It's #BlogFlash Halloween time! The theme is "Spooky" (naturally) and the limit is 500 words! So, without further ado, here is the picture from Larundel that has inspired my little piece...
She runs her finger along the edge of the jagged glass; feeling brave, feeling scared. The whisper of a vine tickles her wrist and she gasps before realising what it is. Another sound, this time a true whisper, makes her jump. Turning, she sees no one but a sharp pain tells her that the angry glass has bitten her and she draws her finger up to her lips and sucks away the pain. Small droplets of red lead a trail from the remains of the window and across the floor. It is a short journey.
"Imogen...." The sound is enticing and she follows it.
A music box starts a discordant tune.
The old building moulds and crumbles around her. The remains of a hundred shattered windows crunch beneath her shoes. A raven squawks outside, high above her. Its claws scrape briefly at a broken roof tile, at Imogen’s soul. She glances upwards and sees the bird through the gaping maw of a hole in the roof. The tile shudders before falling. Imogen jumps back, out of the way.
“Follow the music…” The butterfly wings of a voice tease and she pushes forward, her heart pounding and her hands all shaky and bloody.
A shadow emerges from the fallen tile, leading the way, although Imogen cannot see it. Sensing the change, she squints into the bleakness. Nothing. Just shadows and long gone memories, she decides before pressing on. The long hall is dark with old smoke and the floor bears the brunt of long gone fires. Tip-toeing carefully around the dark holes in the floorboards, she tries not to think about hands reaching up and grabbing at her ankles.
Still the faint music plays on. It is a tune familiar to Imogen, singing to her soul as she creeps along.
A swift shadow zooms down the hallway towards her. The music intensifies as the darkness approaches. Imogen ducks at the last moment; fear causing her to gag before she realises it is just the damn raven again. Turning and straightening in one fluid movement, she raises her fist and shakes it at the black beast. The bird replies by cawing once more and dropping a golden object at her feet.
It is a key; old and ornate. Squashed at one end, but that does not detract from its beauty. While picking it up, a cold, gold ring on a long chain around her neck swings free from her tank top and clinks against the ancient key, like lovers yearning to touch one another.
The eager shadow shivers; the hint of a smile is seen on the hint of a face. Its job is done here.
The music plays louder and the shadow creeps up close to its victim.
“Find the music box…” It's voice is feathery, like a raven, and Imogen shivers as the dusty breath caresses her neck.
Adding the bent key to the ring on the chain around her neck, she follows blindly. The shadow leads the way…