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Jan 21, 2021

Horror Fiction Thriller

Locus


I wake up in a daze, unsure where I am.

My gaze meets a desktop computer with an unfinished transcript. 

I squint at the words and recall working on an article due tomorrow morning. 

My desk calender confirms it, because I have circled the 12th of December 2008 with a red marker. 

I yawn and stretch. I wonder if there is anyone else working late.

I check my blackberry and notice several blizzard warnings. Tania who handles the weather news at Fortuity media has sent me a personal email asking me to stay safe in office because all travel routes are blocked. 

Looks like it is going to be a long and weary night.

Maybe it’s time I took a break. I could get a snack from the cafeteria. I grab my blackberry and head towards the lift. 

My workstation was on the 2nd floor, and the cafeteria was on the 4th.

My eyes wander to the button of the 13th floor.

A floor I was never given a tour of. 

An entire floor, which was off limits to ALL STAFF.

HR never explained why. Nor did I ask. 

Is this a good time? 

Curiosity killed the cat.

I hit the 13th floor button and take a deep breath.

A loud DING ensures I have arrived at my stop. 

I walk out slowly to make sure I avoid any surprises.

There could always be a security guard aiming waywardly in fear, thinking I am some demon visiting the "cursed" 13th floor. 

No security. 

I glance up to spot any CCTV cameras.

No CCTV cameras either.

Strange.

What are they hiding? 

The inner sleuth in me started crawling out.

Why was this floor off limits?

What happens here?

There are two doors, one to my right and the other to my left 


If you choose the right door, move to chapter Vetiti locus

If you choose the left door, move to chapter Lectio locus





Vetiti locus


I turn to my right and place my hand on the antique wooden door. The craftmanship was impeccable. I guess the chairperson spared no expense with this one.

But what awaits me behind this door?

I glance at the inscription. 

Vetiti locus

I am not sure what it means so I take out my blackberry and web search the words.

The forbidden room. 

How enigmatic. 

I try twisting the knob, but nothing happens. The door seems locked. 

Obviously.

Who would name a forbidden room in Latin and then not secure it?

There must be a way, surely. If I am to be here all night, I might as well take a crack at sneaking in to have a look.

The door has a tiny flap. It is unnoticeable at first, but clearly very good concealing craft. I open the flap and notice a small dial puzzle with Latin inscriptions. 

A quick web search helps me find a long and frustrating attempt.

I fail six times at least, before solving it. 

The door unlocks, and I sigh with relief. 

I peer in before entering. Just in case some maniac is hiding in there with an axe. 

I am met with bright lights. I shield my eyes and look around. 

It is a minimal room, with a sofa, a bookshelf, a wooden table and chair and a water filter. Quite odd to conceal this so securely. 

I notice several CCTV cameras as well.

I shrug and walk over to the table.

There are a few newsletters and old leather-bound books carefully placed on it.

I open the book and notice a key inside.

A key to what?

I look around and see nothing. 

No door. No window.

I walk around and examine every corner. 

Nothing interests me, so I walk back to the table and pick up a newsletter. 

The newsletter dates back to the early 1900s. 

Could be something that inspired Fortuity media. 

Suddenly a sprinkler goes off and liquid sprays over the floor. 

I didn’t notice the sprinkler before so I glance up and notice several of them are placed in very peculiar locations on the ceiling. 

The water seemed hot, because it was bubbling on the floor. I inched closed and gasped.

It was not water.

It seemed like some clear liquid with a strong smell. The liquid had burnt the floor. 

My heart began pounding. 

The room is not what it seems to be.

The second sprinkler started going off, and I jump away, but not fast enough. 

It sprays my silk blouse and trousers and scream in agony as it pierces through my skin.

It was acid.

It was as if the acid sprinklers were a defense mechanism against unwanted visitors.

Or some very sick person was watching me through these CCTV cameras and enjoying my suffering. 

I could feel a panic attack coming along, but I breathe through it and focus.

The key,

There has to be a way out.

This was a game. Or was it?

I grab the key and move around quickly, searching for a door or any opening. 

The third sprinkler above the water filter goes off, melting the plastic.

By now, I am screaming frantically.

Curiosity did kill the cat.

I am on my knees scrambling, and that is when I see it.

A trap door. Underneath the couch.

I crawl as fast as I can towards it, and the fourth sprinkler goes off. 

It reaches my feet and I scream in agony and I push away the couch.

I fumble at the lock and look up to realise the last sprinkler is just above me.

I cry out in frustration as the door opens, and I jump right down onto a floor that is at least 4 feet down.

I land hard and feel a sharp pain in my ankle. I cry , as I take out the blackberry from pocket. I receive a NO SIGNAL notification, worsening my fears.

I drag myself away from the door opening, in case the sprinkler goes off again.

But it does not.

Someone is definitely monitoring me.

I can see CCTV cameras at every corner. 

I am now in a dimly lit alley. I can only see darkness ahead. 

I drag myself up and hold on to a wall.

I have to get out of here. 

As I stumble, a loud sound erupts from above me. 

A speaker.

Music.

Aggressive death metal fills my ears. 

Who is doing this to me? And why?

No one will hear me scream now.

If I fell down from the 13th floor, I must be on the 12th floor now. I am sure there is a way out. I just need to find an exit.

Perhaps this is the game. Finding a way out of a difficult situation.

I read about similar game rooms in Europe. But I never imagined it to be REAL.

The music stops and I breathe a sigh of relief and start screaming HELP as loud as I could.

At first, I heard soft pattering. Like several feet moving at the same time. Then came the menacing growls.

I turn around and see myself facing a batch of angry hounds.

Curiosity killed the cat.

I run , dragging my broken ankle. 

I can see a gate up ahead. 

When I reach the gate, I realise it is locked. The hounds were so close, I could smell their disgusting breath. 

That’s when I noticed a big key attached to one hound.

My fight is yet to begin. 

THE END





Lectio locus


I turn to my left and reach a steel door. I place my hand and gasp at how oddly cold it feels. I turn the handle and it opens swiftly.

The room is well lit, and rather spacious. I am greeted by an enormous desk with several folders, all marked for each department of our company.

Creative 

Production

Finance 

Legal

HR

The folders seemed empty. Cleared out perhaps.

My eyes fell on a large key chain cabinet. The cabinet was also separated under the departments. Probably some sort of filing system. 

I let my fingers linger around the HR key chain. I could have a quick peek at my personal file. Maybe I have a fat bonus ready for December? 

I grab the keys and walk towards the large filing cabinets

The entrance is marked - Lectio locus. 

Whatever that means.

I locate HR at the back, and quickly rummage through my department.

Naturally, it is listed alphabetically. 

I find my file and pull it out.

Daphne Amelia Wilson

As I open the file, I can only scream out in horror.

CLOSED.

It reads closed. 

Why have they closed my personal file? Are they going to fire me?

I feel a single tear swell up in my right eye. 

I can only assume my nemesis, Gillian, has something to do with this. She and I began our internship 2 years ago. She was always reminding me how well connected she was. How everyone LOVED her.

I flip through the separators. 

MY CV

MY personal details

MY god-awful employee ID

A copy of my driving license

A copy of my birth certificate 

A copy of my employment contract

My past performance reviews.

The last page made my heart stop.

It was a death certificate. 

Dated today. 

For me.

This has to be a joke?

Today was the 12th of December 2008.

I am working late.

A blizzard is keeping me-


I wake up in a daze, unsure where I am.

My gaze meets a desktop computer with an unfinished transcript. 


THE END




















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7 comments

15:25 Jan 27, 2021

Both are meh. Haha jk

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Nimra Savanghan
06:28 Jan 28, 2021

haha. seriously? WHICH ending lol

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07:44 Jan 28, 2021

I loved it! Vetiti locus gave me goosebumps, it was as though I'm the one trying to find a way out🥺🥺

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Nimra Savanghan
10:01 Jan 28, 2021

Like a mild version of "SAW"lol

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03:10 Jan 27, 2021

It was interesting👍

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Nimra Savanghan
04:21 Jan 27, 2021

Thank you!

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Nimra Savanghan
01:51 Jan 27, 2021

Sooo.. which ending do you guys prefer?

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