(Unedited November Collaborative Fiction)
So there I was, running through the maze of the Garden, desperately trying to find my way out. The weight of my bag was almost overwhelming. The howls and growls of the beast grew closer and closer as I continued to run through the hedges. With what looked like the exit in my view I sprinted with all my might, but as something snagged my foot, I only found myself plummeting to the floor. How did I get here you might ask, well, let me tell you.
Several weeks ago, the sky was a cloudless glowing bright electric blue, the sun shone brighter than I could ever remember. Even through the lenses of my sunglasses, the fluorescent rays of the sun pierced my pupils causing me to blink rapidly, and making it difficult to see more than five feet in front of me. The streets were overcrowded for this time of day, or any day for that matter in these parts. The air felt strange somehow, like someone or something didn’t belong. And as I navigated through the sea of people pushing through one another, it brushed my arm and whispered, “You’re next.”
In a flash, I whipped around, but there were too many people to find the source of the voice. I continued down the street pushing past person after person, still not being able to shake this ever encroaching feeling of something not being right. Until finally, I stopped. There was a massive building painted in the dullest red surrounded by buildings that were bright vibrant colors. Then the voice came again, “come in,” it beckoned.
I froze, hypnotized by the kaleidoscope of colors swirling around me as if I were caught in the middle of a tornado, while the enormous red building pulsed in front of me, drawing me in. Was it breathing? A shiver ran down my spine, and I felt the contents in my stomach doing flips. That’s ridiculous, buildings can’t breathe. The door creaked open, the sound was almost deafening.
I put one foot forward, making a huge step. Then another and another, and without a thought I had entered the red building as the door slammed behind me with an almost explosive crash. I began to look around the inside of the building, peaking my head around store shelves. From what I could tell, it seemed like an old bookstore with a few old antiques. As a cold wind brushed my shoulder, I saw a flash of bright blue zip past me.
“What was that?” I whispered, my voice sounding unsteady and unsure. My feet rooted themselves to the ground. “What is happening?” I strained my ears, listening for the faintest sound, and then let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding. My eyes cautiously scanned the area, searching for that blue light.
As my vision slowly rolled through the storefront, I finally spotted a bright blue glow next to one of the shelves. After taking a few deep breaths I sneakily walked towards the fluorescent blue glow. Though, as I got closer the glow started to go away. I quickly reacted by charging at the light, but when I turned the corner, it was gone. As I turned around, one of the other isles of shelves started to dimly glow blue.
The floor slowly began to vibrate underneath my feet, slightly shaking the shelves in front of me. Out of instinct, I grabbed hold of a shelf for stability. The floor directly underneath my feet was shaking, but not the shelf I clung to. How can that be? Something was desperately trying to get my attention, but what, and why?