting herself somewhat calmed had been reversed.
“I. Can’t. Do. This.” she cried, pounding on the door in frustration. She suddenly felt small, trapped. She was finding it hard to breathe, her heart felt like it was going to explode. No way was she going to have a panic attack. NO. WAY. She was too strong for that. It was something she considered to be a weakness and Sophia had no tolerance for weakness. It was a little trait her mother passed onto her. Her mom used to tell her that she felt sorry for any man she ended up with because men were weaker creatures than the Bradley women. The Bradley women came from a long line of superior strength. This was the first time that Sophia realized exactly what her mom was talking about. We Bradley women were witches. There was nothing on this planet we had to fear, except the dark magic and probably, the Devil himself.
Tucked away, for the past decade, held in a cage locked with special witchcraft and metals was Amelia. A demon. A natural enemy of the Order of the White Witches. How Sophia suddenly had all this knowledge about her kind was beyond her. She felt like she was in that scene from the Matrix where Keanu Reeves learned Martial Arts in seconds from CD’s linked to her brain. Apparently, these women that had taken over her mind were her CD’s that linked her to a plethora of Witchcraft trivia and knowledge.
Her breathing was ragged and her heart was still pounding, despite the ongoing stand up comedy session she had going on within herself. She was about to lose it again and go into full on panic mode.
“Sophia, calm yourself.” It was only her mother speaking to her this time, the other voices remained silent. “We are here. With all of us together, your powers are so great. We will guide you until you are able to do it on your own. There is no reason to be afraid. Let us help you. But you must relax. You must calm down. For your sister, for Amelia.”
The voices, different octaves from different females, all began chanting and to Sophia’s surprise, so did she. Somehow, she knew the words and their meanings. They were doing a calming spell on her and thankfully, it was working. Her breath started regulating and her heart stopped exploding.
“Thank you Mom.” she smiled in the dark. At absolutely no one.
“Sophia, it’s time. You must open the door. We are here with you. But you mustn’t panic by what you are about to see.”
“Mom, it’s not very reassuring when you say you are with me. In fact, it’s sort of freaky. So please, while I’m in a complete state of terror, maybe all of you who are congregated in my head should sort of shush now. You know, until I ask for help.”
Sophia took the pendant and held it up to the door. It took on a life of its own and began levitating away from her hand toward the door. Multi- color lights flashed, emanating from it, touching the door, beckoning it to open.
The noise coming from beyond the door was reaching a manic crescendo. It was as if whatever Amelia had become knew that Sophia was about to enter.
The door obliged the pendants request and opened slowly; loudly, unseen hinges squeaking, begging to be oiled.
In front of Sophia was a staircase made of the most beautiful wood, the likes of which she had never seen. The stairs, themselves, dark marble with a rich, ornate velvet runner and the bannister; more beautiful and intricately carved than the door which hid it. The whole thing was museum quality, something you’d see in the Louve. Sophia briefly wondered where it had come from, it looked older than the rest of the house. Just another mystery, she supposed.
She inhaled deeply, filling her lungs with air and mock courage. Summoning all the wives tales for protection she could think of. “Let’s do this.”
With the glowing pendant leading the way, Sophia began climbing the stairs, anxious and terrified of what was waiting for her at the top. Up close, she notices the carvings on the bannister depicting violent and horrific scenes: flogging, hangings, beheadings, burnings at the stake. Obviously this bannister told the story of her ancestors and she was fascinated. She made a mental note to come back and inspect it more closely only, next time, when the sun was out and the house was quiet. Maybe she’d bring a friend or two, for support. She rolled her eyes at herself. “Be brave, you can do this!”
There were exactly 32 winding, marble steps. She counted out loud; right foot, left foot, one, right foot, left foot, two. Each step she took was one step closer to an answer, she hoped. Although, right now, at this very moment, she wasn’t positive she wanted to know anything. The only thing she REALLY wanted was for this night to be over and also, she really wanted to go to bed and sleep for a few days. Being emotionally exhausted didn’t help her state of mind.
First she finds out she’s a witch, then she finds out her sister was turned into a demon, then her mom dies and now…she’s alive in her head. Who wouldn’t be emotionally exhausted?
The shrieking from the area above grew to epic proportions, taking over all the air space. Her sisters noises were not only deafening, they were suffocating. Sophia heard clawing against a hard surface, sounding like it was coming from directly above her and it threw her back a bit, almost causing her to trip and fall backwards down the stairs. She regained her footing and stood there for a moment to regroup and gather up a little courage, which was proving to be increasingly more difficult as the minutes passed.
At the 32nd step, she was greeted by an anti-climactic, white, 6 paneled door. It looked like it had been thrown there as an afterthought, like whoever built this elaborate staircase ran out of funds at step 32, looked at the empty doorway, shrugged and was forced to finish it off by buying a door on sale at the local Lowes.
Like the door below, there was no doorknob and no apparent way to enter. The pendant seemed to anticipate this and worked its magic, literally.
The door opened inward with a pop and a groan. The stale air hit Sophia in the face, causing her to choke and cough. The smell coming from the area, it was what Sophia assumed death smelled like. Only, worse. It was obvious that no one had been up here in years. The sparse spacing of windows didn’t help much with the ambience.
It was dirty, gross and scary. Three things that Sophia decided she was vehemently opposed to. Especially the scary.
She swore she could hear her mother telling her to stop it.
As the fog cleared and the dust settled, Sophia hesitantly poked her face in first. Scared and anxious about what would be waiting to greet her, she closed her eyes, covered her ears tightly with her hands and stepped inside.
For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Lance challenged me with “write something where a character and a panic attack or anxiety” and I challenged Michael with “your wish becomes somebody elses command”.
I’m also sharing my awesome over on Momma Made It Look Easy!