Fiction Suspense

By: Danie Reynolds

"This is disgusting," Taylor commented as she made a face and dropped a half-full soda cup with gum in it into the garbage bag she was holding.

"Yeah. Who knew that a group of seven teens could make this bad a mess," Myra said sarcastically. "Thanks for helping clean up. Once the food ran out, everybody else was gone."

"No prob. My curfew's midnight, but if I was helping you clean up a party, my parents will congratulate me instead of yelling." Taylor laughed, a twinkle in her eye.

Myra laughed along with her, then groaned when she looked over and saw the state the theater was in. "Hey, will you help me move this couch?"

"Sure," Taylor piped, gripping the underside of the couch and grunting as they scooted it forward. But Taylor was a little late, so she scratched the wall deeply, and the brown wood shone through the blue paint.

Myra's jaw dropped. "Tay! My parents are gonna kill me!"

Taylor flinched, sorriness radiating off her. "I am so sorry. Maybe we can fix it?"

Myra knelt beside the scratch, tracing her finger along it. "I don't know, it looks pretty deep." But then as she looked closer, Myra realized something.

"Tay, does this look like an outline of something to you?" She asked.

Taylor leaned closer, and sure enough, she could make out the faint outline of a sort of hatch, more visible by the scratch that ran along one of its sides. In fact, Taylor realized, it would be nearly impossible to see it without the scratch accentuating it.

"Totally," She agreed. "Have you never noticed this before?"

Myra shook her head. "Never. I'm not even sure my parents know about it. We bought the house years ago, and I've never seen this... door thing."

"Does it open?" Taylor asked, and Myra dug her fingernail into the small crack, digging as far as she could into it. She yanked as hard as she could, but the hatch didn't budge.

"Wait!" She said, and ran to the counter, grabbing one of the plastic knives that had been set out for the party.

She fit the knife into the crack and slid it downward. The door creaked open, and Myra jumped back.

"Woah." They both said, staring into the seemingly endless black that the door lead to. There were cobwebs hanging from it, and Myra shuddered, hating to think there might be spiders in there. Gah.

"Come on," She said, sliding towards the door.

"What are you doing? We don't know where that goes!" Taylor said, panicked.

Myra stared back at her teasingly. "Oh please, it's probably just some storage area. I just want to find out what's in here. We're not gonna end up in Narnia, or Wonderland. Don't be ridiculous. You have to go through a wardrobe or down a rabbit hole to get there."

Taylor snorted. "Fine. But if we get in trouble for this, I am so letting you take the blame."

Myra grinned. "Fair enough. Come on." She slid into the rather small hatch, squeezing in her stomach.

She could hear Taylor shuffling in the darkness behind her. "Hey," She said. "You got a flashlight or your phone? We could use some light."

"Nah," Taylor said. "My phone's on the counter back in the theater. You want me to go grab it?"

"Yeah, that'd probably be best."

Taylor scooted around, but then the door slowly shut behind them, plunging them into complete darkness.

There was a moment of silence. Then, "What were you thinking?!" Myra screeched. "You didn't block the door behind you? Now we're trapped in here, and we can't even see the stupid door!"

Even though she couldn't see Taylor's expression in the darkness, she imagined her friend wearing the same panicked look that Myra had on.

"It's fine," Taylor tried for a hopeful tone, but the words came out rimmed with fear. "We know the exit is in this direction. Wait. No, this direction." She turned left, then right again.

"Are you serious?" Myra screamed. "You can't even remember which way to get out?"

"Hey!" Taylor yelled back. "I am so not the only one at fault here. You're the one who wanted to come and explore this freaky place anyway!"

Myra buried her head in her hands, a headache forming between her eyes. "Alright," She said quietly. "We're gonna go this way until we bump into something." Myra turned left, trying to swallow the panic clawing its way up her throat. It would all be fine. Everything would be fine. But then why did her breathing never relax, or her pulse?

"Sounds like a good enough plan," Taylor said, reaching out to grasp Myra's hand tightly in the darkness. Together they shuffled forward, slowly, on their hands and knees.

They'd been going for a few minutes when Myra realized just that. They'd been going for minutes. No way could a simple crawl space be that big.

"Tay," She said. "Don't you think we've been going for a while? We should've bumped into something by now. My entire house isn't this big."

It was a few seconds before Taylor responded, and Myra thought she could detect tears in Taylor's voice when she replied.

"Let's just keep going for a little longer," She said, squeezing Myra's hand even tighter as if to make sure someone else was still with her.

"Ok," Myra replied, although deep down she knew that something was wrong. Something about this was unnatural.

Only a few seconds after they'd restarted, something in Myra's stomach clenched. "Stop!" She yelled, sensing something was wrong. But Taylor was too late. She stopped just as her front half fell into empty air in front of her, a seemingly endless black pit.

Her hand slipped from Myra's, and she screamed as she fell from the crawl space, plunging downward until Myra could no longer hear her.

"TAYLOR!" Myra screamed until her throat was hoarse. "Taylor!" She cried. She knelt at the very edge of the pit, blinking, desperately searching for her friend in the darkness.

But she saw nothing. "Taylor?" She called weakly. No response.

Hot tears trickled down Myra's cheeks, wetting the front of her shirt. "Tay..." Myra wiped the tears away, crouching at the edge, leaning forward and backward.

"I'm coming for you, Tay." She promised to the emptiness, hoping that somehow, her best friend would hear. "I'm coming." She leaned forward.

Then she leapt.

May 10, 2021 22:55

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