WHERE IS IT HIDDEN?

Submitted into Contest #124 in response to: Set your story in a labyrinth that holds a secret.... view prompt

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Black Crime Horror

WHERE IS IT HIDDEN? 

The first thing she remembered was a long corridor, which seemed to have not end, that she found herself in front of. But she didn’t know how she got there , whether through a door, going down or up the stairs. Or whether she had been dropped into it. As time went by____and it had to have passed a long time since she was in there, even though she couldn’t say  how much time had passed_____as she kept wandering through passages and underpasses, through tunnels and very strange looking doors, through rooms whose walls opened like doors, the conviction grew in her that she had arrived in that bizarre, extravagant building, which seemed to be a labyrinth , while she was sleeping. Perhaps it had been when she had dreamed of falling down the stairs that she had been catapulted in that strange tangle of corridors and stairways ,of rooms without ceiling and doors which opened on the walls and on the floor too, of the rooms….where she had met no one so far ( until now). Oh, right, (yet) so far… just now here she saw a red fur, with a big tail, slipping out of the cubicle, which was under the stairs she was descending ( she was going down), which, quickly came into a corridor. Of the water green eyes of the fox ( animal) she, Alexia, could see only a flash when the animal, before slipping away, disappearing, raised its muzzle towards the stairs, towards her, as if to smell her. After all that time inside the claustrophobic building ( the building with no way out), the fox was her first meeting ( the first…someone she met). Well, now Alexia knew that, besides her, there was at least one fox into the labyrinth. What will be the fox looking for? Is it ( she) looking for….the treasure too? Alexia wondered, thinking that, oh, sure, foxes have  a very powerful sense of smell. Ah the treasure…but not that she, Alexia, was really looking for a  true treasure. She knew that she had ended up in there, shut up there, too, and that, however she had ended up into the damned building ( labyrinth), it had been since she had to look for….SOMETHING, which was hidden in there and ( she knew) that she could not get out of the labyrinth before having found it ( that something). So THAT SOMETHING became ( was) for her a treasure, since only finding it she would have been able ( would be able) to get out of the prison of that damned labyrinth. The task entrusted to her ( Alexia), but it was rather a test, was anything but easy to fulfill. Since she, Alexia, did not know WHAT that something was. She knew it was SOMETHING, not someone, so she thought she had to find A THING, an object,  not a person , and not even another living being. But she couldn’t be sure of that either. Yeah, and…if was the fox, she had glimpsed just for a moment, which soon ( immediately) had slipped away, THE…SOMETHING she had to find? Alexia rushed down the stairs and she dived into the corridor where, a moment ago, she had seen the fox slip. Oh, she would  have grabbed the animal by its great tail, she would not have let the red fox escape. But in the corridor there was not the fox.  Alexia saw instead a hunchbacked fellow, with very big glasses, which had to be very heavy too, coming forwards her with uncertain steps. That guy was holding  ( held) a piece of paper in his hands, on which he fixed his eyes, or, rather….the thick, heavy lens of his huge glasses. Oh, but, however, what a relief! Then she (Alexia) wasn’t the only one locked up in there. “ Hello!” she said, all boldly to that strange guy.  “Ah, I see that you too are here….then I ….” That, the bespectacled and crippled guy put an index finger upright on his mouth- “ Ssssttt….SILENCE, please! Shut up, damned, ugly witch! Don’t you realize, very bad woman, you’re breaking my cunts?” He croaked, in a shrill voice. “ Oh, excuse me…oh, I’m sorry…I apologize….But….but I would like to know why …why you are in here….ehm…and if you know where the exit is….” Alexia stammered, almost intimidated, even frightened. That guy really looked  scary.  “ But listen! The…the lady, oh, she would like to know WHY I’m here! It’s my business, ugly, bad witch! “ He barked, twisting horribly his mouth and, passing by side Alexia_____with his hump dangling, as his huge glasses were also dangling, with his shuffling step____he gave her a strong blow with his elbow. “ Oh…sorry…but …but I would like so much to go out of here….” Alexia barely was able to whisper. The nudge made her wobble.  The bespectacled and crippled hunchback, passing by her, going in the direction opposite to her, also tried to kick Alexia, which she managed to avoid, above all for the slowness with which he lifted badly his leg. The terrifying guy walked away, crawling loudly, with a creepy noise, his feet and muttering something of which she could only understand some words_ “ Hidden…find…bad witch!....ugly pig….” But then, he might be someone who, like her, was looking for that something hidden inside the labyrinth, Alexia thought. Ah, she couldn’t ask him, she didn’t really dare, that very ugly thug had scared her. Oh, it would have been a thousand times better to be alone in that labyrinth which, yes, was a true prison, than…to have such company. Alexia turned to look at him who, with his hump wobbling, crawled along the corridor. He was moving away from her, but very slowly, too slowly indeed.  Well, then she had to be the one to get away from him as quickly as possible, Alexia thought, starting to run. “ Where do you think you can go, eh? Look: it is completely useless to start running, when you’re locked up here!”

“But I want to get out of here! I want to get out as soon as possible!” Alexia shouted, as she kept on running, without even bothering to take a look at that girl, certainly a dwarf, who had suddenly appeared in front of her.  But then , if in that labyrinth there were other people, besides her, maybe they too were looking for…THE ( THAT) SOMETHING hidden in there, Alexia couldn’t help but think.  Now she knew that there were at least two other people besides her in there. Therefore, if the two other people who were surely in the labyrinth, the spectacled humpback and the dwarf girl , were looking for that something that was hidden inside there, Alexia wondered if they all three were looking for …THE SAME SOMETHING, and if there was only ONE , only, so to say, A COPY OF THAT SOMETHING….and if it was so, what would have happened? The one of the three who have found that something could have come out of the labyrinth, but what would have happened to the other two, since they could no longer find ….that hidden and unknown treasure, and thus satisfy the condition under which only they could get out of that prison?

Continuing to run she heard a screech, a chirp, and she was just in time to catch a glimpse of a tail. It was, probably the tail of a cat, which Alexia had stepped. She suddenly found herself in front of an old woman , who was walking with difficulty, who was moving laboriously, holding on to her crutches. The old woman clenched between her teeth a piece of paper. “ Oh, are you too looking for the something hidden in here? “ Alexia asked , anxiously, blowing her breath on the old woman’s face. The old woman shook her head , and she seemed to be pointing , with the tip of her nose, at the piece of paper she was holding between her teeth.  Alexia grabbed firmly that piece of paper, since she was curios to be able to read the words that were written on it, if there were words. While she pulled it, the old woman kept clutching the piece of paper between her teeth, which thus tore itself. The old woman, twisting her face in a scary grimace, raised a crutch , and violently struck Alexia with it. “ You, damned bitch! You ruined my ticket! “ she screamed. Alexia, who was still on the ground, where she had been slammed by the crutch stroke, began to apologize: “ Oh, I’m so much sorry…oh, excuse me….sorry…I apologize…ehm…but it is been a long time I’ve been locked up here…..to look for something that…I even did not know what it is…but that absolutely I have to find to be able to get out of here…”

“ Eh, all of us in here are looking for that ( this) something…Yes, we all have to find it….but it’s hard, very hard to find, eh…and in that piece of paper which you, cursed woman, have destroyed, I had precisely some….some indications that would have helped me…oh, if  not to find it, at least to understand what it is….” The old woman said, thoughtful. “ Ah, therefore it is so…” Alexia said, getting up. “ Listen…do you have an idea about what it is?” she asked hesitant, almost begging.

“ Ha ha ha! And do you think that I’d come and tell you, bad witch, even if I knew?” the old woman said, looking at her with grim eyes. Suddenly a big dog, a pit bull, barking, arrived, running. The big pit pull scared them, Alexia and the old woman, to death. Approaching the ferocious dog , here that the dwarf girl, who(m) Alexia had crossed shortly after, came. She, the dwarf girl , was holding in her hands a pair of very large glasses, which looked like those of the bespectacled hunchback. Those huge glasses were bloody. “ Oh…oh..oh..this dwarf is a devil! “ The old woman began to scream. “ This one kills all us!” The old woman , so shouting, dropped her crutches on the ground and started running away. But the pit bull grabbed her by the legs and knocked her down. Once she was lying on the ground, the big dog bite her, tearing her face and her body, soon reduced them a bloody pulp. Alexia ran away in terror, shouting loudly for help. The dwarf, although she was also lame, and she could only walk in a truly grotesque way, wobbling on one foot and then, with a leap, moving to the other, started to chase her, brandishing in her hands a big knife with a wide and massive blade ending in a pointy tip. And while the dwarf, moving jumping in splashes, like some insects do, chased Alexia, she yelled at her: “ I’ll take your head off!  I’ll cut your throat! I’m going to get your eyes out!” Even if it was impossible for the dwarf to reach her, Alexia was terrified, since she expected to see the dwarf’s terrible dog swoop on her at any moment. From that ferocious, bloodthirsty beast she could not have escape. She had to find a shelter as soon as possible, where neither the ferocious beast nor the killer dwarf could reach her.

By now Alexia could no longer think about finding THAT SOMETHING , to look for which she was locked up in there. Now she was only thinking of escaping the murderous determination of the monstrous dwarf , who unfortunately had even at her disposal that terrible pit bull.

As she continued to run away, pursued by the angry barking of that infernal dog and the dwarf’s fearful yelling, Alexia came across the bodies of other people, all mangled as she had seen the old woman’s body. Then inside the labyrinth there had been several people, all looking for THAT SOMETHING they had not found. They had instead found death in the clutches of the killer pit bull, lethal weapon of the dwarf, who had evidently decided to take off all her competitors. Alexia would never had imagined that the bloodthirsty beast would tear even the dwarf to pieces, and that, after the death of its mistress, the ferocious dog would become as harmless as a lamb. But even when she was left alone inside the labyrinth, with no one to catch her, Alexia continued to search in vain for that something to find which  would allow her to get out of that prison. The trouble was that she didn’t know what it was, she didn’t even have the slightest idea what it was. She would never have imagined that the something to find ( to be found) was…the tail of  that fox, which she had seen in passing, and which she had precisely thought of grabbing by the tail.

December 18, 2021 04:11

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