Grace is practicing her monster-fighting writing. We hope you enjoy this little tale of twisty-time and vampire slaying…among other things…
The song was still playing in the back my of my head. The music box had looked so innocent. How was I supposed to know it was a prison that held some of the most terrifying demons in all of creation?
I held tight to my scythe, ready to pounce on anything that moved. My best friends, Eli and Jaxon, followed at my heels. Jaxon held a pointed staff, one notch carved for nearly every day in the prison. His neon green hair shone in the pale light of my watch. Eli appeared to have no weapon, but secretly kept a stake up his sleeve. His crooked glasses were missing a lens.
We had been stuck here for at least three months, maybe more. Jaxon lost count at 82 days. We had climbed at least 99 flights of stairs, and we had heard from a starving vamp that there were only 100. Our only hope was that we would be released on the last level.
Eli put a hand on my shoulder. “Alice, maybe you should rest.” I looked down at my leg. It had been bitten by an Archion, a flesh-eating demon. I had managed to pull it off before it could inject any poison, but it took a great chunk of leg with it. I nodded.
This place looked like a huge Victorian mansion, so finding a place to crash wasn’t hard. We set up camp in a music room, nestled behind a row of guitars. Eli plopped down beside me. He studied my face, taking in every detail. I self-consciously raised my hand to my cheek. I knew I hadn’t brushed my hair in a while, but I wasn’t that hideous.
“What?” I asked, blushing. “do I have an eye booger or something?” Eli laughed. I blushed harder.
“No, but I think you broke your face,” he joked.
“How did I do that?”
“You smiled.” I looked down. Eli cleared his throat.
“Alice, what if there is no way out? I mean, why would there be?” he whispered, picking at a scab. I sighed.
“If this is a prison, than there must be police. They need some way out, and we’re going to find it,” I said, trying to make him feel better.
“I should probably keep watch,” Eli said, pushing his glasses up his nose. I smiled.
As he walked away, I thought about our life before the prison. We would go to Bert’s Ice Cream and sit on the roof. Eli would tell me to get my nose out of a book and live a little. Jaxon would pretend to push him off. I sighed. Even if we got out of here, we could never go back to that. We’d seen too much. I rested my head against a drum. We had to get out of here.
One flight later, we were on the last level. It looked like a long hallway, with only one door all the way on the other end. Jaxon ran ahead. Eli soon followed, but I kept my steady pace. When I got there, I put my hand on the door handle, but a sharp sting shot through my arm. I jerked my hand away. Eli frowned.
“That’s not good,” he mumbled. “This must be the last test. We have to find a way to open it.” We thought about that.
“What about Galdren blood, it’ll burn a hole through the door,” Jaxon said. I shook my head.
“I have a feeling we need to open the door, not burn through it.”
“If we coated the handle with a vampire dust, we might be able to hold it just long enough to open it,” Jaxon suggested. I frowned.
“Where are we going to get vampire dust?” I asked.
Eli shrugged. “I guess we go looking.” We turned away from the door and started walking, kicking open doors in our wake. After about 10 minutes, I heard a snarl. We turned, and three vamps jumped us. Jaxon, Eli and I sprang into action. A vamp swung at me, and I ducked right on time. I hurled my scythe at his head, but he kicked it out of the way, pushing me backward. I kicked him in the face, and he stumbled. I swung my scythe again, chopping off his head. The body turned to dust before it could hit the floor. I looked over to my friends. Eli had already staked his vamp, and Jaxon was kicking his vampire’s butt. He kicked him in the face and did a flip over the vamp’s weak attempt to bite him. When he was still trying figure out where Jaxon was, Eli staked the vamp, instantly turning him to dust.
Jaxon ducked down and grabbed a handful of dust, dumping it on the handle. He looked over to me, and for the first time, fear filled his eyes. I nodded. He turned back to the door. Taking a deep breath, he yanked it open. A bright light filled the room, temporarily blinding us. As soon as we could see again, we ran for door. A loud bang filled our ears, and we were blinded again. Only this time, when we opened our eyes, we were standing in an alley.
I looked around, shielding my eyes from the harsh glare of the sun. I knew this street. This was the same place we were when we disappeared. I glanced down at my watch. 7:02, 3/25/2013. Not a single day had passed. I heard Jaxon’s staff hit the ground.
“Where are we?” asked Eli. I smiled. Really smiled.