I can hear crying, I can’t tell what is crying, I can barely hear it. I realize I am in a stairwell, a dark and winding stairwell made of stone. I cant decide if I should be going up or down the stairs, but something is telling me to get to the crying, and quickly. It seems to be fading and I know that time is of the essence. I’m looking all around me to try to find a clue or a hint telling me where I am or if I should be going up or down. The entire stairwell is made of stone, no railing of any sort and parts of the steps are crumbling on the stairs. There are no windows or any openings along the walls, and no lighting other than some flickering from a candle right around the corner above me. I take that as my hint and start up the stairs, figuring light is better than the darkness.
However before I’m even a full turn around the stairwell from where I was, I hear the crying intensify, while simultaneously getting harder to hear. I turn around and head back down the stairs, around the next bend, and then another turn around. There’s almost no light now, and the crying does not appear to get any louder, but still intense. I can feel the urgency to get to the crying. I start going a little quicker down the stairs, hoping for some sign that this is the right way to be going. There is almost no light left now, I’ve lost count of how many turns I’ve made. The crying still doesn’t seem any louder yet sounds even more pained now.
Still hesitant as I don’t know if this is the right way or not, I continue making strides down and down. It’s pitch black now, and My hands are running along the sides guiding me down. The crying is at the point of screaming now, it sounds as if it’s in pain, and i am almost sure now that it is a baby. Which makes me want to move faster but it’s just so dark. It still doesn’t sound any closer though. What if this isn’t the right way? I keep going down, because now it would be too far to go back up. I can’t get any sense of what way I should be going other than that I KNOW I have to get to the screaming baby.
I keep going down and down. Hands guiding me on both sides of the dark stairwell. All of a sudden I know I am in the wrong place, I sense it instantly. I freeze, still hearing the baby screaming, but no louder and no quieter.I feel a rush of ice cold air blow onto my body, strong enough to push me back a step. I turned around in the dark, ready to run back up, I take one step and run directly into a wall. I put my hands all around me and realize the stairwell back up was no longer there. I had no option except to continue downward. The baby’s screaming was still happening, so tiny, so pained, and so far away.
I hesitantly start to move back downward, hands along the sides again. It felt as if I was walking into a freezer, it was so cold and so dark. The screaming ongoing. Step by step I head downward. The urgency stronger with each step. I quicken my pace, and keep going down and down, around and around this stairwell in complete darkness. I was shivering it was so cold, just hoping that the screaming would get closer, hoping I was almost there. There was a malevolence in the air, whatever was in that stairwell with me was causing the baby to cry, that much I knew. If only I could reach it!!
It seemed endless, dark, freezing, down and down. Suddenly everything was quiet. No screaming. I couldn’t even hear my breath. I stopped. Hands out on the sides of the stairwell. Everything was so black. I could feel this intense pressure In the air mixed with the freezing temperature, I tried to inch forward and walked into something. It felt different than the sides of the stairwell, my hands were trying to figure out what I was feeling in the darkness, it felt like nothing I had ever touched before. Suddenly I hear a faint whisper, it was so quiet I doubted myself, had actually heard it? Then it came again, just one word whispered so close it seemed to be in my face…”now”
© 2017 Mj Gale