The Nine Shivers: Chapter 2

Note From the Author

This is a writing in progress. If you do so feel inclined to leave helpful writing tips and suggestions, I openly accept criticism in an effort to improve my writing skills.

Chapter 2

The group stood in silence as they stared up at the museum. The building was a massive structure that towered into the sky. The falling rain hit their faces and then rolled down their cheeks. Rachel shivered and huddled closer to Sophia and Alicia as they tried to stay warm. It was October and was colder than usual. Standing in the rain at night was not helping that fact. Hannah suddenly broke from the group.

“Uhm, hello? Can we get going please? My jacket wasn’t meant for rain,” Hannah insisted snootily.

The group approached the front doors of the museum. A short flight of stairs led up to the main entrance. The double doors still gleamed with the prospect of being brand new despite their age. Ornamental patterns decorated the sides. The knobs were made of glass that had a few scratches on them. A pathway built into the building stemmed off from the main entrance way and wrapped around the side of the massive structure. Kyle and Tanner stepped up and attempted to open the giant doors, but to no avail. Neither of the front doors would budge. Defeated, the boys stepped away from the stubborn doors.

“Could be locked from the inside?” Tanner suggested.

“How are we supposed to get inside then?” Alicia asked quietly.

Kyle looked back at her, “Split up and find a way in. Look for another door or a window. Something that’ll get us out of this damn rain.”

Alicia looked back worried. She was cold and her hair and clothes were borderline soaked. As she looked around at the others, she noticed they were in the same situation as she was. Everyone was becoming soaked that she didn’t want to be the first one to complain about it and make everyone hate her. Since she had just moved to town, she didn’t know very much about the group she was with besides a few conversations she had in Homeroom and Study Hall. This initiation was going to be her way of fitting in at her new school.

The group dispersed. Most paired up with each other to keep company while they searched. Kyle, Tanner, and Sarah walked along the perimeter to see if another entrance was possible. Alicia, Rachel, and Sophia spotted some stairs along the opposite side of the building and decided to follow them. Hannah and Brittany, in an effort to get out of the rain and do absolutely nothing to help the group, ran to a shed on the corner of the museum grounds.

Eric found himself alone. He didn’t mind being alone. The thing that annoyed him the most was that nobody cared to partner up with him. Eric was used to working alone on projects at school. In fact, he preferred it because he wouldn’t need to rely on anyone to get the job done right the first time. As Eric walked along the pathway built into the building, he held his hand out to brush against the side of the building to feel the sensation of slimy bricks slide along his fingertips. The bricks eventually all seemed to melt together after turning the corner because his glasses were collecting rain droplets. He came to a dead end, but noticed something peculiar on the wall.

“A button?” Eric whispered to himself.

Eric just stared at the tiny red button for a short time. His curiosity won in his mental debate of whether to push it or not. He was startled to find out that there was power left somewhere on the grounds. Eric hadn’t noticed the the speaker located to his left. It was a fake brick in the wall. A man’s prerecorded voice spoke out into the silence.

“Doctor Nilnotso’s Museum of the Strange and Unusual is currently not open. We are still constructing our exhibits, but are expected to open in the fall of 1967.”

Eric raised an eyebrow. Has this building really been around for that long? He shrugged the thought off as he turned to walk away and back towards the main steps. Eric looked over the side of the wall. The other groups were starting to come together over at the shed. Eric sighed. He was always the last to know about things. Nobody cared to tell him anything important was going on, so why should tonight be any different. He only heard about the initiation by eavesdropping on a conversation Hannah and Brittany were having in the hallway at school.

Eric approached the group without saying a word. Everyone was staring at something inside the shed. He squeezed in and was so confused at what he saw that he forgot his loathing of being left out. Behind a pushed aside wooden work bench was a dark staircase that lead down deep into the earth. The staircase faded into pitch darkness, but something about it made it seem as though it was alive. Eric shuddered at the thought of what creatures could be living in an abandoned hole for as many years as the museum has been condemned.

Kyle took out his phone and turned on a flashlight app. The light illuminated enough of the stairway for it to be traversed without much hazard, but was not strong enough to reach the bottom. Several others turned their phones on as well. Kyle began walking down the stairs, brushing past several spider webs that had accumulated from lack of upkeep.

“Are you fucking insane?” Hannah questioned, “I’m not going down there.”

“Then don’t. You can stay out here with anyone else who doesn’t want to just get this over with” Kyle retorted.

Hannah scowled and stood back with the disbelief that someone had the audacity to talk back to her. As the others began following down the stairs, Hannah grudgingly went with them. She didn’t want to be the one called out for not going through with the initiation, especially when a loser like Eric came along. Hannah wondered how Eric even heard of the initiation to begin with. It wasn’t done to everyone, or was it? She didn’t need to be at the museum. After all, she could easily run back up the stairs, call Kevin, and let him do what he wanted with her, not like that would last any longer than a minute. A smirk quickly made its way onto Hannah’s face at the thought of how pathetic Kevin would be if he only lasted a minute during sex. Hannah shook her head. She needed to prove that she was more than what people thought her as a slutty pretty face. She would prove them wrong. She was not going to give in to Kevin and she sure as hell wasn’t going to back down from Kyle. That would be the easy way out of this initiation.

The staircase went down further than any of them had expected. Eric had lost count after one-hundred steps. The bottom opened into a small tunnel that continued to go on into darkness. A faint smell of salt water filled the air. Lights from their cell phones were flashing along the walls. Kyle looks at his phone’s battery life icon. Twelve percent.

“Well, we’ve come this far” Sarah said, “We might as well keep going.”

“What is that?” Sophia asked as she pointed at something on the wall.

A metal box with a lever pointing up and lights was adhered to the wall. Eric walked up to examine it. There wasn’t much to the box to tell what it was exactly.

“My guess would be that this is a power box” Eric reported.

“Well then, pull the damn lever so that we can see” Hannah commanded as she walked over to it.

“I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. It could backfi-”

Before Eric could finish, Hannah pushed him out of the way and struggled to lift the rusted lever. Eric drew a smile watching her get more and more flushed with each failed attempt.

It serves her right, Eric thought.

Hannah stepped away from the box. “Is someone going to fucking help me or not?”

Tanner moved forward and placed both hands on the lever. He pulled downward as rust broke off from the lever as it began to creak and move slightly. Tanner doubled his efforts with a hard grunt and leaned all of his weight into pulling down. The lever gave way and slipped into the down position. The hum of lights filled the void as the tunnel began to brighten. The lights flickered on the box alternating between red and green. A hard dragging sound broke from the way they had come. Alicia turned just in time to see a massive hidden rock slide across the hallway from wall to wall. The rock it the other wall with a loud thud and stopped. Her eyes widened as she gasped. They were trapped in this tunnel?

“We’re stuck!” Rachel yelped.

“Turn the lever back!” Alicia shouted, now closing her eyes and clenching her fists.

Tanner’s eyes had widened too. Was this some sort of trap? He reached for the lever and flipped it to the up position. The hum of the lights ceased and they slowly faded, putting the group of teens into pitch black again.

“TURN THE LIGHTS BACK ON!” Alicia screamed.

Tanner flipped the switch one more time. The hums of lights started up again. Within seconds, the tunnel was illuminated again. Alicia was curled up sitting against one of the tunnel walls with her head buried in her lap. She never liked being in tight spaces. The darkness made it worse. Sophia ran over, sat down, and wrapped her arm around her. Alicia was visibly shaken from this quick ordeal. It was comforting for Alicia knowing that someone was there for her. Hannah scoffed.

What a baby.

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