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Monday, January 5, 2009

Escalating Noise

*from a prompted writing exercise at my Monday night writers' group, A Cup of Words

use:  skin of the page, ink like blood, “Behind her, the noise escalated.”


Behind her, the noise escalated.


She crept deeper down the steep stairs, not sure where they led, but unwilling to head back the other way, preferring the unknown to the known evil.  The walls against which her hands sought guidance were damp, and rough to the touch.  The deeper she climbed, the more the air seemed to catch in her lungs and cling to her skin.


The manuscript she had ‘borrowed’ from the monastery library whispered in her pocket, the thin parchment bending as she climbed lower and lower.  She had seen him through the window, knew he would follow her here, but had hoped for more time to be sure.  To verify the authenticity of what she’d quickly folded and stuffed away, just in time to slip out of sight into this passageway.


She closed her eyes---she sure didn’t need them in this suffocating darkness.  Images flashed across her eyelids; and she recalled the skin of the page, the ink like blood, and the strange characters penned around its edges.  Could it be?  If she really had found it, she knew her questions would all be answered, if she lived to board her plane. 


If Vetrius had any say in the matter, the scrap in her pocket would soon be a smoldering pile of ash, and her lifelong quest a wasted effort.  She quickened her pace, ignoring the risk of falling headlong into the darkness.


Soon she came to the bottom of the steps, and could feel the soles of her sandals soaking in liquid like a sponge.  The air smelled wet, but not as stale as it had fifty steps ago.  She hoped it was water squishing between her toes, as she hurried along the passageway.  She felt her way around a corner in the wall, and in the distance saw a glimmer of light, like a candle guttering in the wind. 


Behind her, the noise escalated.


She pressed on toward the light, and was soon standing at heavy wooden door.  A small window at eye level gave her a view of a cobbled alleyway, and sunlight spilled into a puddle at her feet.  She pressed her shoulder to the massive oaken slab, and tumbled onto the street.  Her knees skidded across the stones; but she didn’t slow…instead she stood, and ran toward what she hoped was the front gate.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for that!

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