The voices were whispering so it was hard to tell where and how many there were. It was the echo that had carried the sounds to my ears. Fighting down the urge to get out of the suffocating darkness, I kept still and tried to quieten my breathing. From above came shuffled footsteps and the sound of shifting rumble.
A voice said something, but the words were too faint. I gritted my teeth and hoped they’d move on soon. What had they come for? There was nothing here that anyone would want. Unless, they were looking for things to burn or to salvage. Though they’d see pretty quickly that there wasn’t much here.
Maybe they were hiding?
My thoughts flashed back and my breathing quickened. The pitch darkness made it easier for my mind to start playing images. I crouched down, hugging myself and pressing my forehead to my knees. I was back in that moment and they were coming for me. There were six of them, wearing mostly leather clothes and carrying weapons; knifes, cricket bats and homemade glass blades.
I could hear their voices taunting me to come out, followed by laughter. I put my hands over my ears and tried to block it out, I thought about other things, anything whilst also begging that they didn’t find me. I knew if they did I was dead. My breathing was so loud and I was sure they would hear me.
A loud sound broke through the past. I dropped my hands and listened. Stone and wood seemed to be falling. Without thinking about it, I swung on my hiking bag and scrambled for the stairs. My toes hit the first step and I tumbled down. My knees and hands taking blows of pain. Ignoring that and the taste of blood in my mouth, I crawled up the stairs. At the doorway, I squeezed through and surveyed the scene.
If there had been people in the church they were gone now. The small space was just like I remembered it minutes ago, beside from a new hole in the roof which was noticeable by the dust cloud. Deciding not to waste time figuring out what had happened, I hurried across the rubble and out of the door.
Morning light washed over me and I had to wait till my eyes had refocused. Breathing in clean, woodland scented air, I moved away from the church and into the graveyard. Long grass wrapped around, but a ploughed through it. Dew soaked my jeans as I become more aware of my painful knees.
Avoiding the gravestones, I made it into the trees and stopped. I half turned, making sure no one was following me. From the corner of my eyes, I saw a little flutter of blue from the church doorway. Looking over, I saw a figure emerging.
To Be Continued…