Rob Does Words
Treating fiction poorly since 2019


You can hear the wind blowing through the autumnal trees outside. The dry and dying leaves rustle like paper and you can imagine the wind getting stronger as your time here increases.

Through the filth encrusted windowpanes, you can see the sun high in the sky; no clouds, no birds, just the small bright circle. Despite the clear day, it’s cold. Even now, inside, you can feel it. That chill that you always assumed meant winter was just about here.

The building isn't new and it isn't well looked after. You don't know what you're doing here, and you're trying desperately hard to ignore the fact that you don't know how you got here.

The floor is, at best, warped and deformed and at worst not there. In the gaps you only see a darkness that is too deep to be natural. And it might have just moved.

The wind is getting louder now. The entire building is shaking and something just fell on the roof. You convince yourself that it was a branch and the continuing noise is just it sliding down the rusted tin. A window shatters upstairs.

It’s been hours now. At least. Maybe longer. Probably longer. The wind has grown to a gale outside and you keep hearing windows shattering, although you're sure there aren't that many windows in the building. And then there's the noises on the roof. Even the most open minded person can’t believe there were that many branches close enough to land on it. And there are other things.

There are more gaps in the floor now. You didn't see them appear, but they're there now and the darkness is definitely moving underneath. You kicked a piece of glass down into the darkness and you never heard it hit the ground, despite it being no more than half a foot under the boards. There's a voice in your head too, it isn't yours, or it might be. Either way, you're trying to convince yourself it’s yours, but it isn't working very well. The voice is telling you to put your foot into the darkness, to see if the ground is as near as it should be.

Both the voice and the wind are getting louder, and somehow it’s getting hotter inside the building. You feel like an idiot, though, because it’s taken you this long – how long exactly, you still aren't sure – to realise you can leave the room. And with the floor still disappearing into the moving darkness, the realisation gives you unexpected hope.

But the hope quickly disappears when the door is blocked on the other side by something you can’t see. Then the familiar panic returns. The failing floor and what moves beneath reaching for you feels real again and the door is your only way out.

You try to scream, but the wind and whatever it is on the roof is too loud for anyone but you to hear. You try to bash on the door but it isn’t enough; there is still something on the other side. Something heavy. You look behind you. The floor is almost gone. A few planks are left, attached to the walls. You are on the largest of such areas.

The darkness that replaced them moved; you can see it somehow heaving and roiling like a sea in a storm. You slide down the door, accepting that the darkness would overtake you, absorb you. You watch as the planks along the wall fall into it, causing a momentary burst of activity in the pit where they disappeared, wondering what it would feel like when it was finally your turn.

There was a grinding noise now. It hadn't replaced any of the other noises. The wind still blew and the leaves along with it. The things on the roof were scratching louder on the tin. It was hard to believe that the wind and those things hadn't torn the roof apart. There was still the sound of shattering glass every so often from upstairs.

But there was a grinding noise now. You can’t quite figure out where it’s coming from, but you know that it’s probably as threatening as the floor, or lack thereof. There aren't many floorboards left, and the one right in front of you just fell away and no matter how you sit, a piece of you has to hang over the edge. You scuffle back against the door and feel it swing open behind you. For the moment you forget that something was holding it closed before and rush through. You close the door behind you, wondering quietly whether that will stop the pit from advancing.

The new room is just as ragged as the previous one, but the noises from before are distinctly quieter in here. The grinding is gone too, but it echoes in your head. Upstairs, something wooden splinters violently.

It’s dark now and all you can hear is the wind. It sounds different in the darkness; less like nature and more like some animal on a leash that can’t hold it. It wants to get inside the building. It wants to destroy because that's all it knows how to do. But for now the leash holds. Still, the thought of leaving doesn't enter your mind; maybe it can’t. Maybe this is it for you, biding time until the wild animal gets free.

In lieu of standing around wondering how you're going to die, you choose to look for the staircase. To take your chances with whatever it is that's upstairs. The floorboards creak as you walk across them, you can feel them bow beneath your feet and think they can’t flex much more before they break and if they break, you know the pit will be right there waiting.

Light shines through the window, casting shadows of the dirt and cracks in the glass across your face. You must have been asleep, you realise.

Looking around, you have no idea where you are or what you're doing here. The room is large and mistreated. A few of the floorboards are missing.