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An Untitled Story (Chapter 4)
If you are reading this and have not read it from the beginning, I suggest you do so immediately for the sake of it making sense. An Untitled Story is about a girl as she discover that something is going on at her school. I'm not sure I should tell you much more because that would ruin it. So please read from the beginning and enjoy! Also feel free to leave constructive comments and such. I'd like to make this story the best that it can be! Thank you!
Just after Amanda had disappeared down the path, Nick discovered the little slip of paper sitting in his pocket. He'd read it twice and still wasn't quite sure what to think. Still undecided, he read it a third time:
Call me crazy but I think something is going on at the school. I was going to do some digging myself tonight but I couldn’t because of various reasons. If it’s not too much to ask, would you please go the science building and look around for me, specifically in room 118? I can’t tell you how I know what I know, but you’re just going to have to trust me on this. I don’t know what you would be looking for but if you could, it would mean a lot to me!
P.S. Maybe this is what you were waiting for.
Nick tiredly placed his hands in his lap. It still read the same thing as it had a couple of minutes ago and nothing had suddenly changed, or begun to make sense. If anything it had become even more confusing.
Sighing, he rubbed his chin where the stubble from that day had grown unchecked. What was he going to do? True, he wasn’t doing anything that night, but what if she really was crazy. It seemed like a normal school to him, in fact it seemed like a really nice school. Students had everything they needed and they got an education, so why did she think something was going on? Perhaps she was just paranoid.
He’d decided to toss the note and go home when one of the lines from the note came back to him. You’re just going to have to trust me on this. She seemed like a good person and she was funny as well as pretty. Then again, he’d only known her for three days. You’re just going to have to trust me on this, his mind echoed.
Shaking his head, he stood up and began walking briskly in the direction of the science building. I can’t believe I’m doing this. He thought tartly and quickened his pace. As he wound his way through the myriad of silent buildings, he tried making excuses for himself and almost turned back more than once. However, each time a little annoying voice in his head told him to keep going.
Nick emerged from a dark, empty ally onto the manicured lawn of the science building just as the fog that usually came about that time of night began to roll in. It thickened and shrouded the landscape in a cloak of darkness. However, the scene was filled with ethereal light as the crescent moon peeked out from behind the mountains and it struck Nick that if you added Frankenstein and a couple of open graves to the picture, it could have passed for a mad scientist’s evil lair.
A shiver ran down his spine as he thought about it. Don’t freak yourself out before you need to, he chided himself nervously. Gathering his courage, he hesitantly trudged up the lawn and tried the broad door handle. It didn’t budge. He let out the breath he’d unknowingly held and turned to go when he saw the number keypad positioned over the door handle. He stopped and took a good long look at it, a crease appearing between his eyebrows.
It was quite ordinary, with its worn silver keys and faded black casing, but he’d seen it before, he was sure of it. Then again, how could that be possible? He’d only been there for three days and he didn’t have a science class that used the building. He squinted at it, trying to remember. Suddenly, a faded strand of something surfaced from a long forgotten place in the back of Nick’s mind.
…A tanned hand punched in a complicated number sequence on a black and silver keypad. It hesitantly pressed the enter button and an audible click broke the nail biting silence as a lock slid back. The hand pulled the door open to reveal a vacant, shadowy hallway that was so long it disappeared into the blackness it created...
Blinking rapidly, he shook his head. Where had that come from? It had almost seemed like… but no, that wasn’t possible! There was no way it could possibly be… a memory, could it? He’d never been to this school in his life! Perhaps it was just his imagination playing tricks on him. Then again, if the code he’d seen worked did that mean every thing was real, including Amanda’s story? I guess there’s only one way to find out, he thought and punched in the code he’d seen. As he pushed the enter key, a lock clicked back and he slowly opened the door to reveal a sinister, foreboding looking hallway that seemed to stretch on for an eternity.
He licked his lips, which had suddenly gone dry and cautiously entered the building. In his suspense, he almost expected something hideous to jump out at him, but this suspicion proved to be false as he walked down the tunnel like passage without hindrance. He peered at the many doors he passed, trying to see the number 118 in the sparse light that filtered down from the circular skylights overhead. He’d nearly searched the entire first floor before he discovered the solitary door ajar in the long line that riddled the hallway.
His pulse quickened as he approached the door and he anxiously glanced behind him to ensure that indeed no one was in his immediate vicinity. He ran his fingers over the grooves of the room number just to be sure and peeked inside. Lab tables and wooden stools sat in an orderly fashion around the tiled area and several science based posters covered the plain white walls. A couple of test tubes glinted softly in what little light there was illuminating the room, but it seemed safe enough.
Slipping through the crack, he quietly closed the door and turned to inspect the room. It wasn’t that big, and the tables made it seem even smaller. Withered, unrecognizable objects floated in clear jars that rested in various places about the room along with sentinel straight lines of green textbooks. A simple wooden desk sat at the head of the classroom, its surface littered with untidy stacks of papers. A white dry erase board was situated against the wall, its usually sparkling surface covered in spidery black writing.
Wandering over to one of the tables, Nick picked up one of the translucent tubes and began examining it. A dark purple liquid sloshed around its interior as he picked it up. It could have been any other concoction in a science room except that right before his eyes, it shifted from a dark purple, to a bright blue, and finally to a luminescent emerald green. He frowned at the little tube and gently placed it back in its rack where it slowly faded back to its original purplish-black hue. As he reached for another similarly colored tube, he nearly knocked the entire frame over when an explosion of clicks and hisses erupted from the front of the classroom.
Glancing up, he quickly identified the source as a large piece of the tiled floor rose from its resting place and began sliding back to reveal a gaping hole that flooded the room with light. Adrenaline over took Nick and he bolted to the door where he discovered that in his closing it, it had locked himself in. Panic began rising in his chest and his wild eyes franticly scanned the room for a place where he could hide. Spying the table he had just been standing at, he made a mad dash to its side and dragged a stool out. He’d scrambled under the counter just as his hysterical brain registered the sound of a heavy set of feet pounding up a long set of steps. He pulled the stool back in as far as it go would with his body in the way and tried to control his ragged breathing.
Peering through the six inch opening at the bottom of the board that divided the two sitting areas, Nick glimpsed a rather portly middle aged man waddle to the top of the stairs and wipe away the perspiration that had gathered on his upper lip. The man gradually disappeared until all that could be seen were his white shoes, and the green legs of his scrubs but Nick almost didn’t need to see for the volume of the man’s labored breathing.
He puffed up to Nick’s very table and the tinkling of glass could be heard as he fiddled with the tubes that were only three feet higher than his body. Nick’s body went rigid and he held his breath as the feet moved an inch closer, nearly kicking him in the head. He gingerly edged away, still holding his breath and closed his eyes, hoping and praying he would not be found.
The feet lingered at Nick’s table for what seemed an eternity and Nick had nearly turned blue by the time they finally shuffle away. He quietly took his first breath in over a minute and almost missed ‘fatty’s’ feet as they disappeared behind the desk. The slow tap of a keyboard followed and the panel, which had somehow closed without Nick’s knowing, slid back to once again scatter light throughout the room. Fatty waddled down the steps with meticulous care and the panel slipped into place accompanied by soft clicks and hisses.
Nick exhaled loudly as he closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the russet colored tiles. That was way too close for comfort. He thought numbly, and tried to relax a little as he waited for any other unexpected visitors to suddenly pop out of the floor. To his relief, none did and he cautiously disentangled himself from his prison like hiding place only after he’d convinced himself it was safe to proceed.
Torn between escaping to the safety of his dormitory, Nick glanced nervously between the locked door and the incriminating floor panel. He knew what would come next, but dreaded it even as he made his decision. The only way he could go was forward which meant going down into a well lit area where hiding places were probably scarce.
He groaned inwardly and marched, or rather stomped, across the little class room and grudgingly inspecting the plain black keyboard. Immediately he was hit with a sense of familiarity and a faded strand of something long forgotten once again stirred in his mind.
…A pair of hands slid over the white walls, russet tiles, a white board, and over an old oak desk. They searched for some sort of door knob or key pad, for anything out of the ordinary. But they searched in vain. Sick of hunting for something that wasn’t there, a tired individual sank into the comfortable easy chair behind the desk and lazily rested his head against the head rest as he inspected the mess before him. Untidy stacks of papers ringed a simple, if not old computer monitor and keyboard. The individual’s eyes landed on the number section of the keypad and glanced at a yellow slip of paper that sat in a sweaty palm. It couldn’t hurt to practice a couple of the codes on a harmless keyboard, could it? The person leaned forward and typed the code from the little slip of sticky note in his hand…
Nick blinked and the thought faded away like smoke in the wind. Shaking his head at the pointlessness of it all, he entered the number sequence he’d seen and watched numbly as the floor panel slid back. The room was once again flooded with light and his already whirring thoughts went into over drive.
What did this mean about his past? His future? Was it any coincidence he was there that night? Sighing he closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead. He’d almost given up on putting all of this together. It was like fitting together a puzzle with more than half of its pieces missing. Then again, this new development might add more than one piece to work with.
Nick gritted his teeth and stiffly stood up from the leather swivel chair. Practically stomping to the top of the stairs, he stopped and looked down at what was invariably his destined course of travel. He could just see the beginning of an undoubtedly long and very wide hallway. The white marble tiles glinted and sparkled ominously, suggesting a more than well lit area as well as too much time on the hands of a custodian.
Nick groaned inwardly at this and clenched his fists. Best not postpone the inevitable. He thought tersely and began quietly trudging down the gleaming white staircase, cursing the female race with every step.