Scarlett was alive. She was close to death, though. Aaron had limited medical knowledge, but he could still bandage the wounds and stop them from getting infected. He needed to get to his office to grab the rest of his toolkit, so he ran across the building to the elevator. This floor was dark, and almost none of the lights were on. Aaron made it to the elevator safely, though. He hit the GROUND button and descended to the bottom floor. The elevator doors opened, and he took a right turn. After what felt like forever, he came across a bend that led to his office.
He heard muffled talking, then the sound of vibrating metal. He walked past his office, briefly glancing into it to look at the spider web of clues he had on the wall, then came to the room the voices came from. He looked in and heard a gasp. A man of around the same height as himself was cowering in a corner. A kid was standing behind bars on the other side of the room.
“Hello,” the kid said like the two of them were good friends.
“Hello?” Aaron responded.
“And you are?” The kid asked.
“Aaron,” Aaron replied. Then he thought it might be rude not to ask the kid the same question. “You?”
“I don’t have a name,” the kid answered.
“Uh… okay. Who are you?” Aaron asked, pointing to Walter.
“Oh, hello. I’m Walter.”
“Do you work here, Walter?” Aaron questioned.
“Yeah. I work right over there,” Aaron said, pointing to the hall.
“That’s funny. By any chance do you own this book?” Walter asked, pulling out the book with the red cover.
“Yes. Where was it?” Aaron inquired.
“I found it in your room when I came down here. Why does this book mention rituals and monsters?” He held up the book in his hands.
“Um, they’re interesting?” Aaron replied.
“Wait…” realization dawned upon Walter. “I was being chased by a monster earlier… you did this, didn’t you?” Walter cast an accusatory glance at Aaron.
Aaron looked back innocently. “What? No, of course… yes, I did. With, I may add, an accomplice. It wasn’t my fault completely.”
“Listen to yourself! ‘It wasn’t my fault completely,’” Walter said, mimicking Aaron.
“What?” Aaron asked.
“What? I nearly died, and you say ‘it’s not my fault!’” Walter fired back.
“That’s not what I said!” Aaron argued.
“That’s not what I mean!” Walter retorted. “You’re just another one of the psychopaths working on this floor! I’m sure you’re the one imprisoning this kid and experimenting on him!”
“I’ve never met this kid in my life!” Aaron exclaimed.
“You’re across the hall from this room! There’s no way you’ve never met this kid!” Walter fired back.
“Just because I work across the hall doesn’t mean I know him! I don’t pop into every room to check in on what everyone’s doing!” Aaron said.
Walter knew that was a valid point, but he wasn’t going to give in easily.
“Quiet! Both of you!” The kid exclaimed. “We’re all on the same side.”
“I’m not on a side with him,” Walter and Aaron said in unison.
“Yes, you are. Deal with it.” The kid said.
“Oh, and why should I listen to you?” Aaron asked.
“Because I’m the only sensible person in this room,” the kid responded.
“Well… oh, shoot,” Aaron trailed off, realizing he had abandoned Scarlett. “I’ll be right back,” He yelled over his shoulder as he raced out of the room.
Scarlett was alone. She had just woken up, and she found herself bandaged up and resting on a cot. She was in an unfamiliar room and wondered who brought her here. It could be the police or some guards, or it could’ve been Aaron. She hoped it had been Aaron. She sat up, feeling an aching sensation everywhere. There was a desk with a bottle of water on it next to the bed, so Scarlett reached for it. The coolness of the bottle against her skin was soothing, and she gulped down the water in record time. She belched loudly, then remembered that a monster that she helped create was hunting for her, and clamped her mouth shut.
Scarlett stood up and walked around the small room. The room was dark and there was no light switch. A broom lay in one corner, covered by cobwebs and dust bunnies. There was a cabinet next to the broom. Scarlett opened the cabinet to reveal medical supplies. Bandages, gauze, and disinfectants were scattered on the shelves in the cabinet. Closing it, she walked to the door, which was slightly ajar. Peering out, she saw a dark, empty hallway. There was a sign next to the door that read: MEDICAL ROOM C. She figured that was referencing the room she stood in.
Stepping out into the hallway, Scarlett looked from side to side as she walked silently down the hall. Each step sent a jolt of pain through her body, but she was determined to find out who brought her here. She checked in the room labeled MEDICAL ROOM B, but it was empty. MEDICAL ROOM A was the same as the last. She reached a fork in the hallway and chose the right path. This hall was devoid of any rooms, but it did lead to another hall. This hall was short and filled with doors. She looked into a room halfway down the hall. It contained a desk with a lamp and an old computer monitor on it. There was a filing cabinet that was full of manila folders. The folders contained various legal statements about the laboratory. She went into the room next door.
This room was a mess. There were more manila folders, but they were scattered everywhere. There was a toppled desk and a computer monitor with a cracked screen. The room had a spider colony that had settled down, and spiderwebs hung like Christmas lights around the room. The rest of the rooms in the hall were the same as the first, though. Scarlett sighed. Whoever brought her here had clearly abandoned her. She decided she would just find a safe place in the lab to stay until someone rid it of the monster.
Hello, my name is Luke Fann. I love to read and write myself into a fantastical realm, but I love all genres. Of course, such a task requires assistance from my parents and older brother. I've feasted on alligators and tamed beasts like alpacas (my favorite animal), but none of that compares to my greatest weapon: a pencil. I am an editor here for the City Voice, and this is my second year writing for it.