(Please be aware this story contains adult sexual content.)
All I could breath in was soil and decay. My ears were ringing, partly deafening me. I went over to my wife and pressed my back against the door too. A part of me didn’t think this flimsy wood would keep the skeletons back.
‘Are you hurt?’ Raven asked me.
‘I don’t think so…’ I trailed.
I was in too much shock to be thinking clearly. I tried to listen through the door, but the sounds were muffled. I reached for Raven’s hand and held it tightly. We listened and waited for the skeletons. A minute later, we heard banging and groaning. The door vibrated along our backs.
‘Let’s make a run for it. We can lose them in the cellars,’ Raven spoke.
Arming herself once again with the bits of coffin lid she had tossed aside, my wife walked a few steps then broke in a jog. I followed, not sure what else to do but thinking that Raven might be right. The cellars were a twisted maze and we should easily reached the house again before the skeletons got anywhere near us.
We headed back through the dirt tunnel, not talking just concentrating. Images flashed by me; the cloth rags around the bones, the shuffling footsteps, the grinning jaws, the missing teeth. The crumbled skeletons piling at my feet and Raven, my amazing woman, fighting then and taking so many down.
Why had they attacked us? How had they come to life? I had thought the house might be haunted…by ghosts and normal creepiness, but this? Animated skeletons in the basement? My brain was getting tried trying to answer those questions and more. My body was aching all over and the torch felt so heavy in my hand.
From behind us, the door broke down, sending a cloud of dirty towards us. I stole looks back and saw the skeletons pulling themselves out of the debris. At the back of my mind, I had been hoping that the door would stop them. Maybe, there’d been some magic seal or something that would stop them and trap the skeletons like before when we hadn’t entered.
Raven raced ahead of me and her torch light become just a dot. I tried to pick up speed, but I was too tried. Slowly and without wanting to, I came to a stop. Doubling over, I tried to breath but my throat was burning. Everything seemed to spin around me, waving in and out of focus like fast changing storm clouds. I couldn’t do anything to stop myself from going down.
Claws in my leg, right between the top of my boot of the cuffs of my black jeans. The clattering of loose teeth and clicking of bones, brought the last few minutes back into my head. I snapped awake, twisting around, thinking it had all been a dream, but then I realised I was laying face down in musty soil, my fingers hitting against a torch.
‘Crow? Crow? Where are you?’ Raven’s voice was screaming in the distance.
I took a deep breath and grabbing the torch, swung back at it. I heard the connection of plastic and bone. The tightness on my leg released and I scrambled upwards. Not looking back as I had enough fuel for nightmares to last the rest of my life, I bolted down the rest of the soil passage way and into Raven.
She had been coming back for me and I sent us both sprawling to the floor.
‘Are you okay? Where did you go?’ Raven gushed.
‘I tripped. I’m fine,’ I said.
We hugged tightly and helped each other up. We walked the rest of the way, holding each other as if we had been for a simple stroll around the rose gardens. Gratefully, I hobbled through the doorway and into the cellar.
I slummed down, slipping out of Raven’s arms. Pain was spiking through my ankle. I heard her closing the door and scrambling around.
‘What you doing?’ I mumbled.
‘Slowing them down,’ Raven replied.
I eased myself up and watched my wife, shoving wood planks up against the door to block it. I should help, I wanted to help, but I couldn’t move. Laying down seemed the best thing to do right now. Sleep was also good. I shut my eyes and felt myself drift.
A hand slapped my face and I awoke quickly.
‘You are hurt,’ Raven said.
In the torch light I could see her face was a worried and dirt streaked. The warrior seemed to be wearing out of her.
‘Not really. I’m okay, just my ankle….I twisted it,’ I told her.
Raven helped me up and I hobbled along side her. We went back through the cellar rooms till I thought we must be lost because it had been so long and everything looked the same.
‘We need to stop. I can’t go on,’ I said and aimed myself towards the floor.
Raven let me go and I sank down heavily like a anchor. I pressed my back against the cold, damp wall and looked up at Raven. She was tried. Her shoulders were slumped, her arms dragging downwards and she was breathing more deeply then I had seen her do so before.
She sat down next to me. Her boots scrapping the ground. She brought her knees up and pressed her face into them with some difficulty given her curvy frame.
We were silent. The darkness filled the void between us. I shut my eyes and let sleep claim me. I dreamed of nothing, just pools of darkness.
Raven shuffling brought me back too. We hadn’t turned the torches out, at least I don’t recall if we did and now Raven was bashing her’s in her palm and flicking the switch on and off.
I felt for mine and checked it. The beam seemed a bit dimmer but it was still working.
‘How much further?’ I asked.
‘Not far,’ Raven replied giving up with her torch, ‘I’m sure we must nearly be there.’
Raven looked at me her face serious then crumbling, ‘I don’t know…’
‘Are we lost?’
‘I…think so,’ Raven chocked, ‘I was too worried about you and I wasn’t thinking…’
‘It’s okay,’ I said softly, rubbing her back, ‘we’ll figure it out.’
We steeled ourselves and started walking again. This time I paid attention to the rooms, noticing the few bits and pieces as we passed. Twice we walked back into the final room and we heard from the hidden doorway banging and groaning. The door was strangely holding the skeletons back.
Finally, Raven found some sharp stones and we began marking the rooms as we went through them. That helped and at last we found the staircase. Heading upwards, I wondered what condition things would be in, but my mind was really far from that. I wanted to eat, sleep and hold my wife tightly.
Raven opened the door and went though to collapse at the kitchen table. I joined her, noticing how bright it was and how dirty we both were. My glass of half drunk water from hours ago was still on the table. I picked it up and drained it. Getting up, I went to the sank and drink straight from the table. I scrubbed my hands and face.
I got Raven a glass of water and watched her drink it slowly.
‘Are you okay?’ I asked.
‘I think so…’
‘I love you, Crow.’
‘I love you too,’ I replied.
‘And this house is just perfect,’ she add, getting up and hugging me, ‘I can’t believe it, skeletons in the cellar! What more could I have asked for!’
‘So, you’re not upset,’ I mumbled into her shoulder.
She kissed me and answered, ‘far from it.’