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Beyond the Cellar

Once upon a time I entered a contest back around Halloween but my entry was never selected. I just read over it again after all those months and I actually still like it. Kinda assumed it would make me cringe or something. I remember starting off with a different version that I felt would’ve been better for a video (maybe I’ll finish it and post it later) so I made this second version. Surprise, surprise. There’s dimension hopping in this one too (or at least mention of it). I never knew I was obsessed with it but here we are, lol. Might find a way to tie it together with my other stories ^_^ Anyway, hope you enjoy it and tell me what you think!


fabrizio-verrecchia-180315-unsplash
The wooden door swung open. A gust of wind tangling her curly hair around her head but she stumbled forward anyway, sliding to a halt before taking a nose dive off the clock tower.

Tick, tock. The hand on the clock rotated across the intricate face, inching closer to the hour mark. Tap, tap. She pushed her wild hair aside, turning back to the sound of the approaching footsteps.

“Dimension hopping again, Silva?” A hooded figure emerged from the shadows. Skin dark as the midnight sky surrounding them, eyes resembling the end to a star’s light. He peered at her from the doorway, a sly smirk creeping onto his lips.  

“What’s it to you?” A chilly breeze threaten to pull her pointy hat into its embrace but she clung to it, keeping it from gliding away and above the twinkling town below. In her opposite hand her grip tightened on a clear orb; lights, cityscapes, and memories swirled around its edges.

“You know what I’ve come for.” His scarred mangled hand stretched out to her. “Just hand it over.” Taking a step back, her boot dangled over the edge. She gasped, holding her breath as images of plummeting to her death swarmed her busy mind. “It’s the end of the line.” He stepped forward again. Her legs wobbled and she instantly fell to her knees with a thud.

The clock tower chimed, the sound vibrating through her body as she grasped the rusty rail near the edge. Each chime made her heart beat faster. Time was running out. She still needed to close the doorway to the afterlife.

When the ringing stopped, she took a shaky breath and pulled herself to her feet. Lifting the orb to eye level, she puffed out her chest while pointing it at him. “Step away or I’ll use it.” Her voice vibrated like the ringing from the tower but the demon never noticed. With wild eyes, he stepped back through the doorway and into the darkness, eyes glowing.

Then a toothy grin flashed across his face. “You’re just a dumb witch.” He took a slow calculated step forward. “You don’t know the first thing about using it.”

Silva’s body trembled. Her hand aching to release the orb and make a run for it. She wanted to forget her mission, to return home but instead she stomped her heels into the wooden deck. Too much was riding on this orb.

Her eyes shifted to the clock again. Above the demon’s head, the time continued to tick away. Just a little longer. Her attention returned to him, a newfound confidence burning in her amber eyes so intense it made him pause mid-step. “I know enough.” She hissed, lining the orb up to his eyes and stealing the memory of the last few minutes from his mind. Then she leapt from the ledge, falling quickly towards the town below the clocktower.

A scream caught in her throat, her arms flailing at her sides as she awaited the enviable. The ground and buildings were coming up quick. She was running out of time. Just when she was inches away from smashing into town hall, she was snatched mid-air from a boy on a broomstick.

“You’re early.” He muttered, balancing her jittery body onto the broomstick. He tugged the stick to the right, changing their path to avoid crashing into the local bakery.  

“I’m early?” She stared at him incredulous, the wind shifting his shaggy hair to reveal his serious expression. “You’re late!” Silva screeched, swatting his efforts away and balancing on her own.      

His laughter echoed in her ear. “Maybe by a couple of seconds.” He admitted, pinching the air with his fingers to display just how little his timing was off. “You’re still way too early.”

Silva narrowed her eyes at him as the broom drifted down beside a fountain at the center of town. “I should’ve never trusted you.” She hopped from the broomstick, landing hard on the cobblestone. “I put my life in the hands of a mere mortal.” Her eyes rolled at the thought of it.

The boy landed close by, kicking the broomstick upright. He went to lean against it but she beckoned it to her side before he had a chance. He stumbled forward, regaining his balance with a huff. “You’re not back to referring to me as mortal, are you?” He folded his arms. “I caught you didn’t I?”

“Barely.” Silva cycled through her newly acquired memories, watching as each floated past, replaying each one on the orb. “Here.” She pointed. “This is the doorway.” She edged the orb closer him. “It’s beneath the pottery shop to the east.”

He squinted into the orb, rubbing his bare chin. For a second, he looked interested in it but then his focus returned to what it always did. He glanced at her with hopeful eyes. “And Sebastian?”

Silva swallowed the lump in her throat. She fiddled with the orb, cycling through memories again before shoving it into her satchel. “I’m sorry, Emilio.” Her eyes fell to the ground unable to meet his. “Your brother’s gone. Once we close the doorway–”

“I won’t see him lurking around anymore. Got it.” Silence fell over them. The sound of the fountain’s running water was the only thing that made it bearable. After a few quiet moments, Emilio’s eyes shot to the clocktower. “We’ve wasted enough time. Let’s get this over with.”     

Silva nodded, holding her broom horizontal before climbing on. Silently, Emilio joined her and they zipped across town square, arriving in front of the pottery shop.

The presence of the shop felt off, ominous, a strong contrast of the vibrant warmth it once gave off. The lamps beside the shop were all on but they illuminated no light, just darkness. Dead crows lined the path leading to the cellar beside the shop. “Think we’re in the wrong place?” Emilio quipped.

Silva leaned her broomstick against the stucco and carefully walked down the path, avoiding the dead animals. Emilio wondered ahead, tugging the cellar door until it opened with a rusty grind. Silva cringed. “Quiet. We don’t want the whole country to know we’re here.”

Emilio didn’t respond, descending down the stone steps with light footsteps. Silva trailed behind, using the memories swirling inside the orb as a light source. They walked for what felt like hours. The walls lining the windy path gradually closed in until they were forced to shimmy sideways to continue down the path.

When the path became too tight to squeeze through, Emilio turned back to Silva with knitted brows. “Anywhere in that orb of yours does it tell you what we’re supposed to do now?”

Silva held the orb up and bit her lip lightly. “Nothing.” She sighed, looking up at him with a desperate stare. “None of them show me this. Are we lost?”

“There was only one way in.” Emilio mumbled, glancing up. Silva followed his lead, glancing up and spotting a faint light in the distance. “We should climb.” He suggested as something brushed against her elbow, then her neck and shoulder. His eyes widened, spotting spiders descending down their web onto her shoulder. He swiped the first away but another appeared in its place, each climbing down the walls with glowing eyes. “Move now!”

“Way ahead of you.” With her back and knees against the wall, she scaled up the wall, spiders crawling all over her arms, knees, even her face. She stifled a whimper, climbing until she reached a ledge and shook the spiders from her body. “Emilio!?” She called out, looking down as Emilio dragged his spider covered body onto the ledge. With shaky hands she wiped the spiders from his shoulders until they were completely gone.

“Never a dull moment with you.” He shivered, his eyes adjusting to the light. “Is that it?” Against the wall was a stone dais, a dark purplish swirling portal beside it just like the one he watched his dead brother climb through.

Silva nodded, inching closer to the dais before stopping. “We could wait.” They were bitter words awarding her with a groan from Emilio. She turned to him. “Maybe we can find a way to bring him back–”

“Silva.” Silva frowned. “You’ve done enough.” Emilio sucked in a deep breath, his heart aching. “Just close it already. This is bigger than us.” Then he turned his back to her, folding his arms tightly across his chest.

Nausea wreaked havoc on her stomach as she continued her trek to the dais. The closer she came to the portal, the more she felt its gravitational pull. Dropping the orb onto the indented dais, the portal vanished and with it the last chance of getting Emilio’s brother back.

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash.

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5 thoughts on “Beyond the Cellar”

    1. Thank you so much for reading! ^_^
      lol, she can be a bit of a snob but to be fair, they live in a world where witches and mortals don’t normally interact. And she’s the type to do things solo so depending on someone else has her grumpier than normal.

      Like

    1. lol, no sequel as of yet 😦
      It was only supposed to be a short story for a contest so I hadn’t planned for anything else. But after reading it again, I’m kind of curious too. So many different possibilities. I’m not sure if I should explore what happened leading up to that moment or what will happen next.

      Like

      1. I really hope so. Reading this story, I remembered “Be careful what you wish for” and felt it connected as witch sequel for one. 😍
        I don’t know what to exact and where it will lead to but please give Sebastian a chance to live his story. I feel that his going to b loved by his personality a trillions time. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

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