Short Stories by Claire de LuneClaire de lune
  •  TW: fear of darkness, fear of closed space, panic attack

        Sarah's consciousness is awakened by the damp, fungal odour that is floating around her. Her eyes suddenly burst open to the idiosyncrasy of the place. It is not her bedroom, which is the place she remembers she belongs to, nor anywhere she is familiar with. Instead, it is an old, abandoned, wooden room lightened by a single orange lightbulb above her. Despite its warm colour, the light is as dim as candlelight. She glances around the room in order to find windows, so that she can know the location. Alas, there are no windows nor any visible holes on the walls that air can pass—only ripped, stained yellow wallpaper and an elegant wardrobe standing next to the closed door. Anxiety inundates her lungs. It feels like a cell.
         "What the fuck?" she mutters. She closes her eyes and tries to find out what is happening. No thoughts come to her mind. The last memory is that she kissed her trembling girlfriend's forehead to calm her down after she was woken by the threatening thunders. 'I am here. There is no reason to tremble so,' she said. 

         After opening her eyes, she reaches to the other side of the bed where Violet, her partner, usually stays. "Violet, where are w—" The only thing that lies against her palm is the rough snow-white sheet of the bed.

         Her girlfriend disappears.

         She shockingly gazes at the place where Violet should be present. 'Where is she?' she thinks. Fright flushes through her body. 

         "Violet... Violet!!" she calls for her partner, wishing what she fears to not come true. 

         Only silence replies.

         She gets up from the bed and rushes towards the door. Suddenly, her leg is pulled back. She falls and knocks her face to the floor; it soaked with thick blood from her nose. She looks at her right leg to find out that there is a rope that securely chains her with one of the bed's leg. She tries to tug it, but the bed is too heavy to be moved. So, she examines the knot and discovers that it is sealed with heat. Desperately, she scrutinises the room to find something to cut her free. As if Heaven hasn't forsaken her yet, she finds an old key at the far side of the room. However, when she attempts to grab it, it happens to be an inch beyond her reach. She repeatedly strives to get the key but is faced by failure in every attempt. In the last try, she decides to leap for the key. She sets her feet firmly to the floor and jerks towards the key. Unpredictably, while landing, she hears a crack from her right ankle. A second after, pain excruciatingly strikes all over her right leg. Her ankle is horribly dislocated. Still, she is now able to grab the key and begins to saw the bondage. After ten agonising minutes, she finally sets herself free.

         Her blood from the knock has already stopped, but the pain still lingers, and when it mixes with that from the ankle, it makes her wanted to faint to escape it. 

        She yanks single-leggedly to the door to flee. Just as she thinks, it is locked. She hopefully put the key into the hole, wishing it is the right kind. But her hope has to collapse, for no matter which angle she tries, there is no way to make the bronze key get into the hole. Thus, she turns to the wardrobe beside the door and finds out that it is securely sealed with a chain and a lock. 'Looks like a possessed box' she jokes to herself. After she unlocked the fastener and opened the wardrobe, the single lightbulb behind her instantly goes out. To her fear, she sits and presses her back to the wardrobe. Her breath begins to clog while her perspiration flooding her face, making the bloody smell even stronger. Her heart starts racing like a rocket. She feels as if she is going to puke. Fortunately, the light comes back. She slowly takes a deep breath, trying to control her respiratory system. After a while, she gets up and looks inside the ajar wardrobe. There is only one thing in there. 

         Violet's typewriter.

         It is the present she bought from a second-handed store for her birthday two years ago. She closes the wardrobe and brings the old machine to the bed to examine, anxiously wonders of its presence. On the paper, imprints a four-letter word in red,

         H E L P

         Abruptly, a scream terribly shrieks from outside the locked door. Its intensity and loudness imply the utmost pain and fright of the owner. And most importantly, it is Violet's.

         "SARAH!!! HELP!!!" she yells.

         Her eyes become wide-open with panic. She yanks to the locked door and repeatedly bangs on them.

         "Open this! Whoever it is out there! Leave her fucking alone! Open this fucking goddamn door!!!"


         To her surprise, the door is unlocked. The screech has gone silent as well. Frightenedly, she slowly opens the door.

         Nothing lies before her. No Violet. No hall. No room. Nothing but a red brick wall, tightly stacked without any holes to peep in.

         Shockingly and tremblingly, she stares at the mysterious wall for minutes. Suddenly, the typewriter behind her begins to make a sound. It starts writing by itself. On the same paper, it reads, 


         The wardrobe starts to shake and its door is slowly ajar, making a scary creaking sound. A hand, pale and gangrenous, gradually poke out from the inside.

         Sarah stares at it. Her sense has already flown from her. Immediately, she heard a voice, harsh and steady, from behind her head.


         She turns and faces a rotten face which she barely recognises: but certainly, it is Violet. Her Violet who is now gazing at her with hollow eyes. They are the most disgusting things she has ever seen. From her divinely beautiful Violet, she has transformed into a devilish gooey corpse. She looks inside them and feels dizzy inside. Her sight begins to blur, and the oxygen starts to decrease.

         She wakes up with her face pushing against the pillow. Realising that it was only a dream, she exhales relievingly. 'Thank god' she thinks while reaching for Violet to hug her and liberate herself from the nightmare. 'I don't wanna fucking go to work', she mutters to herself while turning to her girlfriend who lies beside her. 


         She suddenly gets up.

         She is now inside a room, old, wooden, and abandoned with an elegant wardrobe.


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