"Annabel, Jezebel, and Henry are in for more terrors on the island." - Amalthe
From the Inside Flap
"It doesn't seem like a hallway that should be in a hospital," Jezebel said, carefully scanning the light over every inch she could.
"Maybe it leads to the morgue," Henry said. "It would be cooler in the earth than it would be up here. And it doesn't seem like electricity is plentiful in this place."
"So we're going to the morgue?" Jezebel asked.
Optimism fled from Annabel. What she had left was logic. "Not many people like seeing dead bodies."
The look Jezebel shot her was almost comical.
"I mean, they would have a way for the mortician to discreetly remove corpses. Makes sense it would be connected to the morgue."
"Alright." Henry took a deep, sobering breath, and brought his light up to eye level. "I'm the fastest runner so I guess I'll go first."
Crossing the threshold was a struggle for Annabel. Her mind, still layered in a fog of mild concussion, still screamed at her not to move forward. The gradual slope felt like descending into a grave. Lacking any other option, she forced herself to fall into step behind Henry. Jezebel placed a hand on Annabel's shoulder as she followed. A gentle reminder that she was there.
Their combined beams flicked restlessly over the walls as they walked, trying to catch sight of everything at once. It was an impossible task. Gradually, the slope of the floor grew deeper, the precise stones chipped and cracked, eroding into dirt walls that had been haphazardly gouged into the earth. A chill began to play across Annabel's feet, climbing higher up her legs as they continued. Shivers curled down her spine as it touched her humidity ravaged skin. Despite her terror, she found relief in the icy darkness. A touch of frost against her blistered palms took the edge off the searing pain.
The change was so gradual that the trio had rounded a corner in the path before Annabel realized it was there. She chanced a glance behind to find that the exit had been lost into the darkness. There's no retreating. Annabel swallowed thickly. We can only move forward. The air stirred. Barely a breath of movement but it brought Henry to a sudden stop. He whipped around, easily flashing his light over the girls' heads. Everything became still. Silent. There was no way to keep the darkness from crowding in. Drowning them.
Jezebel's body blocked the vast majority of Annabel's vision. She could only wait. Straining to listen. Hoping both to hear something and desperately praying that they didn't.
"Come on," Henry whispered at last.
Jezebel started moving before Annabel did. They clashed together awkwardly before falling into an uneven stride. Stone gave way to dirt under their feet, the pliable surface trodden down by centuries of travel. Another curve and the walls closed in, compressing until both sides were visible in the edges of the torchlight. Broken earth that allowed a dozen hiding places for the shadows as they passed. The sensation of being watched rose the hair on the back of Annabel's neck. She wasn't the only one to feel it. Jezebel's light swung wildly, searching the walls, the ceiling, the ground. The sensation increased. Closed in on them. Brought Annabel to the point that she swore she felt something breathe against her neck.
A footstep that wasn't their own crunched on the dirt behind them. They all instantly spun around. The corridor was quiet. Empty. But there was a shadow. An inky embossment against the bare wall. A tall, cloaked figure. The shape seemed to darken as Henry and Jezebel directed their lights upon it. Annabel's chest hollowed. Every molecule of air rushed from her lungs as she watched the walls begin to bleed. Little, bubbling streams. Thickening. Trickling down to the ground. Turning the dark mass into a figure of blood. Slowly, five weathered white peaks pushed out from the wall. The crimson liquid didn't cling to them, leaving them bare and bright by contrast. Gradually at first, then with a sudden, violent thrust of movement, the skeletal hand shot out. The dry wall crumbled as the boney fingers gripped for purchase. Another arm appeared, reaching out to brace upon the other side. The river of blood bulged, forming a head, allowing the crimson specter to tear itself from the wall.
"Run!" Jezebel screamed.