If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!
Joining the Living Again
I stick Tee inside his satchel and place it over my head and across my chest so I have both hands free. That rat doesn’t move, just keeps on staring. Something I need to add to my growing list of hates. Rats. I move forward a step and it still doesn’t move anything but its long whiskers. It’s long thin nose twitches.
He probably smells the blood on my hands from my broken blisters. I need to get rid of this ugly monster so I can find the door out of here. I take a step back and slowly squat. The shovel head is here somewhere. It’s not much, but it’s the only weapon I have. I feel around with one hand for the shovel. My other hand holds the flashlight aimed at the rat. I’m afraid to take my eyes off it. My hand bumps against the shovel and I pick it up. Time for something a bit more proactive.
As I rise quickly from my squat, I fling the shovel head towards the rat. It hits it dead on! I hear a loud squeak and it disappears. I need to get the hell out of this nightmare.
Now to find that door to freedom. I walk forward, searching the darkness with my flashlight. I notice dim gray light filtering in further ahead. I look up and I see dirt crusted windows high on the dirt and stone walls. Too high up for me to reach and the windows are too small for me to climb through. I need to find the damn door.
My light finally rests on some wood stairs. Yes! I hurry to the steps and see a thick wood door. If I’m real lucky the door isn’t locked. I say a small silent prayer that it isn’t. On closer inspection, the stairs are looking pretty bad. Some are broken with large gaping holes. There are probably about thirty steps leading up to the door.
Standing here, I give Tee a pet, settle him more firmly in the satchel and put my foot on the first step.
“Here goes nothing, my furry friend.” I croak out. My voice is rusty from dirt and thirst. I place my feet close to the sides of the steps. My thinking is that they will be more solid there. I hope.
I take another step, then another. I’m about half way up when I hear the step beneath my foot crack. Damn it, I need to slow down. In my haste, I step too close to the middle and the step gives out underneath my foot. My leg goes through the step and I grab the railing. I drop my flashlight and hear it hit the ground. At least the railing held.
I slowly pull my leg up, put my foot on the step above and keep moving. I’m more aware of where I put my feet and finally after what seems like ages reach the top step. I grab the handle of the door and push. Nothing happens. Oh, crap.
I’m not going back. That is not an option. So I grab the door handle again, turn it and give it a bigger push. It’s not locked! It opens a few inches, then stops. Who knows when it was last opened. Ok, I need to give it all I got. Which at this point is not much. I take a deep breath, brace myself and put my shoulder to the door. I push with what energy and strength I can muster. It slowly opens wider.
Just when I think Tee and I have made it I hear it. The stairs are giving under my feet! The next few seconds happen like they were in slow motion. I feel the stairs giving beneath my feet, I push in desperation against the door. It finally opens the same time the steps fall away. I jerk my body inside the opening and hear the steps crash. We made it!
I take a minute to catch my breath. Looking around, it seems we are in the kitchen part of the house. I don’t care where we are, we are out of the dark and out of the hole. Now to get out of the house.
It’s dark in here too, but not because it’s night. The windows are boarded up solid. There is enough light to avoid the odds and ends of things scattered. I try the back door of the kitchen. Locked tight and its solid wood. I need to find a window or a door with glass and try to break through that way.
I’ll try the main part of the house. I notice the dust and the cobwebs as I walk through a connecting doorway. The dining room, the long fancy table was still there and a few chairs. Nothing for me here.
I trudge into the foyer. Large, with a high ceiling. If I was more in the mood, it would impress me. Right now, I’m just thinking of fresh air and water. I move further west in the house and come across what looks to be a home office. With a fireplace. The fireplace has a poker. It’s not a crowbar, but it’ll work on the boards across a door or window.
I walk back into the foyer and try the front door. Locked of course. I walk east into what looks like a sitting room. A room with big windows. I take the poker and slam it against one of the windows as hard as I can. It shatters. Glass showers down around me, but I don’t care. What’s a few more cuts? My mind is set on one thing. Getting out.
Now for the boards. I use the poker to finish breaking the glass around the edges of the window, then I tackle the boards. Compared to everything else I have had to do to get out, the boards were the easy part.
Sunshine and fresh air meet us as I step out the broken window. I take Tee out of the satchel and set him on the ground.
I take several deep breaths of the clean air. Now to find a way back into town. I’m not sure who is going to pick up a hitchhiker in a sports bra, covered with dirt and blood, but I’m alive. I’m thinking these thoughts as I walk towards the front of the house. I feel like I’m a hundred years old. I’m so thirsty I could drink just about anything. Then I spot something that makes me smile. I pick up Tee and start running.
I see Angela’s SUV. I might not have to hitchhike after all. My luck is definitely coming back.
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